Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? Chances are, we’ve heard them before! Benefit from our 30+ years of experience with our quick, easy-to-read FAQ guide. Time-saving answers at your fingertips!

Need a Resume Fast? Here's What to Know About Our Timelines

Wish we could say yes, but quality takes time! Our goal is to make you shine, and that requires in-depth collaboration. A typical project needs around four weeks; more comprehensive packages might take up to six. Why? Because we dig deep to capture your unique value and craft a resume that’s as custom-fit as a tailored suit. No shortcuts, no compromises—just results. If you’re looking for a resume that truly sets you apart, planning ahead is key. Success favors the prepared, so let’s get started!

Ready to Start? Here's Your Quick Guide to Working with Us.

It’s simple and seamless! First, fall in love with us and choose the package that’s right for you. Payment is a breeze with Visa, Mastercard, or PayPal options. Next, you’ll complete our detailed online worksheets. Your project then joins the queue, and once it’s your turn, the magic begins—Gayle starts crafting your stellar resume. You get two drafts to review, and once you give the nod, it’s done. Ready to launch your career to new heights? Let’s do this!

Can I Bargain for Discounts or Make a Pay-Later Deal

We value referrals and have a rewarding program for our loyal customers! But here’s the deal—our services are specialised and backed by over 30 years of expertise, not to mention extensive training. So, we don’t offer discounts or deferred payments. Just as you wouldn’t want your paycheque discounted, we can’t compromise on the value we provide. Trust us, it’s worth every penny!

Written Any Resumes for an Executive Lion Tamer or Widget Creator

With 30+ years in the game and over 15,000 resumes under our belt, you could say we’ve seen it all! While lion taming might be a first, we excel in crafting resumes for management and executives across diverse industries—from IT and sales to logistics. And with a global network of experts just an email away, we’ve got industry insight to make your resume roar!

Got a "Bad" Resume from Another Writer? Can We Make It Right?

If you’re not thrilled with your current resume, we’ll give it a straightforward review. Why? Because not all “bad” resumes are actually bad—it may just need a market test. But if it’s off-target, outdated, or just poorly executed, we’re not in the business of ‘touch-ups.’ We do comprehensive overhauls. So, if we can add value, expect a full rewrite, customised to your goals. Before taking that step, we’ll ask the tough questions to make sure we’re all on the same page and your career goals are realistic. Because a great resume is a team effort, and we’re in it to win it.

Navigating the ATS Maze: What's the Deal with Formatting

Heard of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and wondering what it means for your CV? You’re not alone. You’ll often need two types of resumes: a visually engaging one for humans and a stripped-down, keyword-rich version for ATS. The trick is to find a balance, so you’re not sacrificing readability for scanability—or vice versa. Need an ATS-friendly visual resume? We can do that too, although be warned—editing it later is not for the Microsoft Word novice. If you’re unsure which version to send, go ahead and send both. Just include a line in your cover letter saying, “For your convenience, I’ve also included an ATS-friendly resume.” Simple as that.

No Interviews Yet? Let's Talk Accountability.

Promising interviews can be tempting marketing, but it’s not our style. Why? Because there are factors we can’t control—like you applying for roles that don’t match your resume, or making last-minute changes that spoil the format. What we can assure is a top-notch resume crafted to represent you at your best. So, while we can’t control the entire job-hunting universe, we can control making your resume stellar and ensuring you’re absolutely thrilled with the result.

Guaranteed Employment? If Only It Were That Simple!

If we could promise job offers, we’d be global heroes, banishing unemployment forever! But let’s get real—no one can give such a guarantee. What we can ensure is a resume so polished, it does your skills and experience justice. So, while we can’t hand you a job, we can arm you with a top-tier resume to boost your chances.

Craving Face-to-Face Interaction? Discover the Power of Virtual Collaboration!

We get it, you’re a people person! But guess what? Our virtual system offers a deep, personalised experience that will leave you amazed. We’ve wowed clients from Sydney to San Francisco, Madrid to Manila. Skip the travel hassle and save your precious time. With us, you’re not just another time zone—you’re an individual getting top-notch service. Once you go virtual, you won’t look back. Trust us, our way works wonders!

Cover Letter or E-note: What's the Smart Choice for You?

