When you hire an executive resume service, you’re signing on to partner with a professional writer to create your executive resume. Your writer will use their knowledge and skills to create a succinct career narrative. You have to provide the experience to craft that narrative.
This post goes over what you need to tell your executive resume writer. We also include several questions you may want to ask your writer before or during the collaboration process. Let’s start with an overview of an executive resume writing process so you know what to expect.
Working with an executive resume writer
If you’ve never worked with a professional resume writer, you’re in for a treat! The stresses of writing and perfecting a resume are no longer in your hands. Your resume writer will ask you questions and gather information in order to put together the strongest resume they can based on the information you provide.
What to expect
You can expect your executive resume writer to come prepared with questions to collect the missing information. The questions will often be geared toward your contact information, professional achievements, past performance reviews, and awards.
It’s important to answer all questions thoroughly and accurately. With Zipjob’s executive resume service, for example, you’ll have email communications, a questionnaire, and a phone call to give your executive resume writer to gather the information needed.
A professional resume writer will collect various facets of information and create a killer resume from it. Some questions may seem off, but I promise they are asked for a reason!
Make sure you answer each question open and honestly so the executive resume writer can take your experiences and make them impactful on your new resume.
Don’t lie to your writer, either–you hired a professional to present you in a positive light, so it’s important to give them accurate information.
What to prepare
It’s good to have your documents gathered and ready before speaking with your executive resume writer. Common documents are the original resume, recent performance reviews, and any awards and certifications. Think of the information that makes you a great candidate and ensure you convey this information to your executive resume writer. We can only include the information you provide!
You want to have job descriptions for the types of jobs you are interested in available to your executive resume writer. This will help them to know what types of skills and abilities they need to highlight in your resume.
A great way for your executive resume writer to understand what kind of leader you are is to have information about yourself from your direct reports.
- What would they say about you?
- What would they say about your leadership style?
This can be very insightful for your writer.
Another thing you’ll want to include is any media articles regarding yourself or your company that you were involved in.
Think like a leader and provide examples
Your achievements are what make you stand out among competitors. You want to make sure you have strong achievements listed, with numbers and percentages to strengthen them, so hiring managers want to know more. Think of specific examples where you had great results and have those prepared for you executive resume writer.
A great way to showcase these examples is with the STAR method (situation, task, action, result). Think of a situation where you made an impact, tell what the task was and the actions you took to get the exceptional results. This is also an impactful method to use during interviews! An example of the STAR method in action: “Led Omega project with 15 junior marketing professionals, designing a comprehensive 3-month outline and producing a library of resources to communicate [company] unique value proposition (UVP) that boosted organic traffic to the homepage by 200%…”
Felicia Tatum, Executive Resume Writer and CEO of Creative Career Solutions says, “The STAR method is my favorite way to showcase examples. It hits all of the key points and makes an impact on paper.”
Examples of accomplishments include:
Lowered costs by 10% through policy changes and improved processes.
Slashed time to complete projects by 50% with efficiency enhancements.
💡ZipTip: make your bullet points stand out by using the STAR method on your resume.
What to tell your writer
When speaking with your executive resume writer, you want to communicate clearly and concisely so they understand everything you are trying to say. If they ask for further questions, explain in detail so they can gather the information needed.
1. Your professional goals
The more specific you can be about your job goals, the better. You want to give your executive resume writer the most comprehensive information so they can understand you better and help you on the road to your goal.
Your resume writer may ask you what your specific hopes are for this project, such as a more attractive display of your skills or a clear history of your work. You’ll want to tell them this so they understand the most important part of the project to you.
2. Your volunteer history
It looks great to hiring managers when you like to give back, so be sure you include any volunteer experience or organizations you are a part of in your information for the executive resume writer. You should include any companies you donate money to, give your time to, or speak on behalf of.
3. Information about your job search
The job search has changed drastically in the past 10 years or so and is constantly changing. You’ll want to tell your executive resume writer what steps you’ve taken to apply for jobs, the types of jobs you are applying to, the companies you’d like to work for, and how long it has been since you had to search for a job.
The landscape of hiring has changed so much that companies now use ATS (applicant tracking systems) to filter resumes, so the document has to be written for humans and computers. Your executive resume writer will want to focus on your most marketable skills and qualifications while passing automated scans.
Questions to ask your resume writer
When you speak with your executive resume writer, prepare your own questions as well. Often, only one phone call is included, so you want to make the most of the session. Write down any questions you think of during the time up to your phone call and let the executive resume writer know you have them when you begin speaking.
Here are some things you can ask your resume writer:
What is the best way to communicate with you?
Usually email is best, but some resume services use internal portals. Other writers rely on phone calls or video interviews to gather the most valuable information from you. If you have a strong preference, bring it up quickly so your writer can best accommodate you.
How many drafts should I expect?
Even with comprehensive information gathering, resume writing is an iterative process. You’ll want to go over at least one draft with your writer. Read it carefully to make sure the information is accurate and complete.
Zipjob’s executive writers often create two drafts before finalizing a version. Depending on your writer, you may need to fill in specific details like numbers or tools you’ve used in the workplace after the first draft. The second draft is pretty close to the final version, but still may require your input.
What should I expect my resume to look like?
You may have something in mind for how you want your resume to look, so you should express your expectations early on. Generally, your resume’s content is more important than how it looks. However, resume design has gotten quite creative in recent years so if you’re hoping for something modern or funky, you need to bring it up before your first draft is delivered.
Your writer should be able to provide you with past examples of their work. With bigger companies like Zipjob, your resume writer likely can’t share a past customer’s resume, but can share examples of similar resumes.
Here are some examples of resumes our team of professional resume writers designed for executives: Executive Resume Examples.
What is the expected timeline?
If not already communicated, you should ask how long it will take to get a first draft and how long your writer expects to take before delivering a final version. Keep in mind that it takes several hours to write a draft, even for an experience writer. Expect at least one round of revisions and likely more.
However, also expect that the process will be worth it. Your resume will be a professional document that includes all your most compelling work history. An executive resume will also highlight your key skills, summarize your career achievements, and display the value you can add as the leader of any team.
In conclusion, job searching has changed and you must have a host of information available for your executive resume writer. It may seem like a lot and may seem excessive at times, but in order to have the most comprehensive and accurate document, you’ll need to provide the above information to your executive resume writer. They are there to gather all the information and turn it into a personal, branded marketing document for you to land your next job.
Ready to get started?
Zipjob has a new executive resume writing service. Take advantage of our experienced executive resume writers, premium resume templates, and top-tier service options.
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Special thanks to Felicia Tatum for her extensive input and advice for this article. Felicia has an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources. She has a passion for writing and helping people. We are proud to have her on the new Zipjob Executive Resume Writer team!