Welcome to Crystal Resumés
Crystal Resumés is mainly me, Ken Dezhnev. I’m a communications professional who specializes in resumés. I’ll do all the interviewing, writing, and formatting for your resumé.
I serve clients all over the U.S., and I’ve worked directly with clients around the world to create international CVs for foreign employment.
Of course, I have a strong client base where I live, in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis—St. Paul) metro area and the Upper Midwest. (I’m located in Plymouth, MN.)
I’ve had over thirty years of experience in business and corporate communications: writing and editorial services for leading national ad agencies, corporations, and publishers, mainly in New York City, along with top-end typographic work including technical consulting, quality control, and font consulting. I’ve edited and written proposals and key business communications for marketing consultancies and other firms, consulted on editorial style, and edited scholarly and technical books, reference works, and doctoral theses. People who knew my work asked me to do resumés for them, too. That developed into a sideline, and my resumé clients always told me I should make a specialty of it. Eventually I did, launching Crystal Resumés in 2007, a few years after moving to Minneapolis.
I know how resumés are used in the real world. I’m a veteran freelancer: my resumé and job-hunting skills (along with my professional skills and reputation), got me freelance and staff jobs at over ninety companies in a highly competitive job market. These include Ogilvy & Mather, Doremus, Martin/Williams, Bozell, Schechter/Interbrand, Time magazine’s marketing department, KPMG Peat Marwick, Estée Lauder, Crain’s New York Business, Thomson Reuters, and many others. The approach I take to writing cover letters for my resumé clients is based directly on the system I developed to create targeted letters for my own diverse range of prospects and specialties. And I’ve been a hiring manager too, so I know what it’s like to screen hundreds of resumés to fill a key position.
Throughout my career, clients in many fields have appreciated my ability to work closely with them to make their messages clearer and more effective while respecting their specialized knowledge. I apply my comprehensive experience—and my trained analytical and research skills—to ask the right questions, identify their needs, and develop detailed verbal and visual strategies.
... for resumés that stand out from even the strongest competition.
Our service is based on intensive, personally-developed interviewing. These are not scripted interviews—they take time to prepare, based on our initial consultation with you about your background and objectives. Typical interviews for more experienced clients take two to three hours. Our clients often tell us that we’ve dug up a lot more than they realized they had to say for themselves, and learned a lot from the process.
We then spend hours writing the resumé, applying trained analytical and writing skills that few others have, to create a full and well-structured picture that will ring multiple bells with any employer, without wasted words, and that is easily scanned, or read for detail, according to the needs of people at all stages of the hiring process. Resumés are written with real-world keywords for best results with automated resumé processing (ATS) and LinkedIn searches.
At the formatting stage, we apply years of professional technical experience to create documents that are free from the technical glitches that send a surprising number of resumés—including professionally written ones—to the trash before anyone even reads them. These are documents that you can revise and update yourself—and we send instructions to help you do it.
The difference in informational value and professional appearance has opened doors for our clients.
The resumé package includes:
• Your resumé in every format you may need: Word, plain text (best for online forms), PDF.
• Instructions on when and how to use each format.
• LinkedIn profile optimized for employer searches.
• For clients in senior positions, we also include a one-page networking resumé.
With the resumé thoroughly nailed down,
and everything you need at your fingertips,
you can devote full attention to
the rest of your job search.
• Optional cover- and thank-you letter package available: as thorough and unique as the resumé.
If you’re ready to make a career investment that will open doors in your present job search, and then continue to pay off for years, give us a call at:
or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office hours: Noon to 6:00, Central Time, or by appointment or chance.
Or read on to find out more.
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS OF RESUMÉ SERVICES AND FEES
Ken is also available for corporate consulting on resumé-related matters, including outplacement counseling.
Executive & Upper Management
What our senior management clients have said.
About one third of our clients are in upper management: director-level at leading national organizations, to C-level and board-level at organizations of all sizes. They’re in all sorts of industries, in corporate, public-sector and non-profit organizations. They’re in every area of corporate and organizational management: enterprise leadership, sales, accounts, finance, operations, technology, human resources, planning, marketing, facilities, security, and so on.
So we’ve probably got a good deal of experience that’s closely relevant to your career, and we can also anticipate the perspectives of the entire management team that may be considering your resumé.
