Resume Writing Service

Rates:

  • 1 page resume (fine for 80-90% of people): $100
  •  2-3 page resume: $180 and up
  • I generally require  payment in advance.

Interested? Contact me by writing idiotprogrammer AT gmail.com.

Meeting ME:  I live in Katy/West Houston and could meet with you. But I can just as easily do all of this over the phone.

All clients will receive a .docx file, a pdf file and a blank .dot file which contains all the custom Microsoft word styles I used in the final resume.  I will also give you a one page handout about how to make a resume from scratch with my custom .dot template doc.

Although my primary work is in publishing and technical writing, I have prepared resumes for all kinds of people over the last 20 years.  I have taught at business colleges overseas and worked for 4 years for a  career counseling firm early in my career. I have read several books on resume writing and consider myself an expert on MS Word (and proficient in LibreOffice and GoogleDocs).

I have identified 4  things people need  to do when preparing a resume:

  • De-emphasize the “job obituary” style for one that favors  individual strengths and accomplishments.
  • Use a simple and flexible template that allows you to add or subtract things easily for future resumes.
  • Figure out the right level of detail to include. A well-designed resume will not feel “cluttered.”
  • Understand the various contexts in which a resume will be viewed.  A resume you open as an email attachment will look different from a printed resume that is handed to you in a face-to-face meeting.

My Assumptions

  1. A good resume should not mislead or exaggerate. First and foremost, it should be truthful. At the same time, a resume should not be drowning in detail.  The resume’s organization should make it  easy for employers to know at a glance  your strengths and background.
  2. A resume is mostly intended for a human reader.  Many professional people recommend making a resume which is scannable and chock full of keywords.  Up to a point, that is true.  On the other hand,  online application systems and resume databases already give   ample opportunities for the job seeker to mention keywords and special skills.  Even the best scanning systems mangle a lot of  information on the resume. My guess is that the scanning criteria used by HR people  is NOT the raw scanning output from a PDF or MS Word file but the structured data you entered directly in  online job application or online resume.
  3. The source file for the resume will  be MS Word, and you will normally send the PDF to the hiring manager.   But often recruiters request a MS Word version specifically so that they can remove identifying information before passing it to the hiring manager. If you wrote your source in Google Docs or LibreOffice, the recruiter’s edits  may end up introducing formatting errors. Play it safe!

A few years  ago I prepared a versatile one page resume template which can be adapted for many job situations. I call it the “4 square resume” (and you see my own resume as an example).

  • It lets you group  experience and skills into 4 categories (with 4-6 bullet points in each category). If you really need to create a second resume focused on one career area, usually all you need to do is to swap out one or two boxes.
  • Although the formatting looks elementary, the template uses  custom MS Word styles which I created specifically for resumes. If you are using  custom MS styles instead of manually formatting,  that reduces the possibility of errors. It also makes it easier to recreate the resume from scratch if you mess up the formatting.
  • The 4 square resume lets you have three different levels of information (with the third level being the bolded words on a bullet point).  It also lets you put dates in parenthesis and arrange things non-chronologically. It also lets you switch or swap  categories underneath the 4 squares (or remove them altogether).

Process

  1. Client Interview. We explore together potential categories for each of the 4 squares. It’s not unusual to come up with 5 or 6 overarching categories and then to use only 4.
  2. Client Intake. Next, I will give you a worksheet to write up as many bullet points as we can. Later together  we will  decide  the most logical category for each bullet point. (Maybe it fits in more than one?) Obviously we will only use a portion of the proposed bullet points.
  3. I put together a rough draft, which you and I will review.  I’ll edit bullet points considerably.
  4. I’ll incorporate the edits and try to clean and even up  the spacing. Then we’re done!