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CV-Resume Service – Considerations For You

CV-Resume Service - Considerations For You

In response to my article Hiring Managers Are Shopping, I got this great question:

“Thanks for this, Josh. I’ve been studying a great deal on the subject lately, and there really seems to be a consensus about the importance of networking. In light of that, my question may be a bit against the grain: do you have any experience or opinions regarding resume-writing services? I’ve heard (from friends, not just service providers) that they can really boost the number of callbacks you receive, which is the first hurdle that most applications never seem to clear.”

Thanks for leaving a comment, I wish more people would do that!

I don’t necessarily have a distaste for professional resume writing – but I also don’t think it delivers nearly the results they claim in their marketing materials. I wrote a bit about the resume in 5 Reasons Your Project Management Career Isn’t Moving (And What To Do About It!). In short, I think there are some simple guidelines to follow that will improve your resume and are worth the effort, but a perfect resume is far from the most important thing in landing you an interview or a job. What I feel is important, I cover in 2 short lessons within PM Career Coaching.

Buyer Beware

Referrals from friends are good input to your decision.

There’s also this thing called confirmation bias however. It’s a fact of human behavior that we tend to ‘remember the hits’ and ‘forget the misses’ – especially when a particular conclusion makes us feel comfortable.

In this case, it’s very possible that someone who just spent a good sum of money to have their resume revamped is now attributing callbacks to that…because otherwise the money would have been wasted, and that’s not comfortable at all. It’s a fact of our nature that someone could:

  1. Have a 1-month period with 10 applications, 3 callbacks.
  2. Hire a company to professionally re-write their resume.
  3. Have a 1-month period with 10 applications, 3 callbacks.
  4. Report to their friends how much the resume writing service boosted their callbacks.

Recency Effect

In addition to confirmation bias, we also tend to lend more weight to recent events as opposed to past events. This is called the recency effect. In this case, your friend could easily dismiss or even forget the callbacks from step 1 – after all, they probably didn’t pan out if he/she is still looking. But if the new one-month period is happening right now, they could have just received these callbacks and are hopefully optimistic about their chances. Much more positive spin on the current activity, even if it’s exactly the same as the month prior.

I loved it when I saw this follow-up on the same comment, probably because he knew I was just about to harp about networking!

“I should clarify that I’m definitely working on my network- but as you’ve always said, that takes time, and my current job unfortunately doesn’t offer much in the way of projectized environment or growth opportunity. I’m looking to move on sooner, rather than later – thus the renewed focus on the resume.”

As I’ve already stated, I don’t inherently distrust resume-writing services. But we could all use a bit of skepticism in our professional and personal lives to ensure we are making the best decisions possible.

If you have a viewpoint on this topic, either in disagreement or agreement with mine, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

--~--~---------~--~----~------- Josh Nankivel
Blog: http://pmStudent.com
Training: http://learn.pmStudent.com
Recommended PMP Training: http://GetPrepCast.com
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