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Job Hunting and Resume Writing FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

General Topics:

Q. Which is best, a one-page or a two-page résumé?

A. It is not the number of pages, but the quality of the content that is important in presenting your resume and other credentials to a prospective employer. The word, résumé, is from the French language, meaning "to summarize." The goal is to be as brief as possible, but not at the expense of failing to thoroughly enumerate those talents, expertise and education which you possess that would be of interest to a prospective employer. After all, you are competing against others for the same job, and you want to convince the employer that you are among the best qualified and that your qualifications justify a personal interview.

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Q. Is a cover letter really necessary?

A. Maybe not. It depends upon what methods of job searching you are using to advertise your availability. If you are answering employment ads in newspapers or trade publications, or contacting a company on the basis of some research which you've done, or any other situation in which you are contacting persons who have never met you personally and are not expecting your résumé, then an accompanying cover letter is absolutely essential. Cover letters are invaluable in announcing why you are contacting an employer, what position you are seeking, and for amplifying one or more of your qualifications, especially those which you know to be valued and sought after by the employer. The cover letter can also be used to handle a request for salary requirements, or to state availability for relocation, travel and other factors supporting selection for an interview.

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Q. Which is the best job search method for finding a quality job?

A. There is no one "best" method that works equally well for all types of persons, careers and situations. Research has shown that the most successful approach is to use a combination of methods simultaneously. Some methods are more appropriate for certain career fields than others. For instance, neurosurgeons and nuclear physicists will find no success in scanning newspaper employment want ads, while welders and warehousemen will discover want ads to be an excellent resource. Persons with strong verbal skills and a good telephone voice may find personal telemarketing using the Yellow Pages very effective. Information Technology (IT) professionals, engineers and scientists have enjoyed success using the Internet job boards, and the e-mailing technique of "blasting" recruiters specializing in their industries. The most powerful and most reliable job search method of all is to conduct definitive research to identify vacant positions in the so-called "hidden job market," and directly contact the companies. This method is not successful for so many people because it takes a greater effort, and demands the highest professional level of personal marketing documents. Since most people continue to write their own résumés, and are unwilling to invest the time and money to conduct a targeted job search, the best jobs continue to go to those who went the extra mile. Charles Darwin would label it, "survival of the fittest."

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Q. Hiring professionals to write my résumé seems expensive. Is the end product really that much better than something I could write myself?

A. The difference between the résumé that you would write for yourself, and the résumé that we would create for you is so great that you will be astounded by the results. Never, ever have we had a client complain of the cost once the résumé was put to work. What is the value of a résumé that wins very few, or no job interviews at all? The answer is zero. So, what is it that makes for so much difference in a résumé's performance? Two things, actually: Perspective and Practice. The main factor that separates amateurs from professionals is practice. At CareerFlorida.com, we are writing personal marketing documents every day, all day long. And our perspective is that of the marketplace and the prospective employers. We know the language, the buzz words, the key phrases that create the curiosity which results in an invitation to a job interview. There are times that call for frugality, but not when it comes to preparing the documents that win or lose a shot at a great job. The stakes are too high, and competition is too tough. We suggest you read the article, Why Can't I just Write It Myself? for more thoughts on the matter.

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Q. How do I choose a résumé writer?

A. Credentials, credentials, credentials. No matter whether you're using your home town's Yellow Pages, or the globe-spanning Internet, check on the credentials of anyone you're considering hiring to create your résumé. It is the education and experience of your writer that will determine the quality of the finished product. Unfortunately, the résumé writing industry is unregulated and anyone who has the money to set up a web site or buy Yellow Page advertising can call themselves a résumé writer. Inquire into the employment background of the writer. Look for a writer that has hands-on experience in recruiting, job placement, corporate human resources, outplacement, career counseling or other professional experience that is related to job hunting and career changing. Also, look for a writer with at least a Bachelor's degree, and preferably a Master's degree. If the degrees were in disciplines related to counseling or human resources, even better. And just because a writer displays membership in one of the professional résumé writing associations doesn't mean that person is a competent writer. Anyone can buy membership in those organizations, and the mere act of paying membership dues does not confer either competency or professionalism.


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Questions About How We Work:

Q. What does a résumé cost?

A. Creating a résumé is custom work. No two persons' careers are alike. It is a function of time as much as anything else. The longer a person's work history, the more companies worked for, the longer the list of accomplishments, training, etc., then the more time it takes to discuss those things and get it all down and organized on paper. For that reason, the price for creating a résumé varies with each client. Occasionally we get a particularly complex one, or one involving a significant change in career direction that requires more time. The important point is this: we give you a firm price quote before we start, and we never charge more than that.

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Q. How long does it take?

A. From our first conversation to exchange information, to the day we put it in the mail to you, about 5 business days. Writing your résumé is a creative endeavor for us. Like all artists, we don't like to be rushed, but we know also that you're anxious to get started with your job search.

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Q. Is it really possible to do a high quality résumé by long distance, without ever meeting?

A. Yes, of course. Keep in mind that we have been doing this for years and years. In all likelihood, we have worked with many hundreds of persons in your career field. We know the right questions to ask; we know what the employers want to hear, and we know how to write the very special language of a résumé. And remember: we guarantee results, or we'll do it over for free!

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Q. How about future updates of my résumé?

A. Piece of cake! We keep your documents on file forever. When you need an update, just call us or e-mail us. We'll contact you for the changes, update your résumé and send it to you either by e-mail, or hard copies by U.S. Mail if you prefer.

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Q. Can I get my documents on a computer diskette?

A. The price includes your résumé saved to a 3.5 diskette. It will be mailed to you along with the hard copies. All of our word processing is done with Microsoft Word unless you specifically order it in some other application like Adobe Pagemaker, WordPerfect, etc.

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Q. How do I pay for your services?

A. We accept all of the major credit cards. We also accept checks and money orders.

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Q. How do we get started?

A. Go to the Critique/Price Quote page of our site and complete the information e-mail. We will then call you to review your old résumé (if you have one) and give you a firm price quote. If you give us the go ahead, we then send our Comprehensive Career Survey for you to complete and set up a time for our first consultation. You will make payment for our services at that time.

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If you have a question which we have not addressed, please feel free to Contact Us. We will return your call or answer your e-mail as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours.

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