This is tricky. The resume writing industry is unregulated. Skill levels of individual writers vary greatly and often do not correlate with credentials and years of experience. Some of the worst resumes we’ve seen have been written by so-called “award-winning” veteran resume writers.
Worst of all, the competition among resume writers is fierce. To survive, mediocre resume mills rip off web copy of premium providers. In doing so, they make bold promises in their marketing but – sadly – fail to deliver good documents at crunch time.
How do you spot a dodgy resume mill?
The #1 giveaway is a “free” resume review. Just upload your current resume and receive honest feedback, they say. Their ability to critique has no correlation with their ability to write. Sure, they’ll rip your existing resume to shreds, but will then sell you a facelifted, reworded version of the same.
Another danger sign is an excess of hyperbole in their own marketing. Everything to them is “top-tier”, “#1”, “premium”, “bespoke”, “elite” and so on. This occurs because they have no commercial chops; their only option is to rely on buzzwords as a crutch.
By the way, they’ll do the same thing to your resume. If you don’t want to be described as an “outstanding, tenacious, energetic, hard-working leader with extensive experience”, stay away.
We recommend that you shortlist 2-3 resume writing companies and speak with their representatives. Ask them tough questions, like “how do you articulate someone’s value proposition?” and “how do you ensure it’s different to that of other candidates with a similar background to mine?”.
Listen to the quality of their responses. Read between the lines.
Are they rattling off cliches and buzzwords, or are they acting as a strategist in your corner? Do they understand the commercial realities of your career?
Listen to your gut.