As an executive resume writer and career coach, I’ve run into quite a few people who have been scammed by con artists. This includes resume/LinkedIn services and other job search companies.
It’s sad, but some companies have stooped to ripping off the unemployed. After all, they’re vulnerable and often desperate, so why not take their money?
Unfortunately, it has led some to conclude that career professionals are generally not to be trusted.
The $800 Executive Resume Writer Ripoff
An Evanston man called to ask me about the $800 resume he’d gotten from some company he’d found online. “Was I conned?”
I asked him to email the resume, as the price alone didn’t mean anything. After a quick glance, I had to tell him, “Sorry, but yes. You were conned.” The resume looked like a high school student had written it.
I asked the name of the company, looked them up on Google, and found a horrifying number of complaints.
The Email Blast Con
A woman from Skokie came to see me for some job interview coaching after paying a company $3,000 to write her resume and send mass emails to companies. It sounded like such an easy way to get a job.
But many of the companies emailed were out of her geographic area—and she didn’t want to move. The emails weren’t personalized—a major turnoff. Who reads emails addressed to “Dear Sir/Madam?”
And who knows who in those companies actually received the emails. I doubt any hiring decision maker ever saw those resumes. If they did get through to the right person, the resume was amateurish and would’ve been deleted instantly.
Worse, this company hadn’t helped this woman with even the most basic preparation. She wasn’t able to articulate her skill set. She couldn’t tell me even a single coherent story about her accomplishments. She had no networking strategy.
Apparently, she was just supposed to wait for an employer to call her with a great job. Bad idea!
Resume Writing –We’ll Review Your Resume—Free!
A company that runs one of the big career websites started to offer free resume reviews. It was appalling. One of my clients sent in the resume we’d developed after many hours of work. The resume reviewer said it was terrible, and offered to fix it—for a fee of several hundred dollars.
Now, I believe that any resume can be improved. The resume reviewer did point out two legitimate, but small, items for improvement. But as I read through the scathing review of this resume, it became clear that this was a standard letter. Much of what the reviewer said had absolutely nothing to do with my client’s resume. The feedback was mostly formulaic.
Company trashes their own resume
More on the free resume review company.
After paying this company several hundred dollars for a “major resume upgrade,” one woman decided to do an experiment. She submitted the upgraded resume back to the company, asking for a free resume review.
As she suspected, the company trashed the resume they had created for her. They provided a long list of needed improvements and recommended that she pay them hundreds of dollars to fix it for her.
Just to be clear, I’m NOT saying that any company that offers a free resume review will scam you. Many reputable places do this.
Looking for resume help? Check out our resume page. We do resumes right–taking the time to do an indepth interview so you don’t forget–or understate–the great things you’ve done. Or call 847 673 0339.
Ultra cheap resumes
Some places offer ridiculously cheap resumes. They will write them for $75 … $50 … I’ve even seen them as low as $25. Well, you get what you pay for.
Usually, they will put your name, contact info, and an outline of your work experience into a template. Presto! They’re done.
Typically, they won’t take the time to do a good interview to dig into your background and accomplishments to learn how to sell you and create a resume that stands out. Or they may not know how to do that.
Compared to the $800 resume scam, these people seem relatively harmless. EXCEPT that they can cost you a bundle in the long term. You might be using this weak resume for months–and making a poor impression–before you figure out that you need to upgrade the resume.
Some of these people are not dishonest. They are amateurs, just trying to make a buck. All you need is a computer and a printer and you have an executive resume writing business.
How Do I Avoid Being Scammed?
- Do an internet search to see if you can find complaints about the company. If there’s a complaint or two, that’s not necessarily bad. Most every business has had a disgruntled customer here and there.
- Ask for references and see what you hear from a couple of their customers.
- Ask to see samples of their work. Of course, this is not helpful to those who don’t know a good resume from a mediocre one.
- Friends, co-workers, and others may know a good executive resume writer. Ask them.
- Be sure to get the help you really need. A lot of people think once they have their resume written, they’re done. In fact, the resume is just the beginning of the job search. Other important elements include: your LinkedIn profile, your verbal presentation, marketing plan, networking, job interviewing, salary negotiations, and guidance and support through the ups and downs of a job search.
In summary, there’s no shortage of people who want your money. Many of the executive resume writers are good and reputable. Some are well-meaning and honest, but not skilled. And there are con artists who get rich by providing lots of hype and terrible services. Beware!
Are you struggling with your resume? Is your job search stalled? Not sure where to begin? Call for a no-obligation conversation 847 673 0339 — or send us an email.