How to Pick the Right Resume Company

by Greg Faherty, CPRW
More and more people are turning to professional resume companiesto have their resumes written—as well they should. A professional resume will always get you more interviews than could ever get by using a resume you've written yourself, or had written by a friend.

But with so many resume companies on the Internet, how can you know if you're using one that will really produce a professional resume for you? Well, today we'll learn some tricks that will give you the best bang for your bucks. All you have to do is remember the 3 P's:Professionalism, Personal Touch, and Price.

Professionalism: First of all, before anything else, make sure your resume writer is a certified professional. You should look for one of two certifications: Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) or Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW). Of the two, the CPRW is the preferred designation. Second, look at the company's website. Does it look like a duplicate of so many others you've seen on the web, or is it designed in a serious, professional manner with sample resumes available for you to look at? Does it list the product pricing or hourly rate, or does it say to contact them for a quote? If it's the latter, beware. Finally, what do they offer? Can you get a free analysis? Do they provide free revisions/edits? Is there a guarantee of some kind? These are all things to look for.

Personal Touch: This can be harder to determine. Depending on the size of the company, the person running the business may or may not also be the writer you deal with. That's okay, as long as you can actually communicate with your writer during the process. Many large resume companies say you're dealing with a senior or certified writer, but in actuality they've farmed your resume out to a junior writer, and work is merely reviewed by a senior writer or editor before going to you. You don't want that. Insist on knowing who your writer is, and what their credentials are. And make sure the actual writer is a certified professional.

Price: Of course, as with any other product, you get what you pay for. There are resume companies out there that will prepare a resume for less than the cost of filling your car twice at the gas station. But at that price, you might as well forget quality. At the other end of the spectrum, you have companies so expensive it's like making a mortgage payment. Avoid those as well—there's a reason they're so expensive, and it has nothing to do with quality. Many of the really large companies don't actually write the resumes at all—they subcontract the work to smaller companies who employ certified professionals. That means you're paying double, because both companies have to take their share. It's true you'll get a great resume, but you could have paid half the price for the same product by going directly to the subcontractor.

Tips for Selecting the Right Resume Company
  • Do your homework: Spend some time on Google and visit a lot of resume writing websites. Weed out the ones that seem unprofessional
  • Compare prices: Check price lists and get price quotes from as many companies as you can, and learn what the low, high, and average rates are. Like anything else, you want to be near the middle, not at either extreme.
  • Get samples: If a company doesn't have samples posted, ask why. Ask if they can provide samples of their work. If they won't, consider that a red flag.
  • Get personal: Find out if you can talk or e-mail with the owner or the person who'll be writing your resume. And ask about subcontractors and certified professionals.