The in-depth information we gather from you will enable us to tell stories with a few bullet points—portraying complex projects, business efforts, and achievements, and a trend of continual advancement, that points straight to your value to your next employer.
Sales & Accounts
What our sales & accounts clients have said.
We’re particularly happy that our many sales and accounts clients appreciate our own specialized sales communications skills. They’re in a range of fields: some are in B2B corporate, industrial, and consulting services, others are in manufacturing or distribution. Some have huge portfolios of simpler products, some have small portfolios of highly-specialized and complex technology products.
Senior-level sales and accounts responsibilities can cover a lot of ground, and we make sure to cover all that ground when we interview you. Then we select and arrange the information to tell the full story, a story more widely relevant to employers than what they’re used to seeing.
Information Technology, Engineering, Manufacturing, & General Technology
What our I.T. clients have said.
What our engineering, technology, and manufacturing clients have said.
An information-based approach to resumés is especially appropriate to technology—not only for the obvious reasons, but because you have to go beyond the technology, with information about how you achieved your results—how you used your resources, how you led teams, and how you worked with non-tech people and departments. The “how” side, in combination with a fully professional presentation of the technical side, will make your resumé stand out clearly from most technology resumés.
A large portion of our clients are in I.T., particularly at project management, department management, and executive levels.
Many other clients are in various fields of engineering, at all levels up to senior management and company ownership. Others have been manufacturing managers and specialized technicians, and managers in other industrial fields such as logistics.
Healthcare Business and Management.
What our healthcare clients have said.
In Minnesota, where we’re based, healthcare, both profit and non-profit, is big business. We’ve had many clients in all areas of the field, from nurse administrators to CEOs: executives in all management roles, sales and accounts people, IT and telecomm specialists, testing managers, technicians, and caregivers. We’re experienced with the special requirements of regulated healthcare businesses and licensed healthcare providers.
In addition to resumés, Ken has extensive experience in healthcare industry communications, including advertising, corporate communications, and technical documentation for more catheters than you can shake a stent at.
What our clients in various other fields have said.
Accountants, architects, law enforcement, a fire chief, HR (all levels), government relations specialists, teaching and school administrators, fundraising, commodities traders, investment bankers, state government employees, people all over healthcare and related industries, consultants, building contractors, tennis and hockey pros, and people in every area of general business administration.
We like the variety, and we like working with people at all levels. With our varied resumé experience, an unusually broad range of general knowledge, and highly developed interviewing skills, we know how to gather and present the information that will make you stand out in your field.
What our entry-level clients have said.
We’ll give you the best start possible by careful interviewing to make the most of your life experience and training. You’ll learn a lot from the interview process about presenting yourself, and about how to think about background of interest to employers. Your resumé will change in important ways in the first few years of your employment—we’ll send you information on what changes you will need to make, with tips on editing your resumé yourself.
Military-to-Civilian & Career-Change
What our military-to-civilian and career-change clients have said.
We’ve done a number of military-to-civilian transition resumes. In your military service, you’ve probably had a lot of valuable experience of all kinds that wouldn’t come through in a straightforward description in military terms and job categories. We’ll dig deeply into everything you’ve done to find that experience, and then present it in terms that civilian employers understand.
Civilian career change can be tough. However, it is a situation where in-depth information gathering and careful presentation is particularly valuable. During the in-depth interview, we’ll investigate your past experience in the light of our knowledge of your new target field. Then we’ll use the facts in the resumé to build a “show it, don’t say it” presentation of the hard and soft skills that your prospective employers are looking for, a presentation in which those employers will have confidence.
Other Special Situations
We’ve helped clients in all sorts of situations: established senior people who want to be ready for unexpected opportunities, people looking to pursue their specialty in a different industry, people for whom it’s time to make the next step up in a highly competitive field, international job-seekers, people applying for grants or key business loans, people returning to the job market after raising a family, people with a number of recent job changes, or with histories complicated by mergers and reorganizations.
We’ll look at your history, situation, and objectives, and then ask the right questions (and a lot of others, making sure we don’t miss anything). We’ll select the information and put it together to give the needed presentation of your background, and lay groundwork in the resumé for talking points that will come up in interviews. We can often suggest information strategies to deal with awkward questions that will come up in interviews—very often, information is in fact the key to giving positive answers to those questions.