Think of a traditional cover letter as a formal handshake—an elegant intro accompanying your resume. Perfect for detailed storytelling and tackling complex topics, like a career switch or relocation. E-notes, on the other hand, are the speed-dating version. Short, snappy, and straight in the body of an email, they get right to the point. While the cover letter is your classic go-to, the E-note is rapidly becoming the new standard. So, whether you’re an old soul or digitally savvy, our Beyond Excellence, Rapid Ascent and Ultimate Influence packages have got you covered!

Your Payment to us is safe and secure for your peace of mind

When it comes to payments, we’ve got your back! Our payment process kicks off once we receive your payment through Stripe, a globally trusted payment gateway. Rest assured, your credit card details are encrypted and never stored on our servers. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal for universal convenience. Plus, if you’re in Australia, you can also use Internet banking for direct transfers. So go ahead and invest in your future with confidence—no cheques or money orders, please!

Spotting Spelling "Errors"? Here's Why They're Not!

Noticed some “unusual” spellings on our site? No worries, mate! We get this a lot, especially from our friends across the pond in North America. You see, we’re an Aussie company, so we stick to Australian-English spellings like “centre,” “organised,” and “colour.” We assure you, it’s not a typo! But hey, when we craft a resume just for you and you’re targeting the U.S. or Canadian job market, we’ll switch gears and use American-English spelling. You’ll get a document perfectly tailored to your audience, down to the last letter!

Changed Your Mind? Here's Our Take on Refunds

Changed your mind? Unfortunately, we can’t offer refunds. Unlike a fridge or TV, our services are tailored to your unique career goals and experiences. Once we dive into your project, it’s custom work that we can’t resell. But don’t worry—we’re committed to your satisfaction! You’ll only sign off on your documents when you’re absolutely thrilled with them. Your happiness is our end game!

Why Is There an Admin Charge for Cancelled Orders Before Work Commences?

If you’ve accidentally double-clicked and paid twice, no worries—errors happen! We’ll promptly refund the duplicate charge. However, if you’ve placed an order and we’ve taken steps to set up your project—from sending welcome emails to allocating your project in our schedule—then decide you don’t want to proceed, an admin fee is incurred.

Why? Setting up your project takes a good chunk of time. We’re meticulous in our preparations so that we’re all set to focus solely on your job search. When you change your mind, that time could have been spent helping someone else who’s committed to the process.

Our admin fee is minimal, just a small acknowledgment of the work we’ve already undertaken. It’s a matter of fairness. If you’ve changed your mind, it’s only right to compensate for the effort we’ve already invested. We are fully committed to your job search from the get-go, and all we ask is for you to be committed, too.

Are Hard Copies of My Resume Included?

We’re all about efficiency and sustainability, so we’ve adapted to the digital age. Hard copies are a thing of the past and, let’s be honest, aren’t the most environmentally friendly option. These days, job applications are primarily online—uploaded to job boards or attached in emails. Why go old-school when you can hit ‘send’ and your application is instantly in front of your prospective employer?

Besides, the quality of home and office printers has improved dramatically, allowing you to print top-notch copies if you really need to. Here at Top Margin, we’re keen on minimising our environmental footprint, striving to maintain a nearly paperless office. So, in line with modern job-seeking methods and our eco-conscious philosophy, hard copies are not part of our service offerings.

Can You Review and Critique My Resume?

Absolutely, we offer a thorough Resume Review and Critique Service tailored just for you! This isn’t a generic, one-size-fits-all process. We dive deep into your existing resume, providing valuable comments and tracked changes via  Microsoft Word. Plus, we offer insights into optimising your LinkedIn profile. At the end of the review, you’ll receive a one-page summary explaining our recommendations and the rationale behind them. It’s entirely your choice to implement some, all, or none of our suggestions.

And here’s the cherry on top: Included in your fee is a complimentary e-book version of Gayle’s published book, “PS… You Need a Resume!” This will serve as a handy guide to help you understand and act upon our personalised recommendations.

Please note, we don’t offer a free service. We believe in investing time and expertise into each review, ensuring you get personalised and actionable advice.

What Currency Are the Packages Priced In?

All of our packages are priced in Australian Dollars (AUD) and are inclusive of a 10% Goods and Services Tax (GST). So, there are no surprises—what you see is what you’ll be charged. Whether you’re in Australia or purchasing our services from overseas, the transaction will occur in AUD, making it straightforward and transparent.

