Anybody here use a resume writing service?

petedudepetedude Member Posts: 1,510
Yes, I know, the folks here are pretty sharp at the editing part but I'm thinking mine could use a little extra pizzazz in the formatting department.

Anybody know of/use resume writers?
Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
--Will Rogers

Comments

  • astrogeekastrogeek Member Posts: 251 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I used ResumeEdge.com and was very happy with the outcome. It was well worth the price in my opinion, and the resume writer I had gave me some good tips for future revisions. At the time my resume was basically just some slop I threw together in StarOffice so I needed a good base resume to work off of.
  • gbdavidxgbdavidx Member Posts: 840
    astrogeek did you find you were able to get more reply's once you paid for the service?
  • petedudepetedude Member Posts: 1,510
    astrogeek wrote: »
    I used ResumeEdge.com and was very happy with the outcome. It was well worth the price in my opinion, and the resume writer I had gave me some good tips for future revisions. At the time my resume was basically just some slop I threw together in StarOffice so I needed a good base resume to work off of.

    StarOffice? What, using OS/2? :D

    (Can't talk, I still use OpenOffice frequently and I seem to remember paying for a StarOffice license not long before Sun got it.)

    Thanks for mentioning ResumeEdge. . . nice to find a known resource with some positive reviews.
    Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
    --Will Rogers
  • astrogeekastrogeek Member Posts: 251 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Actually I meant OpenOffice, I always forget what it's called but I hate using it and it never seems to format documents the same as MS word.

    As for job call backs, well, I can't really say for sure how much it helped because I wasn't actively looking for a job until after I had the new resume crafted. When I was hired at my last job, (first IT job), I was already interning and it was more of just a formality thing, but that old 'resume' I submitted was horrible and I know for certain it would never have given me any call backs to any other jobs.

    But I will say that I have been getting some calls with the new resume when I was job hunting, and I am soon to begin a new job. So I can't say how much the new resume helped exactly, but for $300 I consider a good looking resume as a reasonable investment in marketing yourself. If you can do it yourself and save the cash then more power to you, but I think it was well worth the price. Heck, when I consider what I've spent on my home lab equipment and technical courses $300 is a drop in the bucket!
  • XyroXyro Member Posts: 623
    $300 for a resume? That seems outlandish to me for something that one can easily do themselves. We are all in the tech field and MS Word is something we should all be very familiar with. I understand there could be a time issue at work here but a resume for $300 is far above what would be a reasonable amount of cash to spend on something as rudimentary as a resume.
  • Dieg0MDieg0M Member Posts: 861
    Depends how good of a job that resume can help me get.
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  • XyroXyro Member Posts: 623
    I knew someone would say that. In essence though, spending $300 for something we can do ourselves still seems "off" to me.
  • W StewartW Stewart Member Posts: 794 ■■■■□□□□□□
    From what I've seen out of the people who have posted their professionally done resumes on this site, they usually suck. It may help when it comes to formatting and what will catch somebodies attention verses being an eye soar to the reader but most of the technical skills you would want on a resume may sound like foreign language to a non technical person so I wouldn't expect a professional resume writer to know what a technical hiring manager is really looking for or how to word your experience in a detailed way that makes sense. I've found that a decent technical recruiter can not only help you polish your resume but can also help give you some great interviewing skills that can be used in future opportunities.
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  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Xyro wrote: »
    In essence though, spending $300 for something we can do ourselves still seems "off" to me.
    I pay to get my brakes done. Sure, I've seen it done before and could figure out how to do them myself. But at the end of the day I'd rather spend my time doing something other than researching automotive break/fix. Additionally, Id rather not find out the hard way that I didn't do it properly.

    I never paid someone to write my resume. Never will. (Tho I've made probably half a dozen Resume Critique threads here @ TE lol). However, I understand how people can feel the cost is worth it.
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  • XyroXyro Member Posts: 623
    Yes, I understand about the time issues; however, $300 is outlandish in this circumstance. It is also not comparable to doing brakes on a vehicle, which would be a matter of safety and also not fall into the realm of IT.

