standard The Resume Debate: Do-It-Yourself or Professionally Written

Should You Hire a Professional Resume Writer?


It’s not an uncommon dilemma for job seekers to struggle with the decision of whether to construct their own resume or hire a professional resume writer to create one for them. This is especially true if you’re out of work and not receiving the type of responses you had hoped for when applying for positions.

job searchI’m currently going through this myself. I realize that competition for jobs is high, but with my many years of experience and solid skill set, it’s both surprising and discouraging that I’m getting very few calls in regards to jobs I’ve applied for.

But is it that others are more qualified or is it just that my resume doesn’t stand out?

After doing some research and speaking with a few people who have paid to have their resumes done and were quite pleased, I decided to jump in and give it a shot.

I located a woman who has a huge number of stellar reviews on eBay. I chose to purchase directly through her website so that I could do an add-on to one of the packages she offers.

Since my experience is in one area and my degree is in another area, I wanted two resumes with different objectives.  Although I have a Bachelor’s degree in computer studies, I have very little actual experience in that area. For that reason, I opted to add on a second resume to be tailored towards an entry-level position in that field.

The package that I purchased plus the add-on resume cost me about $60, which I thought was very reasonable since it included 2 resumes (in both PDF & printable Word format), 2 cover letters, and thank you letters to be sent to the employer following an interview.


The Resume Process:

The whole process was really quite simple.  I imagine that most other resume writers conduct their business in a similar manner.

1) You place an order for the desired products through a website.

2) You fill out online form with details of your experience, skills, work history, etc., or simply submit a copy of your current resume.

3) Writer sends the initial draft within 3 business days.

4) You respond with any requested changes.

5) Writer sends the 2nd draft with the changes you requested.

6) You Respond with any additional changes or approve the final draft.

7) Writer sends the final product.

The entire process is conducted online or possibly by phone depending on who you hire to write your resume.


Pros of My Resume Experience:

1) The writer used a graphical resume format (that I got to choose), which looked very nice and is sure to grab someone’s attention.

2) She gave a fresh perspective to some of my job functions.

3) She focused on strong action verbs, which is important when writing a resume.


Cons of My Resume Experience:

Unfortunately, there were more cons than pros for me.

1) The writer forgot that I purchased TWO different resumes and only sent me one the first time.

2) I had nice bulleted lists of responsibilities for my job descriptions. She changed them to long paragraphs, which I feel makes it harder to pick out the important details. In addition, most employers probably aren’t going to spend time reading paragraphs.

3) I didn’t recognize the person she was describing in the resume.  This was a HUGE problem.  Instead of contacting me to clarify if she was unsure, she literally took everything on my resume out of context and made up a bunch of job responsibilities that I have never done. She didn’t just elaborate slightly, she completely morphed my duties and skills into something unrecognizable.

4) She did not make all the requested changes to the first draft and did not make adequate adjustments to the job description write-ups. She under-emphasized my most recent (and most important) job, and still over-embellished some of the others.

I ended up rewriting it myself, because it was clear she wasn’t concerned with the fact that the resume described someone else.  I’m not ok with lying on my resume. Sure, it’s great to make your experience sound good, but I refuse to outright lie.

After I corrected the format and rewrote the descriptions so they were appropriate, I sent it back to the writer so that she could adjust the other versions accordingly.

fail stamp5) Even though I stressed that the 2nd resume (the one related to my degree in computer studies) was to be geared towards entry-level positions since I did not have experience, she wrote that one as if had experience in web design, computer programming, hardware, software applications… name it, I had done it. Expect I haven’t. Fail!

6) The writer clearly rushed through finishing the final electronic versions, because the formatting was wacky in one of the files.

This shouldn’t have been an issue because I rewrote and formatted everything. All she needed to do was copy and paste it into the document.

I’m supposed to be getting hard copies in the mail. I’m anxious to see if she caught this when she printed them, or if I’ll receive copies with obvious issues that I won’t be able to hand out.

7) The printable versions in Word are horrible to look at. Definitely not something I would hand out to an employer, because to me, they don’t look professional. The shading makes them very difficult to read, even more so than if I just printed out the graphical version on a black & white printer.

8) The only way to contact the writer was by email. She did not provide a phone number. I feel this made the whole process a bit more difficult, since it’s harder to explain what you need/want via emails and document markups.


Was It Worth It?

Not to me.  Although the final colored, graphical version is much more eye-catching and looks better than the one I originally had, it must be viewed on a computer monitor or printed in color for anyone to be able to appreciate it.

Other than that and the aesthetics, there really was nothing fantastic about it.  I don’t feel it was worth it.

I did like some of the ways she worded my experience, but had I taken the time, that isn’t anything I couldn’t have done myself.

And it may be telling that in the one interview I’ve had since I had my resume overhauled, the interviewer asked about some seemingly unimportant experience that the writer had omitted from the new resume. I had a copy of the old one with me. The interviewer seemed more interested in the old resume and asked if he could keep it.

Although I’m glad I did it just to see what the experience was like, I would not pay someone for this service again.

InterviewDon’t get me wrong, I believe having a professionally written resume could certainly benefit some people.  If you aren’t good at writing or just don’t have the time, it may very well be worth the expense for you to do so.

Will it land you the job interview you’re hoping for?  Maybe….and maybe not.

But I strongly urge you to be very involved in the process. Don’t trust that the spelling, grammar, and formatting are consistent. Check these things carefully.

Also, if you don’t like the way something is worded, don’t hesitate to tell the writer that!  It is YOUR resume, and they should be willing to work with you until you’re happy with it.

If you’re someone who is intentionally TRYING to exaggerate your experience and don’t mind lying to get a job, opting for a professional resume writer may be a good choice for you as well. Keep in mind though that someone conducting an interview may be able to discern that the person they’re speaking to is not the same person presented in the resume, which may raise questions.

However, if you want an honest depiction of your experience and skills, and you’re a decent writer, you’re probably better off constructing your own resume. There are plenty of guides and templates online to assist you with the process.

After all, it is a reflection of who you are, and no one can present you quite like you can!


Written By Melissa S. | Friend Melissa S. on Facebook | Join The Forum


Is a Professionally Written Resume Worth the Expense?

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