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Resume Writing

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Frequently Asked Questions
About #Resumes

There’s a story that Picasso was sitting in a bar in Paris and a woman approached him and asked if he could do a quick sketch for her on a napkin. He drew her portrait and handed her the drawing — and a request for a considerable amount of money. She was outraged. “But it only took you five minutes!” she protested. “No, madam, it took me all my life,” replied Picasso.

 

When you have your résumé created by a professional résumé writer, the time invested in crafting a custom document is not limited to the effort required to gather information about your job target, previous experience and accomplishments, education, and value to your next employer — although this is significant. It’s not limited to the several hours of time (and gallons of blood, sweat, and tears!) it takes your writer to carefully choose each word and phrase for maximum impact. 

 

While there is significant time spent gathering and synthesizing the details of your career and designing a wholly unique and customized résumé, the value of your professionally written résumé originates in the skill of the writer — talent developed through study of effective résumés, training in modern communication techniques, and thousands of hours of writing experience. 

 

You are also benefiting from what Picasso recognized as his biggest asset — a lifetime of knowledge and experience. Your professional résumé writer knows how to paint a custom word portrait for you that is a snapshot of your career progression and ambition, designed to attract job interviews. More than a few jobseekers have turned a single sheet of paper — their professionally written résumé — into the job of their dreams. Will you be next?

Resume Writing


Why Are Résumés Written Without Pronouns?

Résumés use a unique style of writing to emphasize brevity in order to maximize the reader’s time. This is especially important since the average résumé receives fewer than 30 seconds of the reader’s time upon first review.

 

Many people find this style of writing a bit confusing, so here is an explanation about “résumé speak”.


  • Résumés use a version of first-person style, but omit the subject (“I” / “me” / “my”).
  • We use present tense for activities you currently perform, and past tense for past activities and achievements — particularly for older positions on your résumé, but also to describe responsibilities you once performed in your current job, but no longer do.
  • To emphasize brevity, we remove most articles (“a” / “an” / “the” / “my”), except when doing so would hurt the readability of the sentence.
  • We write in a strong, active style, emphasizing action verbs (“direct” / “manage” / “lead” / “conduct”) instead of passive descriptions of activity.
  • Most often, numbers one through nine are spelled out; numbers 10 and above are expressed as numbers.

 

Thus, this paragraph is incorrect:

“I am a dedicated professional with extensive experience in corporate accounting, budgeting, and financial reporting. You will find me to be consistently successful in providing accurate information for management decision-making. I can develop and implement accounting training programs to increase staff efficiency and productivity. I am also an effective communicator with the ability to work with individuals at all levels of employment.”

 

Here is that same paragraph, rewritten in “résumé speak”:

Dedicated professional with extensive experience in corporate accounting, budgeting, and financial reporting. Consistently successful in providing accurate information for management decision-making. Develop and implement accounting training programs to increase staff efficiency and productivity. Effective communicator with the ability to work with individuals at all levels of employment.” (see: 8 Resume Writing Mistakes to Avoid)

 

If you have any specific questions about the language used in your résumé, please let us know! 



How Long Should The Résumé Be?

Professional Resume Writing

The answer is a bit of a riddle: Long enough to convince the hiring manager to interview you, and not a word longer. 


In the days before online résumé submissions and applicant tracking systems, the one-page résumé myth was born. Today, that myth persists, but surveys and conversations with hiring managers consistently find that a one- OR two-page résumé is appropriate, as long as the information being shared supports the length. Thus, most new college graduates should have a one-page résumé, as they don’t have the depth of experience of a senior executive, who could have a two-page résumé (and perhaps even three).


However, for every “rule” there is an exception. If the information you are including on the résumé will help the hiring manager, it should be on your résumé. Thus, a college student who has worked numerous internships, completed significant classroom projects, held student leadership positions, had relevant work experience, and participated in industry associations could easily have a two-page résumé. 


No matter the length of the résumé, the focus should be on highlighting the candidate’s accomplishments, not basic work responsibilities. Use section headers — such as Work Experience, Education, and Awards & Honors — to make information easy to find.


What should be immediately apparent to hiring managers, no matter the résumé length:



  • What sets you apart from other candidates

  • Your key strengths and accomplishments

  • What kind of position you’re targeting

If the résumé passes the initial screening, the additional detail provided on the résumé will help the hiring manager decide whether to schedule an interview.






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