Big List Of Resume 

David Alan Carter brings an insider's perspective to his reviews of popular online resume writing services. After ranking them based on Better Business Bureau scores, Carter takes a critical look at operations, service, pricing and more.
See which resume writers come out on top.

Resume Mills - Running Your Professional Life Through The Grinder


Of hamburgers and resumes...

Avoiding The Resume Mills

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?

Fast facts,
and outside opinions regarding resume mills.

Good Factories, Bad Factories

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 Writer"

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 Mill

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 effective resume.

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 and $100.
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 anybody.
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 contact page.
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

Fast Facts:
"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 resumes. 

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 be.

What Others Have To Say:

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 paper? 

-- from Free Resume Critiques: The New Career-Industry Racket by Nick Corcodilos, author of the blog "Ask The Headhunter"

“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.

-- from Job Hunting 101: Resume Writers? Career Coaches? Are They Worth It? by
Meredith Deliso, staff writer for

One way to identify a factory is by their very low prices, as no one can make any money in this business charging less than $150 unless they have a production line setup...

Factories often use cookie cutter templates to produce a resume, so unless you are comfortable with that, find someone who will spend the time to understand how you are unique.

-- from How to Choose a Resume Writing Service by Don Goodman, a nationally recognized career expert

NOTE: This website is monetized through the use of Affiliate Programs with the online providers we review. Read our Disclosure Statement for more information on our Affiliate Relationships.

Back To Top

Jump To Big List Of Resume Writers

Tag or Bookmark Under:
Choosing A Resume Service | Resume Mills | Resume Factories