want me to review your resume?

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I get a lot of requests to give people feedback on their resumes, but because it’s time-consuming to do it well, I usually turn them down unless they’re friends or family. But for a short time, I’m re-opening the resume review offer that I’ve run a couple of times before.

When I’ve offered this in the past, the response has been so overwhelming that I’ve had to close the offer after just a few days, so reserve this now if you’re interested.

The cost: $99

What you’ll get: As you can probably tell by the price, I’m not going to entirely rewrite your resume for you. People who do that charge a lot more. What you’ll get for 99 bucks: I’ll read your resume, I’ll give you suggestions for improving it, I’ll tell you where I think it’s weak and where I think it’s strong. I’ll tell you if your design sucks. I’ll tell you if you’re coming across as generic and/or unimpressive and how to fix it if you are. I’ll tell you what you need to change to have a resume that will make a hiring manager excited to interview you.

To be clear, this isn’t multiple rounds of revisions, or a rewrite service, or anything like that. It’s really just a bunch of notes on what I’d like to see you doing differently — what a hiring manager might think when looking at your resume.

Limited time: I don’t want to be a full-time resume reviewer, so this offer is only good for this week, not something I’ll be offering regularly. So if you want it, lock it in now.

closed

Here’s what someone who purchased a resume review last year wrote to me afterwards: “Earlier this year, when you offered your annual résumé review service, I sent mine in. You sent back reams of useful suggestions, which I promptly acted upon. Well, it’s been four months, and I have good news. I immediately started getting interviews. There were no offers right away, but I didn’t give up and all of sudden, within the past few days, I have received 4 offers. I am so pleased and relieved–now I just need to sit down and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each. But what a happy task—and I’m convinced I owe a lot of my good fortune to your advice.”

There are more reviews in the comments on this post.

(And because I know not everyone can afford this, I’m also offering a discount on my ebook, How to Get a Job: Secrets of a Hiring Manager, where you’ll find lots of resume advice — just not customized to your particular resume. You can get a 20% discount this week by using this code: may2014)

Update: Much higher than anticipated demand means I’ll need to close this off soon!  Since it’s only been a few hours, I’ll keep it open a while longer — but since I’ll need to space these out, for any purchases made after 4 p.m. EST on May 12, you may not receive your feedback until one month from today. (Although if you need it faster, email me and I’ll see what I can do.)

Update 2: This offer is now closed.

{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. Jill-be-Nimble

    Woo-hoo! I got in! Thank you for offering this; it’s perfect timing. I actually have a job I’m really interested in that I want to apply to this week. When would you be able to start looking at it? I understand that you’ll be inundated with people, so you might not get a chance very soon.

    Reply
  2. Adam

    Thank you for offering this. I spent practically the whole weekend staring at my resume, not confident that it was up to snuff but not sure what else to do with it. An objective set of eyes would be a great help at this point.

    Reply
  3. Sean

    Thank you for offering this! I won’t be able to get my resume to you until tomorrow, but I’ve signed up via Paypal – is this OK?

    Reply
  4. Anon Accountant

    So glad to see this offered again! I can honestly say that by taking AAM’s advice I’ve noticed a great improvement in companies that were interested in interviewing me.

    This can really help your resume stand out- I can attest to the value of this service. It really helped me in my job search.

    Reply
  5. My 2 Cents

    I had Alison review my resume last year and I literally got a job the first time I sent out the new resume, and a good job at that! I am a firm believer!

    Reply
  6. Audiophile

    Glad to see you’re offering this again. I missed it last time.

    Can I submit a few questions along with my resume?

    Reply
  7. Lily in NYC

    I took Alison up on this last time even though I’m not even job-searching right now! It was really helpful. I didn’t realize that I needed to list accomplishments instead of just my duties.

    Reply
    1. AVP

      I am doing this! I’m not job-hunting, but occasionally things will cross my path that I can’t help applying for, or I’ll need to submit a resume as part of a grant application, and I just really want it to be good for once.

      Reply
  8. Arvil

    I’m wondering about whether this would be beneficial for a UK style cv, and someone job hunting in the UK market? There can be some pretty significant differences in the style and content of an American style resume and a UK style cv, which is why I’m hesitant even though I would love to get Alison’s thoughts on how I’m coming across on paper.

    Reply
    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      My expertise is only for U.S. resumes. I’ve done these reviews for people in the U.K., Australia, and other locations, but I’d want you to be clear on the fact that you’d be getting a U.S. perspective before signing up.