On this page, you’ll find basic information on our process and professional background. The primary services are the Resumé Consulting package and the optional Cover-Letter package. There are also options for specially targeted resumés, professional biographies, international CVs, U.S. professional CVs, and special projects. You’ll find full detail on our services, including prices, on the Services page.
Take a look at the Testimonials page: page, for feedback from clients in various fields, feedback that also gives a good picture of how we work.
Don’t miss the Tips & FAQ page: there’s information there that may change the way you think about resumés—and information about some killer myths about resumés that can destroy your job search no matter what else you do right.
Then give us a call, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have. We’ll want to get a certain amount of background on your experience and objectives. (E-mailing us your existing resumé in advance can speed up the process and make it more effective.) Then we can give a specific quote on the fee, and set a schedule.
If you like, we can make an appointment to talk at a time that’s convenient for you, including evenings or weekends. Just call, or e-mail us at email@example.com. Give your phone number, with a specific time or times when we can call you. Afternoons or evenings are best. we’ll reply to confirm a time, or suggest another if necessary.
We’re also glad to answer questions by e-mail. (For hours and contact information, see the Contact page.)
Except for clients who are just entering the job market, we normally use the client’s existing resumé to provide the historical and chronological basis for developing questions and lines of inquiry for the in-depth interview. If you don’t have one, we can discuss alternatives—for more on this, see Sending Information To Us, on the process page of this site.
We’ll then prepare further questions and lines of inquiry on the basis of the information you’ve given us. These will be developed to get the most out of your specific background, in the light of your objectives. We’ll draw on our experience with others in your field, and also, as needed, on some basic research, especially about specialties in your field, and your past employers. We don’t use standardized scripted interviews.
Next is the in-depth interview. This can be scheduled for weekdays, evenings, or (subject to availability) weekends. Typically, we’ll spend two to three hours on the phone with you, digging into your background, to get at the sort of skills and experience that people take for granted and so don’t think to mention, or don’t realize that employers want to see. It’s a pretty intense experience, both for the client and for us. Clients often say that they’ve learned a lot about how to think about their own background and experience, and about how to present it to employers and respond to questions during interviews. Some clients have said that they never realized they were so well qualified. One client called it “resumé therapy.” Here’s some more of the feedback from my clients about the interviews.
Then we’ll do the writing, carefully checking facts and coherence, and crafting the wording and information structure to best get your qualifications across, and to meet the needs of readers at every stage of the hiring process. (That includes real-world keywords for best results with keyword processing and LinkedIn searches.)
During the interview, and while writing, we pay special attention to any aspect of your background that might raise doubts in an employer’s mind. It’s surprising how often these can be cleared up by presenting them in the right factual perspective, without hiding or stretching anything—sometimes, in fact, with a little additional information somewhere in the resumé.
After the writing, we put in more time on quality control than cheap resumé services spend on the entire job.
Then we send you a version for your review. After we’ve had your feedback, we’ll make revisions, and discuss with you anything that needs discussion. One to three rounds is typical. Sometimes more are needed, but this is mainly when there are lots of little details to get right. We’ll work together to make sure that your experience and qualifications are presented accurately and in language you’re comfortable with. (Things can start going downhill after three or four rounds, and we reserve the right to limit the approval stage to three rounds.)
Then we do the final package, with all documents in every digital format you might need for each: Word, plain text (for pasting into online forms), PDF, and RTF. You’ll get detailed instructions on when to use each format, and how.
The final package also includes your LinkedIn profile. It’s specially written to get the best response to employer profile searches. As needed, information will be carefully selected and re-written to fit LinkedIn’s size limits, their conventions for handling certain types of information (such as job titles), and best practices for search-engine optimization. (Many of these conventions and practices pertain only to LinkedIn, and have nothing to do with the way your information should be handled on your resumé or anywhere else.) Anything that shouldn’t go on the Web will be excluded. Certain information required for LinkedIn but not needed on your resumé will also be provided: We’ll get this from you during the in-depth interview. Your LinkedIn profile will be provided in a document specially designed so that you can easily cut and paste the material into LinkedIn’s forms. That document includes detailed instructions that will make the process easy, and ensure that every relevant section of your profile is filled out.