    I can fully understand some may wish to use a resume service. This is their choice but hopefully they will find a free or more cost-effective service than something like this.
  • astrogeekastrogeek Member Posts: 251 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'll be the first to admit that most resume writing services, particularly online services, are terrible. I really had to weed through a lot of bad services before I found a couple that appeared okay, and it was still a shot in the dark as it could have turned out to be a total waste. But for my situation it made perfect sense; my resume at that time sucked beyond imagination - I really had no idea what a good looking resume looked like. I was also just a couple of years into my first IT job so I needed anything to stand out and make a positive impression. And finally, I had the cash to spare. If you're unemployed or money is tight then I wouldn't recommend a resume service, but if you can afford it and it's a good service then I'd argue it's a good investment.

    Here were the main points I was seeking before I plopped out my cc numbers:
    -I wanted it written by someone who had experience seeing many, many resumes.
    -I wanted to be able to pick their brain for tips so I could make my own adjustments later on.
    -I wanted to avoid competing opinions on how a resume should be crafted.
    -And finally, I really wanted someone that is good enough with MS Word to really make mine stand out from the rest of the crowd.

    Now I can't speak for the rest of the writers on that website, but the writer I got was a former recruiter in the IT field. She gave me some good tips and addressed some common myths people have, such as the myth that a resume should be just 1 page. Now with that said, I did make adjustments to the content here and there, but only to make it something more personalized to my character. It would have been fine if I left it as received, but I was mostly looking for a base template to work off of, and the advice I got definitely helped when I started making my own edits.

    At the end of the day a resume is purely just to get the attention of managers and recruiters so they will set up an interview. Job hunting is a numbers game so anything that helps can't be considered wasteful spending if it leads to an interview. Im going to be starting a new job soon so I don't think it was a bad investment, and the pay raise im getting makes the $300 I spent seem like chump change. Well, actually it was $314 and some change, but who's counting? :)
  • petedudepetedude Member Posts: 1,510
    Xyro wrote: »
    Yes, I understand about the time issues; however, $300 is outlandish in this circumstance. It is also not comparable to doing brakes on a vehicle, which would be a matter of safety and also not fall into the realm of IT.

    Auto repair in general is a close comparison. Dentistry might be another. :D Some things you just don't want to do yourself.

    Part of the problem is that often we need not only an objective pair of eyes, but also a polished/trained delivery approach for the marketing aspect of the resume. $300 is a bit high for an non-executive IT resume, but I have seen numbers all over the map.

    Then, as someone else mentioned, there's the time savings. If you're ridiculously busy, paying someone $250 or so to go over a lengthy resume might be worth it in time savings alone.
    Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
    --Will Rogers
  • BGravesBGraves Member Posts: 339
    I used resumewriters.com when I first got out of the Navy and it was very worthwhile. I think the $ invested was completely worth it, especially considering how much I learned from that encounter and working with the writer. I still email him directly for updates as needed and he charges me a pretty reasonable fee. I think the combination of formatting, senior level experience and wording are what you're really paying for.

    Sadly, I have recommended others to use the same service and the writer you get is really hit or miss. I think you can request a different writer if you feel like the one you were paired with wasn't effective.

    If you do pay to use a resume writer, make sure you communicate with them until you have a finished product you really love. Even having someone else write your resume still requires you to invest some of your own thought and time to come up with a polished final product.

    If they try to talk you up by putting things on your resume that are clearly not true, be wary! You are responsible for your resume, not the person you had help you write it! An interview and actual work on the job will generally reveal what you know and don't know.

    Learning more about resume writing by interacting with a professional resume writer has been great for me and from that, I've been able to help others so that's also something I consider an investment that has paid off.
  • RaisinRaisin Member Posts: 136
    Write your own resume. Every single word on your resume is fair game in an interview. Your resume writer is not going to take the interview for you. You better know your resume by heart and be able to expand on, and defend every claim made in that document. The best way I know of to do that is to actually be the one writing the resume. If you need help with formatting just use some of the resumes posting here as an example.

    You should certainly have people review your resume, but that's not a service I'd pay for.
  • apr911apr911 Member Posts: 380 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Xyro wrote: »
    Yes, I understand about the time issues; however, $300 is outlandish in this circumstance. It is also not comparable to doing brakes on a vehicle, which would be a matter of safety and also not fall into the realm of IT.

    I can fully understand some may wish to use a resume service. This is their choice but hopefully they will find a free or more cost-effective service than something like this.

    I'd beg to differ. It may not be as directly tied to safety as a vehicle's brakes but is financial/job security not its own form of safety?

