Many resume writing agencies and some individual resume writers offer guarantees of their services.
While guarantees are generally a good thing, they are also easily manipulated by aggressive marketers.
So it's important to understand exactly what the company or writer is guaranteeing.
This article will look at what resume companies typically offer for their guarantee -- a rewrite of your resume, or your money back -- as well as the circumstances under which you, the buyer, can trigger the guarantee.
Let's start with what resume companies offer for their guarantee.
Most Common: Rewrite Your Resume
Most commonly, the guarantee from a resume writer or company is the promise to rewrite your resume.
Sounds pretty good.
But in reality, we've found that if a job seeker is so unsatisfied with a delivered resume that they want a complete rewrite, they often don't have the confidence in the author or firm to do it correctly even if given a second chance.
Also, does rewriting your resume mean a true rewrite with a fresh approach?
Or is it more likely to be just moving a couple words around and some formatting tweaks? Obviously that really wouldn't be worth anything, but unfortunately we've heard stories where this is all the "rewrite" turns out to be.
And what if you did proceed with a rewrite and the second attempt is no good? Many companies only offer a single rewrite, so even with a guarantee you may not ever get what you really need: an effective resume that puts you on the path to job interviews.
Ultimately, you'd rather have a high-quality writer prepare your resume correctly the first time than a low-quality writer prepare it poorly twice.
So our advice is: rather than focus on a "free rewrite," focus on revisions.
Ask: How does the revision process work? How many revisions are included with your resume package?
Good resume writers like those on Resume Workshop will expect to provide you multiple revisions. They know that getting your resume 100% perfect with the first or even second draft is next to impossible, and therefore they've baked the cost of revisions into their pricing.
Less Common: Your Money Back
The second type of guarantee offer is a money-back guarantee.
Obviously this is a stronger guarantee than the promise to rewrite an unsatisfactory first draft of your resume.
It de-risks your purchase completely; only your time could be lost. (Though that too could be precious if you're racing to submit your resume for a job application.)
Our advice here is to simply read the fine print and press for clarity on the policy.
Many money-back guarantees will carry certain stipulations.
Which is fair. After all, a resume writer doesn't want to spend hours on your resume only to have you demand your money back because it's not what exactly what you wanted or expected.
3 Types of Guarantees from Resume Writing Services
Now that you know what is offered as recompense if you trigger your guarantee, let's look at the variety of guarantees themselves.
There are three types of guarantees you'll see from resume writing companies:
- Satisfaction guaranteed
- Interviews guaranteed
- Job offers guaranteed
Let's consider each in turn.
#1 - Satisfaction Guaranteed
Guaranteeing your satisfaction with the offer to rewrite your resume once -- this is the most common guarantee of all.
A couple examples:
- 60-day 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy, we’ll rewrite it for free. (Monster.com)
- As an industry leader in resume writing, client satisfaction remains our no.1 priority. If you’re not happy with your new resume after the writing process is complete, we’ll rewrite it for free - OR give you your money back! (Resume Writer Direct)
Interestingly, "satisfaction" is typically vaguely defined, which should actually benefit you, the buyer.
So if you merely claim to be dissatisfied, you should be able to trigger the guarantee.
Just make sure -- as mentioned before and will be mentioned again -- to get absolutely clarity.
Will you need some hard evidence or qualification of your dissatisfaction before the writer will work on your resume again?
Make sure to know this ahead of time.
#2 - Interviews Guaranteed
The second type of guarantee you will encounter from a resume writer or agency is that you'll land an interview within a certain timeframe of using your new resume.
- If you are not receiving two times more job interviews within 60 days of receiving your professionally-written resume, we will write it again one time, free-of-charge. You must notify us in writing within 180 days of receiving your final copy. (TopResume)
- Interviews within 30 days or we'll revise your resume --no extra fee! (ResumesGuaranteed.Com)
- If after having us write you a resume, you do not get a job interview within 2 months, we will rewrite your resume for free. (ResumeWriters.com)
Now, the first thing you'll notice is that all of these simply offer to rewrite your resume; they don't offer your money back. We've already addressed this point.
