Blog Job Search Advice Resume Service resume writing Roanoke Resume Writer

Billboards, Radio Ads, and Resumes

How they are similar.

A common issue I see with resumes is that they contain too much information.To be really effective, a resume has to quickly grab attention, and generate interest in the candidate. The same is true for billboards and radio advertising.

My communications degree led to an interesting and fun career in broadcasting. As a radio DJ, I was required to record commercials that would air throughout the day. Many times, the salesperson, with the help of the client would write the ad and wanted it read “as-is”– as in ‘no changes’ to the copy. That meant a screaming ad, read at a fast pace that few would understand, or be compelled to keep listening. You can’t cram the business owner’s entire inventory into a 30 or 60 second ad. What gets attention in radio advertising? Long silence pauses. Short copy. Slower dialogue. Fewer Words. Just because you’re paying for 30 seconds, doesn’t mean the entire ad has to be filled with talking. What you’re seeking is results.

With Billboards it’s no different. When they have too many words, or multiple photos, no one is going to comprehend the message when they’re driving by at 60 MPH. The billboard has to be read in fewer than 5 seconds and pique interest.  Too much content and your message is lost.

Content also matters when it comes to your resume. Does it contain too much information? Does it relate to the reader’s needs? Does it get to the point> In advertising, good copy matters. On billboards, on the radio, and on your resume.

We’ve been helping career professionals get better jobs for 15+ years. If you need help streamlining your resume and cover letter, give us a call at 540-404-9175.





Blog Job Search Advice resume Resume Service resume writing Roanoke Resume Writer

Give your resume a facelift to look years younger

Don’t let your resume date you.

I review a lot of resumes, and have noticed a recurring issue with older career professionals. The resume offers up more information than it should. Those little hints that reveal your age, or make you look older than you are. When it’s time to update your resume, resist the urge to just add a new job on it, and ignore everything else. Instead, give it a facelift with these 9 tips.

Blog Career Job Search Advice Resume Service

Experience Matters

1st Rate Resumes LogoIn any career, it takes time to get up to speed to learn your craft. Years ago, when I first moved to a new town in Arizona, my mom took me to a new dentist. He was right out of dental school and reasonably priced. But even at 13 years old, I noticed he took a long time scouting out my mouth, and it kind of made me nervous. Through the years he became more skilled as he gained experience. Just as I did as a professional resume writer.

Most people don’t think twice about what might be missing, and can end up derailing the job search on such a critical document when they write it themselves. The average career professional changes jobs about once every 3 to 5 years. If your dentist only took in one patient every 3 to 5 years, would you want it to be you? How about your surgeon? Or plumber? Professionals do the job, day in and day out, and it takes years of practice to be considered an expert. Professionals are better, faster, and achieve results for far less than you can do it your self. To put it in perspective, the DIY resume vs. the Professional Resume is like a junior varsity football player going up against someone in the NFL.

If your DIY resume isn’t producing results, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve been writing resumes for 14 years. We’ve earned the certifications, been recognized with awards, and have become leaders in our industry. Call us for a free consultation. 540-339-9461, or contact us through our online web form. Experience matters. In your career, and ours.

Blog Careers Job job search Job Search Advice Resume Service resume writing Roanoke Job Search Roanoke Resume Writer Uncategorized

Black Friday and Small Business Saturday

1st Rate Resumes is marking down fees for the holiday season. We realize that money is tight and there are a lot of people out of work. And a gift certificate from 1st Rate Resumes makes the perfect holiday gift! During the Thanksgiving weekend, 1st Rate Resumes is lowering fees on resume services. These rates are 50% off our normal everyday fees.

Unskilled/high school entry level resume:  $99

Blue Collar trades:  $175

Middle Manager w/5+ years:  $225

Senior Manager:  $300

Cover letters may be purchased for an additional $25 each. Cover letters will not be sold alone, and must be included with a resume purchase. C-Level Resumes are not on special.


Clients must order the service by this Sunday Nov 27th and  pay by check, PayPal, MasterCard, or Visa. Client will receive a questionnaire to fill out and return to 1st Rate Resumes no later than Dec 31, 2011. No questionnaires will be accepted beyond that date for the sale price.

Turnaround time is 5-10 days. Client will have one opportunity to request minor revisions and changes at no additional charge. All revisions and projects must be finalized by 1/15/2012.

1st Rate Resumes has the right to add a surcharge for an excessive work place history beyond 5 jobs.

Questionnaires must be completely filled out in order to produce the best resume. You don’t have to worry about grammar or spelling, but you do need to describe what you do for a living, what your working environment was like, and the difference you made in the company’s bottom line. The better the information, the better your finished resume.

Client must be computer literate in MS Word. Documents will be delivered by email.

How to get started:  Contact us at SusanGeary (a) Subject Line: Black Friday Special. Make your you provide your telephone number, occupation, and an old resume if you have one. I’ll give you call and answer any questions you may have.

