Using professional resume writers: Cheating or a head start?

A practice that was once an immediate cause for rejection is now more acceptable to employers
A job seeker awaits an interview (Pexels)
A job seeker awaits an interview (Pexels)

Ten years ago, the use of professional resume writers was only employed by those that had something to hide — mainly those with language issues. I experienced this first hand as an External Recruiter, hiring Chartered Accountants in Australia. At the time, many of the applicants were international students from the wider APAC region where English was not their mother-tongue. For the roles in which I was recruiting, good communication skills were paramount. If I saw a resume riddled with bad grammar and spelling mistakes, it would have been rejected immediately based on the requirements of the role. So cleverly, these applicants sourced a way of trying to get through the initial selection phase — the resume screening. But once I picked up the phone to chat with them, the truth emerged.

For this reason, back in the day when we advertised roles on job boards, we always included a mandatory question for the applicant to answer. Nothing to serious but something like “What is your favourite TV show and why?” Whilst this gave us an opportunity to learn a bit more about the applicant, we were really checking two things:

1)      Did they follow the instructions given to them (important for the roles for which they were applying) and

2)      To check their communication skills — despite having employed a professional resume writer in the past, they would inevitably answer this question themselves without help and we were able to easily identify discrepancies in the language, tone and grammar between paragraphs within the same document

Fast forward to 2015

Whilst there will still be those people that require a professional resume writer to help them through situations such as the ones I described above, the times have changed and so have people’s needs.

The reality is that writing a resume has to be one of the most time consuming, boring and frustrating activities a person has to do! I too have been a candidate and know exactly what it is like. Just when you think you have done a good job, someone more experienced comes along and provides you with feedback and back you go to editing your resume for the 100th time.

Today, people use professional recruiters for several reasons:

1)      Time vs Money: Today, people are simply too time poor and the cost of using a professional resume writer makes it much more affordable to use their services

2)      Knowledge: Professional resume writers should have extensive experience evaluating and writing resumes from a recruitment perspective and so they know how a hiring manager reads a resume and what information should or should not be included in your resume

3)      Technology: Today, technological advancements means that your resume is not only being reviewed by humans, but inevitably by computer software and so your resume needs to written in a way that maximises your ability to pass these evaluation checkpoints (check out “Who REALLY reads your Resume Application?”)

4)      Objectivity: Using a professional resume writer allows them to write more objectively about you and assist you in identifying things like your unique selling proposition that will help you differentiate yourself from other applicants

Our tips on how to choose a Professional Resume Writer:

1)      Experience: Make sure that they have worked as a Recruiter (in-house or agency) rather than a “writer” — recruiters have firsthand experience evaluating resumes which writers do not have.

2)      Reputation: Check their LinkedIn profile, their blogs and their website to see if they have a positive reputation.

3)      Price: Cheap does not always equate with quality.

4)      Talk to them: By talking to a potential resume writer, you will be able to determine if they are legitimate and are someone you feel comfortable working with

For a one-off free review of your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile, please email me at

About the Author
Graeme Gilovitz has over 15 years Recruitment Industry experience & is a Director of SummitResumes, a job application specialist. Previously he was a Director of Summit Talent (a boutique Australian based recruitment agency with an international reach & client base) & has also worked in-house with some of Australia's largest companies. With a background in advertising & marketing prior to recruitment, Graeme possesses a unique perspective on communication, the recruitment process & how to ensure that you get the most out of your job search and applications.
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