When you’re looking for a new job, one of the most crucial tools in your arsenal is a compelling, well-crafted resume. Needless to say, a professionally written resume can make a massive difference in your ability to get a good job fast. However, with so many resume writing/editing services available online these days, how do you avoid all the scams and “resume mills” and ensure you’re getting the best value for your money? In this article, we’ll outline 5 key criteria to use when evaluating a resume service.
- Avoid Resume Mills Promising “24-Hr Turnaround” and Low Prices
When looking for a resume writing service, you should look for a company that can take the time to craft a unique and compelling resume that can catch the eye of skeptical hiring managers. However, a significant number of low-end resume writing “factories” have recently emerged on the market, offering incredible terms, such as same day delivery, 24-hr turnaround, and price tags as low as $80.
Avoid these outfits at all costs. Despite the turnaround time and price tag that may seem appealing, most of these companies rush through the resume creation process, relying on resume builders, templates, and forms to speed through dozens of resumes a day. While services like this will give you a working resume in a short period of time, all you will get in the end is a boring and cluttered resume that’s indistinguishable from literally any other resume out there. Your career deserves better.
- Check for Professional Credentials and Third-Party Endorsements
One of the first ways to evaluate a resume service is by checking for professional credentials and certifications. There are a number of credentials available to certify that a resume service has achieved at least a basic level of competency in the field, including:
- Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
- Nationally Certified Resume Writer Certification (NCRW)
- Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW)
- Master Resume Writer (MRW)
While professional credentials can’t guarantee a quality product, their presence is a good indication that a given company takes its job seriously.
A second way to evaluate a resume writing service is to check for third-party and customer reviews and evaluations of the company. Entities such as the Better Business Bureau can validate that a company is legitimate. The BBB also contains a section of customer reviews and complaints, giving you customer feedback you can use when making your decision.
- Look for a Personalized Resume Creation Process
One of the most important features in a good resume is personalization. The formatting and colors, as well as the selection of skills, experience, and education, should all send a clear message about your strengths and unique abilities.
Before signing up with a resume service, take the time to ask about their writing process. Do they just ask you to fill out a form with all your education and experience, or do they take the time to interview you and identify your key skills and target jobs, in order to craft a resume specifically for the hiring managers you’re seeking to attract? This attention to detail is essential to getting your money’s worth out of a professional resume service.
- Ensure They Understand the Keywords and Jargon of Your Industry
Do you know the value of being ComptTIA A+ certified? Or the benefits to having skills in McAfee SIEM/EPO/NSN and OllyDbg/WinDbg/GBD? Me neither. But if you work in computer repair or IT, your potential employer sure does.
You need to make sure that your resume service has enough experience in your industry to know the keywords and jargon that matter to hiring managers—which skills aren’t important, and which ones need to be highlighted and pushed to the top of the page.
- Evaluate Samples of Finished Resumes
One of the best ways to evaluate the quality of a resume service is to request and evaluate samples of resumes they’ve already written. Are the resumes more modern or traditional? Do they indicate a strong personalization and the knowledge of a wide variety of industries, or are they primarily based on templates? Evaluate the word choice, formatting, and more advanced features such as testimonials and highlights, designed to make you stand out from the crowd.
In summary, the quality of your resume can literally make the difference between landing your dream job and a fruitless job hunt. While there are many high-quality resume services out there, it’s essential that you take the time to evaluate a potential resume service in order to avoid the hacks and resume factories who will waste your time and money. By using the methods I’ve outlined above, you’ll be able to identify a top-notch provider who can set you on the path to your dream job.