What Do These Acronyms Mean: CMRW, MCD, MRWLAA, CERM, CWPP, G3?

We’re delighted that you’re interested in understanding the significance of these acronyms. They represent decades of training, expertise, and examinations that signify our commitment to professional excellence. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • CMRW (Certified Master Resume Writer): This is an elite credential held by a select few professionals worldwide and is awarded by Career Directors International. Achieving CMRW status represents the pinnacle of resume writing excellence.

  • MCD (Master Career Director): A highly respected credential that represents mastery in the field of career coaching and development.
  • MRWLAA (Master Resume Writer Lifetime Achievement Award): A recognition given for longstanding commitment and contributions to the resume writing industry.

  • CERM (Certified Executive Resume Master): This certification ensures that the resume writer is highly proficient in the art of crafting resumes for executives. The certification requires an exam and submission of an executive resume portfolio. 

  • CWPP (Certified Web Portfolio Practitioner): This certifies that the holder is skilled in developing electronic portfolios for clients.

  • G3 (Get Clear, Get Found, Get Hired Coaching Methodology): This signifies mastery in a coaching approach focused on helping clients gain clarity, improve their visibility to employers, and successfully land a job.

Each of these credentials can be reviewed and verified through Career Directors International, which signifies that we are part of an exclusive group of professionals committed to the highest standards.

Interested in Starting Your Own Resume Writing Business? Let Gayle Howard Guide You to Success!

That’s fantastic news! If you’re looking to embark on a rewarding career in resume writing, you couldn’t ask for a better mentor than Gayle Howard. With more than 30 years of top-tier experience in the industry, Gayle is passionate about nurturing new talent in the field. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Expert Guidance: Gayle’s mentorship is rooted in real-world experience and proven methods. She’ll help you navigate the complexities of starting your own business, from setting up shop to sourcing clients.

  • Comprehensive Training: Gayle’s training modules are robust, covering every aspect of resume writing. You’ll gain skills that are immediately applicable, setting you up for success from day one.

  • Assignments and Quizzes: Not just theory! Gayle believes in the power of practical experience. You’ll work on actual resume assignments and quizzes, all under the guidance of a Certified Master Resume Writer.

  • Personalised Feedback: Receive tailored advice and constructive feedback on your work, helping you refine your skills and take your practice to the next level.

  • Resource Hub: Your training includes access to valuable tools, templates, and resources that Gayle herself uses, giving you a head start in the industry.

  • Flexible Learning: Whether you’re juggling other responsibilities or diving in full-time, you can complete the training at your own pace.

Interested? Visit our dedicated training site at to find out more and get started on your journey to becoming a top-tier resume writer!

Why Do We Flaunt Our Awards? It's Not About Us, It's About Elevating the Industry!

Ah, the age-old question—why all the awards? Are they just for show? Absolutely not. While Gayle’s incredibly proud of the recognition she’s received, it’s not about self-gratification or ego-boosting. Here’s why we think it’s important:

  1. Proof of Excellence: In any profession, from the arts to sciences, there are benchmarks of excellence. Awards serve as an objective metric to gauge skill, expertise, and dedication to the craft.
  2. Inspiring Others: Awards set a standard for others in the industry to aspire to. The more people strive for excellence, the higher the quality of work across the board.
  3. Industry Impact: The awards we’ve won aren’t just trinkets; they signify our ongoing commitment to elevating the resume-writing industry. The end result? A better product for our clients and a stronger, more reputable profession.
  4. Client Benefit: Awards are a seal of quality, ensuring that you, the client, are getting top-notch service. When you work with an award-winning resume writer, you can expect a resume that stands out for all the right reasons.
  5. Integrity and Commitment: Achieving industry recognition involves rigorous criteria, including peer reviews, ethical practices, and proven client success. It’s about integrity as much as skill.
  6. Contributing to the Profession: It’s not just about taking; it’s about giving back. Our certifications and awards reflect our contributions to best practices, ongoing education, and the betterment of the industry as a whole.

So, the awards aren’t about us—they’re about maintaining a level of excellence that benefits everyone: clients, the industry, and future resume writers. When we excel, you excel, and the industry as a whole becomes more reputable and effective. That’s something worth striving for!