Monday, September 13, 2010

WARNING! Bad Résumés Can Be Hazardous To Your Wealth! - Part One

Professional résumé writers are essentially marketing specialists of your professional profile whose job is to develop a compelling message that gets you hired.

Yes, a good résumés service will cost some money. However, when you consider that every month an ineffective resume fails to land an interview and a job is a month without a pay cheque, it might be worth the cost. If you’re talking frugal, you’re talking my language. When it comes to bargain résumés, the stated price is often just the tip of the iceberg. With all of the access to free or seemingly “cheap” résumés, a larger cost goes unseen. Here are some points to keep in mind:

Google search for “free résumés templates” returned a whopping 919,000 results if 0.33 seconds and a search for “free résumé guides” returned 8,7200,000 in 0.25 seconds. So, why bother spending your hard-earned cash for something you can get for free?

  • Cheap résumés most likely come from factories - there are resume factories just like there are wing nut factories; each spitting out a high volume of product that all pretty much look alike. While that's fine for wing-nuts, résumés, on the other hand, are marketing documents that should be individualized to each particular job seeker. A résumé factory that’s getting by on a razor thin profit margin simply can’t afford to dedicate much time – if any – to personal attention. Résumé factories ask the client to fill out a questionnaire, that information is then fed into a résumé template, and the wing nut (résumé) is spit out at the other end of the shop floor. With the job market the worst in decades, do you really want to be presenting yourself to prospective employers as just another wing nut?

  • A cheap or ineffective résumé that doesn’t land interviews gets expensive, fast. If you have been laid off or otherwise lost a job that paid $42,000 per year, and you’re simply trying to get back into the job market in that same salary bracket. By doing some simple math, that means that for every week you remain unemployed, you’re losing just over $800.00 in potential wages. Now consider that your run-of-the-mill “factory” résuméis going straight into the circular file of employers just as soon as it hits their desks; other résumés are getting favourable attention and candidates are getting called in for interviews. Now, that “cheap” résuméis costing you $800.00 per week, for every week that your phone doesn’t ring, you are not called in for an interview and you don't have a job. If you have lost a job that paid $75,000 annually, then you’re out a whopping $1,442.00 each week your résumé doesn’t score. Tack that onto the price of that $50 “bargain” résumé, and you’ll begin to get an idea of the true price you’ve just paid for a document that has a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace.

  • Look for value, not price. When you consider key factors: the credentials of the writer, the experience he or she brings to the table, the willingness of that writer to conduct an interview, either by phone or face-to-face, to fully explore your work background and goals and you don’t have to take out a second mortgage to get a résumé that’s polished, professional and helps you put your best foot forward.

  • Professional résumé writers don’t make the mistakes that other writers make. They know how to write the perfect cover letter. Their résumés always have the right mix of experience, qualifications and education. They are aware that there are an increasing numbers of job seekers and employers are using Internet-based job search engines to find and fill employment positions and understand that longer résumés are needed for applicants to differentiate and distinguish themselves.

Bargain hunt the price of coffee makers and laundry detergent and paper plates. But, think twice before bargain hunting a cheap resume writing service or trying to do it yourself.

Copyright © 2010, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved.Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2010, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of Mary Salvino.“Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career This blog is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at