      Reply
  9. Mark

    When you say that the offer is only good for this week, does this mean that the resume must be submitted by the end of this week? I would love to sign up, but I need to do some pretty extensive revisions to my resume since the last time it’s been updated, and I may not have time until this upcoming weekend.

    Reply
    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      No, just that you can only sign up this week (and possibly only within the next couple of days, depending on how much interest there is — I need to cut it off after a certain point so that I’m not taking on too many). But once you sign up, you can send your resume in whenever you’d like; there’s no time limit on that.

      Reply
      1. Shell

        Is it weird if I buy this but not send it to you for a year? I won’t be job hunting until next year (maybe year and a half), but I feel like I should snatch it up in case you stop offering this… Although if you’re dedicated to doing this every year at the same price, maybe I’ll let someone else with more pressing need take the spot.

        Reply
        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          I do think I’ll offer it once or twice every year, so while you’re welcome to buy it now and wait if you’d like to, you could also grab it in the future.

          Reply
          1. Shell

            Will the price be changing? Digging through the archives I think you’ve gone from $99 to $75 and back to $99. I’m not nitpicking your pricing, don’t get me wrong–you set whatever price you want and obviously there’s lots of people happy with what you’ve done for them. But if the price will raise in the future that might factor into my decision.

            Reply
            1. Ask a Manager Post author

              I can’t say for sure. I thought about increasing it this time but ultimately decided not to — but no promises for the future!

              (It actually started at $75 and then went up to $99 last year but not back down in between.)

              Reply
              1. Shell

                Ah, makes sense–I probably just read the dates wrong. :) And yeah, people’s worth goes up over time, not down.

                Okay then, I guess I’ll be the weirdo investing in this nearly two years in advance!

                All kidding aside, thanks for doing this for us, Alison.

                Reply
  10. cecilhungry

    I am trying to convince my boyfriend that he should do this! I’ve even offered to pay half. I’ve looked over his resume, but I know Allison will have so many better tips (I just paraphrase her anyway). Realllllly hoping he agrees to this.

    Reply
  11. Bryan

    I’m thinking about getting this for my fiance. He adjusts his resume for each job he applies to (which has been a semi-large variety) and is worried that the review will only help one version of his resume. Any thoughts on the best way to handle this if he does this service?

    Reply
    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Probably the best thing to do would be to submit the version that’s most representative of the others, and he’ll then hopefully be able to apply the advice on that one to the others as well.

      Reply
  12. Mimmy

    Oh I need this so badly, but not sure I can swing the price :( I’ve been mainly focused on my committee work, but really should try to find a part-time job.

    Reply
  13. Ali

    Ahhh I need to do this! I am job searching and not really getting calls for interviews. Thank God Bill Me Later is an option though otherwise I’d never be able to afford it this week…

    Reply
  14. Anonnnny

    Oh, I’m very excited about this! My resume is just….eh. I know it is. I’ve had people review it but they say it’s good. Not great, but good. Hard to get a good unbiased look from someone who knows their stuff, so this will be great! I feel like I’m good once I speak to someone (like a recruiter or if I have a referral), but my resume just isn’t getting my foot in the door if I have nothing else going.

    Reply
  15. Grey

    Those who need your book the most can afford it the least. Is there a way to pay for it and let someone else download it? If so, who really needs it?

    Reply
    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      If there’s someone in particular you have in mind who you want to send it to, email me privately and we can do it as a gift (which I’ve done in the past; it just can’t go through the automated purchase page).

      Reply
  16. Ash (the other one!)

    Debating on purchasing this… $99 is a lot for someone who may not have a job soon, but at the same time, I might not have a job soon!

    I have the same issue as others here in that I have to shape my resume to a degree because I’m applying to two different types of jobs (e.g. policy and research)… but, hmm.

    Reply
  17. A Bug!

    Ack, so tempted. I need to check my finances. Fingers crossed that it’s not all filled up in one day!

    Reply
  18. Stephanie

    Personally, I don’t think professional resume writing services are worth it. There’s just too much decent (and free or low-cost) information out there. I suppose it does take a bit of skill and knowledge to sort through all the junk.

    A friend’s mom introduced me to a resume writer as a favor and I hated what she did with my resume. She came up with this two-page monstrosity (I’m pretty inexperienced). She did make it accomplishment-oriented, which was good, but I hated everything else. I just culled it down a ton (my college newspaper editing skills came in handy). I kind of feel like resume writers invent things to justify their services.