    You see $300 as an expense better saved. I see $300 as an investment in my future. Although it's near impossible to do any sort of empirical study due to the whimsical nature of resume selection... If my $300 resume gets me even 1 more hit, through 1 more filter and into 1 more interview it is that many more hits, views and interviews by hiring managers. If I sent out my resume 100x, my ROI is only about 1% but still worth it in my opinion.

    It only takes 1 view by the right person at the right time for the right company to land your dream job. What's more, a professionally crafted resume, if done right, might make a difference between getting interviewed or not, getting hired or not, or getting that additional $ you asked for or not.

    Your resume is often times the first and last impression an employer has before making a decision regarding the interview, offer and negotiation. I know when Im on the interview committee the first thing I look at before any of the pre-screening questions is the resume. Later when asked to provide feedback I often look back at the resume as reference to how the candidate should have performed based on their experience before my own notes. Finally, when it comes time for negotiation, I refer back to the resume once again to see if I can determine what motivates and drives the candidate and what might seal the deal.

    A solid professional resume could easily make the difference when it comes time to negotiate salary. Even an extra $500 a year yields a return on investment of 150% on just the 1st year alone before considering how that can be further parlayed into 401k matching and other benefits.

    Raisin wrote: »
    Write your own resume. Every single word on your resume is fair game in an interview. Your resume writer is not going to take the interview for you. You better know your resume by heart and be able to expand on, and defend every claim made in that document. The best way I know of to do that is to actually be the one writing the resume. If you need help with formatting just use some of the resumes posting here as an example.

    You should certainly have people review your resume, but that's not a service I'd pay for.

    You do need to be able to defend every claim made in your resume but just because someone else wrote it doesn't mean you cant. This is why selecting a reputable company is so important. You want someone who will work with you in crafting your resume to avoid leaving important information out and having wrong information put in.



    While Ive been on the business side enough to know a little bit about marketing, Im not foolish enough to believe I could work in a marketing department. I didn't go to school for marketing and there is a reason why corporations budget and spend such large amounts on their marketing department (ATT & Verizon spent a combined $3 Billion in 2012 on just advertising, not including instore adverts, displays, designs, salaries, etc). A good marketing campaign can have untold returns and a bad one could result in untold losses... Just ask JP Morgan Chase, NYPD or any of the other recent marketing blunders that have occurred recently via social media. Or on the flip-side go ask T-Mobile how their marketing plan is working out... I haven't seen this much change, in favor of the consumer, inside the cellphone industry pretty much ever and it all really can be traced and attributed to T-Mobile's disruptive marketing scheme.

    Ultimately, your resume is a marketing document and submitting it is your marketing campaign. How you approach it is up to you. I know how I would/will.
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  • XyroXyro Member Posts: 623
    Raisin wrote: »
    Write your own resume. Every single word on your resume is fair game in an interview. Your resume writer is not going to take the interview for you. You better know your resume by heart and be able to expand on, and defend every claim made in that document. The best way I know of to do that is to actually be the one writing the resume. If you need help with formatting just use some of the resumes posting here as an example.

    You should certainly have people review your resume, but that's not a service I'd pay for.

    These are also very valid points. As for the formatting, it does perplex me why anyone in the IT field would need assistance with this. Everywhere I go, being an advanced user of MS Word is a mandatory skill in this field. So be it, perhaps some do not wish to invest the energy and in this case I can also understand using a resume service. Time is another understandable reason for using a service such as this. I have looked at thousands of resumes and I have never seen one worth $300. It's a simple word document of your work and educational history, not the magna carta.

    Still, it's positive that some feel it's ok to pay this amount of cash for something. I'm sure it keeps quite a few people housed and fed and this is a good item all in all. :D
  • RaisinRaisin Member Posts: 136
    apr911 wrote: »
    You see $300 as an expense better saved. I see $300 as an investment in my future. Although it's near impossible to do any sort of empirical study due to the whimsical nature of resume selection... If my $300 resume gets me even 1 more hit and through 1 more filters it is that many more hits and views by hiring managers. If I sent out my resume 100x, my ROI is only 1% but still worth it in my opinion.

    The majority of jobs I've been hired for have been the direct result of knowing someone in the right place. I would argue that for the best ROI, you should spend that $300 on beers for your coworkers. Most of them will move on to different jobs, and a word in the right ear will carry far more weight than a well positioned bullet point.

