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    How Long It Takes to Prepare a TORI Entry: Tips from Resume Writing Award Winners

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    Time it Takes to Prepare a TORI Resume EntryIt’s common for resume writers to wonder how long it takes to prepare a TORI entry and how the entry’s style might differ from a regular resume. We went right to the source and asked former winners, and 12 shared their thoughts for this Q&A lesson on:

    TORI Entry Planning & Scheduling: Tips from Resume Writing Award Winners on time involvement and differences from regular resumes.

    Meet the respondents:

    Laura Smith-Proulx

    Laura Smith-Proulx

    Tiffany Hardy

    Marlene Cole
    New Generation Careers

    Marie Plett

    Marie Plett

    Cheryl Lynch Simpson

    Cheryl Lynch Simpson

    Lucie Yeomans

    Lucie Yeomans
    Your Career Ally

    Melanie L. Denny

    Melanie L. Denny


    Rachel (Vander Pol) Raymond Headshot

    Rachel Raymond

    Angela Watts

    Gayle Howard

    Gayle Howard

    TORI Award Winners Answer Your Resume Writing Competition Question:

    Planning & Scheduling: How long does it take you to create a TORI entry? How does that differ from a non-TORI style?

    I write at this quality, so it would only take a couple of hours to adapt or tighten up some formatting and quantifiable results to enhance the look and create an alias to protect your client’s details.– Marlene Cole

    I worked on the original resume for almost a week. Then when it was proofread and submitted to the client, I saved it as a potential candidate for the TORI. I returned to work on it on and off for several months. About three weeks prior to the submission date, I started working on it for many hours at a time. In a way, it’s not different from a “real” resume because I work in spurts until I am satisfied. Usually, it takes me a week to craft a 3-page executive resume from start to finish.– Marla Emery, ACRW, ACC

    I am a very slow writer—I like to take my time. I spend somewhere around 16-20 hours over several days creating resumes for my clients, whether they want lots of graphics or simple, clean designs. TORIs take longer, of course, because they need all the best of everything: the best content, the best design elements, the best balance on the page.

    When fine-tuning a submission for the TORIs, I’ll play with the document for 30 minutes here, an hour there. I don’t like working on a TORI entry for large blocks of time, because then it feels like work, and this is playtime. So I give myself little bursts of time to tinker with the language and/or presentation, for however long it takes. If the document doesn’t turn out good enough, or I hit a wall and the project starts to feel like a grind, I stop.– Anonymous

    It depends on how TORI ready the resume is that I created with my client. Many of my submissions are based on clients who wanted a more subtle resume but were willing to let me recreate the final product in a more graphic format to use for the TORIs, giving them the benefit of having two versions to use as appropriate. But if we are talking about creating a TORI-worthy resume from start to finish, it takes me several days.– Tiffany Hardy, MS, CERM, NCOPE, ACRW

    I will spend a few hours on each entry to ensure it is well-formatted, particularly after I’ve changed the industry focus and other identifying details – and used my creative juices to envision the outcome. As mentioned in question one, a TORI entry gives me the opportunity to put data into a more bold and creative format. A non-TORI style resume might contain less shading or graphics, especially if my client states they plan to submit the document for online job postings. I also submit some resumes as-is, with no additional graphics, especially if they’re among my favorites due to the bold language already in the document.– Laura Smith-Proulx, CPRW, CCMC, NCOPE

    I spend a 2 to 4 hours on each entry. I not only change the identity of the client, company name, and location, but also I try to incorporate something about the location or company into their resume. I work mostly with confidential job seekers and I do everything I can to make sure their identity is safe.– Lucie Yeomans, CGRA, CPRW, NCOPE, CEIC, OPNS, JCTC, JCDC

    When I first entered, it took me forever to “perfect” my TORI entries. Ironically, the one I was most proud of didn’t even get nominated. But, I would say it took a solid week to get it to what I thought was TORI quality.– Melanie L. Denny, MBA, NCOPE, CPRW

    I invest 4-6 hours per submission — sometimes more in order to upgrade the resume’s visual style and put the document through multiple layers of edits. My TORI submissions are definitely more visually involved than my non-TORI resumes. Likewise, my TORI submissions can use bolder language and highlights than my average client would typically be comfortable with.– Cheryl Lynch Simpson, CMRW, ACRW

    It all depends. Sometimes, I have such an amazing source resume that a client has granted their full permission for, that it only takes a few hours to fictionalize and proofread. Sometimes, I am creating a purely fictional work. Completely fictional submissions generally take me 30-40 hours to create.– Marie Plett, CERM, CPRW, BFA

    I’ve never timed it, but probably a couple of hours each, although it very much depends. I’d say 75% of the time, the resumes I submit to the TORIs are very similar to the versions I send to my clients. My clients appreciate my clean, modern style, and that’s what I’ve submitted to the TORIs. However, there have been a few instances where I kept the client version very simple but was able to make it “TORI-worthy” by spending some extra time on it to add some “punch” to it with graphic elements and such.– Rachel Raymond, CERM, CCST, ACRW, NCOPE

    I typically take between 5 and 15 hours to produce a non-TORI resume (with high design) and an additional 1 to 5 hours to produce a TORI worthy entry.– Angela Watts, SHRM-CP, RACR, CCTC

    It takes about four hours for jazzy customizing, fictionalising and changing the format to fit into US paper which can be a nightmare. Non TORI formatting planning about an hour.– Gayle Howard, CMRW, CERM, CGRA, CARW, CRS+IT, CWPP, CPBS, CG3C, CTTC, CCCM, MCD, CONS

    Do the New 2021 Classic Design Categories Shift This Dynamic?

    Our answer is “maybe” and “it depends”. As many winners have stated, they frequently are using resumes that only require fictionalizing to fit the TORI requirements.

    Formerly, the TORIs became a matched battled of wording and design. which means that resumes were already heavy on design to begin with or required the investment of time to make them so. However, in 2021, classic design removes the necessity for time-draining, heavy formatting. BUT, it’s important to stress that this does not make writing and layout less important. Just because a resume is classic does not mean it shouldn’t have style, be visually attractive, and easy to read.

    We find once again that the classic design categories just make it more accessible for those who want beautifully balanced resumes without the stress of graphics that may not be what clients want or need for everyday application anyway.

    The TORIs Are the #1 Highest ROI, Lowest Cost Way to Grow Your Resume Business

    There’s no denying the success that former TORI winners and nominees have attained by participating in this annual resume writing competition.

    Whether you want to be easily found by job seekers, stand out from the competition, or attain accolades that put you in demand, the TORI awards have done that for resume writers around the globe since 2000.

    Remember, those new classic design categories create opportunity for any talented, professional resume writer.

    Learn More About the TORI Awards

    Learn about the competition & new classic resume categories >>

    Additional Resources

    Access video tutorials & lessons on resume writing >>


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