Avoid Falling for Resume Writing Scams
Recently I’ve been receiving quite a few complaint calls – not about me or my company, Top Resume Writing & Career Services. These calls are directly related to another similarly named resume writing service. I will not mention the company by name in this article (HINT: if you search through this website, I’ll bet you’ll figure out the company name on your own). My company has been operating since 2009 while the company in question launched sometime in 2014 and appears to be based in New York.
So what’s been happening is that a large number of the other company’s dissatisfied clients have been contacting me in error over the past year complaining about poor service. This is the pattern I’ve come to notice: the company’s clients receive poor service and no follow-up email response to multiple complaints (Oh-did I also mention the company website doesn’t list a phone number so email is their ONLY method of contact?).
Naturally, after several failed resolution attempts, those dissatisfied clients go to Google, searching for a company phone number, and instead find my company (which as I mentioned has a similar but DIFFERENT name) and my number instead. So I’m left fielding all of these angry calls, and am then forced to inform them that they’ve contacted the wrong company; and no, I have no idea what the other company’s phone number is. Or if they even have a phone number.
I’m honestly amazed at how often people are failing to research these companies before parting with their cash AND sharing confidential, personal information (e.g. phone number, home address, etc.). For the better part of this year, I’ve spoken to numerous dissatisfied and downright infuriated clients of this business. Now for the record, I have no personal knowledge about how this company conducts its business, about the owner, or any of the associated writers. What I do know is there are unscrupulous online operations out there waiting to take advantage of desperate job seekers. You HAVE to protect yourself.
It’s only fair that anyone thinking about purchasing resume/career services in the near future know how to protect themselves from scammers and/or poor service providers and how to find the best service that meets their needs (whether or not you choose to do business with Top Resume Writing & Career Services).
#1 Beware of the “Free Resume Critique” Offer
At the very least be wary. From 2009-2010, a popular, high-profile career service catering to senior executive and C-level, 6-figure job seekers was accused of baiting job seekers into purchasing their services by offering complementary resume and cover letter critiques. The problem: everyone received the same canned form letter response. So yeah, that’s a scam.
Now to be fair, free critiques are a tricky thing because they can tell you what’s “wrong” but don’t usually offer much in terms of solutions. Still, a real (free) critique should at the very least address specific problem areas and explain clearly and concisely what’s not working and why.
Wondering whether the resume critique you received is real or a scam? Check out this revealing article (and a copy of the mass critique form that’s being passed around…) by reknown headhunter, Nick Corcodilos: Free Resume Critiques: The New Career-Industry Racket.
#2 Make Sure the Company You Pick Provides More Than One Method of Contact
Call me old school, but when I spend my hard-earned money, I like having a phone number I can call in case I have a problem or urgent question. Like most people, I’m busy and appreciate the convenience of email communication, but I wouldn’t be completely comfortable with email only contact. Also, somethings are hard to communicate via email. I don’t know, maybe that’s just me.
#3 Check the Certification Status
The company in question claims to have CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) certification from the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC). Except they don’t. It’s simple to confirm this information yourself by contacting PARW/CC president, Frank Fox directly. I’m sure you wouldn’t hire a contractor to renovate your kitchen or bathroom without confirming their license, insurance, and bonding was current, right? Always, always follow up and confirm any claimed credentials for yourself. (UPDATE: I’ve been informed that this company recently removed the CPRW certification logo from their website)
SIDE NOTE: Some professionals have been in the resume writing and career services game since the early 1980s-waaaaay before resume writing and other career-related certifications were even available. These guys are great at what they do and just never saw the need to obtain certification (experience and results trumps all that anyway). Certifications were put in place to establish industry best practices and a standard of ethics and performance.
#4 Analyze Company Reviews
Like you, I rely on reviews from other consumers when deciding whether or not to spend my money with both offline and online businesses. Unfortunately, some companies participate in the unethical practice of posting fake reviews; so you can’t always take reviews at face value. Now let me be clear-I honestly believe the majority of companies out there are running honest operations and don’t stoop to these shady tactics; but unfortunately there are some bad apples out there.
How can you tell if the reviews you’re reading are the real deal? If you’re seeing mostly five-star and one-star reviews, something’s definitely fishy. Companies don’t usually receive one-star AND five-star reviews without a few three-stars and four-stars in the mix. Scrutinize the comments and the profiles of the people making them carefully. Still unsure: These tips can help: How to Spot Fake Reviews.
#5 Check the Better Business Bureau Rating
Let me be clear-there are lots of excellent businesses out there that are NOT Better Business Bureau-accredited. Still, the BBB is a good place to start because there are very specific standards that a business must meet to become and remain an accredited member. Rating scores are determined by consumer feedback.
#6 What If You Don’t Get What You Paid For?
Start by contacting the company directly and make an effort to work out any issue. Best case scenario: you’ll get what you paid for; worst case: you’ll have a paper trail proving that you’ve made an effort. If the company is a member of the BBB, the next step is to contact the BBB and ask them to mediate on your behalf.
If the business in question is not BBB-accredited, contact your bank or credit card company (if you paid by bank or credit card) to initiate an investigation. Some companies will freeze the funds and then refund your money if the investigation proves your claim.
Now be honest… is the resume and cover letter you’ve been submitting for jobs getting you noticed? Are you receiving invitations to interview? If you answered “no,” we should talk. Contact me by phone: 1-866-562-0850 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for a NO COST, NO OBLIGATION 15-minute consultation.