Are Cheap Resumes Worth It? The Hidden Cost Of A Cheap Resume

By David Alan Carter

The cheap resume… is it a bargain job-hunting tool? Or are you paying more than you realize, and jeopardizing your professional future? A former recruiter sheds light on the perils of bargain hunting when one’s career is at stake.


If you’re talking cheap, you’re talking my language. I’ve been known to drive all over town to shave a few cents off the price of gasoline – to get me back to my side of town. When it comes to bargain resumes, however, the stated price is often just the tip of the iceberg. With seemingly “cheap” resumes, there can be a larger cost that often goes unseen. Here are two points to keep in mind before signing up with that cheap resume writing service…

Cheap Resumes Most Likely Come From Factories

Unbeknownst to most folks, there are resume factories just like there are wingnut factories; each spitting out a high volume of product that all pretty much look alike. That’s fine for wingnuts. Resumes, on the other hand, are marketing documents that should be individualized to each particular job seeker. A resume factory that’s getting by on a razor thin profit margin simply can’t afford to dedicate much time – if any – to personal attention. The client is typically asked to fill out a questionnaire, the writer feeds that information into a template, and the wingnut (er, resume) comes spitting out the other end of the shop floor.


With the job market the worst in decades, do you really want to be presenting yourself to prospective employers as just another wingnut?

A Cheap Resume That Doesn’t Land Interviews Gets Expensive, Fast

Let’s say you’ve been laid off or otherwise lost a job that paid $42,000 per year, and you’re simply trying to get back into the job market in that same salary bracket. Doing the math, that means that for every week you remain unemployed, you’re losing just over $800.00 in potential wages. Now consider that your run-of-the-mill “factory” resume is going straight into the circular file of employers when it hits their desks. Other resumes are getting favorable attention; candidates are getting called in for interviews. But not you. All of a sudden, that “cheap” resume is costing you $800.00 per week, and every week that your phone doesn’t ring.

Lost a job that paid $75,000 annually? Then you’re out a whopping $1,442.00 each week your resume doesn’t score. Tack that on to the price of that $50 “bargain” resume, and you’ll begin to get an idea of the true price you’ve just paid for a document that has a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace.

Look Beyond Price For Value

Don’t let the initial price of a resume be your only guide in determining which resume writing service to go with. Consider other key factors including the credentials of the writer, the experience he or she brings to the table, and the willingness of that writer to conduct a telephone interview to fully explore your work background and goals. Also important: the availability of a guarantee (ranging from a guarantee of satisfaction, to a guarantee of interviews). Believe it or not, there are resume services out there that offer all of the above, for less than you might think. You don’t have to take out a second mortgage to get a resume that’s polished, professional and puts your best foot forward.

Bargain hunt the price of coffee makers and laundry detergent and paper plates. But think twice before bargain hunting a cheap resume writing service.

About the Author: David Alan Carter is a former recruiter. Writing for the website, Carter has confronted the Web’s most popular resume writing services in his Resume Service Reviews, evaluating quality of workmanship, spelling out their pricing, and giving each a star ranking.


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