Professional Resume Service Worth It?

I really need a new resume and I’m having problems. I’ve changed careers a few times and I have gaps in my employment when I didn’t work.

Is it worth it to go to a professional resume service? If so, can anyone recommend one? How would I go about finding a good one?

It depends. I’ve done it once and used that resume for quite a while with a few changes. However, there are enough software programs that can make a decent resume. Since most resumes are scanned and looked at for the correct keywords, I’m not thinking that it may be worth it.

Was it expensive to get it done?

I went through a long, fruitless search for a job as a librarian, had my resume reworked by a service, and found a job not long after – but that was not a controlled experiment. I might have found the job with my old resume, as I had racked up experience in a couple of part-time library jobs by that time, and ultimately found work with a public library system that had expressed some interest in me (based on my old resume) but was under a hiring freeze for a long time.

I need mine reworked. I have job experience, but not for the type of job I’m looking for.

You can go to free government-based job hunters’ places (I believe you have them in the US) and get help. Or you can find a zillion or so sites online to show you how to create a great resume.

I think you are going to have to figure out how to spin this - a resume service won’t. Even if they can do something, you’re still going to have to explain it in an interview.

And listen to dalej42. Unless you have a direct contact in a company (still the best approach) most resumes in big companies go into databases, where people pull them out by keyword. I suspect you’ll know the keywords better than a service.

I’ve never used one, but a friend of mine in the same industry did and he said the results were amazing. He got many more interviews with the new resume and said he’d use it again. I remember he said it was around $400 in San Francisco, 6 years ago.

I worked for a company that laid off a lot of people at the same time. Part of the severance package was a free resume from one of those places.

They did a decent job, but to be honest, I didn’t particularly go “wow” when I got the final version of it. I wound up changing the entire resume a few months later and I think mine looked better - and my version got me my next job.

In Spain you’re usually expected to list your whole work experience even if you’ve had 10 jobs in 40 years; at least you have to give dates and job title. You’re still told to fit it in one page, which for many people is incompatible with the previous requirement.

My experience, with all those services:

  • I hand her my resume. Two pages.
  • She says, “oh, no no, this won’t do, it’s got to be one page tops!”
  • I say “yes, I know that’s the common wisdom. Please read it and then we talk.”
  • She reads it, getting more and more stunned as she goes.
  • When she finishes, she says “you’re right, there’s no way to explain all this in less space. Specially since I would have had to ask ‘what does a XYZ do’ for half of your job titles!”
  • All they’ve ever done is tell me to change some formats :rolleyes:

The other service was an agency which sends its own resume format to people. They explain that you have to fill it up in excruciating detail, the “list of tasks for the job” for each job should list any tasks you did, even if it was “verify coworker’s spelling” or “empty the trashcan.” Then they review it to help get the right key words in. For this one I only have to list consulting jobs and still come up to 5 pages. But this one is a specialist on his field; they know the key words. Most regular agencies draw a blank when they run into titles like “Laboratory Sub-Manager, RnD” or “Senior Functional Consultant, QM.”

Email me your CV and I’ll take a look

Thank you everyone, this has been so helpful to me!

This is what I didn’t know. I have lot of experience in field no related to the job I’m applying for. I went back to school and have just a small amount of experience in that field.

Can a resume have two pages?

**Cryptoderk ** Thank you for the offer. Do you have experience in this sort of thing?

I have plenty of experience in the later stages of hiring people (ie after HR have thrown out half the CVs for spelling etc).

Perhaps a career counselor would help. A resume service, assuming it rewrites your resume, can’t answer this question - or I would be very wary of expecting them to.

I’m not a career counselor, but can you play up anything you did in your old job that is related to the one you want, or any personal activities that are related? Play up your education, of course. I assume there is some reason you’re switching. Even something about how great a field your new one is might help.

I guess this depends on the field. I almost see single page resumes, but the people I would interview would have MS or PhD degrees, experience, and at least a few publications. After 27 years of working, on top of an excessive number of degrees, mine would only be one page if I used 4 point type. But I wouldn’t want to say that multipage resumes are always okay.

Keep on reading, my IT one has 5!

When I was finishing my first “consulting” job, the company brought in a guy to tell us about writing resumes. One of the first things he said was “you’ve all heard to keep it in one single page. I’m going to tell you, for people with your kind of experience, that rule doesn’t apply.”

From what I hear, you should have the following sections:

  • Contact information (doesn’t need a header)
  • Objectives (totally optional)
  • Previous jobs in XYZ field. Describe each in detail. This is where your key words go.
  • Previous jobs in other fields. Just list them; you don’t need to list all, this is a part where you can chop off to keep the resume from becoming too long. But if you were a “manager of whatever” at some point, for example, that’s relevant. even if it was a BK. You can have a line indicating “others”.
  • Degrees
  • Other skills (languages, certificates, whatever)