    That being said, Alison, I’m sure your review would be super helpful and frank.

    Reply
    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Right, I’m not a fan of professional resume writing services at all, and that’s not what I’m offering here.

      This isn’t a rewrite — it’s notes on how a hiring manager would see your resume and what you can change to make it better.

      Reply
      1. jesicka309

        I’ll second that! I had to do all the work to improve the resume, but just having somewhere to start intsteasd of staring into the abyss mounrfully really helped. Got an awesome job with this resume. So awesome. :)

        Reply
        1. en pointe

          Hi Jesicka. Not sure if you’ll see this so late, but IIRC, you’re Aussie, yeah?

          Obviously, you’re a fan of the service, and congratulations on your awesome job.

          I was just wondering if you found Alison’s resume feedback translated smoothly to job searching here? Did you have any trouble applying US advice to an Australian resume, or were there parts that you felt didn’t apply?

          Reply
  19. GMA

    Hi,
    I’d really love to take you up on this, but I’m going on vacation tomorrow – May 23. If I buy this now, would I be able to take advantage of your services at the end of the month? Or would you only be available to review resumes just this week?

    Reply
    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      The time limit is just for the purchasing, because I’m only going to do a limited number. Once you purchase, you can submit your resume any time (so later this month or even beyond is fine).

      Reply
  20. EA

    IANAA (I am not an accountant), but, I believe that resume services MAY be tax deductible as part of “job search expenses”.

    (Whether or not it’s tax deductible, based on the advice that Alison give on this site, and past comments when she’s offered this service, I feel that it’s probably worthwhile)

    Reply
  21. gR

    Thanks for offering this. I know your work is geared toward corporate America, but would you be comfortable reviewing a resume geared towards academic postings? It’s a resume, not a CV as a commenter in a previous thread asked, just a resume written for high school teaching jobs.

    Reply
  22. Newbie

    Do you think you could help someone with little experience? I want to get this for my fiance, but he’s never had an office job. He has some free lance computer/IT work on his resume though. He just graduated last weekend and has only had one interview. He’s really having a hard time getting any interest :/

    Reply
      1. Cruciatus

        This makes me think that a cover letter once-over by you would also be awesome possibility to have! Of course I do create a new cover letter for each job and I think I have improved as I learn more through this site, but maybe my (and other people’s) general tone sucks and we just can’t see it.

        Reply
  23. Just a Student Aid

    Resumes are too subjective. What you want/like to see on a resume, another hiring manager may dislike.
    Same thing goes for the job developers in the office I work in. They each have their own different opinion on what they like to see on the resume and what they don’t want to see on the resume.
    Then there’s those people whose resumes get them lots of interviews but, after the interview there seems to be no interest in the person for the position.
    Interviewing skills play a huge factor too.

    Reply
    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Sure, everyone has different preferences. This isn’t about preferences; it’s about what will make your resume significantly stronger. It seems to work, since I hear continual feedback from people that they started getting interviews after using the feedback, when they weren’t before.

      Reply
    2. Traveler

      AAM hasn’t reviewed my resume, but the changes I’ve made to my resume and cover letter as a result of reading her advice has made a huge difference for me (and I think a lot of others judging by the comments I see around here). While its certainly subjective, there are still quite a few things that are standard across most fields. I think it of it more as she might not be able to tell you what everyone likes and win you extra points, but she can definitely tell you the things that people don’t like to keep you from losing any.

      Reply
      1. Ash (the other one!)

        Ditto — changing my cover letter especially to talk about why I was passionate about the company and the particular job and ensure I wasn’t just restating my resume was key for me.

        Reply
        1. Bethany

          Same here. And I noticed more responses and from good companies after I took AAM’s advice on resumes and cover letters.

          Reply
  24. Amy W.

    Oh, this timing couldn’t be better for my DH! He’s actively job-hunting, and I have helped him rewrite his resume, but I really feel like it needs another set of eyes. I just signed up. Thank you!

    Reply
  25. Katie the Fed

    Can I just ask a general question here as long as we’re talking about resumes?

    I keep seeing these phrases in resumes:

    results-oriented
    self-starter
    comfortable contributing both independently and in a team
    strong problem-solving skills

    I don’t understand. What do they MEAN? It seems like you’re just telling me you can work in an office and get things done. Right?

    Reply
    1. Traveler

      This sounds like job ad words being regurgitated. I never knew what they meant in the job ad either.

      Reply
      1. Ash (the other one!)