Your resumé will be fully compatible with current electronic transmission and resumé-processing technology. Technical issues—including commonly-used resumé formatting techniques—send a surprising number of resumés to the trash before anyone at the employer’s end even sees them. A variety of electronic technologies are used in creating, transmitting, and processing resumés. Even the commonest of these are not well understood by most resumé specialists, and technical experts on one technology seldom know about the others. We’ve had a lot of technical document production experience, and we stay on top of these issues. You’ll find interesting details on many of these issues on the Resumé Glossary page, especially the entries on Word resumé and Plain Text.
Your documents are built so you can easily make changes in them. We’ll send you some little-known tips that will make it a lot easier. Many of our clients revise their resumés themselves for the next job or two, and come back when their objectives have changed or when they’re breaking new ground. (One client wrote us six years later: “I still use the format today—best investment I have made.”)
And we’re with you after the job is done. If you have questions about using your resumé, give us a call or an e-mail.
By the way, we have a total confidentiality policy.
We also do cover letters, and they’re as unique as the resumes: templates and examples you can easily tailor for each job. The generic cover letters others provide often go straight to the trash before an employer finishes the first paragraph. Here’s what my clients have said about the letters we’ve done for them.
And we do professional biographies, for corporate publications, websites, and press releases.
With the resumé thoroughly nailed down (and all the information we send with it), you’ll save a lot of wasted time, lost opportunities, aggravation, and frustration. You can go about all the other aspects of your job search without worrying further about your resumé. Tweaking will rarely or never be necessary for any job within the range of objectives we’ve discussed.
(Sometimes separate versions of the resumé may be needed from the start, if your objectives include distinct job categories, each with very different qualifications. But most of the time, when clients ask if this is necessary, a single resumé can be written to do the job.)
Your presentation will be tailored to meet the needs of your situation in your job market, including your value to your next employer, and your ability to fit in as a part of a new team.
It all adds up to a resumé that can make you stand out even among the strongest competition. Even in fields where talented people are sought after, competition for the best jobs has gotten a lot more intense. Your resumé will not only open doors now, it will be an excellent foundation for all your future resumés and all your future career moves. It will extend your options, get you considered for better jobs, and help you to avoid settling for less-desirable jobs. It will also help you after you get the job. With an up-to-date resumé, you’ll be ready to jump on surprise opportunities—including opportunities with your present employer.
We’ve written hundreds of resumés since Crystal Resumés began in 2007. Most of our business is repeat business and referrals from happy customers. For examples of what my clients have had to say, see the Testimonials page. To see what our work looks like, see What the Resumes Look Like, below.
Since we put in so much time and effort on each resumé, and don’t farm out work, we can take only a limited number of jobs, and the process typically takes two and a half to three weeks for mid-level to senior-level clients. Rush service is not an option. A rushed resumé is a vastly inferior resumé, and that’s not what we do.
The myths about resumés that everyone is bombarded with can wreck your job search several times over. Most of what passes for conventional wisdom about resumés is just urban myths and sales hype. Take a look at the #1 Resumé Tip on the Tips & FAQ page. Then read on for the most dangerous killer myths about resumés.
There’s a lot of valuable information on this site that you won’t find anywhere else. (Be sure to add it to your favorites.) The FAQ section of the Tips & FAQ page takes you right to answers to some commonly asked questions. Look through the Resumé Glossary, with definitions and in-depth information about resumé terminology and technology.
Depending on your field and your level of experience, fees for the Resumé Consulting package range from $450 (entry-level) to $1600 (senior executive in a sizable company). These are typical fees for high-end services. The time and effort we put into a resumé simply isn’t sustainable at the prices charged by conventional resumé writers. (We learned that the hard way.) If you pay much less, you’ll get quite a bit less.
The one-low-price-fits-all resumé services you see all over the place are not going to give you much at all, and are certainly not what experienced people in skilled fields need.
The Cover- and Thank-you Letter package is an optional extra. (Free cover letters are worthless.) For the price/value realities about resumés, click here.
Like all resumé services, we require payment in advance before beginning work on your project, except for projects of $1000 and over, where we require half on setting the schedule, and the other half immediately after the in-depth interview is completed, before we start further work. (Some resumé services offer a deal like this: Total price $600, $300 in advance, $300 on final delivery of the resumé. From what we’ve seen, this means you’re getting what they consider $300 worth of time.)
