What Does a Resume Coach Do?

watercolour pencil overheard view of desk with open laptop, small plant, coffee cup, snack packet, open weekly planner, apple and notes in order
Artwork by Andrea Bures

Resume Writing vs. Resume Coaching

Resume writers create your application documents for you. However, writing your resume and cover letter in your own words is more effective as it is a better showcase of your work and style. Resumes written by other people tend towards the generic, full of keywords and following the latest guidelines, but conveying no real impression of who you are as a professional. You run the risk of being unremarkable in a sea of resumes.

Working with a resume coach, on the other hand, is more work as you will have to implement my advice yourself. Your resume and cover letter say a lot about how you think. I don’t want to strip the unique you-ness from your application, so I don’t write your resume or cover letter for you. In my view, it’s worth the extra work because your application will be authentic and, therefore, better quality. Plus, you will have developed resume writing skills yourself, saving you time and money in the future.

The hiring manager needs to get a sense of who you are, what you’re like to work with, what makes you good at your job and, how you organize your thoughts on paper. And you are the expert on those things. I will guide you every step of the way and tell you what organizations are looking for and how to best express your suitability for the role. I want to empower you as a candidate and give you the skills to write quality applications yourself.  

My Background

I started working as a researcher for an executive search company in Oxford in 2015 B.P. (Before Plague). We helped organizations in the international development sector fill senior-level positions. My role was to scour the internet for suitable candidates, evaluate applications, and keep everything organized.

Getting paid to indulge my inner nerd and gather information like Smaug was an excellent fit for me. I got to peek inside many organizations, learning about what they do and how they made decisions. And I got to read about thousands of people’s jobs, skills, strengths, and career progressions. It was fascinating.

As I progressed in my role, I became more and more interested in helping people get jobs. I saw how important it was to write application materials that effectively told the story of a person’s career, their unique strengths, and how all of that fit into the next steps they wanted to take.

After the pandemic hit, I decided to offer resume coaching services, first to friends and family, and now publicly. And I’m so glad I did. I love using what I learned from recruiting to help people get to the next step in their careers (i.e. find their “jam”).

woman in white shirt showing frustration
Because job searching can get sticky

How I Help You Find Your Jam

We start with a thirty-minute consultation where I ask you about your background, what role or type of work you’re after, and what your goals are working with me. We’ll come up with an action plan together.

You send me whichever documents you’d like help with, or, if we’re creating from scratch, an outline of your career progression, education, skills, and accomplishments. I’ll look everything over and give you detailed, written advice on how to improve it.

We’ll go through two rounds of feedback. The first round focuses on content, how to present your background, and your job experience in terms of accomplishments. The second focuses on the format, style, proofreading, and copyediting. I provide all my advice plus general tips in writing, so you have something to refer back to in the future. 

And then you get to make the changes you want to make. The final decisions are up to you. It’s your resume, after all, and you are the expert on you.

At the end of our work together, I want you to feel confident in your application writing abilities and optimistic about your job search.  

If you or anyone you know could benefit from working with a resume coach, please get in touch or send them this post!