        Yup, I was thinking the same thing.

        But Katie, aren’t you reviewing for federal government? Isn’t the key with USA Jobs Vortex to literally regurgitate the ad in your resume to get a high rating?

        Reply
        1. Katie the Fed

          Most of these are internal though – and often for lateral positions so they don’t go through our own computerized system. So more like a regular resume.

          Although it does make sense that we get conditioned to regurgitate the words from the vacancy because that’s how we get through USAJobs in the first place.

          Then again I’m also the asshole who will ask in a meeting something like “you keep saying ‘cross-matrixed synergies’ and I’m not understanding what that means. Can you explain?”

          Words have meanings, people!

          Reply
    2. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.

      I’m a results-oriented self-starter with strong problem-solving skills who is comfortable contributing both independently and in a team.

      Also, I can get things done in an office.

      (Please award me points for getting all of them in one sentence, thank you.)

      Reply
    3. Bethany

      I think it’s partly because some career sites advise candidates to include buzzwords from the job description to make it through online systems set to pick up keywords from the paperwork.

      Reply
  26. Engineering Intern

    Just bit the bullet and decided to purchase this as I’m sure it will pay for itself when I start job hunting once I graduate next May!

    Reply
  27. DrJulieSunny

    Hi Alison —

    You’re incredible! Thank you for the wonderful offer! I know I’m probably going to miss the deadline but just in case — how do you feel about reviewing curriculum vitae? (I’m a doctoral-level professional and my field almost entirely requires CV’s over resumes — regardless if we’re applying to academic or non-academic positions). And these are all US positions.
    Thank you!!

    Reply
    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      My expertise is really in resumes rather than CVs, so if you want a resume-style review of your CV, I’d be glad to do it, but I’m not sure that would be strongly enough targeted to what you need!

      Reply
  28. Newsie

    Well if that ain’t a kick in the rear, I don’t know what is.

    (I don’t use “ain’t” in my resume, promise.)

    Reply
  29. Tmarie

    I just saw this tonight…darn weekend plans! Fortunately, I got in before it was closed!

    Am currently job searching, so professional advice is incredibly exciting!

    Reply
  30. N.J.

    I tried 4-5 times today to purchase the service on my phone, Pay Pal won’t process the transaction, it won’t continue past the payment screen. Trying now on my desktop computer, I hope this works! Anyone else have trouble trying to do this on a mobile?

    Reply
  31. Acidartha

    Ahhh…I really wanted to get this done!
    I do hope you open it up again so I can toss my resume in! I really do think it’s wonderful that you do this.

    ~A

    Reply
  32. Recent Diabetic

    The best 99 bucks I’ve spent for my career so far. I thought my resume was fairly good, but Alison’s feedback took it to an interstellar level.

    Reply
  33. Sharm

    Aww, it’s closed. Bummer. I’m down to my last dime so I was still evaluating whether or not I could afford it, but I suppose the fates have decided for me. I hope you do this again soon, AAM. I know they’re somewhat rare events.

    Reply
  34. meetoo

    Allison,

    Do you think you will offer this again soon? I have been patiently waiting for months for you to offer this service. Apparently you had a lot of responses and I missed it by a few hours.

    Reply
  35. Ana

    Hi Alison!
    I’ve too been waiting for this service for a long time.. I missed by a few hours sadly.. Im kicking myself for not checking it earlier.
    I would love to be able to take advantage of this service in the future. I’ll keep my fingers crossed…

    Reply
  36. Allyson

    Aw darn it. This sold out really fast. Goes to show how high in demand your services are. Hopefully I can get in next time. I’ve been waiting patiently for a post like this, only to miss it.

    Reply
  37. Roz

    I missed this opportunity to send my resume to obtain the HR managers point of view, but are there any tips that you can give as to what HR hiring managers look for on resumes or is this individual resume specific and if so will you do this again in the future…..like this year?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      It’s specific to individual resumes — but I’ll offer it again later this year.

      Meanwhile, check the “resumes” category of the archives — loads of free advice there!

      Reply
  38. Quinn

    I’m devastated to miss this opportunity! My husband, an attorney with over 16 years of experience, has been sending resumes for over a year. In that time he has received only 3 interviews. Using the advice on your website, I’ve made all lots of changes to his resume and cover letter and even had a resume service do a rewrite, but still nothing. Hope you offer this again soon.

    Reply
  39. Melissa

    I’m not job hunting right now but I am so doing this in the future when my postdoc is almost over.

    Reply

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