But another thing to be careful of here is that interview guarantees have more tightly-defined terms than the vague satisfaction guarantees we discussed above.
Here's an example from ResumeSpice:
- You must have sent our final, customized resume to at least 15 companies.
- Your request must be submitted in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org within 90 days of receiving your final resume.
- Please include 2-4 examples of job descriptions to which you have applied. If you have adapted your resume from the final version we delivered, please include this as well.
- The guarantee is limited to resumes and does not include additional services, such as cover letters.
So to take advantage of this guarantee, there are quite a number of hoops to jump through, including demonstrating that you've applied to at least 15 companies.
Also note their use of the word "customized". ResumeSpice won't offer the interview guarantee if you've simply blasted out your resume to a bunch of companies indiscriminately. You need to have customized it for each application.
(Which we agree with! Every resume, cover letter, and application you send should be tailored to that open role. This is a job search commandment.)
The point here is not to criticize these guarantees.
Rather, it is to call your attention to the fact that there are strict requirements to qualify for the guarantee.
Make sure you know what those are.
#3 - Job Guaranteed
This is a more aggressive version of the second type. It's much rarer, though we have seen it.
Rather than merely assuring the job seeker of an interview after using the freshly-minted resume, this guarantees an actual job offer.
We won't give this type of guarantee much attention because it's plainly overboard.
There are just so many variables involved in securing a job, the vast majority of which are completely outside the control of the resume writer or company, that such a guarantee raises more red flags than it does entice us. There must be a catch.
We actually recommend against going with a writer or firm who offers such a guarantee. But at the very least, don't take it at face value.
Fine print, fine print, fine print. If it seems too good to be true...
The Problem with Interview Guarantees
Aside from the qualifications and fine print that typically accompany interview guarantees, there is another issue to discuss.
It's more of a philosophical issue.
And that is that the existence of such guarantees risks overstating the role of a resume in getting interviews.
There are many ways of landing a job interview, and generally sending in your resume via a company's or jobs website is not the best approach. You're competing with every other stranger, and, especially if it's a popular company, there will be dozens or even hundreds of other applicants.
Your job search should almost always be approached more strategically than that, a topic that is beyond the scope of this article.
Suffice it to say that we just don't want job seekers to believe that even a rock-solid, work-of-art resume necessarily leads to interviews. It is but one piece of the puzzle. An important piece to be sure, but just one.
What If There Is No Guarantee?
With so many companies offering guarantees in the resume writing industry, do you need to worry that a writer who does not offer a guarantee is somehow suspect?
Not at all. In fact, it's usually just the opposite.
The absence of a guarantee can signal quality. The resume writer likely feels confident enough in their product, reputation, and pipeline that they don't need to induce clients with guarantees.
It can also be a measure of transparency.
It shows that they aren't trying to overpromise by giving you false confidence that they'll produce a silver-bullet resume. The best resume writers are job search experts who know that a resume is only a single component of the job search process, most of which remains up to you.
Consider a different service profession, like lawyers.
Would you hire a lawyer who guarantees an outcome of your trial? Hopefully not; a sophisticated consumer knows that a trial's outcome simply can't be guaranteed.
More appealing would be a lawyer who is forthright about your chances, who demonstrates competence, experience, and a track record, and who doesn't make you feel like they're trying to get you as a client as quickly as possible.
Or consider personal trainers.
Would you hire a personal trainer who guarantees that you'll get the body you want? Again, hopefully not. You know that their success is based just as much on the effort and commitment you contribute as it is on their personal training abilities.
To wrap up, here are the key takeaways about guarantees when it comes to purchasing a resume from a professional resume writer or resume company:
- Read the fine print! (Especially with interview guarantees.)
- When you see "we'll rewrite your resume", make sure you push them on exactly how much of a "rewrite" that will actually be.
- Guarantees of a job: these are a red flag. Avoid them.
- Many of the best resume writers offer no guarantees at all. This is a sign of strength and competence.
- The whole idea of a guaranteed resume is a bit dubious because it implies that a resume alone is like a secret password that magically gets interviews. It's not. The job search is much more than just your resume.