Question: “I’ll be graduating college in January. If I use a professional resume writer, I’m afraid I’ll look self-important and as if I’m exaggerating my skills. Would I be better off writing my own resume?”
Answer: As a professional resume writer, I have helped many recent graduates create winning resumes. Many college graduates fluctuate between being over-confident and under-confident in their skills. I can help you find that perfect balance and make sure that you do not overlook the value of experience gathered through internships, practicums, part-time work experience, and volunteer positions.
Question: “I’ve worked in several companies that no longer exist and no one is around to offer a reference. Most of them went out of business but a few merged with other companies. How can I present them in a resume without sounding like the moving finger of corporate death?”
Answer: Today’s resumes require only the name of the company, the city and state where it existed, and the dates you worked there. You don’t need to go into details of why they failed or provide references on the resume. If the company was taken over in a merger and acquisition, you can list it as “Company ABC (now a division of Company DEF).” If you were kept on after the merger, you have a big plus for your resume: you were considered too valuable to be let go immediately.
Question: “I have strong geographic and salary requirements. Should I mention them in my resume or cover letter?”
Answer: It may be wise to address geographic requirements up front, either in the resume or the cover letter. Robin’s Resumes® can help you with this decision.
Salary requirements are another issue. Presumably you know the salary range for people with your experience, education, accomplishments, and background; so do the people who will want to hire you. I recommend saving any salary discussion for when you are closer to getting the job. You don’t want to cut off a good prospect before you have a chance to hear what the position is about and what the company might offer as alternative compensation. It is better to negotiate your salary after you have a job offer, not before.