What is ATS?
ATS stands for Applicant Tracking Software or Applicant Tracking System. ATS is the online system that serves as the conduit between you and the recruiter, or you and the employer. For the purposes of job seekers, ATS does two things: it's the online application, and it's the keyword scanner. Behind the scenes, ATS does so much more on behalf of the employer, but that's not a job seeker's concern. The online application and keyword scanner are the two components that makes ATS such a hot button topic when talking about job searching and employment.
What is an ATS-optimized resume?
ATS scans your resume for keywords and phrases that match what an employer has identified as important to a specific position within their organization. An ATS optimized resume is one that is strategically written to include those keywords, phrases, industry jargon, skills, and experience. But it's not just content that's important to get your through to the next step in the system. Format is just as important! Functional or Skills-based formats, and infographics simply do not work with ATS - the software doesn't know what to do with these formats. For that reason, a reverse-chronological format is always the way to go. There are other formatting choices that can get a great candidate kicked out from consideration. The good news is that your ResuMAYDAY experts are well-versed on ALL the ever-evolving ATS rules. According to Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), the top ATS used by employers are Workday, Taleo, SAP SuccessFactors, and Kenexa Brassring.
Why should I hire a professional resume writer?
Most people don't know what employers are looking for in their candidates. It's my job to know. Most people write their resumes for themselves, not for the employer. If you don't have the right keywords or even format, your resume will be one of the 80% of resumes that are automatically kicked out of consideration. And it's not just format and keywords and insider secrets; wordsmithing matters, too. A drop in any of these is a failure in the process, and that's when candidates have to compromise on salary, job selection, location, commute, benefits, schedule...all the things that make work worth it.
THAT's why you hire a professional writer.
But the employment rate is low, so why is this important?
When the national unemployment rate is high, the competition for every job is fierce. When the unemployment rate is low, the competition is just as fierce, because that's when the best candidates test the waters for career advancement. There's never a time when a subpar or outdated resume will be good enough. How long can you afford to job search with a resume that isn't delivering your strongest message. Two weeks? Two months? Two years? Invest in your career advancement. A stellar resume, a sharp LinkedIn profile, and strong, confident interview skills lead to career-boosting conversations!
I write resumes a little bit differently than everyone else. It’s that difference that will put you above your competition. I strive to create a resume that is singularly customized to you - no templates, no boilerplate language. In real life, no one would describe themselves as 'a hardworking, loyal professional who finishes projects on time and under budget', right? And I won't do that to your resume.
Who will actually be writing my resume?
I have an amazing group of resume experts on my team, so you'll be working with one of us. If it's not me, that's great news! My writers are AWESOME. You'll talk directly with your writer (always/only US-based). But I'm still working with you! Once my writer is finished with the first draft, I personally review and approve it. This means you have the assurance that TWO resume experts have scoured over, discussed, and perfected your docs before you've even seen them!
Do you write cover letters, too?
Every resume comes with a cover letter and is figured into the price already. I believe that a cover letter should be sent out with every resume, because it's another opportunity to convey your message. Omitting a cover letter is a missed opportunity! Trust me, you’ll want that cover letter eventually, so the best time to write it is with the resume.
Do you work with career changers?
Yes! I love every resume I write, but I admit my favorite resumes are those that require a bit of puzzle-solving. Career transition requires telling a story that hasn't happened yet, which to me, is a fun puzzle to solve. Every week I work with people who are transitioning to a new industry, field or role.
Can I meet with you in person?
Not usually. The resume work is all done over the phone and email. However, some of our work can be done in person. If you schedule an Interview Skills Session, I find it’s best (when possible) for that to happen in-person. If you’re not able to travel to the Chicagoland area, we can still effectively do that work over the phone or Zoom.
Do you work with people outside of Chicago?
Absolutely! As a matter of fact, at any time we have more clients outside of Illinois because of our affiliations with so many business groups and national recruiting firms.
Do you offer a satisfaction guarantee?
Most certainly. We do so much work on the front-end of the project that when it’s time to write the resume, we have an excellent grasp of your goals. In 20+ years, we’ve never had a client complain that we didn’t do our job or that the resume wasn’t going to work for them. We don’t offer a money back guarantee, because there are so many variables in the job search process that are outside of our control. But we do guarantee that if necessary, we will work with you through the revision process until you are completely confident and delighted in your new resume. We put heart, soul, intellect, wordsmithing and unparalleled expertise into every project.
Can I see samples of your work?
Only if you’re friends with a former client and they decide to share their resume with you. Every resume that we write is unique to that person, is confidential, and (since they paid for it) is the property of that person. Likewise, I promise that I’ll never use the resume we write for YOU to market ResuMAYDAY.
What if I want to update my resume later?
Most of our clients come back to us within a year or two to add new information. We love catching up with former clients! Updates are quick, easy and inexpensive. We price it out depending on when we worked with you the last time. And you'll be able to update/revise your resume on your own if you want to. We deliver our resumes by email as a Word document, so you have full access to it. You’ll easily be able to make updates as your career progresses.
I haven’t looked for a job in years. What do I need besides a resume?
We will be there for you every step of the way! When we create your customized program list, it will include an entire 'menu' of services to select. You can build a whole program, or opt for one service, and add on as needed. The best approach is to clearly define your primary and secondary career goals, which may require coaching. Once you're confident those goals are well-defined, we'll focus on the resume and LinkedIn profile. (Not yet convinced that you need a LinkedIn profile? PLEASE call me to chat about that.) Once those critical tools are completed, we can talk about additional coaching. How are your interview skills? Yes, you’ll have a great resume but that won’t matter much if you can’t close the deal at the interview table. Or perhaps you want coaching on how to best use (and develop) your network. The smartest job seekers quietly turn their network into a job search 'sales team'. I can show you how to do that! And of course, we’ll identify other job search activities that will be most effective for you.
I don’t think I need a ton of coaching, just a little. Can you do that?
Of course! We can book a 60-minute phone call to chat about ANY issue. It’s an affordable power-boost to your job search.
What are your prices?
Ah, you’ve noticed that we don’t have a price list on the site. Don’t let that scare you! The reason I don’t list prices is because we don’t have a ‘one size fits all’ price structure. We look at the entire scope of the project – not just your career level. But I can tell you that with just a little bit of information from you, I'll be able to put together a personalized program list that expains the entire process.
Here’s my promise to you: I won’t spend your money needlessly. Yes, This is an investment…but one with solid returns. We will deliver the BEST resume you've earned.
“I just finished utilizing ResuMAYDAY for both resume creation and career assessment. It was an incredible process and well worth the money spent. The final resume is incredible! I couldn’t believe it was me! If you are going thru a career transition, or find yourself ‘stuck’ like I am after 15 years in the same industry, you really need to work with Lauren. You will find her infinitely helpful and enlightening!”
M.L., Pharmaceutical Sales