Any worthwhile CV/Resume services online?
October 20, 2013 3:18 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to send my CV/Resume out to a service but I don't know of any good ones. Do you know of any and is it even worthwhile?

I'm looking to polish my CV in order to apply to healthcare-related positions in the field. I was hoping to send mine to a professional who can make it stand out. I've tried my best to improve it on my own, though I hope that an objective third party can make it even better.

I looked on AskMeFi and it seems that Blue Sky Resumes and Resumes to Interviews were good choices. However, these names are relatively new to me and I don't know if it's worth signing up for. The last one (Resume to Interviews) was endorsed on many occasions on this website (all by the same person - not sure if the endorsement was genuine), but mostly slammed on the Something Awful Forum.

I guess I'm not sure of what to do. I can't think of anything else that I can do to make my CV better, but I've had it for a long time and am wondering if someone with more experience can help me with it. Any thoughts?
posted by satine to Work & Money (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know that you need a resume service. Most of them only reformat it to "look" better, they don't do much with the content because they aren't experts in every field. You are, presumably, an expert in your field - or, at least, an expert in the type of job you are looking for - and are the only one who can properly tailor your CV.

A couple of tips, though: keep it to two pages with a "references upon request". You don't want your complete work history, just the last five years, I'd say. Outline your achievements, rather than just the responsibilities and requirements of the job. Keep it clean, nicely-spaced, keep stuff like your age off it (just your name, email address, and phone number).
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:38 PM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Resume services are mostly scams, IMHO. What is some random English major going to do for your resume that you can't do yourself? Since you know what kind of job you want, sit down over coffee with somebody you trust from the industry and ask them for feedback on your resume.

The only job a resume has is to get you an interview. If somebody can scan it for 20 seconds and understand what you can do for them, it's a good resume.

Also, I second everything turbid dahlia said.
posted by COD at 5:17 PM on October 20, 2013

Who do you know? Anyone that has hired for things? An friend who is an HR person? A friend who is a hiring manager? A former manager? A friend who has a job like you are looking for? Pretty much anyone can at least give you general thoughts on your resume. I absolutely wouldn't pay someone unless that person actually was an expert in the field you are looking at and even then I probably still wouldn't pay them. Maybe buy them a six pack or something.

Also, You can leave off the "references available upon request" because duh. If I want references I will ask. That is just one of my personal resume eye rolls. If you leave it off no one is going to assume you won't provide then upon request.
posted by magnetsphere at 5:28 PM on October 20, 2013

Also, there is the resume review group here at Mefi.
posted by COD at 5:40 PM on October 20, 2013 [3 favorites]

I highly recommend Resume to Interviews (and I am probably the unnamed person you are mentioning in your post). My fiance learned about them from SA.. So I'm not going to go on and on about how great they are again, but I will definitely say that my resume looked very different both content and format wise afterwards. And I do want to note that you aren't "sending it out," it's actually a fair amount of work on your part. I mean that in a good way. They ask you to do a lot of brainstorming in the beginning, and then there are some drafts back and forth. It actually helped me understand my own work experience a lot better, which made it easier for me to talk about it in interviews.
posted by radioamy at 8:00 PM on October 20, 2013

Re: "references upon request", this really depends on the job/field. It especially depends on the work history of the applicant. Lots of people are taught to include their references on the CV, and equally lots of places couldn't care less about your references.

You want your potential employer to know that, yes, you have references. Not everyone is a trained HR guru or CEO of their own special software multinational and just so super busy constantly: some of them literally think that if you don't have any referees on your CV, it means it's because you don't have any, and the reason you don't have any is because you know you're a shitty worker and don't want to give your potential employee a way to discover this, or you don't have any because your employment history is a lie.

Many recruitment agencies, incidentally, will take your CV, strip out the personal information, and put a "references upon request" at the bottom of their reformatted candidate submission template.

"References available upon request" is also a useful reminder for the applicant - when was the last time you contacted your referees to see if they still want to be one, if they still work in the same place, if their number is still correct, if they are even alive any more, etc.?

Absolutely include "references available upon request" at the bottom of your CV, no matter who might be rolling their eyes at the other end of it.
posted by turbid dahlia at 10:23 PM on October 20, 2013

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