Great Resumes Fast » Resume Writing Tips » 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Resume Writing Service

You’ve written your resume. You’ve sent it out and not heard anything back. You’ve rewritten your resume, and sent it out yet again. Still nothing. Writing resumes is a chore, and you are short on time and really want a new career opportunity. So now, you’re thinking you need to call in the services of a professional resume writer. So you hop on the internet and start searching for resume writing companies.

call!_5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Resume Writing Service

Your natural inclination is to check price first, of course—but that’s a big mistake that won’t get you anywhere in your career. Your wallet will just be a little bit lighter. If you’re thinking about hiring a professional to write your resume, you can’t just go with the lowest cost or first search result you see for professional resume writing services. You need to take certain precautions to avoid choosing a resume writing service that won’t help your career, or worse, may actually hurt it.

As a professional resume writer, I’ve worked with too many people who have already paid for a badly written resume—and only after writing a check do they realize they do not have an actual, effective professional resume. To get a solid, professionally written resume with your first (and hopefully only) hire, avoid making the following five mistakes during your search for a resume writing service.

Not Digging Deep

So you’ve found a Google result that looks promising, you click through, and start reading through the resume writing service’s homepage. It sounds great! They have a quick turnaround time, and all you need to do is send them your current resume to get a professionally written version back. They also claim to have hundreds of satisfied clients who have had an interview and a job offer.

Stop. Hold. Do not pass go.

Have you looked at the reviews on their LinkedIn page? Do they have actual, satisfied clients who have left them reviews on LinkedIn? LinkedIn is the first place you should look for proof of a job well done because you can be assured that the people leaving reviews are real people. However, don’t just rely on the sheer number of reviews left for a resume writer or a resume service. You need to actually read the reviews to find out more about why the client felt they had a good resume from this writer or company. Do the clients include details? Do they mention they are getting more interviews, or getting hired more quickly thanks to their professionally written resume? Do they mention how their interaction with the resume writer was? Did they get a phone consultation and a custom resume?

You can tell from the reviews both how good the resume writing service is, and if they are a good fit for you and the documents you need created. Delve into the details, and see if the writers sound like they are taking an approach that is a good fit not just for your industry and your desired position, but also for your personality and your approach to career advancement. If you’re reading through reviews and are seeing impressive results but thinking “Ugh, I would never want to do that,” or “I don’t have time to fill out a questionnaire for a writer!” then you might want to look in another direction for a resume writing service.

Sticking to Just the Reviews

Reviews are great, but they don’t tell the whole story. Once you find yourself on a resume writing service’s LinkedIn page, Facebook page, or other social media outlet, start reading through the content they share, the resume tips, and the job search advice they provide.

Even if you’re not a human resources professional, you should able to tell whether they are sharing valuable content or not. Are they providing you with applicable tips for resume writing, cover letter writing, or even interviewing? Do they share information from reputable authorities, but also provide their own insight about how to write resumes and conduct a successful job search? And—are people engaging with the content and the advice?

If it seems like other professional resume writers, human resources professionals, recruiters, or even former or current clients are engaging with the content, that is an excellent sign. It demonstrates the content is meaningful, and that the resume writing service has a presence within the career services sector and have probably spent years cultivating their experience as well as their professional reputation. That they are willing to engage and have the expertise to do so—and people appreciate hearing what they have to offer—is an excellent indication that they are a resume writing service worth paying for. But it isn’t the last factor you should consider before deciding they are the resume professional you want to pay to create a resume for you.

DO THEY USE TEMPLATES_ RED FLAG!_5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Resume Writing Service

Not Looking at Resume Samples

Content is great, and reviews are great, but if a resume service isn’t willing to share examples of their resume writing work that is a red flag. A reputable resume writing company or experienced resume writer will have sample resumes posted on their website, or make them readily available upon request.

