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My resume doesn't seem to be getting the attention I feel it deserves, regardless of the fact that I have some fairly specialized skills that are in demand.

I've taken a couple stabs at rewriting it myself but I'd really prefer to hire someone with a track record of increasing the impact of software development resumes. I've Googled a bit, but I really don't trust any old generic resume service, since most people involved in it/tech hiring don't know anything about technology.

Is there a good approach for identifying when a resume writing service would be beneficial? I'm not really sure if it would help me.

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    I made a pretty significant edit to try to keep this on topic but still valuable for you. Feel free to edit and clarify further if this changed your intent too much. – enderland Apr 6 '17 at 22:22
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    Rather than go to the expense of getting a writing service (knowing that they may or may not be any good), have you asked some friends or family? I used to get my father to review my resumes, and now my friends are asking me to review theirs. – HorusKol Apr 6 '17 at 22:22
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    Also - bearing in mind you will not get a response 99% of the time, but that 1% is worth a shot: have you asked the companies you've applied to for feedback on your resume or what turned their decision? It takes almost no time for you to respond to a rejection email with "I would appreciate any feedback on my application and/or resume which factored into your decision". – HorusKol Apr 6 '17 at 22:25
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    @PagMax the problem is so many of the free resources are contradictory, locale specific, and sometimes just plain wrong... – HorusKol Apr 7 '17 at 12:22
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    Maybe ask for a sanitized sample of their work, including before and after examples in your industry. You can see if they take something meaningful and make it into nonsense or if they add value. – Myles Apr 10 '17 at 16:01
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To evaluate a resume writing service, contact people that provide these services and ask them how you would benefit from what they have to offer - get success rates, examples of previous work performed, and references. Find out what kind of guarantee they offer. Also research online and read any articles or comments people have posted about the services that you are considering.

To identify when a resume writing service would be beneficial, you will have to consider what these services have to offer and whether it's worthwhile for you.

For example, you specifically said that you're looking for someone with a track record of increasing the impact of software development resumes, so you ask people to show you their track record of success and then decide if this is something worth paying them to do for you.

Additional information... I don't know if it's appropriate to share off-topic information, but I'd really like to help you.

You might be better of working with head hunters who know how to promote your skills and abilities to prospective employers. This is a very common way to get jobs in software development. And the head hunters might be able to give you some good feedback on how to improve your resume, especially since they get paid when you are successful.

Also, try contacting companies that hire software developers and ask for feedback on your resume. You might be able to reach a hiring manager who is more than happy to help. Plus, you might discover new job opportunities in the process.

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You can also check out customer feedback for the resume writing company at the Better Business Bureau (https://www.bbb.org/). Unaddressed negative reviews would be a red flag.

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I understand that the customers of the service won't reveal that they have used it, neither would the company be allowed to disclose their clients. They might also claim a success rate, but that might be dubious, as hardly anyone would reveal the change in their employment opportunities after getting the professional service.

Online reviews might be a good indicator, especially if they are numerous and detailed/specific. As indicated in comments, ask a help from a few friends too; you can work in parallel with them.

Also, consider trying more than one service, because the downside is just the price of the service, but the upside is pretty large, in case one of the professional resumes really help you out in getting a better job.

  • Some companies show testimonials from their clients. For example, this page has 6 customers providing testimonials and they offer a guarantee: resumewritinggroup.com/examples.html. To be transparent, I have no affiliation at all with this company, I'm just presenting it as an example of how some companies provide references that will help you decide whether or not to use the service. – Lazor Apr 17 '17 at 1:22
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    But how do we know about the truthfulness of the statements by customers? They could be paid reviews.. – DS R Apr 17 '17 at 3:03
  • It's better than nothing, right? You hear testimonials and decide whether or not to trust them. There is a difference between a review and a testimonial. There are consumer protection laws that protect us from false advertising and marketing. Plus, you can always use bank or credit card fraud protection if you don't get what you have paid for. End result, you have to do research to identify whether a resume writing service would be beneficial. – Lazor Apr 17 '17 at 18:35
  • When I see testimonials, I think 2 things. 1. This <thing/service> is marketed towards an older crowd. 2. Something is hokey. – YetAnotherRandomUser Oct 14 '18 at 19:14

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