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Shopping for a Resume Writer

Published Thursday Feb 7, 2019

Author Lisa Rangel for LinkedIn

Shopping for a Resume Writer

At the start of the new year, professionals may be dusting off their resume and taking a look around for new opportunities. Lisa Rangel, LinkdIn contributor and moderator offers advice for those seeking to hire a professional resume writer.

Everyone says to research before you buy and check references before you hire. And this is sound advice. But what are you supposed to do when the recommendation and testimonial landscape is so noisy and inflated to sift through the muck to find real information that helps you make your decision to pull the trigger on a hire or investment?  It’s time to put on our critical thinking caps. You are only going to get this information through evaluating multiple sources. 

And I am going to break this to you now...after finding information from multiple sources, you will be able to make an educated decision, which is not to be confused with having 100 percent certainty it’s the right decision and being absolved of all responsibility for the decision because you have researched it.

In the world of executive resume writing, this is extremely pertinent. Why? The resume writing industry is an unregulated industry and the barrier-to-entry is low. Anyone anytime can hang up a virtual shingle and say they are a resume writer. I hate to say it, but it is true.

So you can’t solely depend on lists like “Best Executive Resume Writing Services” and designations like “#1 Resume Writer” because there isn’t an official, unbiased entity in this industry that doles out those all-encompassing awards/titles in any formal capacity. In fact, many are self-appointed titles by the resume writer themselves.

So what’s a resume writing service buyer to do? 

One suggestion for prospective clients is to do forensic research in a few different ways. One way is to look at LinkedIn Recommendations in a different way than you have ever done. Look at them in a qualitative way. 

Here are some suggestions to see if the writer you are considering will bring you results, and not just write you a pretty document: 

  • Are the people giving the recommendations actual clients of the resume writer or associates from networking groups who never used the service? You clearly want recommendations from actual clients.
  • Look at the profile of the person giving the recommendation and the recommender’s timing. Did the person give the recommendation after actually landing a job (meaning the resume worked) or did they just say it was great working with the writer—but they don’t show results through a recent job change on their profile?  Make sure the recommender actually landed a job from hiring the writing service and didn’t just exchange pleasantry recommendations that are meaningless.
  • Look at the position of the recommender. Is it similar to yours? A successful resume writer in marketing leadership may not be successful doing tractor driver resumes and vice-versa.
  • Call/email the recommender. Will they call back and if so, what do they say? Again, ask qualitative questions about the writer’s work flow practices, communication style, and expertise in your area. Not every writer is meant to serve every background. 
  • LinkedIn recommendations are the hardest to fake and easiest to discern as flimsy. While you don’t get to see dissenting reviews on LinkedIn, evaluating the positive ones to see if they are applicable to you is valuable. Just because a review is good, doesn’t mean it’s good for YOU.  And the other way around, too. All negative reviews are not indicative of bad service anymore, as demonstrated by herd mentality review bombing that has happened to businesses in the news in recent years. And many third party review sites don’t let you evaluate the quality of the recommendation giver.  Quality of the good or bad review matters as much as the take the time to pull back the virtual curtain and look.

For more tips check out:

It’s always buyer beware in every industry. But hopefully the steps above on how to pull apart LinkedIn recommendations and the link to more research tactics will help you make an informed, confident decision. And if you want to check out my LinkedIn Recommendations, here is the link to my LinkedIn Profile:

Lisa Rangel, Founder and Managing Director of, LLC (a Forbes Top 100 Career Website), is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, Job Landing Consultant & 13-year Recruiter. Lisa is also a paid moderator for LinkedIn’s Premium Career Group, which has 1,300,000+ members. 

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