Professional resume writers are not all the same. I have reviewed many resumes over the years that have supposedly been written by "professionals" and if they were, they're giving the rest of us a bad name. Having said that, I do believe the vast majority of resume writers are extremely talented and conscientious people. But even among the true professional resume writers, there can be significant differences in what we bring to the table.
Here's what sets me apart from the rest:
I work exclusively with retail leaders and have done so since 2005
Unlike most resume services out there, I don't take on all clients that come along. I'm a specialist, not a generalist, and I work exclusively with clients from the retail industry. Not only that, I work exclusively with clients in the United States and Canada. Drilling further still, I work exclusively with leaders in store operations, including area/district/regional managers, general managers, store managers, co-managers, assistant store managers, and department managers.
I don't pretend to be an expert in any other field (I'm not), which is why I focus on the one area I am an expert in - retail management. I have worked with thousands of retail leaders from virtually every chain in North America since 2005, and in that time I have accumulated more than 400 LinkedIn recommendations.
Does this mean I only work with people who want to continue in retail? Not at all - many of my clients have successfully transitioned to new industries.
To be clear, resume writing is primarily about what you've done in the past. Yes, your job target plays a part, but resumes should be focused on presenting your past experience in the best possible way so recruiters can see what you're capable of going forward. To that end, I use my expertise in retail to showcase my clients' past experience in the industry, regardless of whether they plan to stay in retail or move on to something new.
I have extensive personal work experience in the retail industry
As a resume writer, I didn't fall into retail by accident. Earlier in my career, I worked for several years in retail management myself, and that gave me a solid understanding of what retail leaders do, what they are responsible for, what type of environment they work in, what pressures they face, and what they're judged on.
I jumped around a lot early in my career - as such, I gained experience in nearly every type of retail environment including department stores, home improvement warehouses, grocery stores, off-price fashion stores, warehouse clubs, specialty stores, convenience stores, and fast food restaurants. I worked for some of the premier retailers in the world - including Costco, Disney, TJX, 7-Eleven, and more - and gained a ton of experience.
Now I leverage that experience to design resumes that speak to the needs of employers.
If a professional resume writer doesn't have advanced knowledge of their client's industry and background, they'll likely ask generic questions like "What were your achievements?" during the information-gathering process. That will provide the writer with decent content for the resume, but not exceptional content. Instead, I may ask questions like "How much did you increase your units-per-transaction (UPT) over last year?" or "Where did you rank in the region and country for shrink reduction?" Because I can dig deeper, I can uncover those specific, concrete accomplishments that will help portray you as the superstar you are. Much more detailed and far more effective.
I have additional experience as a resume analyst for a retail recruitment firm
As a side gig a number of years ago, I worked for a national retail recruitment agency as a resume analyst. I reviewed thousands of resumes from retail leaders over a 5-year period, networked with recruiters, learned what they look for, and gained insight into applicant tracking systems and the resume parsing process. This gave me an even deeper understanding of how to write resumes that speak to their needs.
I have additional experience as an employment counselor
I have worked on all sides of the employment fence. I've written thousands of resumes for people with a background in retail, I've hired hundreds of leaders and associates while working in retail myself, I've worked for a major retail recruiter to administer the candidate application process, and I've also trained and coached job-seekers to reach their goals as a counselor in a government-funded employment office. This experience proved extremely valuable, enhancing my skills and knowledge in job search strategies, interview preparation, and more.
I have developed a vast professional network in the retail industry
I have been active on LinkedIn since 2008, and in that time I have built a network consisting of 60,000 followers and 30,000 first-degree connections (maximum allowed by LinkedIn) - virtually all from the retail industry. I have also built and continue to manage two groups - Retail Careers USA (50,000 members) and Retail Careers Canada (15,000 members). I am proud to say that my network is unbelievably giving and generous with their knowledge, and I learn from them every day, which further expands my capabilities as a resume writer.
There are hundreds of professional resume writers out there, many of whom market themselves on LinkedIn and in other places every week. I’m sure they’re all very capable and talented writers, but it's important to ask yourself some key questions as you weigh your options:
It's extremely important that a resume writer understands the industries you've worked in as much as possible. If they don't, how can they create a resume that will show you in the best light?
Feel free to check out the rest of my website to learn more about my service.