Meet the Team: Lydia Lunning
Interested in a Let’s Eat, Grandma resume, and curious about who you’ll work with? Read on for an interview with one of our professional resume writers, Lydia Lunning.
By: Katy McElroy | Managing Editor at Let’s Eat, Grandma
Here at Let’s Eat, Grandma, we’re extremely proud of our talented and diverse team of professional resume writers. That’s why we started this series, where our Managing Editor sits down with each one to discuss their background, motivation, and what they love best about writing resumes. This month, we talked to Lydia Lunning, an executive resume writer who has been writing for Let’s Eat, Grandma for two years.
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Hi, Lydia! Let’s start with the basics: How long have you been working as a professional resume writer? Why did you decide to start working in this field?
I started writing resumes professionally in 2018. I had been working primarily as a dissertation editor for several years and was looking for a change of scenery with some freelance work, and a friend who had been writing resumes for a while asked me to help her out. My background is mostly in editing and writing instruction, so I have a lot of varied experience helping people who need to put words in the right order and create documents that will help get them to the next stage (either academically or professionally).
Resume writing was a nice change from the dense, book-length manuscripts I had been working with, and it was another way to meet people from all walks of life and help them get unstuck in what can be a really tough process. Plus, the work offers a lot of flexibility and the chance to get a new perspective on professional stories in a variety of industries and how different people got to where they are.
Why did you decide to apply to become a Let’s Eat, Grandma resume writer?
I started with Let’s Eat, Grandma at the beginning of 2021 after experience with a couple other resume writing services. I’d heard of LEG about a year earlier when I started looking more into the industry and found you all at the top of so many “Best Resume Writing” lists!
What I like about LEG is the company’s integrity and commitment to the customer. From the top down, people at LEG are genuinely invested in helping people and providing quality service. There are a lot of resume mills out there, as well as predatory people looking to take advantage of vulnerable folks looking for jobs – from what I’ve seen, LEG really strives to live up to their mission of helping job seekers build confidence and create strong professional brands to meet their career goals.
What’s your favorite part about resume writing at Let’s Eat, Grandma?
The best is when I get to introduce people to how great they are – so many clients are buried in the doing and haven’t looked around to see what they’ve actually done. I get to provide the outside perspective they need to really understand how much they have to offer when they go on the job market. Whether people are in a workplace that doesn’t recognize them for their contributions or they’re just not tracking achievements day-to-day, it’s really wonderful to get to show people the impact they’ve had in a way they may not have thought of before.
You’re on the Executive Concierge Service writing team at Let’s Eat, Grandma. What do you find interesting about writing resumes for executives?
Working with executives is fun because, once someone is at that level, they often have a really good handle on their professional persona and their position in the industry. The challenge is usually less about unearthing forgotten achievements and more about shaping a huge list of accomplishments into a tight narrative that’s easy to grasp. It’s often a rewarding collaboration where I get to wrangle a lot of really impressive information into an easily skimmable, concise set of documents that encapsulate the strategic impact this person is capable of.
What is the most challenging part about resume writing?
Resumes and other professional documents have to convey a lot of information in not a lot of space, and it can be so easy to fall into jargon and cliche. People know they have to hit the keywords, but they can end up with these documents that just sound bland and generic. The challenge is still capturing what makes this person unique while also showing how they match the job description.
On the flip side, I think a lot of job seekers are told they need to stand out, so they focus a lot on what makes them different instead of what makes them the best choice. As a resume writer, I need to be able to find that balance between making the candidate sound like themselves and making them sound like the ideal candidate the hiring manager is looking for.
What advice can you give for anyone considering working with a resume writing service?
Really do your research and make sure the resume writing service you choose knows what they’re doing. A lot of services make claims that aren’t backed up with any real data, and there is a lot of “common wisdom” about resume writing that’s actually not that helpful to job seekers anymore. If a service guarantees you an interview or claims a “percentage” match to ATS, they are charlatans and the resume you get will be recycled garbage.
The best results happen when you work with someone you can communicate with directly – your writer doesn’t need to be an expert in your field (and really, it often helps if they’re not), but the opportunity for both of you to ask questions and give feedback ensures you end up with materials that meet your individual needs and aren’t just cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all documents.
Also, and I say this to clients all the time, everyone is bad at writing their own resume. Having an experienced professional be an outside pair of eyes who can see what your achievements are and what will be important to a hiring manager is practically an essential service in today’s job market, and you won’t regret it.
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