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saservp's avatar

Is a resume-writing service worth it?

Asked by saservp (286 points ) January 1st, 2011

I’m debating pulling the trigger on hiring a resume-writer.

I have been searching and applying for jobs for the past 15 months with almost no success. I have only had a handful of real interviews. I have re-written my resumes and cover letters several times. I have sent my resumes to well-intentioned friends who have returned them in worse shape then I sent them, and even to a hiring manager who was kind but didn’t have enough time to focus on the resume.

I am looking for entry-level jobs which are, frankly, insanely competitive.

At this point I’m wondering if it’s time to hire a professional?

Has anyone else out there had success with this? Or vice versa?

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10 Answers

iamthemob's avatar

Have you looked at online, non-fee based services? There’s probably very little that you can get from a professional that’s not available from those.

Also – look at websites like www.shrm.com which are places where HR professionals gather. See what they want in resumes.

Not_the_CIA's avatar

You say you are looking for entry level stuff. I just want to toss this out there. I used to help hire at a movie theater in a town that is based around a University. We tossed resumes where we knew the people wouldn’t stick around. Anybody with a Masters is only wanting to work at theater so they can pay rent and eat while they find a good job.

It might not hurt to dumb yourself down for entry level stuff. Hiring people is actually expensive. You need to make them think you won’t bail when something better comes along.

missingbite's avatar

It depends on your definition of “entry-level.” I would not do so for a barista job at Starbucks…but I might for a position with a company that requires a 4 year degree.

JLeslie's avatar

I second what @missingbite wrote.

bolwerk's avatar

Resumes aren’t very useful anyway. It’s more a formality, one that might be a show-stopper, but probably will never get you a job. To make a good one, look around at business schools and see what they suggest for the format.

Obviously you need to fill in the content yourself. However, it’s good to remember to keep it short and to the point. Focus on matters that apply specifically to the job you’re applying to, gloss over everything else.

I think most recruiters and HR people these days agree that the real meat in a job application is in a cover-letter, and you damn well should follow up with a phone call to show you’re interested whenever you can – even if you have to contrive an excuse. The cover letter should be about what you can do for the job. Try not to talk about yourself in the cover letter.

If these things don’t work, then maybe seek professional help. But even then, seek a temp agency or something – never a resume writer.

mrlaconic's avatar

I have hired both Resume’s Reborn and Super Writer Girl in the past and while both made my resume look pretty, neither got me the jobs I was applying for (or even an interview). When I asked why I was told that my resume was to hard to read.

So if you do hire someone be careful because really the type of resume that gets read / responded to the most (in my experience) is just the standard professional in Microsoft Word and thats free. Yeah you have to take some time to describe yourself.. but honestly if you can’t do that well… ...

It may also be worth checking out a cool web app I found (thats free) that will help you with resume writing cvmaker and also having your resume scored over at RezScore might be worth checking out also

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

In the mid-90s, I was looking for a mid-level executive position and hired a consultant to help me with the nationwide search. That consultant is no longer practicing, but I can tell you that the expense was worth every penny. I got a show-stopping resume, job leads, and cover letter writing tips and templates.

This was not cheap. It cost several thousand dollars.

You’re probably not ready to use a consultant, but I highly recommend finding a professional who will craft a resume for you and about you.

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