Scam: a swindle, fraud, or confidence game – Webster’s New World Dictionary
Advancing your career is critical. Paying for a skilled LinkedIn profile, resume, and digital cover letter writer makes sense. It’s a complicated, radically evolving, high-tech, tedious grammar endeavor that most professionals embrace with the same enthusiasm as getting a cavity filled at the dentist. Prior to retaining a resume writer, be sure you don’t fall victim to a scam. Low price offers are likely to be too good to be true.
How to Determine If a Resume Writing Service Might Be a Scam
Prices for resume or LinkedIn profile writing can range from $49 to $3,000. Be suspicious of a cost less than $299-$399 for resume or Linkedin profile writing. After subtracting for taxes, credit card processing fees, overhead, marketing, profit margins, etc., low-cost services like TopResume only pay their outsourced writers approximately $20 for the entire job, not per hour. You need to invest more than $20 in growing your future career earning potential.
Search websites that report business complaints and scams
In Google, type the company name and “reviews.” Look at the first, second, and third page of search results. You do not want to see results like this:
- TopResume has a terrible reputation with the Better Business Bureau with 247 complaints.
- TopResume has numerous scam reports filed on Scamguard.
- TopResume has terrible reviews on Quora.
- TopResume has many bad complaints on the Ripoff Report.
The breadth, depth, and source of the reviews on the website likely gives you more clues than anything else. Here are some red flags:
- Their website has embedded testimonials from fake review websites like TrustPilot where the company can reject any negative reviews and insert their fake, positive reviews.
- Reviews are limited to two or three untraceable people mysteriously named “Tony G” and Susie H.”
- No verifiable client reviews from sources that let you see the real person who posted it, such as LinkedIn, Google, and Yelp.
- TopResume and similar resume mills look promising up front, but the work quality may be uneven, which is why they do not use verifiable third-party reviews.
- Even TopResume’s free resume review feature sends the same, word-for-word analysis to different resumes that are submitted.
“Best of” Websites
Ignore websites that claim to list the top 10 resume writers for the current year or best resume writers for your city. These are either paid placements similar to advertisements or created by the company listed as number one on the list. Not surprisingly, Find My Profession’s website lists themselves as the best in all 50 cities they reviewed.
Other red flags in a resume writing service
- Ambiguous information about what, if any, humans work there. This is a clue that the “company” is just a network of freelance, overseas writers.
- No free, initial phone call (15 minutes or less) with the actual person who would be potentially writing your profile and resume if you hire them.
- Customer service that is limited to a chatbot or a call center overseas.
- No installation of the new LinkedIn profile they created, instead they only send you a list of 50 skills and a templated summary paragraph for you to install into your own LinkedIn account.
Elements of a High-Quality Professional/Executive Resume and LinkedIn Writing Service
- The opposite of the above.
- A small internal team with many years of experience in business writing, corporate business, and recruiting.
- They will share examples of their work relevant to your industry or function.
- Verifiable customer reviews on LinkedIn, Google, and Yelp that tell you what you can expect.
- Verifiable testimonials who were written by people like you, successful professionals that struggle to write about themselves.
- A list of clients employed at the top brands in business, nonprofit, and government.
- An A rating with the Better Business Bureau.
- Certification by Professional Association of Resume Writers.
- People searching for resume services focus on a writer who is physically located near them as a sign of quality and trust. It’s not. In this digital age, retain the best regardless of geography, emails all travel at the same speed.
- LinkedIn started in 2003. Klaxos invented LinkedIn profile and resume optimization in 2009. Go with the original and the verified best.