Should you pay someone to professionally write your resume for you?
I asked myself this as a graduate, and I constantly ask myself this throughout my career, especially when looking for a new job.
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After trying out ResumeWritingWorld’s free resume review service, I decided to go for their paid resume writing services and document my full experience in this article.
Is ResumeWritingWorld worth it?
Here’s my detailed ResumeWritingWorld review in full!
ResumeWritingWorld price tiers: what I went for, and what I’d recommend
ResumeWritingWorld offers 3 price tiers of service.
If you decide to go for it, I recommend either one of the top two options: Primary or Executive. I think the extras are worth it (as explained further below) – if you are going to do this, do it right.
I choose the Executive package (most expensive) for my rewrite. My reasons for choosing this package over the lower-priced ones are:
- LinkedIN Makeover – LinkedIn is really important to being hired these days, and I think having someone to properly look at and rewrite my profile is invaluable.
- Professional writers – Executive and above gets writers in the top 10%. Again, I prefer that the better writers are allocated to me. Of course this could be 100% bullshit, but I don’t think so – it’s in their interest to keep their higher-paying customers happy.
- Cover letter – I didn’t think that I would appreciate this, but in the end it was great getting something that helps word your introductory emails, even if you don’t actually attach a separate cover letter. And because I’m looking at switching to a new role type, it was useful to get specific wording that conveys that in a fast and effective manner.
What happens in a ResumeWritingWorld review process?
Once you make your order, the process is quite straightforward.
- First, you’ll be presented with a questionnaire to fill out.
- Then, you’ll need to upload your resume, if you haven’t already. I didn’t need to as I had previously done so via the initial free resume review I got from them.
- You’ll need to complete the questionnaire before they can assign a writer to you.
- Next, you’ll receive an email with next steps and timelines. I was told that the first draft would be received 5-7 days after completion of the questionnaire, but mine took about 10 days, so I’d not rely too strongly on their timeline estimates.
- Next, I’ll go through what they sent through, and my experience of the revision process.
The resume I received has completely been rearranged and rewritten from my version.
I really liked having a more marketing-based mind go through my resume and make changes and suggestions.
Of course, you don’t have to accept everything they suggest, but on the whole I found the changes quite sensible and agreeable.
Here are the main changes made to my resume during the rewrite, as well as bits I particularly liked. Of course, individual experiences may vary!
- Keyword-based profile summary: Not everyone may have this, but I had a summary section right at the start of my resume, explaining who I was and what my experience was about. The rewrite enhanced this, not just by rewriting the section but also including bullet points of my key skills. This made the section a lot faster to digest and also came across as more impressive, as the eye automatically is drawn to the bulleted list of key skills.
- Experience comes first: I’m not sure why now, but I had my education right at the front (probably because I was super-proud of my CFA qualification). The rewrite moved the education bit to the back, clearly formatted in a different manner.
- Serif formatting: I chose sans serif originally due to clear readability, but perhaps serif conveys a stronger, more senior feel.
- Less focused on structure: I’m a maths major. I was obsessed with getting everything to line up neatly on my resume, so tab spacing and bullets were everywhere. The rewrite used a more organic arrangement that still retained the information but freed up more space.
- Streamlined for snappiness: I’ve never known what to not include in my resume, so I’ve tried to pile on all the projects and deals I’ve been involved in. The rewrite cut out some of the less important stuff and focused on what they called ‘key accomplishments’, which is a phrase I like because it simultaneously conveys ‘there’s more besides what’s on here’, and ‘this stuff is awesome, it’s a key accomplishment!’.
- Condensed earlier work experiences: My resume grew organically as my work experienced increased, so I never really thought to significantly rework my earlier, graduate-level work experiences. The rewrite downsized this to an ‘Other Experiences’ section, making room for extra bragging about my more recent achievements.
- Cut out a complete section: I had a ‘Key Skills and Achievements’ section, which in retrospect is probably duplicated throughout the rest of the resume. This is now cut, with the information dispersed throughout the rest of the resume.
- A tagline for each company I worked in: The rewrite also added in a snazzy tagline for each of the different companies I’ve worked in, explaining what the company is and why the company is impressive. I’ll try to give you some examples based on my limited marketing skills:
- a large bank might get a line like ‘One of the most influential financial institutions in the market, with its investment banking division responsible for over worth of deals annually’.
- A small hedge fund, on the other hand, might get ‘A world-leading long-short fund, Company X has charted YY% growth for the past Z years consecutively, and is a five-time winner of Award ABC’.
You can see that the focus has been very much on increasing the attractiveness of the resume – making everything more readable, more eye-catching, and the content more impressive.
That was just what a boring finance guy like me needed – a marketing person to look through everything and see what would sell. Of course, your writer’s knowledge of your industry would be limited, and that’s where your feedback is important.
So, is ResumeWritingWorld worth it?
The guidelines they email to you say that you get 2 revision rounds once the first draft is sent, but on their FAQ they state that “you will go back and forth with your writer on drafts until both of you are happy with the final result”, which implies unlimited revisions.
So which is which?
My guess is that they most likely will revise as much as you need, but also want to weed out abuse from endlessly revising clients.
Apart from minor adjustments, my overall feel was that the first draft was good, but still not specific enough.
I fed this back to my writer, encouraging her to ask me for more detail if she needed it. I answered her follow-up questions and was resent a second draft.
After the second draft, I decided not to revise any further.
Overall, I found ResumeWritingWorld’s revisions useful, but only to a certain extent. The first draft probably gets to the 75% mark, and a revision to 80-85%, but no further.
But I don’t think it’s ResumeWritingWorld’s fault.
A resume is, in essence, a very personal document. I don’t think a third party can truly deliver a resume 100% to your satisfaction, but they do wonders to improve your resume from 45% to 95%.
After one revision, I think the best person to finalize the work and add the last touch-ups is myself. No writer can know the intricacies of my industry, use the right technical terms, and tune it exactly to the role I’m targeting.
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Continue to build on your resume after the rewrite
It’s really best to view your rewritten resume as a ‘nearly-there’ base to work from.
You should always review your resume and cover letter before applying for any role, tweaking it as necessary, and updating it as you accumulate more work experience.
Remember that this is just one step of getting hired
There’s a tendency to put too much effort into just your resume, and ignore that job-hunting also requires a lot of good networking and interview skills.
Be sure to always focus on maintaining good professional relationships and practice interviewing – you’ll need to rely on them as much as having a good resume.
I’m not quite sure how it works, but you may be able to get discounted pricing if you first get a free resume review.
I was offered a discount a few days after I got my resume review – and I took them up on it.
If you’d like to try looking out for a discount, try going for a free resume review first, and watch your inbox for a few days after you’ve gotten your resume review.