What's Going on With Those Companies That Offer "Free" Resume Reviews?

27 Mar 2024 • 25 min • EN
25 min
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Over the years, a number of people have reached out to me with concerns about their resume – in some cases, resumes I wrote for them.   They went to a website that offered a free resume critique and got back harsh criticism that worried them.   Here’s what’s going on: Larger, so-called “resume mills” have software they run your resume through. That software is set up for the express purpose of telling you things are terribly wrong with your resume, after which they do a hard sell to get you to buy a resume package from them.   I promise you, I could send my own resume to them and they would give it a terrible score – their system is set up to make sure everyone does.   They hook you in with the “free” part – after all, what’s the harm in having them take a look at your resume at no cost?   There’s plenty of harm, as it turns out.     A second scenario you will find is where an actual human looks at and evaluates your resume.   The most common setup for this scenario is a charge for the resume critique, which can then be applied to the purchase of a resume package should you choose to move forward with that company.   In this scenario, your question SHOULD be: Who’s doing this critique? What are his/her qualifications/credentials? And would this person also be the one writing a resume for me should I purchase a package?     A third and final scenario is how I have my business structured: I take a cursory look at your resume prior to your consult with me (no charge), and let you know during the consult 3-4 issues I see with your existing resume.   And here’s the thing: The issues I find are almost always the same, which I’m going to cover next.   In other words, you may not need to spend money on a resume critique, or subject yourself to a “free” review that ends up with a hard sell.   You know whether your resume is pretty good…really great…terrible, don’t you? Either because it’s not getting the job done – interviews – or because someone who knows has told you (such as a recruiter or hiring manager).   If you want to have a professional rewrite your resume, choose wisely. Obviously, I want you to come to me – the link to my calendar to schedule a complimentary consult is in the show notes.   If you want some guidelines around what to look for and what questions to ask, pick up a copy of my “How to Assess Resume Writers,” Here’s the link:   https://bit.ly/assessresumewriter     So, what are those common problems I see with virtually every resume I am asked to take a look at?   Branding: Either there is no attempt to position you as a unique product employers will be excited to purchase, or the attempt at branding is non-differentiating. In other words, what you’ve told the employer in your branding statement is essentially a list of the minimum qualifications EVERY candidate should have to even apply for the role.   Death By Bullets: You’ve created a laundry list of job duties, each of which is bulleted, rather than a 2-3-line paragraph that succinctly tells a prospective employer what you did in each job.   Achievements: I see one of two scenarios here. Either there isn’t an achievement anywhere in sight, or there are weakly written achievements mixed in with death-by-bullets job duties that dilute the impact of those achievements.   ATS Repellent: Many resumes I see are incapable of getting the applicant a high enough score to be seen, or seriously considered, by the humans. Specific issues might include:            -Using headings that are non-traditional            -Submitting as a pdf            -Not customizing for each application            -Columns, charts, and graphs that can’t be read by the ATS            -Stacking jobs     You guys like it when I bottom-line things for you, so here it is:   -If you know you need a new resume, find the most-qualified resume writer you can afford – expect it to cost about 1% of your anticipated annual salary for the resume alone.   -If you really don’t know whether your resume is any good, it’s a safe bet it isn’t. Find a reputable resume writer like me.   -If you think your resume is fantastic and want someone to confirm that for you, DON’T use a “free” resume evaluation service. Ask me, preferably – or someone you know in the business, such as a recruiter or HR professional.     A couple of final thoughts: One of the things I frequently talk with prospective clients about is this: How high is the bar? Not everyone needs a top-of-the-line resume like the ones I create for my clients.   Also: It may not be your resume. Or at least not JUST your resume. In my consultations, I ask you questions about your entire job search including conversion rates of applications to interviews, interviews to job offers. I want to get the full picture of where your problem(s) might be – it isn’t always the resume.     Are you in the wrong job that chips away at you every day? The document and coaching programs offered by Exclusive Career Coaching will help you find a job that uses your zone of genius, recognizes your value, and pays you what you’re worth.   If you’re ready to take your job search to the next level by working with a highly experienced professional with a track record of client success, schedule a complimentary consult to learn more:    https://calendly.com/lesaedwards/zoom-meetings2  

From "The Exclusive Career Coach"

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