How to Pick an Executive Resume Writer and/or Executive Job Search Coach Who is Perfect For You

I love my assistant. She is incredibly sweet, supportive, intelligent, organized and experienced in all the technical areas that I know nothing about. I enjoy talking with her, reading her emails, I trust her and just working with her in general is an enjoyable experience.

This was one of my goals when I first knew I needed to hire an assistant – I wanted our working relationship to be easy, fun and productive. Being a sensitive person, I knew myself well enough to know that any other type of relationship in my “inner circle” would sap my energy and creativity. I remember in our interview I clearly communicated this to her.

So how does this relate to hiring a career coach or resume writer? It simply demonstrates that knowing your expectations and the way you like to work will help you determine the most harmonious partnership.

Here are several tips to help you choose the best resume writer and/or career coach for you:

1. Understand Why a Good Fit is Important
This is the person who is going to help market you, draw out your greatest strengths, guide you towards your ideal industry and position and possibly much more. You are putting a large part of your career success in their hands. You should like them and trust them. You need to have a good connection with this individual so they can help you.

2. Make Sure They Have Ample Experience
I am sure there are lots of great resume writers out there who are either new to the industry and/or not certified. However you are probably going to have better success overall by choosing a writer who has a good amount of experience (the more senior the executive the more experience you want your resume writer to have – working of course at your level).

3. Make Sure They Are Certified
You also will benefit from the peace of mind of knowing they are certified. Career Directors International and Career Masters Institute are my favorites. Their credentials are tough to obtain (a good thing), require renewal and these two associations are really good about keeping their members up on the latest trends and techniques.

4. Determine Their Style
You want to really make sure that you gel with their style. Are they super business-like and detail-oriented, or more friendly and informal? How does that fit with your style? With my site for example, you can tell right away I convey a highly personal, friendly and caring approach. I was very careful to design my site to communicate this to my clients and potential clients. Why? Because I want to attract and help professionals who are drawn to my personal style.

5. Do You Resonate With Them?
Here is a quick and easy way to discern whether you resonate with a resume writer/career coach (or not):

  • Look at their website. Do you like how it looks? Are you drawn to and do you relate to the content? Are you excited about their products and services? Chances are, if they know how to market themselves that’s a great sign they will know how to market you!
  • Talk to them. Does the conversation flow smoothly? Are they asking you a lot of questions in order to better understand your situation?
  • If the call was an appointment, were they on time? Have they returned your emails promptly? Do you feel that they understand your situation and have offered at least a general overview of what they can do to help you? Do you feel excited, or drained and overwhelmed at the conversation’s end?
  • If you get a funny feeling or sense it’s not going to be a fit, then quickly move on! It doesn’t necessarily mean that the resume writer/career coach is a bad one, but it could mean they are just not a good fit for you.

A Word About Money

I truly believe you should hire the very best you can afford. These professionals are paid to draw out and market your key skills and abilities and pull you forward in terms of everything career success means to you.

This is an investment in yourself; a serious one that helps you achieve wonderful results. Barring a few exceptions, this isn’t the time to go bargain basement shopping.

By keeping these simple points in mind, you can move forward with the resume writer/career coach of your choice with excitement and confidence!

You will be amazed at how your “partner” and “coach” will help you in more ways then you may have imagined during your job search. Having someone you like, trust and enjoy working with walking step-by-step beside you towards your goals will ease your burden, increase your confidence and motivation, and quicken your path to success.

Mary Elizabeth Bradford is the Founder and Executive Director of and and a past executive recruiter. A thought leader in the career services industry for over 20 years, she holds 5 distinct advanced certifications for senior-level resume writing, online branding and executive-level job search coaching (CERM, CMRW, CARW, MCD, NCOPE). She has been seen and heard in major media including Forbes, Time, WSJ, Newsweek and NBC affiliate stations. She holds 2 CDI TORI awards and is a top tier judge for the elite CDI TORI awards for four consecutive years. Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s elite team of award-winning, certified, top executive resume writers, former top executive recruiters, and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier C-suite, board members and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want. She works with clients all over the globe.

If you are a Director, VP, CxO, or Board Member interested in an executive resume package or working directly with Mary Elizabeth, click to schedule a complimentary 15-minute call.