The Truth About Resume Samples

Sounds silly but there’s actually a lot to talk about when it comes to resume samples. Should you use them when writing your resume? Should a professional resume writer provide them to you when you’re in the hiring stage? Where do you find good ones?

First off, when a client is looking for samples – or even if they’re just stuck with their decision – I always send samples. I see no good reason not to and would want them if the shoe were on the other foot. I’ve had colleagues ask me if I’m nervous someone will copy. Honestly, no. My skill is in understanding a job seekers value and effectively communicating that in writing. I’m also pretty savvy at organizing and streamlining large amounts of information. All the sample represents is the package, and while that’s important, I am confident that a client is hiring my essential skills. It’s pretty common that I get samples from clients that look good, but the content is just too vague or generic. I always find it amazing how impressed clients invariably are at the end of it, and how the language really helps their phone to ring.

If you want to write your own resume, or simply can’t afford the investment right now, you absolutely should use professional samples. How else would you do it? It’s how we learn! Use the resume samples for a number of things but namely language, content, and format. One really important thing to keep in mind, though, is that content dictates format and not the other way around. For a good professional resume writer, your career and your career goals will be the deciding factors in how the organization is organized and how sections are laid out, etc. Just because you find a particular format appealing, that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for your individual goals. Use your best judgement and select common fonts, minimal decoration and a structure and layout that suit your purposes.

Finally, where do you find samples? Everywhere, to be honest. But sorting out the good from the bad is where it gets tricky. The best thing to do is follow the same guidelines you would when choosing a professional resume writer. Make sure their credentials and experience are buttoned up, and also ensure that you’re working with recent samples. Resume trends and best practices change pretty quickly. Just like you want a professional resume writer that keeps up with the field, you also want samples that will make you look like you know what you’re doing. Don’t pay for online samples – instead buy a resume book or online database subscription written by an expert. You’ll get instructional content as well as formatting samples. I recommend not purchasing kindle or ebook versions – it’s just not the same as an old fashioned book or a pdf version that you can print.

Resume samples are everywhere, just like resume writers. To be honest, they’re not a replacement for the real thing, but they can give you some guidance.

Rebecca Henninger is a professional resume writer with a passion for helping women achieve balance, integration, and professional fulfillment. She is a mother of two, Bravo TV addict, and skilled career strategist. See more at:



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