- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Q: What type of services and resources are out there to create a winning resume for a college graduate?

A: A strong resume doesn’t get you the job, but it definitely helps in landing an interview. And at a time when employers are being bombarded by hundreds of resumes, career experts say it’s becoming even more important to stand out.

Without a referral, the resume becomes the single most distinguishing factor in getting the interview, says Patrick Snow, a Bainbridge Island, Wash.-based career coach.

It can be confusing to sort through all sorts of services and resources available to help young job hunters with crafting a resume. But experts say a good starting point is their alma maters’ career development offices, which often offer help with writing resumes. Experts also encourage job candidates to examine resumes of those who were successful in getting jobs in the field they plan to enter.

Two major online resources, Monster.com and Yahoo HotJobs, offer tips on their Web sites about how to create a winning resume. Such hints include using an active voice and making sure to quantify achievements with tangible results. Both sites also allow job hunters to subscribe for free to newsletters tailored to the industry in which they are pursuing a job, with tips for writing a successful resume for a specific career. Yahoo HotJobs also has a partnership with a professional resume-writing service called ResumeEdge.com.

For those who are willing to spend the money, job seekers can turn to a resume-writing service. Prices can be as low as $40 per hour to as high as $150 an hour, said Frank Fox, executive director of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches in St. Petersburg, Fla. Those just starting out shouldn’t spend any more than a total of $200 because they don’t have as much experience as someone more seasoned, said those who are familiar with the subject.

The big plus for using a service is that an impartial third party can help strike a balance between boasting and being too humble, Mr. Fox said. But the big negative is that a resume can look canned.

So, before hiring a professional, it’s best to make sure the resume service is a member of a professional resume-writing association and can meet your personal needs, said Scott Brown, vice president of development for HireSites, a career service based in New York, and author of an online resource called the Job Search Handbook.

The Web sites of the PARW/CC (parw.com) and the National Resume Writers’ Association (nrwaweb.com) allow a person to search for a professional resume service in a specific location.


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