Q: Why should I choose The Lettersmith?
A: Because we guarantee results. It's simple: We know our resumes work. If you are not called for an interview after proactively marketing yourself for 30 days, we'll rewrite the resume at no charge. As a referral-based business, happy clients are in our best interest, and the quality of the resumes is our #1 concern!
Q: What are the conditions of your Guarantee?
A: There are only three: First, you'll need to send your resume with a cover letter that is either written by or approved by The Lettersmith. Second, we ask that you do not alter the content, wording, or design of the resume. Finally, you'll need to keep careful records of your job search, including positions you've applied for.
Q: Who will be writing my resume?
A: Your resume will be written by our Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), Deborah Schuster. You will work directly with Deborah throughout the entire resume development process, from consultation to final composition.
Q: What are your qualifications?
A: Our CPRW is among the most qualified in North America. She is a nationally certified and published expert in resume writing and career marketing, and has over 20 years of experience. She has extensive industry expertise and knowledge of the hiring community. She currently serves on the Certification Committee of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC).
Q: What is a CPRW?
A: CPRWs (Certified Professional Resume Writers) are the career industry's leading experts in the development of strategic resumes. Certification is earned by passing a rigorous exam administered by the Professional Association of Resume Writers. CPRWs must meet the highest standards of the resume industry. As many as 50% of resume writers fail this exam on their first attempt. Deborah has been certified since 1994 (she passed on the first attempt) and was one of the first CPRWs in her area. She's now a member of the PARW/CC Certification Committee that ensures that CPRWs remain the "best of the best" in resume writing.
Q: What will my resume cost?
A: We're not the cheapest service, but we are one of the best. Most resume writers base their fees on their level of expertise, and we are no exception. See our Investment page for average fee ranges for various career levels.
We will give you a firm, written quote before beginning your project. Your investment will depend on your background, career level, years of experience, and the complexity of your resume. For example, a resume for an executive with over 20 years of experience takes longer to prepare than a resume for a new graduate.
Q: Do you do resumes for all fields and professions?
A: Yes. We have experience with candidates from virtually all fields and at all levels. We know what employers are looking for in a wide variety of professions. Deborah has developed customized Skills Profile Forms for over 120 industries and professions in order to help identify the skills, accomplishments, and keywords crucial to your resume.
Q: How does the process work?
A: Our goal is to make the process as painless as possible for you. Our CPRW will work with you by phone and email; no personal visit is required. You'll work with Deborah throughout the entire process.
- Contact us for a free evaluation and price quote. We'll contact you with our recommendations and a quote for rewriting. We'll send you a written quote and agreement to complete and sign.
- Once we receive your signed agreement, we'll send you a Skills Profile form that was developed especially for your field.
- Next, you'll have a phone consultation with Deborah. During the phone consultation, she will ask questions about your background, with particular emphasis on your accomplishments and the value you bring to your next employer. Her goal is to identify your unique personal brand.
- When your draft resume is complete - usually in 7-10 days - we will send it to you via email for your review and approval, and ask you to send back any changes.
- Once we have received your authorization to finalize, we will make the revisions. You will receive all of your final documents via email in Microsoft Word format.
Q: Do you use forms or will I get to talk with you personally?
A: Both. We use a proprietary Skills Profile and an in-depth phone consultation to gather information about your background. The skills assessment is an essential part of the process. Deborah has developed hundreds of customized Skills Profile forms for various fields. These proprietary assessment tools contain the important keywords for your industry, plus checklists that help you identify relevant skills and accomplishments. Many clients find the process to be an excellent exercise in self-discovery that increases their job search confidence and results in a better resume.
Q: Will I get a chance to see the resume before it is finalized?
A: Absolutely. We'll email a draft for your review and approval prior to finalizing your resume. If you have any changes, you can either mark them on the draft in ink and scan/email back to us or use the revisions tool in Microsoft Word.
Q: How long will it take to receive a completed resume?
A: The normal turnaround time is 7 to 14 days from your phone consultation. Need faster service? Deborah's schedule is usually pretty tight, but she may be able to refer you to a colleague.
Superior resumes take time. If you are looking for a cookie-cutter approach and a resume mill that provides same-day service, we are not for you. But if you want an outstanding resume, an in-depth approach, and guaranteed interviews -- you are in the right place!
Q: What will my resume look like?
A: It depends on your background, level, field, and industry. You are welcome to view our Gallery, but each and every resume we produce is unique. Deborah is an expert in high-end resume designs, and she will select the most effective format and design for you. Design is an important part of a resume strategy -- and good resume design conveys the message that you are more qualified than the other candidates. We follow the current Best Practices in resume design.
Q: Can I see examples of your work?
A: Yes. You can find examples of our work at most libraries or bookstores. Deborah's resumes have been published in numerous resume books, like 101 Best Resumes. You can also view our gallery for examples. Keep in mind that the resumes were developed for a particular client's needs; and that the format, design, and strategy may not be the most effective for you.
Q: What if I need an update in the future?
A: We'll keep your resume on file, so updates are easy. We'll also send you your own electronic file (Microsoft Word), which will be yours to do with as you wish. Please be aware that altering the resume content does void our guarantee. We recommend that you call on us for expert help with your next update.
Q: Do you do cover letters?
A: Absolutely. Deborah is also an expert in cover letter writing. In addition to numerous resume books, her work has been featured in 101 Best Cover Letters (McGraw-Hill).
Q: Do I really need a cover letter?
A: Yes. Cover letters have changed a lot in the last few years, evolving from traditional letters to high-impact eNotes. But they are as important as ever. About 80% of companies prefer resumes with cover letters. And about 30% will actually toss resumes that do not include them. A cover letter is not just "wrapping" for your resume. It is a marketing document that is as important as your resume in selling your credentials to the employer. It is a more personal document than a resume - introducing you to the reader, establishing rapport, and providing an important link between your background and the requirements of the position.
Q: Why does your guarantee require that I send my resume with a cover letter or have you approve my existing cover letter?
A: Studies show that 2/3 of companies consider a cover letter essential and many say they will toss resumes that are sent without cover letters. A poorly written cover letter can sabotage even the best resume. So in order to honor our guarantee, we require that you send a cover letter with your resume that is either written by or approved by Lettersmith.
Q: Can you help me with other aspects of my job search?
A: Yes. In addition to resumes and cover letters, we are a full-service career marketing firm. We offer LinkedIn Profile Development, Job Search Coaching, Interview Coaching, Executive Biographies, and more!
Q: Where are you located? Can I schedule an in-person consultation?
A: We are based in Troy, Michigan, in Oakland County, northeast of Detroit, and serve clients all over the United States and Canada. We work with all of our clients by phone, email, and Skype. No personal visit is required. While we do not offer in-office consultations, we're happy to schedule a Skype conversation if you prefer a face-to-face approach.