If you need to spruce up your resume for a job search, the internet is full of sites that offer resume writing services. A quick Google search will turn up hundreds of options, from free ones that provide basic templates to paid services that upgrade you to a more professional package.
It becomes apparent, however, after conducting research on the benefits and drawbacks of hiring a professional resume writer, that it is not wise to hire one.
A look at the drawbacks of using a professional resume writer:
- Sometimes, the writers are not as qualified as they claim to be.
Theresume writing services come with the promise of a professional resume from a qualified and experienced writer. In fact, you might be led to believe that you'll get the advice of an expert. This is not always the case.
For example, one site promises that its writers are certified by The Institute of Professional Resume Writers Inc., which sounds impressive. But it turns out that this organization has no certifications and is not even a trademarked name. It has a study program for resume writers, but the cost to complete it is $2,100.
The writer may be good at writing resumes, but their credentials are not all they are hyped up to be. Check out the company before you get your hopes up about how qualified they are.
- It may not be as simple as you think.
Some service providers recommend that all you have to do is fill out an extensive form telling them all about your work history, skills, and professional achievements. On the contrary, you must first complete the form before they can start working on your resume. This can take a lot of time, and you might end up spending more than you've initially estimated.
If you don't know much about resume writing, it can also be difficult to fill out the form. You may not have the terminology or the skills to describe your experience in an effective manner. Even if you do want to go ahead and draft your own resume, this step is still necessary. Unless you're a real pro, you won't know what information is important to include and what isn't.
- The Devil is in the detail
Most services offer some sort of guarantee, which may be as simple as doubling your interviews or giving you unlimited revisions if you're unhappy. However, it's important to read the fine print as these guarantees are seldom as impressive as they seem.
For example, one site says its guarantee is "unconditional". Sounds great, right? Not really. According to the details, if you don't get a response from an employer within 30 days of sending out your resume, the guarantee is void. What kind of response does it take to be eligible for this guarantee? No idea! They don't say.
Another site offers a full refund if you don't get hired within three months. But it also says that you have to "utilize the full service, including resume, cover letter, thank-you notes and interview skills review", and work with a personal career coach. That doesn't sound like much of a guarantee at all.
You should also check if there are any limits on the number of interviews or job offers you can obtain - they can be very restrictive, and it might be difficult to get your money back should you want to give up on the service.
- You probably don't need it.
A resume writing service might not be right for everyone, but for those who are unsure whether to use one, here's a quick checklist of what you should consider.
Are you qualified for the position you are pursuing? If you do not have the qualifications to get a job, a resume writer cannot help you get noticed. Knowing your market and your industry well helps you land a good job. You have consider also what employers are looking for. You will have to prove that you have what they want, so it's best not to undersell yourself. This is the best way to get a job offer without a resume writing service, and the only way to find out
Would you like to get promoted or be given a raise? Hiring a resume writer won't make you promotable or raise-worthy. Your resume may be impressive if you have the right skills for the job, but you still need to get and keep the job in order to get promoted. If you want to be promotable, focus on working hard and earning the trust of your superiors.
Do you have problems with employers not giving you a call back after an interview? This can happen even if your resume is very impressive. A resume writer cannot change that. You need to find out what went wrong during your interview first before you can make a correction. It could be your skills or background, or maybe something about your employer.
- Do you often miss out on employment opportunities? If you're always out of work and looking for new jobs, it's not because your resume is lacking. Something else is causing this situation. For example, your salary level is not in line with the market, or your choice of employers may be a poor one. A resume writer cannot help you with this.
You may not need to hire a writing service if you have done your homework and only need small adjustments to your resume. However, if you are still deciding whether or not to use one, don't write off the possibility of improving your resume yourself. You will know how to write a resume that will impress hiring managers in no time.
So, there you have it. You should only hire a resume writer if you truly need one. It's okay to ask for help, but be careful in selecting the right service. Check their guarantee and refund policy, read testimonials, and choose the writer based on her/his experience.