want me to review your resume?

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 pretty quickly, so reserve this now if you’re interested.

The cost: $125

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: 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: This offer is only good for the next few days and maybe less, depending on how quickly slots get taken; it’s not something I offer regularly. So if you want it, lock it in now. (But once you sign up, you can send your resume in whenever you’d like; there’s no time limit on that.)


Here’s what one person who purchased a resume review  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: summer2015)

The fine print: After purchasing, you can submit your resume whenever you’d like; there’s no time limit. I’ll get you feedback within three weeks of receiving it (or less if you ask me to expedite it).

Update: Whoa. This is filling up much faster than in previous years! I’m going to leave the offer open a little longer, but for any purchased after 11:45 a.m. EST Tuesday, you may not get your feedback until mid-September (or three weeks after submitting it, whichever is longer).

Update 2: This offer is now closed. That was fast!

{ 104 comments… read them below }

  1. Bye Academia

    Thank you so much for doing this! I’m in the process of leaving academia, and I’m pretty sure CV conventions are still creeping into my resume. Very excited to get some good feedback.

    1. gingersnap

      related: Do you know of any good resources for putting together a solid CV? I’m wrapping up a doctoral program and currently applying for a mix of academic and nonacademic positions, and I’m finding that I actually feel more insecure about my CV, because I don’t really know what a good one looks like.

      1. Bye Academia

        I based mine off of advice from The Professor Is In. Google “Dr. Karen’s Rules of the Academic CV” for the article. You’ll have to tweak it based on what you know about your field, but it’s a good place to start.

        I will add the caveat that I am still a grad student, so my CV has not gotten me any jobs. But it looks clean and the things she says make sense.

          1. Honeybee

            She also does quick CV reviews for a fee that’s similar to Alison’s, and she just published a book that just came out Monday!

            Also, what I did for CVs is checked out departments in which I’d like to work and pulled the CVs of recently hired (< 5 years ago) professors in the department. That gave me tips as to structure and form, but also about what was ON the CV that got them the job.

    2. Honeybee

      I just left academia myself! (or rather, am leaving – I start my new non-academic job on August 24). I cracked up at your username.

  2. JQ

    HOORAY I just got one!!

    What’s the next step — do I just send you my resume? Do you need my order number or anything?

    Thanks Alison!!

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      I’ve sent instructions to everyone who purchased as of 12 p.m. EST today, so if you don’t have it, check your spam folder. But here are the instructions I emailed everyone:

      Where to send your resume: You can email it me at resumes@askamanager.org.

      When to send it by: There’s no time limit on when you can submit your resume, so feel free to take your time if you’d like to. (Some people wait until their next job search, which is totally fine to do if you’d like.)

      When you’ll receive feedback by: I’ll provide feedback on your resume within three weeks of receiving it (and hopefully less). If that will cause any problems for you, let me know and I’ll see if I can bump you up on the list!

      1. Ann

        Did paypal give you the email addresses? I forgot to put it in the instructions and haven’t gotten any email from you, thought I have a paypal receipt.

          1. Charisma

            I purchased last time around (March 9th according to my PayPal receipt and I do check my spam folder regularly) and I never received a separate confirmation email. I had actually purchased it as a gift for my sister but then she up and got a job before I could give it to her. So I’ve been keeping it around for a rainy day. Still, I didn’t get a confirmation email outside of paypal. Should I bother you about it right now or wait until I need to redeem it?

            1. Ask a Manager Post author

              Either way is fine! If you want to clear it up now, feel free to email me — I’m sure I have you in my records, but it doesn’t hurt to verify!

  3. Bacon

    A discount on your book, too?! I’ve been thinking about buying it, but you’ve convinced me to take the plunge. Thank you!

  4. Little Teapot

    I’m in Australia and have been sitting on your website for half an hour, hitting refresh, waiting for it to come up! It’s midnight here and I didn’t trust the AAM community not to sell it out before I wake up tomorrow morning haha.

    Alison, I am beyond excited I have managed to secure a resume review with you. I have been a fan for such a long time, really respect your advice. I stalk AAM multiple times a day, bore my partner to death with constant stories that usually start ‘Do you know what Alison said?’ and yes, between myself and my partner we are on first-name basis with you! Haha.

    Thank you for offering this again, but mostly, thank you for being so awesome :D

  5. Ash (the other one)

    Definitely do it! Alison reviewed mine and was very thoughtful in her comments. I didn’t accept them all, but it really did help streamline some things I had been hemming and hawing about…

  6. Hatsune Miku

    Just bought a present for Future Me! So glad I set an Outlook reminder for this. You’re the best, Alison!

  7. KLC

    Signed up! After spending weeks steadily working my way through the archives, I’m so excited for this. Thanks, Alison!

  8. Jennifer M.

    Do you plan to have this as a semi regular offer – twice a year or so? At this time, it isn’t in the budget, but I’m also looking to stay put for at least 18 months so it could be something to plan for on my end (recognizing that you said next round will probably have a higher price). Thanks!

    1. Rebecca

      I know, not in the budget right now either but would love to take advantage of this in the future!