Blog Career Resume Service resume writing Uncategorized Update Your Resume Month

How to Choose a Qualified Resume Writer

Update Your Resume Month is now in its 10th year. I know this because I was around as a resume writer when this event got underway. Back then the resume writing profession was unheard of. Why would anyone pay someone else to do something they could do themselves? Yes, that was the attitude in 2000 when I launched a career as a professional resume writer. The economy was buzzing, and people did not need a stellar looking resume to get a job interview.

Blog Career Careers Graduation Gifts Job Search Advice Resume Service resume writing Uncategorized

Why College Career Centers Suck

It’s college graduation month, and every year I’m disappointed to hear the number of new graduates who are unable to land a job in the field they studied. I don’t blame the educators, however, in my opinion much of the blame rests with College Career Centers.

Here’s why. After spending tens of thousands of dollars on a college education so that you can learn your intended occupation, you’re given misinformation on how to actually search a job.  For one, nearly all college career service centers require their Advisers to have a Master’s Degree. Yet rarely do these folks have much experience on how to find a job. Think about it. Once they get their own steady paycheck, they don’t leave. I mean, when’s the last time these folks actually looked for a job themselves?

The obvious problem is right on the university websites. I looked at Virginia Tech and Ferrum College just this past week. Their resume samples look like they came out of a book from the mid 1990s. The word “OBJECTIVE” sits right at the top of these resume samples. Please! If you spend that much money on a college education, ignore the Career Services office and find someone off campus who is up-to-date on hiring, job applications, and resume writing. That’s the best investment you can make to enhance your college experience. Otherwise, you many end up paying far more for that college degree in lost wages and deep disappointment.


Blog Job Search Advice Ladders Resume Critique Ladders Scam Resume Service Uncategorized

The Ladders is Still a SCAM!

I’ll be the first to admit I have a beef with If you put their name in my search bar, you’ll find previous blogs I’ve written about this company, along with links to other sites waxing about their practices

In fact one of our resume writing associations (or academies, I don’t remember) hosts an annual conference that has the Ladders as its major sponsor. It’s the main reason I refuse to attend. The Ladders runs a resume service where they will critique your resume and convince you using a boilerplate email that you need to fork over $700 for a new one. Some Ladders customers have turned the tables on the company and resubmitted their newly minted resumes only to get the same boiler plate letter again stating the Ladders should re-write their resume. Because of this, I have had to add a clause to my contract that states “1st Rate Resumes does not respond to critiques used for competitive sales.”

To add further insult to injury, many of  the purported $100K jobs on the Ladders website don’t pay $100K, nor were they published with the consent of the employer. They were picked off employer websites to beef up their offerings to subscribers without even checking what the salary was being offered. This has pissed off many HR Directors when they get applications for jobs that only pay $50K and the applicant is expecting twice that.

The other complaints coming in have to do with those employers who pay the Ladders to produce $100K candidates. Apparently they are listing jobs in the $185K and getting applications from people who haven’t made more than $75K a year. Recruiters are tired of paying high fees to get sub par candidates.

According to Nick Corcodilos of AskTheHeadhunter, subscribers from are calling for an investigation.  And some are calling for a class-action lawsuit. All I can say is, it’s about time.

Blog Resume Service resume writing Uncategorized

How to Evaluate a Resume Service

So you’re shopping around for a resume service. Do you really know how to evaluate all that’s out there between good and bad and everything in between? Let me help you.

First, look for samples. Many writers still post them. We no longer do. We found that our documents were being plagiarized. We want our clients to have the “Gucci” resume, and not the counterfeit. But if you do see samples, whether it’s in a book, or a website, here are some telltale signs your writer is a novice.

Resume Service Uncategorized

When Hard Drives Crash

I get phone calls or emails about four times a year from desperate clients looking for a copy of their resume. They remember that when computers goes south, without a cloud-based back up system, that at least they don’t have to re-write their resume. That’s because in most cases I have a back up copy that I keep on file. It’s one of the perks of hiring a professional resume writer. And while some companies will charge you upwards of $50 to retrieve it from “storage,”  we do not.  Just one more benefit to hiring 1st Rate Resumes to help you with your job search.

Blog hiring interviewing job interviewing job search Resume Service resume writing Uncategorized

Bragging Rights – Client Testimonial

I wrote a resume earlier this month for a man about to lose his job the end of the month. He’s very accomplished and motivated and I was confident he’d do well in his job search in this crummy economy. Looks like he won’t be needing unemployment compensation. Today I got the following email:

Hello Susan,

I think I’m ready for that ASCII version.  Quick success story: After researching potential companies in my target market, I sent my shiny new resume to a company last Friday afternoon.  It was a blind send, which never works, right?  But I took a shot!  I received an eager email response of Monday morning, a phone interview Monday afternoon, a sit down interview with the owner on Tuesday, and they have stated they will send me a formal offer tomorrow. They loved my resume, and that gave a an opportunity to shine in the interview.  Because of the quick turnaround time, I am able to entertain two offers, and have my pick.
I’ve referred a friend, and when another friend asked about the cost I said “If it gets me hired even one week quicker than otherwise, it saved me money.”
You did a tremendous job.  Thank you, Susan!


No, thank you!