But you don’t have to pay for extras (like cover letters) when you order your resumé. If you’re interested in optional services (cover letters, alternate-target resumés, etc.), you can wait until you’ve seen the approval version of your resumé.
We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Diners Club, and PayPal. (PayPal is easy and safe, and you don’t need to have a PayPal account.) We cannot accept cards issued by non-U.S. banks. We can also take checks and money orders, but we cannot begin work or commit to a schedule until the payment has been received.
Like all resumé services, we have a no-refund policy. We don’t haggle when we take on a job, and we certainly don’t do it while we’re working or after we’ve delivered. No experienced professional, and no business, does first-rate work unless they’re certain they’re going to be paid for it—or unless they add a large premium to all fees to cover the risk of non-payment.
(Some resumé services offer what they call a guarantee. But if you look, you’ll see that they never offer money back. It’s never more than this: We’ll re-write for free if you’re not satisfied. There’s likely to be a long runaround before they do even that.)
See also the Policies page for more about payment policies and options, and for policies on privacy and confidentiality (total!), revisions, etc.
Before you make any commitment, we’ll agree on a schedule in advance, including a delivery date for the approval version. Typical times are as follows:
— The following are typical time frames for more senior clients: For the Resumé Consulting Service, we’ll need about five business days to prepare for the in-depth interview. After the interview, we’ll need another one-and-a-half to two weeks to get you an approval version for your review.
— Cover letters may require a few additional days.
— At the approval stage, we can usually turn around revisions within 24 to 36 hours. On approval we’ll usually get the final package, including the LinkedIn profile, to you within 24 to 48 hours.
Delivery times reflect the time and effort we put into your resumé. The process has to be done in stages, and can’t be rushed. Our other clients cannot be put aside. There’s no skilled help we can hire to accommodate volume—the very few people with those skills don’t have to work for someone else.
Scheduling depends in part on our workload. We’ll also need to coordinate the interview and other contacts with you. So the time frame depends in part on your schedule, too—on how quickly you get back to us when we need input from you, and on when we can schedule the in-depth interview.
The resumés shown here (links below) will give you an idea of the general quality and style of our writing and visual formatting. The layout of your Word resumé (bullet points, paragraphs, order of information, etc.) may vary, sometimes widely, from the resumés shown here. The layout of each resumé is developed individually for each customer, to give the most effective presentation of that person’s skills and experience, for that person’s market. Resumés also have to conform to conventions in certain fields about the arrangement of information.
Senior Telecommunications Manager Finance: Senior Trading Manager Registered Nurse CV
But the general look—clean, plain-vanilla—will be the same. That’s because anything else—special fonts, colors, cute bullets, tables, etc.—will cause serious technical problems in the electronic transmission and processing which is normal for resumés today. A surprising number of resumés go into the electronic trash for this reason, often before anyone even sees them. For more about these technical matters, see the article on Word in the Resumé Glossary. With resumés, the art is to make plain-vanilla look good—even distinctive. That’s why this site is plain-vanilla, too—I designed and produced it myself, to show what I can do with plain-vanilla.
NOTE: Unlike the ones shown here, your Word resumé will be a normal Word file—fully editable and unrestricted. You will be able to do anything with it you can normally do with Word files, including change them and print them. The resumés shown here are “secured” PDFs instead of actual Word files. That’s to prevent competitors from pirating our formatting. (That happens.)
Only a few resumés are shown here, because it takes time and care to anonymize a resumé, to preserve our clients’ confidentiality and privacy, while still leaving it a good showing of our work.
Remember: it’s crystalresumeS-dot-com.
Beware of imitations! It’s best to use the URL, rather than searching for our name. You are not dealing with Crystal Resumés if you are dealing with anyone under that name using a Web site other than this one, or a Web or e-mail address other than crystalresumes.com.* If it looks cheesy, it’s not us. “Crystal Resumés” is a registered trademark and registered d.b.a. of Dezhnev & Co., Inc. Neither Dezhnev & Co., Inc. nor Crystal Resumés have any relationship with any other persons or firms offering resumé services. (*The domains crystalresumes.net/biz/org/us are owned by Crystal Resumés to protect the name, but not actively used.)
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Blot out, correct, insert, refine,
Perfect speech is like a jade-worker whose tool leaves no mark.
—Lao Tze, Tao Te Ching, XXVII (tr. Arthur Waley)