While many individuals benefit from the services of professional resume writers, nobody should need such assistance. However, in this ongoing series, we’re going to sort through all the facts on resume writers, and hope that help you make a decision c) whether or not you really need the assistance of a professional, and d) how to locate one that s truly right for you. (One thing I’d like to point out early on is the difference between crafting a killer resume that lands you interviews versus crafting one that lands you job interviews. A professional can be an incredible asset for getting interviews, but only if you know what to ask for and when. So let’s start with the good stuff.)

Professional resume writing services come in many shapes and sizes, from those that offer strictly basic services of crafting your resume and job application to the full package of designating various skills sets and providing templates and other materials to help get your foot in the door at the interview stage. But not all services are created equal. Here are some tips to help you choose a service that will help you craft the best resumes and landing the job you want.

First, don’t assume that just because a company has a fancy-sounding name that it’s got the skills to hire you. You see, there are hundreds of different types of businesses that can write resumes. Therefore, when looking for a cover letter service, don’t just go with the one with the biggest name out there. Instead, focus on companies that have a track record of delivering good customer service, creating well-written resumes with appropriate formatting, assisting with editing, and who have plenty of industry experience and skill. This will help ensure that you won’t be charged for something that you didn’t expect when you went to fill out the online forms.

Second, make sure you know what type of resume you’re going to need. Most online recruiter services allow you to create a resume and then download it onto the website for the company to review. In many cases, this includes a detailed overview of your skills and experience. If a potential employer only has a quick glimpse of your resume, it can leave him or her with a very short list – and that’s not what you want. Rather than just uploading your resume to the website and having to wait for the recruiter to decide whether it is a good fit, spend the extra time making a customized summary of what you’ve done and how your skills match up with those of the company’s current job openings.

Third, look at the cover letter itself. Many of these online services offer both a basic cover letter along with an advanced version, such as resume builder templates and resume format converters. By using a combination of these tools, rather than just one, you can make sure you can really stand out as someone who is knowledgeable about the specific career you are applying for and can effectively answer the question the company is posing. Remember, the cover letter is the first impression the recruiter will get of you; make sure it clearly states your qualifications and personal characteristics that will help to make you more desirable.

Another important pro tip: by offering something to the company that is specifically tailored to their industry, you will stand out as someone who is focused on their needs. Often times, recruiters and human resource departments receive hundreds of resumes. While some are serious and well-written, many simply list education and work history without much thought. If you submit a well-crafted, informational resume that offers something that is specific to their industry, you will definitely stand out. This in-depth knowledge can only come from extensive industry experience and by putting that knowledge on paper as well as in your cover letter, you can put yourself above the rest. Remember, the purpose of the cover letter is to introduce you to the company and the job, not to sell yourself.

Finally, when using a professional resume template or a program to create your resume, remember to keep it bulleted. Research shows that when people see a bullet point list on a resume, they tend to read it quickly. Not only does this method of highlighting your skills and experience add information quickly, but it makes it far easier to determine what type of position you would be perfect for.

As you can see, there are many ways to set yourself apart from your competition. The key is to ensure that you do your research and find out as much as you can about the company and the position you are applying for. From there, you can develop an effective outline, keep your bullet points organized, highlight your skills, and use your resume to highlight your work history. Remember, the very best resumes are the ones that are well-written, formatted correctly, and have all of the best business skills possible. Now get out there and start writing! Your recruiter won’t be happy unless you get the job!