You’ve Seen the Ads: What’s it Really Like to Work for Online Resume Writing Firms?
By Sandra Lim, CPRW, CECC, CWPP
We have all seen those ads for Certified Resume Writers placed by ResumeEdge.com, CareerPerfect.com, and other online resume writing firms.
There are many such resume writing firms proliferating on the Internet, but I limited my comparison to a selection of firms that are affiliated with industry resume writing associations. These companies include: CareerPerfect.com, ResumeWriters.com, ResumeEdge.com, RealGoodResume.com, and e-resume.net.
Not only do we have fellow members from these firms, but possibly those among us work as subcontractors for these firms as well – the advantages being increasing and maintaining consistent revenue, greater control over scheduling, and focusing on preferred fields.
This article researches the various firms and compares them on their price points, packages, process, guarantees, whether they use certified resume writers, etc. The article does not intend to judge the merits of the different firms, but simply to provide comparative data and perhaps draw interesting conclusions.
ResumeEdge.com seems to operate on a different business model – offering not just Resume Writing services, but lower-cost options: Resume Editing, Cover Letter Creation (not part of a package), and Resume Tailoring (available exclusively to previous ResumeEdge.com resume editing and resume writing customers to target a specific industry or occupation.) ResumeEdge.com also offers higher-end Curriculum Vitae Editing and Curriculum Vitae Writing, which can be bundled with Cover Letter Creation services.
Most of these firms, with the exception of RealGoodResume.com and e-resume.net, also offer corporate services. CareerPerfect.com and ResumeWriters.com offer corporate services for outplacement and co-branded web portal private label resume writing services. CareerPerfect.com also offers career development programs. ResumeEdge.com provides employees with resume preparation / distribution, electronic / web resume creation, career planning and coaching, a 60-second infomercial strategy, job and recruitment research, and 24/7 customer support.
How is client information gathered?
Not all the firms use questionnaires to gather information to write the resume – some favor telephone consultations, but all use email communication.
CareerPerfect.com: Questionnaire and email communication. No phone consultations.
ResumeWriters.com: Resume writers receive the client’s existing resume (in ASCII text), and use email communication. Phone consultations are used only when requested by the client.
ResumeEdge.com: ResumeEdge.com’s process involves a questionnaire, phone consultation, and email communication.
RealGoodResume.com: RealGoodResume.com’s information gathering process does not use a questionnaire – the interaction is by phone or in person (the company is located in Cary, North Carolina). It is also is very unusual that RealGoodResume.com offers telephone consultations of UNLIMITED length.
e-resume.net: Clients fill out an online form or attach a resume, and a resume writer will initiate a phone consultation.
Will you be required to use set templates or styles?
CareerPerfect.com: Use of various templates provided by CareerPerfect.com is REQUIRED.
ResumeWriters.com: ResumeWriters.com does not use templates – the design and format is left to the discretion of the resume writers.
ResumeEdge.com: ResumeEdge.com clients have the option of choosing their own resume design from an extensive gallery, or can leave the decision to the resume writer.
RealGoodResume.com: No policy indicated.
e-resume.net: Generic templates are not used.
What kind of deadlines will you be working under?
CareerPerfect.com: First draft turnaround time is 3 business days. And although CareerPerfect.com advertises 24-hour (business day) rush service, I could not find the extra cost for the rush option anywhere on the website – until I started the order process: before checking out, I discovered that the rush fee for delivery of the first draft within 24 hours of receipt of questionnaire is $60, but the 24-hour promise excludes weekends,. (This is advantageous for subcontractors, as it may lengthen deadlines).
ResumeWriters.com: First draft delivery is promised within 72 hours. For a 24-hour rush turnaround, ResumeWriters.com adds $50 (the extra fee becomes a bonus for the resume writer).
ResumeEdge.com: First draft delivery is promised within 72 hours; however, priority service is available for a 48-hour turnaround AT NO EXTRA CHARGE.
RealGoodResume.com: It is very puzzling that there is no timeframe stated for delivery of the first draft or project completion. Since RealGoodResume.com does not even give a timeframe, I assume that there is no rush option.
e-resume.net: Same as above.
What is the timeframe for completing client revisions?
CareerPerfect.com: The resume writer will complete 2 rounds of revisions within 10 business days of receiving the first draft.
ResumeWriters.com: Revisions are completed by the resume writer within 7 days of the client receiving the first draft.
ResumeEdge.com: The client may follow up with any questions and request additional revisions for 7 days after receiving the career document or critique.
RealGoodResume.com: No policy indicated.
e-resume.net: No policy indicated.
How are subcontractors hired and compensated?
CareerPerfect.com and ResumeEdge.com appear to be the ones actively recruiting subcontractors through advertising. Although online resume firms hire subcontractors for the actual resume writing work, in most cases, subcontractors must act as agents of the firm, and under no circumstances can clients know that the subcontractor is the proprietor of their own resume writing business. To facilitate this image, usually the firm usually provides the resume wrier with a company email address and access to a company system to retrieve and send emails and client documents.
A difference with ResumeWriters.com’s procedures is that the client works directly with the subcontractor (i.e., a resume writing business owner). Although they are still required to represent themselves as a ResumeWriters.com writer, the subcontractor and client email and telephone each other directly.
e-resume.net operates on a completely different business model – instead of hiring resume business owners as subcontractors, client work is performed by employees of the company. Prospective staff writers are evaluated based first on their work experience. All writers hired have had successful real-world business backgrounds before joining the company in addition to their college degrees, including management, marketing, advertising, accounting, engineering, IT, and sales. Business language writers and grammarians are also on staff. e-resume.net then ensures that each writer is properly trained / certified and possesses the necessary writing skills to meet the firm‘s and clients’ standards. Only after months of evaluating a writer’s work are they entrusted to participate on actual finalization of client work.
CareerPerfect.com: Applicants should forward 3 work samples to firstname.lastname@example.org (mention Bridget referred you).
ResumeWriters.com: Applicants should send their own resume plus work samples to email@example.com.
ResumeEdge.com: Go to parent company CyberEdit.com and click on Jobs – a lengthy job description and pay estimate is provided (however, looking carefully under the service guarantee, it states that “Writers are compensated based on the satisfaction ratings submitted by customers”). Resume writers available to receive jobs on the weekends are preferred. Using the link provided, applicants should submit their own resume (as a Word attachment), cover letter, and one “before” and “after” example of a resume they have edited or written. After review of the submission, writers will be emailed with the full evaluation materials. Applicants are instructed not to follow up by phone or email until they have been selected to take the full evaluation.
RealGoodResume.com: No information provided.
e-resume.net: See above. Does not hire subcontractors. No indication of how to apply as a staff writer.
Sandra Lim, CPRW, CECC. CWPP has been MBTI®–qualified and a member of APT since 1997. She is the President of A Better Impression (www.abetterimpression.com) in Toronto, Canada. Sandra can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2006. A Better Impression. All Rights Reserved. Published in the Career Directors Career Bytes newsletter (4/26/06). Reprinted by permission by Career Professionals of Canada.