Resume Services: Good, Bad, Scams

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Resumes professionally done by services that understand your industry can make the difference between nailing down a lucrative job or being left out in the cold.

I learned that in the mid 1990s. Hospital executive Anne Murga invested in a resume service that specialized in health care. After that, Murga seemed to receive lucrative offers at the top of the food chain, almost effortlessly. Since I didn't have expertise in health care, the resume I prepared for Murga, who is my sister, didn't get one response.

The cost of using a professional resume firm can range from $100 to $700. That fee for service could be higher for senior executives. The service could also be more expensive if other frills are thrown in, such as electronic distribution by a database custom made for your industry, coaching of presentation skills, access to a powerful network, and so many years of follow up.

However, the fee usually has no correlation with the results you get. A hungry start-up might bill below market rates in order to build its brand name, client list, and references. Unless you do your due diligence regarding several possible vendors, you could wind up with a bad -- that is, ineffective -- firm for you. Worse, you could become the victim of a scam.

Here are some guidelines for how to investigate:

Question the firm's track record in your specific industry or niche.

It may hit home runs in software as a service, but not sales or teaching English as a second language in China. Verify. Ask for the names of clients who have been satisfied with outcomes and some who have not been. Then interview that list of names. Should the firm not provide you references in that format, you're gone. No vendor has a 100 percent success rate. Ask the vendors what they learned from their mistakes.

Request sample resumes.

Sure, the names and other identifying data can be blacked out. What you have to be on the alert for is that a cookie-cutter approach isn't used. One size shouldn't fit all in heath care or sales.

Also check out if there is heavy reliance on gimmicks such as myriad fonts. Ask yourself: do the documents transmit an organized, compelling story? You don't want a mere laundry list of credentials.

In addition, you must analyze the resume to determine if the firm has the knowledge and skills to tell your story in a way that makes you unique. Management expert Tom Peters calls that "the brand called you." That personal branding should set you apart from the competition. As Richard Bolles says in 'What Color Is Your Parachute?' the person who gets the job or the business is the one who presents the best, not necessarily the most qualified.

Demand an interview.

This is crucial. That's because the resume writer ought to be digging around for who you are as a professional and then position and package all that in a way to attract the right employers or clients. Working from a former resume is a waste of time. Had your current resume been a useful tool, it's unlikely you would be searching for additional help.

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Great contribution.

Here is another scam.
Amazon,, Amazon Local, JC, J. Melissa Cooper, Discount resume service not such a deal. Company offers same price without offer. Internet

Amazon Local is offering $227 in resume services for $79. Offer tag B00LH56DGM. This may seem like an excellent deal until you look at the total package.

This offer is a ripoff for the following reasons:

1). The discount is not real.

You can see multiple resume websites run by J. Melissa Cooper here:

http://www.big-list-of-resume-writers.c ... Review.php

J. Melissa Cooper created just for this deal. She sells resumes on for the following prices:

A resume costs $49.99

Cover letters are $29.99

Follow-up letters cost $9.99

Thank you letters are $9.99

So when you compare the regular price to the "Amazon" price instead of saving $148 (65%) like the ad says, you are saving $20.96 or 21% and since the follow up letters and thank you letters are the same for everyone you are really getting $79.98 worth of services for $79! A whopping savings of 98 cents.

It’s like saying we give you 50% off of everything that is double priced.

2). The offer is not local.

Amazon Local is for Local deals. is located in Naples, Florida although the deals are tagged local for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Boston, Dallas as well as many other cities. This is a deceptive as those who sign up for emails for these deals enter a city and zip code to receive deals from local vendors. To send them a deal that is tagged as local and really hundreds of miles away creates distrust among users.

3). The offer includes a guarantee that is not a guarantee.

It states, get an interview in 60 days or they will make a second new resume for free.

First of all, if they can’t figure out how to create a resume that works and they waste 60 days of potential employment time, how are they going to create an effective resume later. It’s like saying if your plane crashes we will give you a new ticket out on the next flight!

Second of all, the guarantee is not redeemable. In order to qualify, you need to prove that you looked for a job. The only proof accepted is certified letter receipts or fax receipts. No one looks for jobs using this method and it would cost nearly $200 to send out certified letters to meet the requirement for a free rewrite. So in other words there is no real guarantee. They can say no one has used the guarantee because it is unrealistic and unreasonable.

The Better Business Bureau has indicated that this type of guarantee advertising can be construed as deceptive. A company which offers a similar guarantee was cited by the BBB. You can see the Advertising Review here: ... l-13005931

4). This company does business under multiple names, but you can’t find who is in charge.

This company operates under different

July 15 2014 at 11:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Type your commentthis article helps me a lot in deciding if ever I'll hire one or not, I've also read this article on how to choose a resume service here

August 26 2013 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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