Why Marketers Should Always Write Their Own Resumes—Not Pay a Professional

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One of the easiest ways for a marketer to throw away a pile of hard-earned cash is to hand it to an “expert” resume writer rather than making one yourself.

From freelance writers to specialized companies, there are innumerable resources out there offering resume creation services. From design to creativity to content to professionalism, they promise to include everything you need to get that dream marketing job.

Working at a marketing talent agency, we see no shortage of marketing resumes of varying quality–including many made mostly or entirely by a professional on behalf of the candidate. In our experience, professionally-drafted resumes are almost never as powerful as those made by candidates themselves, and we never recommend using these services.

If you think commissioning a custom resume is your ticket to standing out in the hiring process, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Even an “average” self-written resume is usually better than an “excellent” purchased one.

Perhaps most importantly for marketers; a purchased resume isn’t just unnecessary–it can actually hurt your chances of getting the job.

Whether you’re applying for a junior level position or participating in a CMO executive search, your resume is too important to put it in the hands of someone else. Writing a resume can be intimidating, but it’s a valuable exercise that anyone can do with the right guidance. Consider these advantages to creating your own professional marketing resume:

1. Show Off Your Marketing Skills to the Marketing Talent Agency

When you’re competing for a marketing job, you’re essentially marketing yourself–your experience, skills, and personality.

Your resume is your first opportunity to show off how good of a marketer you are–what does it say to marketing recruiters and hiring managers when you can’t even market your professional history?

Many of your marketing skills should translate well to drafting a resume; for instance, personification or audience targeting. Strong copywriting and design skills are also helpful–but not a requirement as long as everything is laid out logically and your grammar is clean.

You know your capabilities–your brand–better than anyone. Don’t expect a third party, no matter how experienced, to be able to accurately express it better than you can.

2. Create an Honest Representation of Yourself

Your resume is an intimately personal document. It not only tells people about your experience; it shows readers what you think is most important about yourself. That’s powerful insight to share.

Hiring a resume writer means letting someone else determine that for you. The person described in that resume isn’t really you. It has none of your personality or character. It’s a cheap knockoff of the real thing.

Even if a carefully manicured, professionally-written resume earns you a marketing interview, you’ve only set yourself up for failure. An astute interviewer will quickly notice a huge difference between the overly polished person presented on paper vs. the charismatic individual in front of them.

No one likes being misled, even if both your resume and interview are good. If the first impressions you’re making involve dishonesty, why would an employer trust you to work for them?

3. Save Your Bank Account

The prices of an independently produced resume vary widely, from embarrassingly cheap to outrageously expensive.

In terms of outright quality, adherence to best practices, and amount of mistakes, you’ll usually get what you pay for. You might get one for as little as a few dollars by a freelancer who will write anything for a buck–but expect it to be a terrible representation. If you want a resume that’s clean, consistent, and error-free you’ll likely have to enlist an experienced resume consultant or a professional resume writing firm. But that could easily cost you hundreds of dollars, especially if you’re interested in being part of a marketing executive search.

Remember, that’s just the price of one resume.  If you’re applying to multiple marketing career opportunities with a marketing talent agency or elsewhere, you’ll probably need several–you should be altering and customizing your resume for every job you apply to. Writing a check for every new resume quickly balloons out of control.

Even if you could get fairly good basic resume written for you for $1, you’d still be overpaying. No deal can cover up the fundamental flaws of a resume not written by you.

4. Personal Satisfaction

A marketing job opportunity should be considered an interesting challenge–not a problem to throw money at until it goes away.

Like most worthwhile things in life, you’ll probably find much more satisfaction starting a new job you earned solely through your own dedication, hard work, and talent. And if personal satisfaction isn’t part of the reason you’re taking the job in the first place, you should probably reconsider your career decisions.

Don’t Let a Resume Scare You

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It’s understandable why many people are intimidated by the prospect of creating a resume. Meticulously documenting your professional history and accomplishments doesn’t come naturally to most people.

However, the reality is that you really don’t need a perfect, spotless resume to move your career forward and get the jobs you want. Some of the most effective resumes we’ve seen are extremely basic. If your experience and successes are exceptional, then an ordinary resume will do just fine in expressing them.

Need some help getting started? We’ve written some detailed resume advice customized just for marketers of all levels. Check it out here!

9 Blog Posts to Help You Write an Outstanding Marketing Resume

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