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Why Executive Resume Services Get a Bad Rap

by Kim on September 18, 2015

Wrong Advice…Incorrect Grammar…Poor (non-proactive)Writing Style…Duty-Driven vs. Achievement-based…no Site Owner Name…no “About Us” page… a new site (check “Whois.com” to see when the site was launched)….no samples, or worse, samples that don’t impress…high pricing (thousands of dollars)…”team” of writers. If you see ANY of this terminology while reviewing executive resume writing sites, you need to stay far, far away.

After nearly 20 years in the executive resume writing business, I don’t know why I’m still surprised to see so many supposed “professional” resume writing services still offering shoddy work at exorbitant prices, especially after reviewing their representative bodies of work. If there’s nothing I hate more, it’s being ripped off by a service provider in any industry, especially since I’m in an industry that frequently gets a bad rap primarily because there are very few executive resume writers that can produce career marketing documents that actually work.

Unfortunately, many consumers don’t know much about resume writing or what their resumes should convey; many executives are still using formats they learned in college, and for most of them, their college days were 20 or 30 years ago, when all anyone knew about resumes was that they led with an objective statement followed by a list of duties. Sadly, that format is severely outdated and never did work, yet there really are no viable “courses” or lessons on how to write an effective resume. Unfortunately, most of what you can read on the internet in terms of resume writing is just plain wrong and even nonsensical.

About every month or so, I like to do some market analysis of my own by reviewing other resume writing services, especially after hearing from a potential client who just spent over $1,500 for a resume that looked like it was written by a ninth-grader. It incenses me, not only because this person now has a resume that he/she can’t use, but because it’s one more person who is out a lot of money who is now wary of any other resume writing service.

Today I stumbled upon a specific resume writing service which I’m not familiar, and after reading some of the site content, I could only roll my eyes in frustration, knowing instinctively that people have been likely paid for new resumes that will not generate the attention they deserve. Here are just a few examples of shoddy, ineffective work taken directly from some samples.

  • Charged with priming the organization for profitable acquisition through application of change-catalyst leadership. (Huh?? What does this even mean? What is “change-catalyst” leadership in this context? Was the organization actually acquired? For how much? What was this person’s role in the acquisition? How did this person make a difference?)
  • Helmed one of the most critical networks in the U.K. Financial Services Industry, supporting worldwide financial institution transactions in the London Square Mile. (Ok. Where are the achievements here? Numbers? Productivity Improvements? What was the “critical network?” This tells the reader nothing.)
  • Pragmatic thinking, developing evidence-based business plans backed by swift action in operationalizing, commercializing and transforming business units into profitable company assets. (This was a client profile – this was all it said and the first thing the reader will see. Looks like gibberish to me and certainly does not tell me much about this candidate)

 

And yet, the site promises this: “We are not interested in producing just ‘another resume’ within a few days. What we offer is a collaborate process that produces what we call careergraphies. (What is careergraphies?) Career narratives that speak to whom you are, what you do best, and what you promise to deliver!” I suppose that the site thinks the term “carrergraphies” should impress readers.

First of all, they should be offering a “collaborative” process, not a “collaborate” process. Secondly, none of what they “promise” to offer clients is conveyed in those bullet points above. Unfortunately, the sample of the resume LOOKED nice, but the content was terrible and certainly did not position the client well in terms of achievements and/or the value proposition offered. This service charges between $1500 and $3400 for a resume, and $350 for a cover letter….what a shame. A quick “Whois” search shows that the site only started up in 2009, and the site does NOT even mention the name of the writer. This writer also claims to have a Master Resume Writing certification, which completely surprises me based on all of the samples I reviewed.

While I should find some of this humorous, I can’t quite laugh because people spend good money on their executive resumes, only to find that they made a poor investment when they discover that their interviewing opportunities have not increased.

Unfortunately, I could spend hours reviewing “competitor” sites only to sadly discover that they are not really professional resume writers at all. However, if you do the same, and really dig into what a resume writing service offers, you should be able to discern who is the real deal or not. Please don’t hesitate to contact me for a confidential and free executive resume review.

 

 

 

 

Today’s executive resumes are much more informative, with a focus on one’s value proposition, also known as “branding.” There are hundreds of articles about “branding – what it is, and why you should use it – that it’s easy for someone to become overwhelmed as to how effectively convey their own distinct brand within their executive resume.

Many resume writing services claim to

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