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Resume Coaches
Resume Coaches: What They Are and Where to Find One
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AnnaMarie Houlis
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Journalist & travel blogger
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No one ever said hunting for a first or even a new job is easy. Filing out countless job applications, tweaking your resume and rewriting your cover letter a hundred times over is far from a piece of cake. But you can make the job a little less daunting by hiring a resume coach who, at the very least, can help you to tailor your resume — sure, it's only a portion of the process, but reworking your resume time and time again takes up a good chunk of your time.

A resume coach will take some of load off, and some may even go above and beyond by helping you throughout the rest of your application process, too.

But how do you know if hiring a resume coach is worth it? You can better decide by having the right knowledge in your toolbox. Here's what a resume coach can do you for you, when you should hire one, what you should look for in a resume coach and where you can find one.

What Is a Resume Coach?

In short, a resume coach is a simplified career mentor. A resume coach's job is to help you craft a compelling piece of marketing material for yourself, as opposed to just writing up a mere list delineating the factual history of your career. In other words, a resume coach will work with you to tailor your resume to each specific job for which you want to apply, or they'll help you to create a solid base resume that provides a foundation for you to then go on and tailor it yourself each time that you apply for a new job.

Your resume coach, in short, helps you create a resume that'll actually get read — and hopefully, compel potential employers to invite you for interviews. Because, the truth is that recruiters only spend an average of six seconds reviewing each resume, according to a Ladders survey — and you want them to spend a lot more time than that on yours.

A resume coach who is willing to go above and beyond is an exceptional choice, as well. For example, a resume coach may also provide assistance with revamping your LinkedIn profile or personal portfolio page, as well as your cover letters. Likewise, a great resume coach may even help walk you through the entire application process, filling out job application forms, preparing for interviews by conducting mock interviews or sending you common interview questions to answer, and even guiding you through how to send follow up emails regarding job applications. But none of that is a resume coach's main job. A resume coach's main job is to, simply, design you a perfect resume.

When Should I Hire a Resume Coach?

You should hire a resume coach for a number of reasons, even if you just want to brush up your resume. But below are just a few more specific times that you especially might consider hiring a resume coach.

  • If you are applying for a job when you are just coming out of college and need to write your resume but have very little experience to share
  • If you are applying for a job after you have been out of the job market for quite some time and need to revamp your resume in a way that doesn't leave a glaring gap
  • If you are applying to a new job in an industry different from the one in which you're currently working
  • If you are applying for a new position in which you don't have experience, even if it's within the same industry
  • If you are applying to be considered for a promotion at your current job
  • If you are applying for a job when you're already overqualified for it 
  • If you are applying for a job when you're completely underqualified for it
  • If you are applying for a job in another location, like another country, that requires you to demonstrate you're wilingness to relocate

What Should I Look for in a Resume Coach?

A resume coach should be willing to work with you on your unique and individual needs. In other words, you don't want to hire just any writing coach who is going to spill basic information with you. You want tailored help and personal assistance to help you to achieve your career goals. As such, the resume coach you hire should be invested in you.

Here are some qualities that an excellent resume coach should possess:

  • A willingness to understand your unique career goals
  • A strong understanding of the English language (or the language in which you're writing your resume)
  • Knowledge of general resume writing rules
  • A comprehensive understanding of writing rules, from grammar and punctuation to tone and more
  • A keen eye for detail
  • Structural awareness
  • Verbal communication skills so they can help you understand the revision process
  • Patience
  • Listening skills
  • Ample experience as a resume coach,
  • Knowledge of your industry or the industry into which you want to break is preferrable so that they can help you to emphasize the skills and experiences that they know are especially valuable in that field
  • Experience reading and judging resumes, perhaps as a hiring manager themselves, is also preferable

Where Can I Find a Resume Coach?

You can look for a resume coach on sites such as the following.

  • Upwork
  • Life Coach Hub
  • Fiverr

You can also search for resume coaches in your area, as many have their own websites and portfolio pages but may not be part of bigger directories. Likewise, put out a message on LinkedIn or across other forms of social media, letting your networks know that you are seeking a resume coach. The chances are that someone in your circle will either boast a lot of experience writing resumes (or perhaps they're a hiring manager and have read and judged a lot of resumes), or someone will know a resume coach who may be able to help you.

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.

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