    Finding a reputable company is easier said than done. Most will just plug your info into a template, and the good ones will sell you advice you could've received from this forum for free.

    It would be great if I could outsource all my career marketing to a professional, but I can't. A resume only gets me to the interview and that's where the real marketing begins, and it's all on me at that point. There's no point in just getting to the interview if you're going to bomb it. The best and easiest place to start marketing yourself is with your resume. I believe it puts you in the right mindset to sell yourself in the interview.
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,775 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Xyro wrote: »
    These are also very valid points. As for the formatting, it does perplex me why anyone in the IT field would need assistance with this. Everywhere I go, being an advanced user of MS Word is a mandatory skill in this field. So be it, perhaps some do not wish to invest the energy and in this case I can also understand using a resume service. Time is another understandable reason for using a service such as this. I have looked at thousands of resumes and I have never seen one worth $300. It's a simple word document of your work and educational history, not the magna carta.

    Still, it's positive that some feel it's ok to pay this amount of cash for something. I'm sure it keeps quite a few people housed and fed and this is a good item all in all. :D

    Every person on earth values things differently. Almost everything we spend our money on can be done cheaper. That does not mean it's worth the extra effort every time.

    I think the real value of a service like this is getting the ball rolling. I am sure the world is full of good intentioned people who never properly finish there resume and stay with their current employer because of it. Buying something as a product often gets the ball rolling quicker.
  • apr911apr911 Member Posts: 380 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Raisin wrote: »
    The majority of jobs I've been hired for have been the direct result of knowing someone in the right place. I would argue that for the best ROI, you should spend that $300 on beers for your coworkers. Most of them will move on to different jobs, and a word in the right ear will carry far more weight than a well positioned bullet point.

    I dont disagree with you on that point. Without a doubt networking is an important part of any job search. You are likely to have better success spending $300 on buying coworkers (past and present) beers than on a resume but then that wasn't really the question.

    Generally, anything involving cold calling is likely to have a disproportionately high failure rate so of course networking is going to have a higher success rate. Especially since there are a large number of positions that are never opened to the public but I will still maintain that good networking wont overcome a poor resume while a good resume can overcome poor networking.

    Further, itis possible to land a job at a company without knowing someone. I wound up at my current company that way and Ive been actively recruited by 2 of the biggest names in the tech industry without having an "in" because my resume is solid.

    On the flip side of that, I've personally refused to forward resumes of my contacts because of the shoddy quality. Forwarding a resume and offering a recommendation or referral is as much about my own reputation as it is about theirs.

    I've also seen candidates who were highly recommended get turned down because their resume was shoddy or couldn't get them past HR's filters.

    Raisin wrote: »
    It would be great if I could outsource all my career marketing to a professional, but I can't. A resume only gets me to the interview and that's where the real marketing begins, and it's all on me at that point. There's no point in just getting to the interview if you're going to bomb it. The best and easiest place to start marketing yourself is with your resume. I believe it puts you in the right mindset to sell yourself in the interview.

    Marketing yourself in an interview is quite a different ballgame than marketing yourself on paper and unless the company records interviews, I still point out that the first and last impression someone has of you in the hiring process is often your resume.

    I will take marketing myself to a person, in person, any day but hiring just doesnt happen that way in today's world. Today, you have to get through the automated filters then through the HR filters then the team/hiring manager filters and then you go through the screening before you're even in a position to finally start talking to the hiring manager and interviewing with the team. A hiring manager with an interest in a specific candidate can expedite the process and maybe skip a step here or there but generally, referrals still need to jump through the same hoops.

    An interview panel is also more open ended than a resume so you have ample opportunity to show your skills. I have yet to go to an interview where Ive been specifically asked about a bullet point on my resume. The resume has provided the baseline for questions or technologies they want to discuss but ultimately, the depth of a persons skills are discovered through discussion regardless of what the resume or the person says and although IT people get a rap for being antisocial, its been my experience that even the most antisocial IT person can still talk shop with other IT people.

