Yes, there are resume mills, or resume factories. Just like there are hamburger factories.
Each runs their raw materials through a meat grinder and each spits out a high
volume of product that pretty much all look alike. --David Alan Carter
How cheap is the $50 resume...
if poor writing quality adds 6 months to your job search?
and outside opinions regarding resume mills.
Good Factories, Bad
I have nothing against factories. Factories make wing-nuts and
cell phones and Twinkies, none of which would be remotely
affordable without a process in place for mass production. And
sure, resume mills can likewise bring down the price of a resume.
The difference is, you're not staking your professional future on a
wing-nut or a Twinkie. At least I hope you're not. With a resume,
you very likely are.
"I Are A Professional
Resume mills, as they are known in the industry, are boiler
rooms or networks employing inexperienced and low-paid contract
workers, often students and workers from other countries. For
particularly cheap services catering to an American audience, it's
not uncommon to find such resume writers lacking even the most
rudimentary command of the English language.
Raw Materials for the Resume
Because the pay is so low, the goal is to cobble together a
resume as fast as humanly possible so as to move on to the next
project. Gathering detailed information from a client is time
consuming and therefore a thing to be avoided. Hence, you won't
find the writers at resume mills conducting in-depth telephone
interviews with clients. Rather, you'll see--at most --an online
questionnaire and a plea to upload your existing resume. That
existing resume is typically updated with a few bits of information
from the questionnaire, mashed into a standardized template and
fluffed up with a few "action verbs" that may or may not bear any
resemblance to the actual client behind the resume.
Please read What Should A Resume
Cost? for more information on why you should avoid
resume mills, and what a decent writer will typically charge to
provide a level of personalized service necessary to craft an
How To Spot A Resume Mill
Prices are too good to be true. From my
perspective as a former professional resume writer, that would
almost certainly be any resume priced between $50
No phone consultation is offered. Information
is gathered solely via an online questionnaire and/or your existing
uploaded resume. Without the thorough information mining that comes
from a telephone or in-person consultation, the resume writing
process is hamstrung before it begins.
Examples of their work are either not available
on their website, or they're available--and unpersuasive. If
samples are there, be on the lookout for excessive graphics,
oddball fonts, and pat phrases on the resume that could apply to
Contact with a live person is difficult if not
impossible. On a related note, look with suspicion at any
company that doesn't provide a complete mailing address on their
Better Business Bureau scores are low. Resume
mills generate lots of complaints, driving BBB scores down.
Speaking of the Better Business Bureau, we've listed the major
players in the world of online resume
writing on our home page, ranked by their respective BBB
scores. The resume mills are pretty easy to spot.
They tend to be, well, toward the bottom of the list.
Best of luck,
David Alan Carter
"Billions and Billions
Served." Sure, that's the mantra at
McDonald's. But the mass production that
has proven so successful for hamburgers
doesn't really work for
50 to 1,000. That's the number of resumes that
flood into a single job opening. Of those, 5 or so
will generate an interview. That gives you an
indication of just how good your resume needs to
What Others Have To
There are many skilled, credible résumé writers
who will treat you and your career with respect and
care. You'll know them because they will spend a
lot of time talking with you to assess what your
talents and abilities are so they can best present
them to the companies you want to work for.
But if a résumé writer relies only on forms that
you fill out, think again. Are you paying to fill
out forms, or for help interpreting your skills so
you can be portrayed accurately on a piece of
“Not all resume writers are created equal,” said
Kelly Donovan, a Los Angeles-based career
communications specialist and certified
professional resume writer. “There are many typists
and secretaries who call themselves resume writers,
as well as ‘resume mill’ websites that use labor in
India to create the resumes.”
In general, Donovan recommends avoiding any
service that charges fewer than $200.
The most popular Resume Writers and Resume Writing Services on the web,
lined up and ranked according to an objective benchmark -- BBB scores.
Plus, in-depth analysis by a former professional resume writer.