Since January I have received several dozen senior level referrals from clients, especially one’s in HR administration, who have told their friends about my business philosophy “One Size Does Not Fit All.” (http://www.perrynewman.com/) After working with me they have come to understand that this is not a slick marketing slogan, but a highly effective approach to creating personalized marketing documents and social media profiles in a market dominated by resume mills fronted by job posting search engines.
Unfortunately over 50% of those referred to me have already spent from a low of $399 to upwards of $1000 to get a resume written in a style that they were told by the company’s salesperson ‘IS THE ONLY FORMAT’ that will land you job offers. After making this very costly investment and seeing minimal results they have a difficult choice to make, live with the mediocrity they paid for or try to get it right without breaking the bank. Thankfully most don’t need costly major surgury just affordable personalization.
What is striking is that I (and most people who review resumes for a living) can look at a resume from a resume mill and in less than 15 seconds tell you exactly which one it was purchased from.
Is this ESP? No. Its simple; most of these companies use one single style for all their clients to produce a resume that presents a job title, i.e. a CEO, CIO, CFO, Director of Marketing, Operations Manager, lawyer, civil engineer, purchasing manager etc. I think you get the picture.
This is not to say these resumes are not well constructed; and I must admit the wording and sentence structure are erudite and professional. The problem, in most cases, is that every CFO, CIO, CEO resume looks the same and lacks a personal touch.
What I also found strange was when I spoke to these referrals and asked them how they were referred to the service they told me it was from a free resume critique offer they accepted after inputting information to get access to the services executive level job posting/job match search engine.
They told me that after attaching a resume they received an email critique with a nice sales pitch and no guarantee. I then asked a few people to send me the critique, and I registered with a few services myself submitting a resume they wrote under a different name and email address and then noticed all the critiques were boilerplate generic with slightly different words… This is a straightforward assessment of your current resume, and not a judgment of your skills and qualifications… Here is the good news: My first impression of you is that you have an impressive array of skills and experiences. You’re a qualified (widget maker) with a lot to offer an employer. Now, here’s the bad news: Your resume and the content is not up to the standards one would expect from a candidate like you. I saw the same general remarks for a low level candidate with limited skills and experience, a mid-level manager who is mediocre at best, and an executive who was fired from his last two jobs with cause. Sound familiar.
So what can you do to avoid getting a pedestrian product for a king’s ransom?
1: Get a verbal critique of your resume, not just a cursory written email review.
2: Inquire as to the exact qualifications of the person who is critiquing your resume, and ask for specific examples of what they feel needs to be changed, why, and how they would handle it.
4. Ask how many different styles of resumes they work with, and which ones would be best for you and why.
5: Avoid layers; make sure the person who critiques your current resume is the same person who will write your new resume.
6: Your resume is not like receiving Social Services. You should be the one to choose who writes your resume instead of having someone who you don’t know and does not know you arbitrarily say “we are assigning writer XYX to your case.”
7. Ask if there is a money back guarantee of at least a partial refund if you are not satisfied with the final draft and a free rewrite if you are not getting results after a specified period of time.
8. Have someone you trust who knows you professionally look at the resume and see if it captures what makes you unique and special and then discuss their opinion with the resume writer.
9. If you want someone to critique your resume with you over the phone and tell you if it needs minor adjustments you can do on your own, major revisions, or is good as is, email a copy with your phone # to email@example.com
Perry Newman, CPC CSMS is a nationally recognized executive resume writer, career coach, and certified recruiter and social media strategist renowned for his ability to produce resume, social media profiles and job search strategies that get results. You can view sample resumes at http://www.perrynewman.com/ and email him your resume at firstname.lastname@example.org for FREE resume critique.