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What is a custom résumé?

Custom means that I take the time to get to know you so that I can truly understand and represent you when I write about you. Unlike “résumé mills,” I don’t take a boilerplate résumé off the shelf and fill in the blanks. I work only in person, not over the telephone or e-mail. Sprucing up text from a person I have never spent in-person time with would take the joy out of résumé writing for me.

The résumé process can be a little scary and intimidating. I find that a nonjudgmental approach puts my clients at ease.

A nonjudgemental approach
The resume process can be a little scary and intimidating, I find that a nonjudgmental approach puts my clients at ease. I value attentive listening to understand my clients’ backgrounds, needs and goals. During our process together they are occasionally surprised–and often delighted–to look at their accomplishments all in one place, which can elicit a boost in self-esteem, something we all need. It is gratifying to me to see clients’ self-confidence increase by the time we are finished working.

Here are a few clients’ descriptions of our time working together:

Client 1:

        • “She helped me to determine what was important to include and what to leave out. She also provided much insight on how to utilize grammar and punctuation properly in a résumé.”

Client 2:

        • “What at first seemed to be an easy, straightforward timeline of experience and achievements quickly became a reevaluation of all kinds of challenges in presenting my work skills. Pam started with a general outline of how this could be framed, reviewing different models. From there she posed engaging questions and helped me identify and specify transferrable skills.”

Client 3:

        • “She had great attention to detail, a willingness to go above and beyond, stay late, format, and simply be with the process until it was not only done but perfect.”
  • The 5 steps of the résumé process

    Step 1. Getting to know you, your history and your goals

    We begin with our first face-to-face meeting at my office in Oakland, CA, where we will discuss your job history and the documents I will ask you to bring with you. You and I will discuss and draft the résumé together. Preparing for the first meeting.

    blank resume

    Step 2. Writing the résumé draft

    Taking the notes from our first session, I will type up a working draft to present to you during our second meeting.

    Step 3. Reviewing the résumé draft

    You return for the second appointment where we go over the résumé and make whatever changes are necessary. This is also a good time to write cover letters if you would like help with them.

    A cover letter represents another important opportunity to sell you and your experience.

    Step 4. The cover letter

    Studies have shown that a résumé is more likely to be read if a cover letter introduces you. It is a bit like a handshake. A cover letter can repeat information from the résumé, and it can bring in additional information to customize it to a specific employer, demonstrating your enthusiasm for and research in his/her company as well as your attention to detail.

    The cover letters you and I will construct together can be templates containing information to be tweaked for each job application.
    thank you card

    Step 5. The thank you note

    That same point also applies to the thank you note that you send after you have completed the interview. E-mail is fine and considerably faster than US Mail. However, a handwritten note promptly sent through the mail demonstrates personal grace on the sender’s part. It’s a good habit to get into; handwritten notes never go out of style and people remember them.

    To learn more, click the purple “Contact Me” box at the bottom of your screen to request an appointment with Pam to discuss your custom résumé.

    About Pam
    Getting Started

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