    2. Sascha

      I’m in the same boat…also I’ve halted my job searching for right now but will need to redo the resume in several months or so.

    3. Jennifer M.

      I decided to take the plunge! The advantage of being an envelope budgeter is that when I say it isn’t in the budget, I probably mean that I don’t have it in my Admin category but there is probably somewhere for the money to be moved from. Hawaii isn’t happening for a year and I can “pay back” the category in 3 months so reallocation here we go!

  9. Anjum

    Just bought a review! Excited :) Where do we send in the resume, same email as question submissions (alison@askamanager.org)? do you prefer it in Word or PDF?

  10. Hermoine Granger

    Just signed up! Working on getting my baseline resume ready while I wait for submission instructions. I’m pretty excited about this! Thanks for extending the offer again.

    A bit off topic but have you ever considered starting a YouTube/Vimeo channel or live stream call-in type thing? I think it would be really great and would help to combat some of the bad resume and career advice out here. You could use the same content from your posts in the videos. It could be another revenue stream and would drive even more traffic to the AAM website. Granted it would probably take more time to record and post videos but it’s just a suggestion.

    1. Elkay

      I imagine a YouTube channel would be a lot more work than the site but I did find Alison’s interview guide video really useful so some one-off guides might be nice.

      Personally I wouldn’t watch a YouTube channel, I like the written format of the site.

    2. Ask a Manager Post author

      I hate video , but I’m actually considering doing a weekly audio thing — like a low-tech podcast, where I just answer a few questions in a recording rather than in writing (probably with a transcript for people who prefer reading to listening).

      1. Hermoine Granger

        A podcast would be cool too. If you decide to do it, I would definitely recommend including a transcript for the reason you mentioned and also because it would help with SEO.

        I did something similar in a past position and used a transcription service because it was originally planned as several videos per week. We tried a few services and ended up using Rev because of accuracy, convenience, and price. However, you can save your money and transcribe it yourself.

      2. Jennifer M.

        I love podcasts! I have a long commute and think this would be an amazing addition to my queue.

      3. The IT Manager

        Totally agree. I read dear prudence mostly – for amusement – but those video Q&A she does where the video does nothing to enhance the question and answer are just pointlessly annoying. Podcasts are the way to go unless you have something to show that offers value.

        1. Honeybee

          I totally agree and this is exactly what I was thinking of when Hermione Granger suggested it. I love reading Dear Prudence’s transcripts, but I hate the videos and I never watch them. I’m just not a huge fan of video in general.

  11. Kara

    Whoo! Just bought this for my housemate who has been out of work for a while. I’m super excited. Thanks! :)

  12. RCB

    I just bought one for my brother, who wanted to participate in the last round but missed it. How do I proceed from here? Does he need to reference the transaction number when he emails you his info?

  13. T3k

    Got myself one! My resume could really use an honest critique, as it’s been a long time since an advisor looked it over, and it’s gone through many changes since then.

  14. Anony-moose

    Excited. Thrilled. Exuberant. Thinking of pivoting into a new sector and basically frozen like a deer in headlights. This will be so helpful.

  15. Dani X

    Got one! Not ready for a review yet – put the search one hold for a few months but I figure when I am ready I have it in my back pocket. Is there a time limit? Like a year? And if we take a while to get back to you do we just send a copy of the receipt?

    1. FJ

      Same question! Interested in the review, but probably not looking for another year or more. Is there really no time limit?

  16. SaraV

    Q: While the resume review is not in the budget right now, how long will the discount code be good for your book?

  17. learningToCode

    This isn’t an Allison question but is somewhat on topic:

    >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.

    I bought this resume review despite it being worth a day of work, which does seem pricey.
    How much do career services seem to run?
    I’m not liking the direction my company is going (huge changes in the 6 months I’ve been here, but I moved for the job so I’m hoping things settle down in the next year…) but professional (ie not career center) support now sounds so expensive.

    1. The IT Manager

      I wonder that myself since I could not tell from the price that Alison would not completely rewrite a resume. I have no idea how much some things cost.

    2. Rita

      When I changed jobs in 2011 (my current employer was moving and I couldn’t do the commute), I met with a career counselor who had her own one-person business. I think that was her title – I found her through a Google search. I met with her twice, we had a lot of email correspondence, and she totally overhauled my resume. I think it cost me $450.

    3. Honeybee

      I think it depends on who you purchase it from and what you get – but from what I’ve seen, Alison’s resume reviews are actually a pretty good deal. My other familiarity is with The Professor Is In, who does application material reviews for academic jobs. She charges $150 for her quick CV reviews.

      CNN’s article “Career coaches: Worth the investment?” cites a 2007 study that stated an average price of $161/hour.

  18. Simplytea

    Can we purchase it now and reserve it for… say three years in the future? LOL, but seriously can I?

    I’m getting my degree and don’t want to revamp my resume until then. I can only hope Alison is still doing this at that point!!

