Thursday, November 8, 2012

Don't Slam Other Professionals - It's Not Professional

Our hometown online paper recently had an article where a reader was looking for help writing a resume. A recruiter almost instantly responded,  "I am a recruiter and always happy to help someone craft a resume. They can message me. Don't ever pay for a resume service...they aren't worth it a d you can easily find free help!"

As a communications professional, I felt the need to say something to her. While many people can write a fine and functional resume, others don't have the interest, skills or time to do such.

I discreetly sent her the following note:
"As a professional writer, I was concerned about your statement in response to the (local newspaper's) inquiry for someone to aid with resume writing. I wanted to share some thoughts with you. Not all resume writers or communications professionals are created equal.

When I work with career changers, I try to be as supportive as I can. My goal is to bring high value to the interaction. Often their resumes read like job descriptions and lack both achievements and activities. I believe that when a job hunter is looking for work, often their lowered self esteem makes it more challenging to talk about their strengths and accomplishments. So, I prompt them often with questions which both give the resume heft and substance, and helps them to see that they did achieve goals. One of my value added propositions is trying to insure their social media profiles sync with their materials so they speak in one voice to both hiring managers and recruiters. I also work with people so when they file an application on an app site, that they have the tools to sell their skills not just type in a job descriptions. This value added time and mentoring is often not billable, but every bit as valuable to these career hunters as they head out with their newly minted resume.

It has been a great challenge in our current economy to be a professional writer and communicator. Many prospects and clients who have a college education feel that they can write resumes, press releases, ad copy, training modules or technical writing with the same level of experience, insights and expertise which I bring. Other times, I meet people who want to pay us $7.40 an hour because the belief is that I really didn’t do anything, despite the fact they were struggling with it. Distilling one’s experience into a series of crisp, succinct statement, formatting the document to be professional and delivering a highly usable end result is often thankless work.

Any blanket statement about anyone in an industry many not come across as professional as I perceive that someone like you would like it to be. That could be akin to saying bankers are cheap, IT programmers are nerds and doctors all think they are Gods.

My experience has been that the good recruiters help many professionals with tightly defined skill sets, such as IT, technical sales, or medical services. But for far too many others, the majority of your peers won't work as hard for a $35K mid level job for a career-changer. The commissions aren’t there as it is for a VP of Finance, Java Beans with Cocoa certified programmer or Neurology Clinic Director/Researcher.

My thought is that you not lump anyone together, be it communications professionals or recruiters. I do sincerely wish you only the best and success serving your clients."

I'm still waiting to hear something ....
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