The answer to whether or not you should hire someone to write your resume is not the same for everyone. I’m an advocate of job candidates writing their own resumes…if they have the time to do so thoughtfully and are knowledgeable about how to write a resume. In particular, candidates should be up to date on resume best practices and expectations, including keywords and specific accomplishments that pertain to the searches recruiters are handling.

Here’s a bit of cheat sheet. If you answer “yes” to any of the below questions, you likely should consider hiring a professional resume writer craft your resume.

Do you need your resume written ASAP for a position that you’re applying for and are too busy at work to get it done, and done well?

Have you stared at your resume for at least 15 minutes, having no clue where to begin updating it?

Is your resume three pages long and you just can’t figure out how to cut it down to one or two while keeping all of your good information?

Do you often have spelling or grammatical errors in things you write?

Do you keep putting off writing your own resume?

Do you have difficulty writing in a concise manner that highlights your achievements, not just your job tasks?

If your answers are all nos, then by all means, you don’t need a professional resume writer. I make connections with resume writers from time to time, and have found that most of them are precise in how they handle taking on such an important task. For example, if identifying quantifiable accomplishments is difficult for you, a professional resume writer may assist you in developing those points. If you are going to hire someone, ask these questions during your search:

What industry do they specialize in? What positions do they tend to focus on? At what level? Professional resume writers are generally either industry-specific or have a niche in writing for specific seniority levels, such as entry level, mid-management and executive level.

How much time upfront are they going to invest with you to learn about your highlights as a professional? Typically, it’s 30 minutes to 1 hour.

What is their turnaround time? This is important to know upfront so expectations are clear. In my experience, I have most resume writers deliver within a 1 to 3 week timeframe.

If you are still undecided, making contact with a recruiter in your field is also a great starting point. Recruiting consultants have various specialties, and should be able to walk through your accomplishments and experiences, and provide insight and recommendations based on previous client searches.

Have you paid a professional resume writer to write a resume? Let us know about your experience. What tips or recommendations can you share?