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Well, I can’t guarantee that I’ll still be around in a few years — I mean, I plan to, but it’s not written on stone so I’d feel a little uneasy about encouraging you to purchase now and wait three years :)

  19. natalie

    Ahh! I really want to purchase this but I’m having trouble with my PayPal account (I can’t change my card details since moving countries). Is there any other way I can pay? I’ve been on the job hunt these past 2 months and would love your help Alison! :)

      1. natalie

        I think I only got the option to pay via PayPal. Would I be able to get the link again? The offer is already closed :(

  20. Coordinadora General

    I’m so glad I got in before the cut off!

    One question — would it be better for me to take a stab at reworking my current resume first, based on the eBook, and then have you review it? Or do you think it would be just as effective to send it in its current form?

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Good question. Sending it in first could make the rewrite easier, but sending it after reworking it yourself would let you get feedback on the final. So I’m torn!

    1. Shell

      It means that your name and reputation is getting better every year :) I’m sure the site traffic reflects this too.

      Congrats, Alison!

    2. Honeybee

      You also gave everyone a heads up this time, so some people put a reminder in their calendars. I would have if it had been in the budget to get a resume review right now :D

  21. Brett

    Of course paypal is blocked at work :/ Was hoping the offer would hold out until lunch time.
    Maybe next time.

  22. Southern Gal

    oh no very busy day at work
    wasnt able to check the website until now…
    if per chance you keep a waiting list… please add me to it!

  23. Vanishing Girl

    Aw, damn. I’d been checking throughout the morning for this post and then had to go away from the computer. Maybe next time.

  24. Bee

    Darn it! No! I really wanted to do this! Argh! Guess I’ll get the e-book (probably within my budget anyways…)

    But Alison, do you know if you’ll be doing this again in the future?

  25. Rebecca

    Bah! My friend sent me this at 1:15… Definitely interested if you create a waiting list. My severance package is running out and I just redid my resume.

  26. Resume raffle?

    I’m not sure how practical this is for you, but wanted to put it out there for your consideration: Would you be open to a raffle or something similar around the holidays? Even if it’s an only one winner situation, it would make a huge difference to people who are currently unemployed. I’m sure $125. is a bargain for your services, it’s just far beyond my reach at this point.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Oh, I love that idea. Especially if it’s something like “to enter, make a $5 donation to (worthy charity) and forward your receipt as your entry.”

      1. Rita

        Even though I plan on staying at my job long term (knock on wood), if this was done for charity I would totally enter anyways and give the reward to a friend who would benefit from it.

    2. Relosa

      This. Or is there at least any way we can get more than a few days’ notice? I’m willing to forgo being on time for bills to pay for it, but I can’t always come up with it in a few days notice. I’m going to sound like a turd but it’s the people who can’t afford it that probably need the help more than those who have $125 ready to go. I imagine you can’t take on that many at one time, but a bit more head start for us who are broke-broke would be kinda cool.

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        Yes! I’ll try to do more notice in the future. Sometimes I decide at the last minute that I have time so it’s not always perfectly plan-able, but I will definitely keep this in mind.

        1. Coordinadora General

          It also seems that with the notice given in the comments, that it’s something you do at least once a year and as recently as 6 months ago, people who are interested can start saving up now. $15 a month for a year or $25 a month for 6 months should cover the costs for next time around.

          1. Resume raffle?

            Please understand, I don’t mean this confrontationally, but I think this is good plan only if you have money to spare. I cannot speak for other readers, but personally, I am living hand-to-mouth at the moment. Even $5 would be a sacrifice right now, but it’s such a nice approach- being able to donate to charity. Budgeting is one thing, but not having it at all is another. This was what led me to suggest some sort of contest or raffle. Hopefully, my personal situation will improve, but it seems like a greater need may be there, and it would be nice to help others in the process.

  27. Bonnie

    SO thrilled to be one of the ones who made it! I was laid off in early July and not getting the results I need. Was trying to decide if I could spare the money when I realized I had $87 of credit in my PayPal account…the universe spoke! Thanks so much, Alison!

  28. Dana

    Probably overly confident in my ability to put together a decent resume, but not wanting to spend $125 for your consult and the discount did push me to buy your book finally. Looking forward to diving into it after work!

  29. Three Thousand

    How many resumes were you able to take on, out of curiosity? I would have liked to do this but managed to miss it.

  30. AJS

    I signed up two years ago and I was very happy with Alison’s review. Using her guidance, I restructured and reworded the whole resume. I ended up juggling multiple job offers; this was the only area of my job search routine that had changed.

    You will not regret it!

  31. LTRFTC

    Dang! Usually I read this blog religiously but I’ve been sick lately and had to miss the one day you were doing resume reviews (and I’ve been waiting for you to do another one since the last time!). Oh well. Fingers crossed that I don’t miss the next one!

  32. Southern Gal

    as someone who keeps missing this because of work (and yes i do need a new job) another idea –
    how about a drawing?

    you post and give a cutoff date/time say 8 pm the same day
    then use a number generator to pick numbers (number of picks = number of resumes you want to work on)
    entries are numbered from 1st to post comment, 2nd etc…
    the commenters with that entry number wins a spot.

    this would be fair to everyone – and would give more of a chance to those of us who can not have your website open on a work computer during the day and so miss out by not being able to be in the first come, first served group.

Comments are closed.