Friday, December 14, 2007

Industry Reputation

A few bad apples are creating problems for legitimate resume writers who do business online. Yet another example of this is a scam warning posted on the Rip-off Report website.

A few months ago, I came across the "Best 10 Resume Writers" website, and it piqued my curiosity because I thought -- "Hey, I'm bound to know a few of these folks!" The site purports to offer "independent reviews of resume writers by Stanford Writing Institute." In reality, there is no such organization (and, as evidenced by similar sites, "Top Choice Resume Writers" and "Top 10 Resume Writers"), they exist only to promote the services of a true resume mill that also goes by several different names, including,, and With packages starting at $79 (including a $129 deal for executives!), you can imagine that quantity is more of an emphasis than quality.

There are unfortunate consequences associated with this practice. The first is that unwitting consumers might buy into the "slick" websites and low prices and believe that they are buying the services of a "professional resume writer." Bolstered by the apparent "objective" review of the affiliated company's services, the prospective client puts his career services documents into the hands of a firm who -- from the Rip-Off Report's reviewer -- handles its customer service and writing services off-shore. (Not that there's any issue with legitimate professional resume writing services conducting their services overseas, but the quality of the correspondence cited by the reviewer suggests that the offshore services being contracted are being sought out for their pricing, not their expertise.)

The second issue is that legitimate professional resume writers -- including highly experienced and credentialed practitioners -- are being used to help perpetuate the scam. For example, on the Best 10 Resume Writers site, you'll find a link to Maria Hebda's Career Solutions website. (She received a 71% approval rating, by the way, well below Resume Pro Writers' 96% rating.) Or our Australian colleague Jennifer Rushton, whose Keraijen Professional Services site only got a 55% rating, despite Jennifer being a four-time TORI award winner. Apparently, she was being punished for her turnaround time ("This was one of the slowest resume writing company online."). And they created a new adjective to describe the work of resume industry veteran Sue Montgomery, who received a 56% rating. ("The resumes produced by Resume Plus were very merchanical.") Of course, keep in mind that a site offering Resume Templates garnered a 52% rating ...

Other sites listed don't even appear to offer resume services (see this one for Progress Enterprise that redirects to Career Diagnostics) or claim credentials that can't be verified (Perfect Resumes and Cover Letters, a service of Business Advisors Press, claims PARW membership but there are no members in Oregon that match the information provided on the site.)

I'd love to hear from any of the resume writers listed -- including whether you can track an actual customer to these ratings (or if they just made up the reviews based on information on your website and what action, if any, you're taking to remove your name -- and reputation -- from being affiliated with these sites.


  1. They are 100% completely made up. There have never been any reviews or solicitations of reviews. These websites are completely promotional tools for the resume mills you've mentioned.

    I have tried to contact Google and other agencies to try to get them to stop taking their ads, and have gotten no where. Perhaps if others joined this effort, they might listen.

  2. Gosh, I feel so dumb for falling for this trap. I am normally smarter than this, but I fell for the scam and sent resume pro writers $305 based almost solely on its glowing review on

    Since I have a feeling that the feedback I just sent them for my experience with RPW will fall on deaf ears I'd like to repost it here. Hopefully someone will see it and not get scammed like I did.

    Here's the letter. Thanks for providing me an outlet.


    I am amazed that Resume Pro Writers managed to achieve the top spot in your list. This does not bode well for any other services on the list, as I can't possibly imagine a worse experience than my last two and a half weeks dealing with RPW.

    I selected RPW based almost solely on your website. I figured with a 96% satisfaction rate, how could I go wrong? This ended up being a huge mistake.

    After paying $300+ for the 3 day rush package I did receive a rough first draft within 48 hours. Unfortunately this relatively quick turnaround time is the last positive thing I can think of to say about RPW. The first draft consisted of an introduction section that looked like someone had taken every technology minded buzzword, thrown it into a blender, and randomly placed them on the page. The first sentence was a run-on, containing over 40 words. There were subject-verb incompatibilities all over the place. Anyone that knows anything about the English language would have taken one look at this drivel and laughed, most likely as they were throwing my resume in the trash.

    The second section contained "watchwords" that were supposed to convey what kind of person I was. I don't know where the writers got this info from as they did not ask me any personal questions before starting to write my resume. This section was very odd sounding, out of place, and not personalized at all.

    The third section read like a "best-of" of my previous resume that I had sent to RPW. Except for instead of actually selecting the best things I had done, it looks like my achievements were chosen at random. Very important details were left off of my resume in what appeared to be some sort of misguided attempt to cram my resume down to one page.

    For some reason I didn't immediately request a full refund. I figured that since these people were professional resume writers, and highly reviewed ones at that, they most know more about crafting a resume than I did. I began a 2 week process of sending off suggestions on how I believed my resume could be improved. Each draft of the resume took 4-5 days to complete and each draft introduced more and more grammatical errors and became farther and farther away from a resume that I would have confidence in when applying for jobs.

    Eventually after two weeks of mostly waiting, I got tired of the process and submitted a polite request to be assigned a new writer as it was becoming more and more obvious that the one assigned to me could barely write a proper English sentence, much less an entire resume. I received another draft from the same writer a day later with no indication that my wishes for a more experienced writer would be granted.

    After yet again expressing my wishes for another writer, I was told that someone else would take over duties for my resume. During this wait I began to look at my resume drafts more closely. Namely the 2nd section with the "watchwords". Since it looked so out of place, impersonal, and just odd, I decided to google a portion of that section. I was amazed to find that the entire section, word for word had been taken from someone else's resume that had been posted to the internet. Perhaps this person's resume had been written by RPW as well, but no matter if it was an issue of blatant plagiarism, or just reusing something that they had previously put on another resume, this was the final straw. I had had enough.

    I immediately sent an email to RPW support demanding a full refund. Instead I got another day wait and another draft of my resume. This draft did fix many, but not all of the grammatical errors and it removed the plagiarized content, but did not replace it with anything else. By this point, it was much too little and far too late. I replied back still demanding that my money be returned. I received no answer. It was not until another day had passed and I threatened legal action did they finally agree to give my money back. Overall I can't imagine a worse experience. I am thoroughly convinced that there is not a single person that works for RPW that is capable of writing a decent resume. Even the emails sent to me from customer support were written in a very confusing broken English. The messages left on my voicemail were practically intelligible due to a thick accent.

    I am also almost certain that both my email address and my phone number were sold to third party companies. I have an email address that I only use for resumes that has never received a single spam. Almost immediately after sending my information to RPW, I began to receive 10-12 messages a day from spammers. I also have a phone number that I have given to no one except my closest friends and family. About 2 days after giving this number to RPW I began to receive sales calls from companies calling me by name. There is no other conclusion I can come to besides one that involves RPW selling my personal information for a quick buck.

    Not only should RPW be removed from the #1 spot on your list, but they should be removed from any legitimate 10 ten list completely. There is no conceivable way that the same group of unprofessional, semi-literate, scammers could possibly satisfy 96% of the people that were suckered in to paying them money. I refuse to believe this.

    Thank you for your time.

  3. Wow. Thanks for posting this. I was just about to contact Resume Pro Writers when a little voice told me to Google the Stanford Writing Institute. You just saved me $125 and two weeks of aggravation. Thanks again, and good luck in your job search.

  4. Your article and the subsequent comments have helped me avoid the scam as well. I was just about to contact the "top rated" Resume Pro Writers. Thanks to you, I will now save $125 and the headache that would come with the so-called service. I'm really grateful and wish luck to all those who fell victim to this scam.

  5. Boy, am I glad I did a little research before throwing my money at these "pro resume writers."

  6. I made this mistake. Thanks to another one of your posters, here's what I found.

    On my resume is the following:

    "strategic business drivers, as well as identifying and approving business and technical requirements and parameters. Design and develop solution by formulating objectives; planning project life-cycle deliverables "

    If you google that, you'll find it has been lifted word for word right off some job posting at, which means anyone else who googles it will find it too.

    I have also found multiple subtle gramatical errors consistent with someone who does not speak English as a first language.

    Lastly, on Ripoff I found a rebuttle to a complaint that says something to the effect of "we have lots of business in US" which is a classic mistake for someone from an eastern European country, not putting the "the" in front of US.

    I am convinced these folks are a bunch of people trying to make a buck on the fact that they can read and write pretty good English. They don't seem to have any other skills except that of simulated customer service.

  7. I have just discovered your post, as someone has visited my website from your page. I am sufficiently motivated by your erroneous assumptions to establish a blogger account so that I may respond.

    I am Kathryn from and am completely unrelated to ANY of the other sites you mention on "Best 10 Resume Writers". I became aware of our listing through an email from my

    contact page. My site has subsequently been removed from "Best 10 Resume Writers" through whatever mechanism they apply.

    You are right in that we sell downloadable resources rather than a writing service and I contend this meets a legitimate market need.

    Please feel free to correspond with me at so that I can verify the authenticity of this comment.

    I would also invite those of you with relevant skills to either register as an author at the site and contribute articles, or if you would like to be profiled under the new "Experts Speak" section on a dedicated page, discuss your credentials with me and the nature of the "Expert" contribution you would like to make.

    Please note that there are many free articles on the site for readers / viewers and that I have invested in a professional website rather than publish my material on an "open slather" blogger site.

  8. I'm another one that got suckered into using RPW. The resume they provided was poorly worded and the cover letter was an abomination. In fact, on my resume they actually had job description on 1 page and accomplishments on the second. That is a basic "not to do".

    Pretty much I had to rewrite both but even so the RPW is basically not usable. I'm still using my former resume. And even though I kept asking questions regarding the inabiliity to copy and past the header, I never did receive a response.

    Total ripoff

  9. I would like to change peoples point of view, first of all i am also a writer and critique for a resumewriting company. And in my experience to their company, as a client -as part marketing research for the industry. They've provided me with a stunning resume. I passed it on to a friend -headhunter, and she was impressed also.

    Thank you resume making

  10. THANK YOU for saving me money I did not need to part with right now. Are there any quality resume-writing services that anyone recommends? It is difficult to figure out for a newbie.

  11. Absolutely!

    There are hundreds of quality resume-writing services out there.

    A good place to start is the directory listings on the professional association sites -- all of these organizations have a code of ethics for their members.

    Career Directors International

    Career Management Alliance

    National Resume Writers' Association

    Professional Association of Resume Writers

    You can also read my comments about choosing a resume writer here:

  12. I also wish I had done some research before hiring Resume Pro Writers. They might work for a newbie, fresh out of college, but they don't get it for anyone else. I wrote 75% of it myself, due to a deadline I had to meet. They refused to talk to me and when we did talk they did not know how to listen. Their format is the same for everyone & does look good, but like everyone here says they don't use verbs correctly and their word choice is often weak or strange. I recommend that you find someone who will talk to you first, learn what you are looking for and be in dialogue as you revise. If anything, I simply paid for them to keep ME at task on my revisions.

    Michelle, Los Angeles

  13. sorry for that guys but so far my sister and I had a good experience on using their resume writing services.

  14. I fell for this too, spent over $300. They are a scam. My question is, is there any way to get a refund or was I just taught a $300 lesson?

  15. I contacted Resume Pro Writers and received prompt, professional, and courteous service. Although I did change my mind about using their service, I followed the instructions outlined in their Agreement and received a refund.

  16. I had my doubts after the initial corresponence with Resume Pro Writers - I could tell from the english that they were asian and the questionaire they sent me was very poorly formatted. I had already sent them my money though and after reading this and other web sites blasting Resume Pro Writers I was ready to ask for my money back.
    I just received my first draft and I am very happy with the resume. There were no typos, the formatting was excelent and the information was provided in a way I could never have written on my own. I made a couple of revisions to suit my personal preferences but nothing more.
    I don't care where they are located or what nationality the writer is, the product is top notch and my $195.00 was money well spent.

  17. I recently fell for this scam because of the satisfaction rating I saw on another site. I am trying to break into another field and was having a hard time formatting a new resume. The resume I currently have is pretty good though. All that RPW did was copy/paste everything I said and put it in resume form with alot of action words. Unfortunately I found this site as well as other ones way too late. RPW's rating with the BBB is an F. If only I would have known. Now I'm out of $50. The people who say they are satisfied with this company are far and few between. Nobody that I talked to at this "company" (I use that term loosely) speaks English well. It sounds like they are opperating from out of a house and I believe its the same lady answering the phone using different names. Save your money and your time and find someone else to fix your resume. I wouldn't even risk it.

  18. Thanks for saving me a lot of money!

  19. I tried to use their service.

    After speaking twice with the account person I decided to cancel for two reasons. First, the woman handling my account spoke broken English 90 miles an hour. It sounded as if she was having to push every word out of her mouth. Difficult to understand; she was not friendly or attentive to my questions

    BTW, she called twice the first morning requesting I reply to the service email agreement NOW. I prefer to read it first.

    After I read the agreement I emailed a question to asking what's the difference between a revision and an update? You see your contract is considered fulfilled after 4 revisions, but updates are not limited. Their explanation was to read the contract to me over the phone. Yeah, the same contract I read for myself already.

    I did not reply to the service agreement by their schedule, so they decided to send me a confirmation that evening for doing it anyway. Forcing me into the next step.

    I followed my gut and canceled the service. Now they say since I replied to the service agreement (I never did) I can only get a 90% refund. This is in complete disagreement with their 'full refund if canceled within 24 hours' advertised policy.

    These folks may write the most spectacular resume since Obama, but I will never know.

    30 minutes ago we came to a parting agreement. The end result is that they agreed to refund 100% of my money. (My account still shows a debit, but I hope). They also offered to make a first draft of my resume for free and I could pay later. I think this is very generous. However, I turned them down because my experience leading up to this point has been rocky at best. Why continue down that road?

    I need a new job, not aggravation.

  20. I am totally agree with you that unwitting consumers might buy into the "slick" websites and low prices and believe that they are buying the services of a "professional resume writer."
    this is no fair.

    Writing Services

  21. Incredible post! Thought-provoking and very well written. Stay safe.

    Professional Resume Writers

  22. Thank you for your post !! I can't believe they are still up and running and it's 2011. I was seriously considering them... and thanks to your post, I am going to save my hard earned money!

  23. Hi Everyone,

    I am so glad I found this site before I gave anyone any money. There is a lot of talk about Resume Pro Writers but BEWARE, they have renamed themselves Resume Professional Writers. I looked up RPW and the site says they have changed their name. Here is the website link.
    Are there any legitimate and affordable resume writing professionals out there?

  24. You don't build much credibility into your research referring to ripoffresports com. They are owned and ran by one of the slimiest criminals in America, and surely on the Internet. Anybody, this instant can place any lie on his site and it stays forever. Somebody right now can write anything about Bridget and her company and you can't do anything about it. Nothing. Posting replies just sends it up the ranks. Go ahead, look up Ed Magedson and maybe you can be more careful not to support pure convicted criminals despised the world over. That person has do far more harm to companies and people than good. You should stop supporting him because you don't want to end up there.

  25. Thanks for your comment, Anonymous (8/16/11 8:52 a.m.), but you didn't read my full blog post. From my own research, I discovered that the Best 10 Resume Writers site is a front for a resume mill. The site is a scam because it places several of its own affiliated businesses among the "Best 10" -- which, my independent research verifies those businesses do *not* rank among the "Best 10" resume writers (either by objective criteria -- like industry recognition or awards, or being published) or by reputation.

    In fairness, I will be contacting "Best 10 Resume Writers" to ask questions about their independent review/voting process, and if I am incorrect, I will post a correction.

  26. Hi,
    Thank you for this article. I just saved my husband from using the best 10 resume writing website.

  27. Just saved me $485, thank you so much! A complete and total scam.

  28. This service is a TOTAL SCAM!!! So angry!! They are horrible.

  29. I fell for the scam, after receiving my first draft and seeing how poorly written it was I asked for a refund, only to be ignored... I contacted my credit card company and filed a dispute, had to go through a bunch of phone calls to RPW with my credit card company listening in, to finally get my credit card company to refund my money for credit fraud etc... RPW said they would have supervisor call me back to handle my concerns, then hung up on me... After 2 wks now since my credit card company refunded my money to me, RPW is now calling me 3-5times daily and emailing me wanting to talk... Apparently once they found out they didn't get paid by me, now they want to talk. This company is a Scam run with non-english speaking people who just copy and paste from a "word/phrase bank"

  30. Internet ripoff company taking advantage of unemployed population with ads on Google.

    Pro Resume Writing - Employment Guaranteed in 45 Days
    If Not, We'll Refund You + Pay $100

    Get a Job - Employment Guaranteed in 60 Days
    If Not, We'll Refund You + Pay $50

    Both websites are run by in Clermont, Florida

    Their guarantee?
    From their website:
    "You, the purchaser must provide reasonable proof that you submitted your resume to at least 30 prospective employers (in the form of certified mail receipts or verifiable fax transmission receipts)."

    The largest employer, the government does not take applications by fax or certified mail. No Fortune 500 company takes applications by fax.

    On average it takes an individual 1 month of job search for every $10,000 they make there is not a product on this earth that can guarantee employment in 1 1/2 months. does not tell purchasers about this loophole when people purchase and when they place claims, they are out of luck.

    Inform the public about Google and See recourse options at the end of this post.

    2). an hosted site:
    Their Google ad says, "Objective review of the top 7 resume companies." and on their website, "* NO resume service is permitted to advertise here until they have been thoroughly reviewed and tested by our analysts." The top 7 companies they list are:

    • Resumes Guaranteed 9512 Oak Island Ln. Clermont, FL 34711
    • 1 on 1 Resumes 9512 Oak Island Ln. Clermont, FL 34711
    • Resume Perfection 9512 Oak Island Ln. Clermont, FL 34711
    • Federal Resume Writing 9512 Oak Island Ln. Clermont, FL 34711
    • KSA Writers 9512 Oak Island Ln. Clermont, FL 34711
    • Career Change Resumes 9512 Oak Island Ln. Clermont, FL 34711
    • Entry Level Resumes 9512 Oak Island Ln. Clermont, FL 34711

    The whole resumeshopping website is an explanation of how good these services are. This is deceptive to the end user because all 7 websites are run by the same company and the review site is owned by the resume services it is reviewing. This is outright fraud.

    If you want to know what to do if you money was taken by this organization, here are a few suggestions:

    Internet Crime Complaint Center
    This is an easy to complete form.

    FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection

    If you were led to any of these sites through Google, file a quality complaint.

    For BBB Complaints, file them here.

    Add your report to the so other unemployed people do not lose their money.

  31. Yes it's a shame that there are so many scams related to resume writing online. But, as mentioned, there are plenty of reputable, high quality services as well. For some actual customer reviews of quality resume services check out the Jobgoround resume writer review page at

  32. resume is one of the most important part which helps in getting an interview. It lets interviewer get to know your education qualification and previous experience if any.

  33. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  34. I am shocked at how poorly Sue Montgomery (resume plus) conducts business. The documents that I received from her were grammatically incorrect and had misspellings along with missing words throughout them. After repeatedly requesting and clearly identifying specific corrections be made to these documents they were continuously overlooked. Additionally, It was very clear that a template was used to create my resume. As a college student in the health care field I felt that I was taken advantage of. After she accepted my business she did not take the time to educate herself (or ask me directly) about my field or employment requirements. To be honest, this company is not even worth one star. I am planning on contesting the $275 charge with my credit card company. She isn't getting a dime.

  35. There are unfortunate consequences associated with this practice. write my extended essay

  36. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  37. I agree. Sue Montgomery from Resume Plus was a disappointment. She took me, an elementary teacher, for $375.

  38. As the owner of sites like ResumeWritingGroup.Com, I do take the integrity of our business and the happiness of our clients very seriously. Each year, we service more than 8,000 customers and our satisfaction rate exceeds 98% as of this writing. My personal cell is 352-250-4220 and I invite anyone with concerns about our company or its guarantees to text or call me directly. As a family man, father, and 20+ year entrepreneur with an extensive Internet history (google me- "Andrew Greenstein"), it should be clear that any advice my company provides regarding career marketing should not be taken lightly.

    Indeed, we do advertise via multiple websites. In the days of offline advertising [and still to this day!], Fortune 500 companies never created just ONE product or ONE ad campaign. Knowing that different themes, colors, words etc; appeal to different people, they created many. It is MY company's perspective that Internet entrepreneurs should not limit themselves to just one ad campaign or one site. I offer the same service with different degrees/levels of detail and different prices/terms/guarantees---across several different websites to appeal to different people and to test different offerings & rates. The most successful 7 of these are listed at ResumeShopping.Com and I had each one reviewed independently by a panel for the purpose of THAT site. As you have indicated, all sites are listed under the same company and there is clearly no great veil of secrecy. It is easy and plain to see that one company owns several sites as I have done nothing to "hide" that. It is my opinion that there is no "scam" in having multiple sites. We pledge to provide excellent, professional resume writing and, indeed, we do just that!

    (continued below...)

  39. (...part 2 continued from above)

    Prior to ordering from our company, prospective have the option to see a FREE sample of our work by submitting their current resume to us. Within 24-48 hours (usually even less), one of our writers will respond with a FREE critique of your resume and clearly-written examples demonstrating the approach we will take if we're hired. If someone is unsure about the quality of our service, simply try our free sample first!

    Indeed, we are the ONLY company "guaranteeing" work. All sites clearly state we guarantee you'll be working OR your money back (plus a bonus). Most would agree that this is a pretty generous offer. Of course, it has stipulations. There are policy rules for returning items to Macy's as well! We need a surefire way to protect ourselves from fraud as well--- and so, I devised a very simple strategy. I have made it clear on the website, the terms of sale, and even created an online video in which I personally explain it in great detail: YES, to qualify for the refund plus extra money, you MUST have distributed your resume in the manner I advise. I do not advise faxing resumes to Fortune 500 companies but I do* advise "going old school" and snail mailing them. Why? When EXECUTIVE offices [not* HR offices/dept], are not ACCUSTOMED to receiving that sort of submission. When they open it, they usually cannot discard it. Occasionally, they'll take the time to write you a rejection/re-routing letter. Quite often, however, they will forward your resume submission TO the HR department/hiring manager. Now, imagine this: The HR department/hiring manager is receiving hundreds or thousands of website/e-mail submissions and suddenly, they receive YOUR HARD COPY RESUME ***FROM THE HIGHER EXECUTIVE'S OFFICE*** Suddenly, your resume sticks out AND carries more weight than the others. It arrives with a letter/memo usually stating [in more professional terms].. "This came to our office, please review it.." Will SOME HR managers roll their eyes and toss it out? Sure. But others will take A LOT more seriously---- because of where it CAME FROM.... So, it is for that reason, that I recommend strategically researching the addresses of at least 40 *executives* and snail mailing your resume & cover letter to them via certified mail. Sending to 100 of them would be MUCH better but our guarantee only requires you to send out 40. Should you still continue mass submitting your resume via e-mail as well? Absolutely-- Hit from all fronts! Re: the anonymous poster who stated that the U.S. government does not accept resumes this way.... That's why our guarantee does not apply to Federal Resumes. We state this clearly and refer all of our Federal Resumes to our site, Federal-Resumes.US which does NOT post the guarantee OR to the Fed section of ResumeWritingGroup. Federal Resumes are an ENTIRELY different type of project requiring writers with a special skill set and NOT at all the same product. Either way, we advertise professional resume writing--and we provide professional resume writing. There is no "scam" in that.

    Again, I invite any one with concerns to call me or text me personally. I pledge that we will continue to help thousands of people each year to the best of our abilities and I urge job seekers while still mass submitting their resumes, to also follow my advice and snail mail to researched executives....