I have been following a conversation on line of my linked-In groups, Careers Debate. Should one write their own résumés? Most of the respondents said that they should. As someone who supplements his income by writing résumés for people who would like to make changes in their careers or lives, I agree. They should write their own résumés.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Hey Mike, what’s the matter with you. You’re writing yourself out of a job. I was thinking of getting you to write one for me. You can’t be serious.”

I am serious. When you write your own, you have the opportunity to list all the skills you have, your experiences, your education, your values and your interests. It’s an exercise in introspection that everyone should undertake at regular intervals in their careers.

“Well, why are you in business then?” you ask.

Because most of the home made résumés don’t work. They are outdated, they are loaded with errors, and they generally do not do a good job of presenting what you may have to offer an employer. Here are a three reasons to drop what you’re doing and take that tome you’re working on to a professional résumé writer:

1. Make use of another set of eyes.
I speak for myself here. When I look at a resume for someone I try to expand the document so my client could be presented as a candidate for a number of different vocations. I do this by really examining the skills they had with what they have been doing. For example, I am an archaeologist with a degree and 13 years of field experience. I took the skills from here and became a street social worker for another 14, then an employment counsellor, and then an employment specialist, then a vocational counsellor for a health authority.

If one were to hire me, I give the advantage of knowledge of most sectors of the labour market, and I could help that person identify several areas where a person can extent their career. The resume that you made, along with some shrewd interviewing questions on the part of yours truly, some interesting opportunities can emerge.

2. Marketing advantages.
Again, I have to speak for myself. I think most resume writers have a good sense of the labor market, and I also believe they know what skills are required for specific jobs. They might even have a good idea of how to make that resume competitive in the marketplace. For example, a document with a heading like “OBJECTIVE” isn’t going to cut it these days. Objectives, by definition tell and employer what you want. Do they care? Employers want to know what you are already, and also what can you do. This can be done in less space than cluttering up with an objective, which is ultimately a lie. The truth is all you want is a job.
You don’t want to lie on your résumé

3. Correcting mistakes.
Most of the résumés I see have good spelling, but they are wordy. The profiles that I see often have sentence structure that you would find in formal writing like essays and novels. By contrast résumé writers have, by convention dictated by the labour market that says to HR personnel, “Thou shalt not spend more than two nanoseconds on a résumé unless it’s a really good one. You want your recruiter to read your profile, read your experience, then jump back to the profile, then education and back to the profile, etc. You want him to have his eyes dancing all over the document to prevent it from being launched into the circular file. That means you want bullets.
A résumé writer can help with this. Then you can free up your own writing time to write the Great Canadian Novel.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.



  1. energywriter Says:

    So true. I’ve been told to be unique in layout and wording. But, I find that the HR people don’t want unique, they want easy to read.

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