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M.D., Senior/Principal Software Engineer
Why should I hire a professional resume writer?
Today’s resume has to grab the reader’s attention in seconds, differentiate the candidate, sell the business value they provide, and rank well in applicant-tracking systems (ATS).
But that’s not all. Your resume is only one part of your personal brand. Having an updated and engaging LinkedIn profile is essential. A strong cover letter or e-note sets you apart. Many leaders need a biography for a website, board application, or networking.
A good executive resume writer knows how to interview you to draw out good insights, how to create a powerful personal brand for you, how to write sales-oriented content, and how to package it all in a good visual design. Similarly, they know about ATS compatibility and LinkedIn search algorithms.
What sets Phil Hurd and Catalyst Resumes apart from other executive resume writers?
Besides being a professional resume writer, I’ve also been an executive recruiter for 30+ years, founded and led 3 profitable businesses, and done a lot of hiring myself. I know what hiring managers want to see in your resume. I bring a hands-on, practical perspective to crafting and presenting your personal brand.
Moreover, if you’re in the technology world, I get what you do. Much of my recruiting career has been in software, IT, and engineering. I have a masters-level engineering education and can translate your technology accomplishments into powerful evidence of creating business value.
What certifications do you have, and how does that benefit me?
Many resume writers—and virtually all of the top ones—hold at least one industry certification. I am a Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) and Nationally Certified Online Profile Expert (NCOPE) from the National Resume Writers’ Association, and Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) from the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches.
When you hire a certified professional resume writer, you know that they’ve learned best writing practices, that they’ve demonstrated their writing proficiency to a jury, and that they stay current with continuing education.
The certified writer has mastered sales-oriented writing, English grammar and usage, personal branding, thematic information organization, and effective visual design. Certified professional resume writers also stay current on how to optimize profiles for LinkedIn’s search algorithms and on how to write resumes that are compatible with applicant-tracking systems (ATS).
Who will write my documents? Do you use subcontract writers?
I personally do all interaction with you. I write and revise everything myself. I do have a professional proofreader/editor who reviews what I write before I give it to you, but that’s it. When you hire Catalyst Resumes, you get me.
Many of the top resume companies have a team of writers—of various skill and experience levels—and they will assign your project to one of them. A key differentiator for Catalyst Resumes is the level of personal attention I devote to each and every project.
What kinds of backgrounds and levels of clients do you work for?
My primary specialty is writing for clients involved in some way in the software, information technology, engineering, biotech, medical device, and manufacturing sectors.
Within those sectors, I write not just for purely technical people, but also for clients in executive leadership, management, operations, marketing, sales, HR, finance, legal, and other functions.
While many of my clients are executives at director level and above, I also write resumes for managers, team leaders, and individual contributors.
Do you write for clients outside the United States?
Yes, as long as you’re looking for a resume written in English that is targeted toward the U.S./Canadian job market, or is written in that style.
Can I see resume samples before deciding if I want to hire you?
Absolutely! Because I prioritize client confidentiality, I don’t post samples on my website. Just ask me during our free consultation call and I will email you some anonymized samples of actual projects I’ve done.
What does the process look like?
- We have a (free) phone consult to discuss what your goals are in working with a writer, to answer your questions, to determine if we’re a good fit to work together, and to outline the services that would best meet your needs.
- I’ll email you a project quotation after our call.
- You approve the quotation, and I’ll send you the specific project agreement for your approval.
- Once you approve the project agreement, I’ll invoice you for a nonrefundable deposit of $250. This deposit entitles you to: 1) receive my detailed career worksheet that will help you develop key insights about the value you bring, 2) guarantee your project pricing for 6 months, and 3) reserve space in my work schedule.
- Once deposit is paid, I send you my worksheet, which you must complete before I can start writing.
- You complete the worksheet within 6 months and return to me. Balance of total project fee is then due; when paid we schedule phone interview. Please note that if you haven’t returned the worksheet to me within 6 months, and we didn’t agree on an extension ahead of time, it’ll be my option whether or not to proceed with your project, and if I do agree to work with you, the then-current pricing will apply.
- Phone interview to discover more about your background (typically 60 minutes +/-).
- I send the resume proof to you by delivery date. Resumes typically delivered 10-15 business days from phone interview.
- You and I revise iteratively, up to 2 rounds. Finalize resume.
- I write any additional products ordered, such as LinkedIn profile, cover letter, etc. Typically 5-7 business day turnaround.
- Revisions on additional documents and finalize.
Can I review the worksheet before hiring you?
The worksheet by itself is a great tool. Many clients have told me has helped them clarify what they’ve really accomplished. You really could use the insights gained in completing it to do your own resume! Because of the value of the intellectual property that has taken me many hours to develop and improve, I give the worksheet only to clients who have paid the $250 deposit. You agree not to share the worksheet with others.
Why is it so expensive?
Hiring a well-qualified professional resume writer is not cheap. However, when you consider the additional compensation and opportunity you may get from landing a new job, it’s actually a strong investment in your future, with a high rate of return.
If you hire a writer based on price alone, you may not get someone who is certified, experienced, and who understands the nuances of your career experience and chosen industry. They may not be knowledgable about ATS compatibility, or LinkedIn search algorithms, or dealing with difficult career situations such as resume gaps or career changes. Depending on the company, your project may even be farmed out to an inexperienced writer offshore.
It takes many hours to craft a high-quality product. It involves fully interviewing you to discern your defining accomplishments, writing and editing compelling content, creating an effective presentation, and revising multiple documents.
Do you offer rush service?
In general, no. I won’t sacrifice quality for speed, and I’m often booked up a few weeks in advance. Typically it takes 10-15 business days to send you the first proof of your resume. When we have our free consultation call, I can give you a more exact turnaround based on my schedule at that moment. If I can’t accommodate your needs, I can refer you to other strong writers who are fellow members of the National Resume Writers’ Association.
Do you guarantee that I’ll get interviews once you write a new resume for me?
Unfortunately not, because there are too many parts of your job search that are out of my control. What I can guarantee is that we’ll create documents that are targeted toward a particular objective and that will present your experience as differentiated and optimized for that objective.
Do you provide job search advice and career coaching?
I’m not a career coach. But if you’re in search of these services, I’d be happy to refer you to a trusted colleague who specializes in this.
Will you be able to update my resume in the future?
My goal is to become a valuable, trusted resource to clients as they progress in their careers. Reduced rates are available to revise and update your documents that I wrote in the past, depending on how much time has elapsed, and how extensive the updates are.