Did you land on this post because you searched “resume writing services”? Then your mission is to find the best resume writer for your needs.
But you may need help sorting through all the options. Worried about which services are legit and which may be fly-by-night scams providing less than acceptable services?
I offered a number of tips in a 3-part series, Find the Best LinkedIn Profile and Executive Resume Writer For You
In the articles you’ll find:
- Part 1 – Where’s the Value? The Value in Working with a Certified Professional Executive Resume Writer
- Part 2 – Where and How Do I Search? How to Find and Assess Top Executive Resume Writers, and Personal Branding and Job Search Strategists
- Part 3 – What Questions Do I Ask? What to Ask When Qualifying Executive Resume Writers, and Personal Branding and Job Search Strategists
If you follow my suggestions in these 3 posts, you’ll have the information you’ll need to make an informed decision.
But beyond my advice in those posts, I wanted to alert you to another bit of advice that will help you, as you’re doing Google research to find a resume writer to work with.
How To Distinguish Good Resume Writing Services from Bad Ones
Google search will likely offer up thousands of results for the phrase “resume writing services”. Unfortunately, not all of these results will lead you to reputable sites and/or legitimate companies.
You’re likely to land on some shady sites offering subpar services. They charge a minimal fee (as little as $10 per page or so) and promise same-day or speedy turnaround. Don’t fall for their pitch.
Think about it. Do you really think you can get a quality resume at that price and with that kind of turnaround?
Legitimate, Quality Resume Writers Can Show Up on Scam Sites
To confuse even further, truly legitimate resume writers’ names sometimes show up on these shady sites. But that doesn’t mean you should rule out these writers, if they meet your criteria otherwise.
It’s been happening to me over the past several months. If you Google “meg guiseppi”, you’ll find some of these sites, with page titles like “Meg Guiseppi Writing Services”. [I won’t include links or company names here because I don’t want to drive any traffic to their sites, or give them a valuable backlink to my site.]
Services that I have no association whatsoever with are using my name to make people think I am doing the writing, and to make them seem legitimate and credible.
I discovered this problem doing a routine Google search of my name. I saw one or two of these bogus sites starting on the fourth page of search results for my name, and didn’t think too much of it. Why it didn’t alarm me, I can’t say.
For several months I neglected to self-Google (a practice I strongly advise job seekers to do on a regular basis). When I did it again, some scam sites using my name began appearing on the second page of search results. I could no longer ignore the situation. I had to do something about it.
It took a little time to research to even figure out what this dastardly practice was called and figure out how to tackle it. Finally, I hit on Google’s Spam Report Form and I began reporting the offending sites one by one. That was several months ago, but some of the sites are still active. I suppose it could take some time for Google to get it done, or it’s possible they will do nothing about it.
Some of the things you could see on these scam resume writing services sites:
- Barely coherent content that is plastered with a writer’s name. (This is why these sites are able to rank so high in Google search results, at least until Google finds out about them and drops them from search results.)
- Images that don’t fit with the content. One of the scam sites with my name all over it has a gory photo of a shark attack.
- Various headshots of people that don’t match with the writer’s headshot you find on other sites (their company site, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)
- Super-low pricing ($7-10/page)
- No clear-cut mechanism to make a purchase.
- Overall, the site looks wonky and unprofessional. Compared to the legitimate sites you’ve come across, it’s pretty easy to see that these are not legit.
Be on the Lookout for Sneaky Redirects to Shady Sites
And, one of the more devious practices of scam sites:
When you click on the Google search result, the link sends you to an entirely different site that could be legitimate, but may not be. Also, once you look around, you find no mention of the writer you were looking for. This is called a “sneaky redirect”. Redirects pose no danger to your computer. The only potential danger to you is if you purchase their cheap products. The resume you get will do very little to help you land a good-fit job.
According to Google Search Central:
“Redirecting is the act of sending a visitor to a different URL than the one they initially requested. There are many good reasons to redirect one URL to another, such as when moving your site to a new address, or consolidating several pages into one.
However, some redirects deceive search engines or display content to human users that is different than that made available to crawlers. It’s a violation of Google Webmaster Guidelines to redirect a user to a different page with the intent to display content other than what was made available to the search engine crawler. When a redirect is implemented in this way, a search engine might index the original page rather than follow the redirect, while users are taken to the redirect target.”
This is a major problem for all kinds of professionals, and also impacts regular folks in various ways. Google is finally paying attention.
In response to several NY Times articles documenting how the slander industry preys on victims, with Google’s unwitting help, Google is changing its search algorithm.
“That is a momentous shift for victims of online slander. Google, which fields an estimated 90 percent of global online search, historically resisted having human judgment play a role in its search engine, although it has bowed to mounting pressure in recent years to fight misinformation and abuse appearing at the top of its results.”
What’s been happening to me is somewhat like the online slander described in the article above. Although it’s not a matter of slander in my case, my credibility and the reputation I’ve spent years earning is being threatened. If it’s happening to me, it’s probably happening to other reputable resume writing services.
My advice? If, in your search for resume writing services, you come across these scam sites, don’t immediately rule out a writer whose name shows up. They could be perfectly legitimate. In fact, they could be a top writer.
Google the writer’s name and look for things like their LinkedIn profile and activity on other well-known sites to see what they’re really all about and if they’re legit.