Often, these are not real resumes, but samples of what they would write for people in certain industries or certain positions. They may be real resumes with actual information, but with things like the names and dates changed. Even though the information on a sample resume may not be real, you can learn a few key things from perusing sample resumes:

● Whether or not they use resume templates (templates are bad!)
● If they can do both chronological and functional resume formats
● If they use visual elements to get points across
● If they have a good grasp on industry keywords, C-level keywords, or the specific phrases/skill descriptions important to you
● If they tailor resumes for different industries and positions
● If they craft personal brands to market an applicant’s work experience and skills, not just list their experience

Take the time to go through the samples on a resume service’s website. It is worth the time investment. If they don’t have samples, and you are suitably impressed with everything else you have seen about them—reviews, experience, professional knowledge, the professional writers’ biographies—take a minute to send an email and ask to see a selection of samples. It is important that you look at more than one so you can see how they tailor resumes and how they use different formats. If you never hear back, or they are only willing to provide one resume example, you have your answer about whether or not you should hire them to write your resume—No.

See resume samples from Great Resumes Fast HERE.

Ask around_5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Resume Writing Service

Not Using Your Network

Not using your network is a mistake for job hunting in general, of course, but it’s also a mistake when you are searching for a resume writing service. If you are working in corporate America, I guarantee you one of your colleagues has used a professional resume writing service. If you are just starting out, and have recently graduated college, you probably have a professor, mentor, or friend of your parents’ that has hired someone to write a resume for them. Ask. Just ask people in your network. Ask people who have a job similar to the one you’re looking for, ask people in your industry, ask friends. You never know who might know who, or who had success with what resume writing company.

If you get solid answers from more than one person, do your own research to see which resume writer seems like the best fit for you. Consider their method of gathering information and getting to know you and your career goals, consider their own industry specialization or experience, and take into account all of the other information I mentioned above—reviews, shared content, etc. But when you start by asking in your network, you skip the step of vetting possible resume mills, scam artists, and low-quality writers and can go right to looking at writers you know have had some success in the past.

Go to sleep in peace. God is awake._5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Resume Writing Service

Not Making Contact

Done a lot of research, asked your network, but still not sure who to hire to write your resume? Stop browsing websites, and pick up the phone. Talk to people at the resume writing services. It is so much easier to get a real feel for a company and for a writer when you are having an actual conversation with them. And vice versa—this is why Great Resumes Fast has phone consultations with our clients before we start writing their resume!

If a company or a writer doesn’t provide a phone number for you to call to get questions answered, or never returns a call if you email them and ask for a call back, that is a problem.

When you do connect with a resume writer over the phone, ask your questions but also pay attention to the kinds of questions they ask you. An experienced resume writer will know the right questions to ask to get at what your career goals are, where you are right now in your career, and what you need from a resume writing service. Their questions should be geared toward trying to understand you and your unique situation. Every person is different, every career trajectory is different, every job is different, and that’s why every single resume needs to be different. A great resume will be a unique resume.

If you avoid these five mistakes while you do your search for a resume writing service, you will be in good shape when you do choose a resume writing service. It is well worth the time invested in research and the money invested in a quality writer to have a professional, effective resume. The future of your career depends on it. Take your time, ask questions, and be selective. Be as selective as you would be when making a hiring decision for your company—possibly even more so!

Are you tired of your resume being rejected by applicant tracking systems? I know how frustrating it is to submit your resume and receive no response. I hate seeing qualified people never break through the screening process. It shouldn’t be that way. That’s why I created this guide and I encourage you to download the FREE PDF so you can start seeing better resume response rates!

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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!


  1. […] post 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Resume Writing Service appeared first on Blog | Great Resumes […]

  2. Masscv on August 16, 2019 at 2:19 am

    Avoid these mistakes when writing your resume

  3. Ryno Resumes on October 25, 2019 at 1:39 am

    A little mistake is noticed when you’re going for an interview. So make your resume error-free.

  4. Felicia M Cummings on November 25, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    I haven’t had a professional resume in a long time. I’ve been adding on jobs myself. I’m not getting any responses at all and I’m looking for a professional. I’m in the security industry and don’t know if spending that kind of money is the right way to go. What are your thoughts

  5. careersboosters on May 13, 2020 at 6:00 am

    Details you share are really great, I like to share this post with my friends thank you for sharing this article.5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Resume Writing Service may give best options in resume writing.

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