A good resume writer is hard to find.
Recently I took my annual deep-dive into the world of my resume writer and resume services competition on the interwebs, and my god, is it a cesspool of bad information.
Most of the top resume writers and services with thousands of social media followers are still writing this kind of resume for job seekers.
You’ve seen this format a million times.
It’s two pages. It’s sectioned off with horizontal lines everywhere. There is a lot of font work and fluffy-word stuffing. It’s bad.
Sure, this format is better than the old school resume format with an objective statement at the top of the page, but it’s not going to land you an interview quickly in today’s job market.
Despite what the writers of these resumes tell you.
Do you need to hire a resume writer or not?
One of the basic life principles I live by is, “First know thyself.”
I know I cannot do quick multiplication in my head TO SAVE MY LIFE. So don’t ask me to do it.
I also know that I am the worst person to ask if you need help changing a tire, want to go to brunch, or just want a hug. None of those things is my bag.
Bargain shopping, cheap wine reviews, unsolicited problem solving, and resume writing are my bag. If you need those, I’m your girl.
Again, know thyself.
If you know that you suck at writing, then you probably suck at resume writing too. I suggest you outsource the work to someone who does it well.
Stop writing version after version of your resume, and hire someone who can do it for you correctly in three hours.
Know thyself enough to know when to put writing your resume into someone else’s hands.
But before you do, you need to do some digging to find the best writer for you.
Researching and comparing resume writers
Would you take baking advice from someone who quit baking to write cookbooks?
What ab medical advice from someone who quit practicing to lecture?
Would you take early childhood parenting advice from someone who raised their kids 30 years ago?
The same is true for resume writers.
If a resume writer you’re considering hiring is not actively applying and interviewing for jobs now, then that person can’t possibly give you the best advice for how to get a job quickly in today’s job market.
They’re not on the emotional roller coaster ride of finding a new job, so they can only tell you what they think you should do.
And in most cases, it’s not what you actually should do.
I’m not saying these people don’t know anything. I’m sure they know the fundamentals.
What I am saying is that well-intentioned advice based on past experience doesn’t entitle someone to be an expert about how something works today…particularly in the world of hiring.
Top red flags for sketchy resume writers and services
If you see any of this shit, run away. Don’t waste your money.
1. They write two, three, or four-page resumes
I will say this until I take my last dying breath.
No matter how much experience you have, you do not need a resume longer than one page to get an interview.
I will fight anyone who tells me otherwise.
I’ve stated my case here if you’d like to read it.
2. They use a dated resume format
If you find resume samples that look like the resume above. You need to run.
Those resume writers are using a format from 2006.
If you use this format, you will look dated, and you will absolutely not stand out in the job applicant pool.
Most of the resumes written using this format are longer than one page. That means there are too many words.
No one wants to read that much information about anyone. Stay away from this format.
3. Their resumes look like infographics
You see this all the time with online resume builders and resume templates you can purchase for $3 on Etsy.
These services bank on the fact that you don’t know how to use words to communicate your value, so they recommend using graphics instead.
They use a ton of color blocking to take up all the space on the page. They have a place to add your photo. And they use icons everywhere!
STOP buying and using these templates!
Hiring is not a contest for who has the best-looking resume. It’s a contest for who is the best candidate for the job.
Btw, if you have a picture of yourself on your resume, remove it immediately!
4. They have a million resume samples on their website
Resume factories that have a ton of samples on their website rank higher in search results.
So, for companies who have to make payroll by bringing in a ton of new customers, they have to provide a lot of samples so that you think they have a writer for your industry.
Good resume writers can write for ANY INDUSTRY.
Take a very close look at these resume samples you find online and compare them across resume writing services.
They’re all using the same format (see above again), they’re copying and pasting content from previously written resumes, and none of them should be used when you’re applying for a job.
These are templates; they’re not custom resumes.
5. They have a team of writers
This is closely related to the previous point in that the companies that have a ton of writers on staff have to pay those writers.
And the best way to do that is to offer cheap resumes that are not personalized (despite what they tell you) because they need to keep a pipeline of new paying customers.
I wrote about an example of this in this blog post.
6. They don’t offer interview coaching or advice of any kind
Having the perfect resume is only the first step in a series of steps you have to take to get hired.
After you apply for a job with a great resume, what do you do when you get called for an interview?
If the resume writing service you’re thinking about hiring doesn’t offer interview coaching, don’t hire them.
A great resume writing service will teach you how to use your resume as a study guide for your interview.
And, they should be able to prep and coach you on how to interview well.
Because these resume writers are not actively applying and interviewing for jobs themselves, they have zero first-hand knowledge of the kind of crazy interviews people are being put through for a job offer.
Invest in a good resume writer
The hiring process starts with resume writing, then interviewing, then accepting an offer, and through onboarding.
A good resume writer or writing service should help you with each one of these steps in the process.
Your resume and cover letter are the most important documents to get right, so don’t put them in the hands of resume writers who don’t put their own documents in the applicant pool.
The resume writers out there who built their business 15 years ago and never applied for a single job themself after that are not people you should take advice from.
So much has changed in recruiting, in the quality and quantity of candidates, and in the interview process itself, that no one who’s been out of the game for more than 5 years is equipped to give you the best advice.
Their advice may eventually help you get a job, but it’s going to take a while…like months or years.
You don’t have that kind of time to waste.
If you want to hire me to write your resume, start the process by scheduling a free call with yours truly.