Our Ten-Step Process and Guarantee

A strategically written and well-crafted résumé is an essential marketing tool in your job search arsenal. It can be one of the most cost-effective investments you will ever make in your career. Not only can it greatly shorten the time it takes to land your next great job, but the insights you gain on your personal value proposition will be invaluable in acing an interview and making a sustained impression in networking events.

Step One: Free review of your existing résumé.

  • Don’t worry, unlike some dubious mass production résumé companies who offer free critiques as a ploy to get you in the door, I will be absolutely honest with you.
  • If your current résumé is fabulous and well aligned with your career target, I’ll let you know.
  • If it only needs tweaking, I’ll give you a bit of advice on how to do that, and you can go on your way.
  • And if your résumé is completely underselling your value proposition, I’ll recommend a résumé package that will best meet your needs.

No original? No worries. We can jump straight to step two.

No career goals? A bit of more of a problem.

  • There is no such thing as a résumé that is both strategic and generic, a la the teacher-plumber-salesman-marketing-administration résumé. (See my article on the Perils of the Generic Résumé).
  • Strategic résumés are, by their very nature, tailored for a specific career target.
  • If you need some help defining your career direction, we can arrange a career coaching session.
  • If budget is a concern, I can recommend self-help resources that you can use to get clarity on your goals.
  • If you have more than one career target, an additional version of your résumé can be negotiated in your package, each tailored for specific targets.

Step Two: A one hour telephone interview

  • After we have agreed on a package and payment, we will have a one-hour telephone meeting in which you will feel like the most fascinating celebrity on the planet!
  • I will ask you probing questions about your career, education, volunteer pursuits, awards & honours, proud moments, and passions & pastimes.
  • The questions will be structured with the end-product in mind, so that a remarkable amount of really in-depth information can be collected in a relatively short time.
  • Having mastered the art of interviewing while typing, I will be keeping a near verbatim record of our conversation.

Step Three: Review of any supporting documents

  • I will have a look at performance reviews, letters of recommendation, précis’s of papers you have written, web links, and anything else you can provide me that will add to my understanding of your value proposition.
  • I will also have a look at what comes up about you on an internet search. Today’s recruiters will most certainly be doing the same. Do you know what they will find?

Step Four: Industry & job market research

  • I will conduct internet research on current hiring trends in your specific job market (industry, discipline and region) to ensure that I have the most up-to-date understanding of what your target employer is looking for.

Step Five: The writing begins

  • Armed with detailed information about you, your career goals and your target market, I will write a completely customized résumé that clearly conveys your value proposition.
  • It will include a high-impact profile and qualifications summary that is specifically tailored to your target market, an action & results focused career history, and supplementary résumé sections that are strategically chosen to build and convey your brand.

Step Six: The design begins

  • Fonts, formats and design elements will be selected to best package and present your value proposition.
  • The format will be based on the psychology of how résumés get read in your target industry.
  • Your biggest advantages and value-added assets will be highlighted, whether its your years of experience, career accomplishments, academic credentials, the companies you’ve worked for, the professional contributions you’ve made, the awards you have won, or some combination of all of these.

Step Seven: First draft of your job search documents

  • Within 3 business days of our interview, you will receive the first draft of your job search documents.
  • They will be in substantially finished format, and will include highlighted areas where additional information is required.

Step Eight: Editing & Finalization

  • Ultimately, this is your resume, and you have to be completely comfortable with everything it says.
  • We will work interactively to fine-tune the resume so that it is authentic, accurate and completely targeted to your job search goals.
  • Since “Every-single-space-needs-to-be-filled-with-content-or-we-are-wasting-our-time-and-money” formats are not strategic, we will ensure that every word, phrase and formatting decision enhances your value proposition and makes you stand out in the crowd.
  • Rarely does the fine-tuning process take longer than two rounds of editing, because I’ve taken the time to know who you are and what you have to offer a potential employer.

Step Nine: Job Search Strategies

  • Distributing 500 copies of your resume and waiting for the calls to come in doesn’t cut it in today’s job market.
  • I will provide you advice on how to use your job search documents as part of a carefully mapped out job search plan.
  • You will learn how to best communicate your value proposition in interviews, networking events, and on the web.
  • I will recommend particular companies, recruiters, websites and other resources that can be of value to you in making connections and finding the right next career move for you.

Step Ten: The Guarantee

  • If after two months, your new, value-focused résumé has not gotten you more interivews than your original, I will work with you at no cost to further refine the document based on evolving job market demands.

Meet Karen Siwak

An award-winning Certified Résumé Strategist, Karen has crafted top calibre career transition packages for thousands of clients. Her specialty is helping people identify and articulate their unique brands and value propositions, and she is passionate about empowering clients with the tools, strategies and confidence to take control of their career search. Read more...

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