Few things are a bigger waste of resources to job-searching marketers than a resume purchased from a professional writer.
In the professional resume writing world, there’s no shortage of individuals and agencies lining up and promising job hunters all kinds of results. They offer to create a comprehensive resume of your experience and qualifications, presumably to top professional standards in a way that impresses potential interviewers.
In general, these services are probably not necessary to make a perfectly serviceable resume for anyone, especially considering the staggering amount of general advice, examples, and best practices readily available for free at your fingertips. But for marketers in particular, a paid-for resume isn’t just unnecessary; it can actually be detrimental to your job hunt.TWEET THIS: For marketers in particular, a paid-for resume isn't just unnecessary; it can actually be detrimental to your job hunt.
Whether you’re a time-tested veteran looking to make a big career move, or a recent graduate trying to break into the industry, your resume is too important to put in the hands of anyone else. Here’s why you should take the responsibility on yourself to craft a strong, personal and candid resume rather than pushing the work off to others:
1. Matching Your Application with Reality
A resume is an incredibly personal document: it tells readers not only about your past, but what you¸ specifically, think is most important about it. That’s valuable.
When you use a professional resume writer, you’re letting someone else take over that aspect of the job application process. The person represented by that resume isn’t you; it’s a sterilized, manicured copy that doesn’t display the real deal. That copy doesn’t speak like you. It doesn’t have your experiences or personality.
Using one of those carefully tailored, impressive resumes can effectively get you into an interview. But once you get there, your interviewer will most certainly notice the discrepancy between what’s promised on paper and the person on the other side of the table.
Even if the interview goes well, no one likes feeling misled. And if you can’t be trusted to be completely honest in a first impression, why should they trust you to be reliable once you get the job? You’d be better off with an average-but-accurate personal resume than an impeccable misrepresentation.
2. Putting Your Most Important Skills on Display
When you’re applying for a marketing job, your resume is your first opportunity to show off your marketing ability. After all, you’re essentially marketing your talent, time and personality to the potential employer.
You should be able to transfer many of your marketing skills to craft your resume: from audience targeting to personalization to creativity and more. And though good copywriting skills are helpful, they’re not essential to a strong resume (but good, consistent grammar is).
You know yourself, your product, better than anyone else. If your experience and talent aren’t enough to market yourself, an organization probably shouldn’t trust you to market their brand.
3. Treating Your Wallet Kindly
Resume-writing services vary widely in cost from modest to outrageous. You’ll generally get what you pay for in terms of outright quality, adherence to best practices and amount of mistakes. An entry-level resume from professional writing firms can easily cost over $200, and the price tag jumps to around $500 for a marketing executive search resume.
That’s a hefty price to anyone. But even if the service “only” cost you $20, you’d still be overpaying. No amount of money can cover up the fundamental flaws of a resume that’s not written by you.
4. Personal Triumph
A job opportunity should be seen as a challenge to be overcome—not an obstacle to throw money at.
As with most things in life, you’ll gain much more satisfaction from working a job you earned through your own dedication and capabilities than if you let someone else do the hard work for you. And if you’re not getting the job for some kind of personal satisfaction, you’re probably on the wrong career path.
5. One Resume Won’t Cut It
A resume writer might provide you with one fairly strong, if somewhat generic and inauthentic, resume.
But if you’re actively job hunting, you don’t need a single standard resume to submit with all your applications; you need multiple resumes customized for each job. Various organizations and marketing or advertising recruiters will value certain aspects of your marketing qualifications differently. Just like you know you should customize marketing messages for different audiences, so too should you be optimizing your resume on a case-by-case basis for the most success.
If you’re constantly having to rearrange, supplement and trim your resume for different jobs, a purchased resume becomes even more of a waste.
What to Do Instead
So what should you do if you’re not confident in your resume-writing skills but make the right decision to tackle the challenge anyway? Here’s what Laszlo Bock, Google’s SVP of People Operations (their fancy name for HR) suggested when asked if he recommended professional resume writing.
He makes some great points and offers a great place to start.
You can also use one of our many resources on marketing resume writing: