Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ethics: Trashing Other Resume Writers

Since when has it become popular to trash the work of other "professional" resume writers in order to advance your own business?

It seems like I'm coming across more and more examples of this -- particularly on the websites of resume writers. In particular, I'm noticing that many of them are trashing the Professional Association of Resume Writers.

In addition to Marilyn Maslin's assertion that you can "buy" the Certified Professional Resume Writer credential, here's another example:

Another fairly recent development has been the rise of resume writing certification from the Professional Association of Resume Writers and other groups. I believe this was something started by a guy in Florida with a keen entrepreneurial mind, and I imagine he's earned some good money with his idea. I'm sure many PARW members are excellent resume writers, but I've seen no evidence to suggest that as a group they are particularly skilled or any better than non-members.

While he makes some good points in the subsequent copy, he also makes some idiotic observations. To wit:
  • Don't expect a top-notch resume from a service that works from a form or questionnaire. That's fine for an initial outline, but the resume writing process needs to be much more interactive -- either through a face-to-face meeting or a telephone discussion. Typists work from forms, not resume writers.
  • You probably underestimate the time it will take to complete your resume. Even if you have the most straightforward work experience and have an old resume to work from, you should still expect it to take at least an hour to write your resume. Two or three hours is average -- and sometimes even longer for senior managers or people whose work is fairly complex.
  • But then again ... I'm very skeptical of services that say they take at least three hours for ANY resume. They're either spending a lot of time on low-value activities, or they're not very experienced. Some say that up to six hours is average for them -- I really question what they're doing with their time ... and your money.
Interestingly enough, Mr. Will isn't selling resume writing services. He's selling a book. I've noticed a trend about authors-who-aren't-resume-writers trying to convince people to spend the $10-$20 on their book instead of $100-$400+ on a professional. It's a bit like trying to read a book to do your own taxes. Fine for some; probably not a great idea for most.

But I don't understand the need to trash professional resume writers as a whole. Mr. Will ... your rebuttal is welcome...

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