The reason I spend so much time telling you to have someone else write your resume is that I have done it before, and it worked out really well for me.

I thought of myself differently after getting help with the resume. This is because a good resume is not a list or a work history, but rather, a story. And the way we tell stories about ourselves really reveals who we are, but it’s very hard to craft a story about our work when we are so close to the details day in and day out.

Stories are powerful. If you have a coherent story of yourself, then your resume reads like an organized plan. If you have no idea what your story is, your resume reads like a disjointed list. The most effective resumes show a timeline of progression in your life in a way that creates a story that will stick in the reader’s mind.

It’s hard to sift through all the resume writers and figure out who is good. So people ask me all the time for the name of the company I used. The problem is, that company is no longer in business.

However a bunch of the people from that company continue to do the resume work as freelancers. And one of them, Elaine Basham will rewrite two peoples’ resumes for free this week.

If you want to have Elaine take a crack at your resume, send a three-sentence email to me by March 25 that says what is wrong with your resume now, and what you want to accomplish with a new resume. Elaine will pick the two people who are most able to benefit from her service.

For those of you who don’t end up working with Elaine, you might end up having to write your resume yourself, so here are some of the most common mistakes.