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This Week: Top 10 Resume Experts
Everyone needs a resume. And when something is so common,you'd think it would be simple – but as we all know, that's not the case. There's a reason there are so darn many professional resume writers out there: Because writing a resume isn't just way to get a job – it's basically a job in itself.
For today's edition of Top 10, we've compiled a list of some of our favorite resume experts. Even if you're not in the market for someone to write your resume for you, you'd do well to pay attention to the insights these writers often share on their sites and at various publications across the Web. There's always room for improvement – especially when it comes to one of the most critical documents of your career.
1. Wendi Weiner
A former college writing professor, Weiner is also a Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) – one of only 49 people to hold that distinction at press time.
What's more, Weiner is also an attorney. That's a rare combination – attorney and resume writer – but it's a combination that allows Weiner to better understand what makes a great resume.
"Attorneys are trained to think in a very different way," Weiner says. "That logic and the ability to grasp the best selling point of a client – much like making a winning legal argument to a judge – transcends into stronger writing skills."
2. Angela Copeland
Angela's site, Copeland Coaching, is chock full of insights into not only resume writing, but also the job search and career success. She also produces an excellent podcast where she engages in enlightening conversations with a variety of industry experts. (Full-disclosure: Recruiter.com's managing editor, Matthew Kosinski, once appeared on the podcast.)
Angela also has a relatively unorthodox approach to writing resumes for job seekers: She doesn't just produce a resume for you – she coaches you through it.
"This is a different philosophy [from the one] many resume writers use," Copeland says. "Typically, a job seeker takes a more hands-off approach and the writer does the work for them. I prefer to do the work with the job seeker. This helps to ensure that their resume is completely accurate and that they are comfortable with it."
3. Brette Rowley
Rowley is a career coach to millennials, but that doesn't mean her expertise is only relevant to Gen. Y. Regardless of how old you are or what stage your career is at, Rowley has plenty of useful resume and job search insights available for you on her site.
According to Rowley, her biggest strength as a resume expert is her background in marketing – and we agree. To wit: "My marketing background lends itself to helping job seekers actually stand out from their peers, rather than following industry standards."
Rowley approaches resumes as conversation starters. To her, your resume isn't just a description of your work experience – it's a full-fledged marketing campaign that should leave employers wanting more the way any good advertising effort should.
4. Dana Leavy-Detrick
When you need help making your resume look great from a design perspective, look no further than Leavy-Detrick's Brooklyn Resume Studio. Leavy-Detrick puts her prior experience in the design industry to great use, as evidenced by her portfolio of previous work.
"Working with folks in advertising, marketing, and design for 10+ years has shown me the importance of strong visual and content branding and the ability to tell a compelling story about why your product/service (in this case, your skill sets and experience) bring unique value to a customer (employer)," Leavy-Detrick says.
Even if you don't work in a creative field, it never hurts to hand an employer a visually exciting resume.
5. Angela Lussier
Need help with your executive resume? Then Kennedy is the expert for you. She might just be the best in the biz when it comes to crafting executive-level resumes. Don't believe me? You should know that Kennedy has the industry recognition to back it up: She's been nominated multiple times for Toast of the Resume Industry (T.O.R.I.) awards, she's won the "Best Executive Resume" award, and her company has the distinction of being the first to ever receive seven nominations in one year. Who can compete with that?
7. Donna Svei
If you hire a resume writer, you run the risk of ending up with a mass-produced document – something that was very clearly churned out by a professional and lacks your unique voice. This is a problem Svei is acutely aware of.
"While I believe credentialed writers produce a better resume than most people can write for themselves, they also write resumes that recruiters can easily spot as coming from a mill," Svei says.
Couple her awareness of the pitfalls of (some) professional writers with her financial background as a CPA – which helps her make a concrete, bottom-line friendly case for a job seeker – and you have a resume expert who knows that hard data and authenticity are not mutually exclusive.
8. Olivia Jaras
Speaking of financial backgrounds: Unlike many of the people featured on this list, Jaras is not a resume writer. She is, however, a compensation coach – and that's exactly why she's a resume expert.
"I've seen too many career coaches and recruiters focus on formatting the resume to get an interview, but they don't take into account that – to a very large extent – your resume will also determine your salary," Jaras says. "The best resumes walk a fine line between self-promotion and establishing a firm relation between your worth and the position description, because ultimately, whomever sets your salary will judge you and make assumptions [based] on the paper portrait of you."
It's easy to forget that resumes don't only get you to an interview, that they have an impact on the company's perception of your worth as well. That's why it's important to follow the advice of someone like Jaras when you're crafting your resume.
9. Joseph Terach
Terach seems to be a fan favorite among our readers. He received more nominations than anyone else. Why? Because he's darn good at what he does.
Here's "Mark S." on why he nominated Terach for our list: "He taught me how to write an effective resume by highlighting my professional achievements using specific, measurable bullet points that not only helped me land that cherished interview, but also provided talking points and direction to the conversation during the interview. This in turn gave me some sorely needed confidence (I had limited success interviewing theretofore), as I walked into each interview knowing I could clearly and succinctly highlight how I could add value to an organization."
10. Emily Kapit
Rounding out our list is Kapit, who believes that the key to career success "is implementing a Consistency of Excellence approach to one's job search." What does that mean exactly? For Kapit, it means "collaborat[ing] with each client on identifying [their] unique career values, accomplishments to date, and transferable skills before translating this info into powerful professional documents and job search strategies."
Kapit doesn't see a resume as just a document; she sees it as a piece in a bigger puzzle, which is why she and her team at ReFresh Your Step don't stop at resumes. They also help clients with their LinkedIn profiles, job search strategies, mock interviews, career guidance, and more. When you need to go the comprehensive route, turn to Kapit.