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Resume writing services are oftentimes a dime a dozen.  Nearly everyone believes they have the skills and qualifications to provide resume or career coaching skills.  We’ve spoken to countless users and have seen firsthand some extremely poor services and results from so-called “experts”.  In an effort to help our users, we’ve liaised with a few premiere resume writing services that we would recommend.  These companies are top of the line and offer a full suite of career and resume services.  We’ve also previously discussed why you should hire a resume writer, if you’re still unsure or on the fence about doing so.

Jody Michael Associates

Jody Michaels Associates is a premiere resume and career services company.  With over 22-years of experience helping their clients meet and exceed their goals, Jody Michaels has established a renown and well-deserved reputation for excellence and professionalism.

Jody Michael Associates takes an individual and personal approach to resume writing and career coaching.  They look to get a deeper, more intimate sense of the individual.  This approach allows them to tailor their experiences to the need of the client.  In their own words, “superficial tactics only drive temporary solutions.  Sustainable changes require keen awareness and targeted strategies to build effortless execution over time.”

Jody Michael Associates looks to transform leadership effectiveness.  They work with both seasoned executives and career professionals looking to transition to a new role.  They offer targeted, specific support that can expand your capabilities.  In addition, they’ll work with individuals looking to find that right career fit. 

Having worked with large, well-known companies, Jody Michaels is a go-to for professionals at any stage of their career.  They have worked directly with Fortune 500 companies such as PayPal, NBC Universal, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs.

With such an impressive list of accomplishments, we decided to reach out to Jody Michael Associates directly to get some more information on resume writing tips.  We spoke with Paula Nothstine via email.  She was gracious and extremely professional in her responses and provided the below tips and advice.

For more information, be sure to check-out Jody Michael Associates for yourself on their website here.

Would you be able to tell us a little about yourself?

I have been writing resumes for more than 17 years and have written more than 7,000 resumes for people ranging from CEOs to recent college graduates. I am one of less than 30 Master Resume Writers (MRW) worldwide.

How did you get into resume writing?

I was a college English teacher burned out on teaching and looking for a career change. Resume writing allowed me to use my existing skill set in a much different and more interesting way. 

What is your approach to resume writing?

I use a multi-pronged approach where I have clients fill out a questionnaire, submit any existing documentation they have (resumes, performance evaluations, letters of recommendation, etc.), followed by a telephone interview with me. From there, I take all of the information they provide and boil it down into a keyword-optimized, high-impact document that markets their unique skills and experiences within two pages on average.

How do you ensure the individual candidate’s personality comes through on the resume?

Some of the questions I ask during the phone interview help me get this information from them. I listen to learn who they are and why they do what they do. Then I translate my learnings into compelling statements for their resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. The resume is not really the best place to showcase personality, though it can give an idea. LinkedIn is really the place to make this shine through. 

What common challenges and mistakes do you see on a candidate’s resume? 

Common mistakes are incorrect usage and grammar. Resumes should always be written in understood first person, which means that all verbs should be singular. Using objective statements will date a candidate as will listing dates of education and employment that go back further than 20 years. Companies can set parameters on the applicant tracking systems (ATS) to determine a person’s age. Typically, men over 50 and women over 40 are overlooked. I combat that in my writing by not including dates on education and only going back 10-15 years in job history.

What information should a candidate provide to you to ensure you can provide them with a stellar resume? 

Accomplishments are key. For example, any accountant will have similar responsibilities. But, their accomplishments and contributions are what make them stand out from hundreds and thousands of other candidates for the same job. If they reduced monthly close by five days and migrated the company to a new accounts payable system, I want to know that.

Do you prefer a candidate provide previous resume examples or do you like to start from scratch? 

 I like to see their existing resume but only for informational purposes. I always start a resume from scratch with a newly created format that fits their field, years of experience, and career goals.

While you cannot guarantee any outcomes, how do you frame a resume for optimal success?

Crafting a value proposition that is unique to that one candidate and is also compelling to a reader is a key component to a resume being successful.

Any last pieces of advice or words of encouragement for candidates?

Don’t try to write your own resume. Also, don’t engage with a company that charges less than $350 for a package. These companies are most likely plugging your information into a template and not “writing” your resume at all or they are using outsourced writers who are not credentialed and often speak English as a second language.

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