    People have a tendency to oversell/undersell different skill sets based on their experiences and the people they are surrounded by. Hiring managers know this so very few will take a candidate at their word without further exploration. At various times, I have oversold or undersold my own skills and in the course of further exploration of my experiences, Ive consistently shown it to be not out of malice or arrogance but rather a true belief based on my experiences and I dont believe I've yet to find myself disqualified because of it.
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  • AkaricloudAkaricloud Member Posts: 938
    I'm going to have to join the crowd against resume services for a couple reasons.

    1. Hiring a resume service does not mean it's going to be good. Most I've seen come out still needing a ton of work and when you think about it, that makes sense. While your motivation behind writing a resume is usually finding a higher paying job, their motivation is only the couple hundred dollars that you pay them. Furthermore, one blanket resume for multiple applications leaves much to be improved upon and could cost you opportunities.

    2. A resume is a representation of YOUR best work. If you deceive a company into thinking you're capable of that quality of writing and aren't, it is not going to be pretty when they learn the truth.

    3. You need to know every single word on your resume and be 100% clear on the context that it is used in. This is much, much simpler when you write one yourself. It's a huge red flag when someone is surprised about a piece of their own resume or used something in a context that they do not understand. While you may pay to have the brakes on your car replaced, nobody is asking you to go in front of a panel of people and explain every step of the replacement in expanded detail.

    If you're not good at formatting then go use one of the thousands of templates that exist. Throughout your career you're going to have many resumes, it's worth the bit of time to learn how to perfect one yourself.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I could see paying 20 years ago, but with all the info and examples on the web these days it seems pretty foolish to spend that much money to me. All the ones I've seen from resume services are pretty crappy anyway.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • W StewartW Stewart Member Posts: 794 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I guess I can imagine there are some people out their who aren't the best writers and may need some assistance with a resume. I'm just more of a do it yourself person and unless the general consensus is that it's not possible or practical to do it on your own then I wouldn't bother paying anybody to write a resume for me. I've typically always been a good writer so I've never needed a resume service. My dad has even written some resumes for people before and he's a nurse so I guess it really just depends on the person. I still get tips from time to time but it just seems like there are enough resources out there that you don't need a resume writing service. I couldn't imagine not having a few spare hours on any day of any week out of the year to work on a resume. Some of you guys must be working in sweatshops over in india or something.
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  • petedudepetedude Member Posts: 1,510
    W Stewart wrote: »
    I couldn't imagine not having a few spare hours on any day of any week out of the year to work on a resume. Some of you guys must be working in sweatshops over in india or something.

    You can be a good writer, but still have blinders on as to what folks are looking for. Sometimes paying money to get an objective look is worth it.
    Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
    --Will Rogers
  • RaisinRaisin Member Posts: 136
    apr911 wrote: »
    Further, itis possible to land a job at a company without knowing someone. I wound up at my current company that way and Ive been actively recruited by 2 of the biggest names in the tech industry without having an "in" because my resume is solid.

    On the flip side of that, I've personally refused to forward resumes of my contacts because of the shoddy quality. Forwarding a resume and offering a recommendation or referral is as much about my own reputation as it is about theirs.

    I've also seen candidates who were highly recommended get turned down because their resume was shoddy or couldn't get them past HR's filters.

    I'm not saying people should settle for a bad resume. I just don't believe spending $300 for a resume service is going to get you a better resume than someone who spends the effort to research what makes a good resume. I believe that the only thing you're really getting out of the deal is some feel good insurance that your resume doesn't suck because you paid a professional to write it. Which isn't really such a good deal when you consider the fact that most of these services are only going to cut and paste your information into a template.
  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT GICSP, GCIP, GXPN, GPEN, GWAPT, GCFE, GCIA, GCIH, GSEC, CySA+, Sec+, eJPT Member Posts: 1,299 ■■■■■■■■■□
    No one knows your skills and accomplishments better than yourself. If you can't create a professional looking resume from a template and some research then I would question your ability to create any sort of professional documentation for the company.

    MANY people have posted their resume here to be critiqued by people working in the industry for FREE! Absolutely no reason to pay $300 in my opinion.
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  • Rosco2382Rosco2382 MCSA: Office 365 Member Posts: 205 ■■■□□□□□□□
    That's really all it is an opinion.

    I myself find it funny that I spend money on getting brakes done or for oil changes. I had someone teach me about 10 years ago and there are times I don't have the time or patience, so I pay the money for someone to do it.

    If he feels it gave him a good ROI then who is to stay it wasn't worth it?
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