A friend told me yesterday that the guy she’s dating plans to join an outplacement firm that specializes in writing resumes for recently downsized job seekers. I couldn’t imagine making a decent living doing something that people should work through on their own with help from friends and the many online resume writing services, such as Resume-Help.org. Most provide free advice and templates, but then charge anywhere from $9.95 to $695 or more for individualized help.
Later in the day, my wife called my attention to a New York Times article about professional resume services. Actually, it’s a first-person account by reporter Alina Tugend who mentions the criticism she received after admitting in print that she helped edit the college admissions essays of a friend’s daughter. Alina properly points out the difference between helping someone edit an essay or resume vs. actually writing them.
There’s nothing wrong with seeking second or third opinions about your resume, but you potentially could lose your personal “voice” if you turn the actual writing duties over to others. Not too long ago, I heard about a job applicant who couldn’t explain something on his resume, and he dug a deeper hole by saying the bullet point was added by the woman who wrote his resume.
“There’s nothing wrong with another pair of eyes,” the Times quotes Barmak Nassirian of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. “The problem is when they cross the threshold of authenticity.”