A man from Glencoe called me about misgivings he was having about the resume he’d received from some online LinkedIn profile writing service. He’d paid a lot! He asked me to view what they’d done and tell him if he’d been scammed. A quick look showed the work was amateurish—like this company had hired some high school kids.
A Google search turned up dozens of bitter complaints about this company.
Resume email blasts
A woman from Kenilworth approach me sheepishly after paying thousands of dollars to a company that wrote her resume and sent it out in email blasts. They did her a huge disservice by first creating a mediocre resume that made this outstanding executive look ordinary and then sending this resume to lots of companies.
Fortunately, these bad resumes didn’t damage her reputation much. Unsolicited resumes rarely see the light of day. Many of the companies receiving the resumes weren’t companies in her field. Then, since the email list was hugely out of date, many of the resumes didn’t reach their targets at all. Further, they weren’t personalized. Who wants to get an email addressed to “Dear Hiring Manager”? Were anyone to actually read her resumes, she would be quickly passed over because of the poor quality resume.
In the unlikely event that she actually got an interview for a decent job, she most likely would have blown it. This company had done nothing at all to assist her in speaking powerfully about her skills and accomplishments. They also had done nothing to help her with networking techniques.
Their strategy was to send out all these emails and hope that some employer would call with just the right job. The advantage of this strategy is that it’s easy. You don’t have to pick up the phone and call strangers. There’s little chance of rejection. The obvious disadvantage it doesn’t work very well. She’d been waiting a long time for someone to call.
That said, email blasts can be part of a job campaign, if done well. But don’t rely on them. As we’ll discuss in another blog post, it’s important to use all the available job search tools and strategies.
Career Site Offers Resume Reviews—FREE!
One of the big career websites figured out that they could make a lot of money on resume scams. One of my Evanston clients sent them a resume we had laboriously worked on together, and they ripped it apart. They said it was awful. To be fair, a resume can always be improved. They did make legitimate points on two small things, but mostly, the advice was boilerplate. It had nothing to do with the resume my client sent them.
I saw a post on LinkedIn from a woman who lives in Glenview. She related her story about how she paid this company a lot of money to upgrade her resume. Just for fun, she decided to send them the resume they had created to get a free review. She soon got a scathing review from this company. The resume is terrible, they said, but they would be happy to fix it for her—for close to a thousand dollars.
This is not to say that free resume reviews are necessarily a scam. I sometimes offer that service myself. But I also have told a number of people that they didn’t need to spend money to upgrade their resume because they (or the person they’d hired) had done a great job.
Resumes and LinkedIn Profiles Done Really Really Really Cheap!
A man from Skokie got upset when I quoted my (modest) fee. After all, he’d seen services that will write resumes for fifty bucks. But the only way to make money on a service like that is to do the resumes and LinkedIn profiles really fast. Plug in the basics: name, company, titles, duties, and so on—and presto! The resume is done—and on to the next customer.
It takes time and expertise to dig into a client’s background to create a document that will be an asset in their job campaign.
These cheap resume people are usually not crooked; they’re just not very good.
So … You have been warned. Many companies see the unemployed as a population to steal from. Take action to protect yourself and your bank account.
- Ask for references
- Search for online complaints. Be aware, though, that any company that has been in business for a long time is likely to have a disgruntled customer or two. But if there are a lot of complaints, steer clear.
- Ask for references
- Find out if your colleagues, friends, and family might recommend someone.
- If you can afford it, get what you really need. A great resume is only about 10% of what it takes to get hired. A career coach can help with so much more:
- Creating a marketing plan
- Training in effective networking
- Assistance in developing a powerful verbal presentation
- Job interview training
- Support and troubleshooting during the ups and downs of a campaign, and
- Salary negotiations
Does your resume and LinkedIn profile need some help? How about your job search? Call us today at 847-673-0339 or send us a note.