Thanks to the flippin' recession, there are two groups of job seekers: Those who really want to be working (but aren't), and those who don’t want to be working (but have to). This latter group, the reluctant job seekers, includes parents (mostly women) who left the workforce to raise their families but are now being forced to return for financial reasons, and retirees who worked and saved all their lives, only to have their investments shrivel by 25% or more.
Here they are, with battered egos, rusty interview skills, and outdated resumes, trying to play the part of the shiny job candidate who rises above the crowd.
Nobody ever said life was fair.
If you consider yourself a reluctant job seeker, your best move might be to invest in a professional resume writer. Why? Because once you've grown accustomed to speaking of your career in terms of what you "used to be," it can be next-to-impossible to switch your mindset back to the present, let alone clarify your future value to an employer.
That's where a pro can help. Professional resume writers know how to present your work history, volunteer roles, skills, and strengths in a way that appeals to today's employers. They can review your old resume, ask you questions, and help pull a strong personal value proposition out of your unique collection of experience and qualifications.
Full disclosure: Pongo offers a professional resume writing service, but I'd be advising this regardless. Honest!
Of course, professionals cost money, and you could be looking at anywhere from about $100 to several hundred dollars, so it's not an option for everyone. However, if you're like most people in this particular boat, you've already been stewing about this for months, knowing you need a resume because you need an income, but you're paralyzed to make a move. If you can manage the investment, it's almost guaranteed to pay for itself in time saved before you finally get a paycheck.
If you do decide to go for it, be sure you get someone who's certified by the Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW) and/or the National Resume Writers' Association (NRWA).
The added bonus of going through the professional resume writing process is that it gives you a new way to look at yourself and see in writing all the value you still have to offer.
What do you think? Is a professionally written resume a realistic option for cash-strapped job seekers? If you've ever been a reluctant job seeker, how did you manage the transition back into the workplace? Please leave a comment.
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