Is TopResume Worth It?

sahara holding purple colored laptop with stickers 'women who code', 'brunch.code.repeat', 'built by girls', and 'educate a girl change the world'

About a month ago, I decided to give TopResume a try. I kept getting emails from them after uploading my resume to Glassdoor when I applied to a role on there months ago. For reference, this was prior to my ZipRecruiter Misuse post where I dissected terms and agreements of all popular job board sites. They have some sort of deal with Glassdoor when someone uploads their resume to apply for a role, you can opt to have your resume looked at by them for free. After you let them look at your resume for free, they keep emailing you. Constantly.

At this point, I did get call backs but they never went anywhere, so I gave TopResume a try.


You'd think my soul left my body when the $149 went out of my bank account. I was just scared - was it going to be worth it? Based on their reviews, they were top tier a blessing for job seekers. But then again, websites that offer a service to job seekers usually make it sound like they are the light at the end of the tunnel. My neighbor talked highly of them - I'm not sure she ever used them, but it just felt like I was going nowhere with what I had so I had no other option but to have a professional resume writer to take a look.

So, what package did I get?


The cheapest one - I paid for the Professional Growth and Resume Writing Package for $149. Except, here's some quality tea: Remember how I said they kept emailing me after that ~free~ viewing of my resume? Yep, so here's the funny part. They sent an email saying with a specific link sent to my email there was a sale on the package with $179 crossed out and $149 as the new price. So, I purchased it and then 3 hours later as my parents were asking about the price, I was going to show my parents the price crossed out and the price I paid only now that I clicked the link the discounted price was $139. The very same link I clicked on 3 hours earlier had a $10 cheaper price after I used it to purchase.

I emailed their customer support about the issue, they were no help on there.


I even sent a video recording of me clicking the link from my email  - the regular price now on the website was $149 rather than $179,  and the discounted price when I clicked my link was $139. Their customer support via email kept saying essentially too bad, not our problem. So I called the next day, explained to the person on the phone what happened, she saw the email thread as well, and agreed that I have to be refunded because the discount came after I purchased via the link a few hours earlier. The opposite of how a discount link should work.

What did the service offer?


A professional resume writer in your field to look at your current resume and basically give it a makeover content wise. You go back and forth with the resume writer for 7 days only - in those 7 days the back and forth edits only stop once you say you are satisfied with the resume.

How was the service, honestly?


In all honesty, I wouldn't recommend them unless you yourself are an english native and personally know a wrong sentence structure when you see one. Also, if you read a lot that's also a plus because sometimes the resume writer used words wrong.

I don't think that it's a professional resume writer in your field, that bit - from my experience - couldn't have been further from the truth.

My first revision - I sent in my one page resume - came back to me in the form of 2 pages with the following:

  • Chunks of keywords thrown in with no sentence structure
  • Incomplete sentences that didn't read well
  • A massive paragraph (if we even want to call it that - it was just a lot of keywords thrown in with no periods) at the start of my resume
  • My name and title in my profession were centered awkwardly in a way that didn't visibly make sense
  • My technical abilities (the coding languages and frameworks I know) was all the way at the bottom
  • She eliminated my Personal Interests section which lists my blog and the fact that I am a USATF Track Athlete; 5000M.

Overall the format didn't make sense, and it was just too much on the eyes - there was no whitespace! I get why she wanted to put as many keywords as possible so that companies that use artificial intelligence to screen through resumes won't put me in the No Pile but just chucking in keywords isn't the answer.

You can kind of think of it when using keywords in your blog post: Google will notice what you're doing if you keep using your keywords to get a better ranking on google, so you have to use them smartly throughout your post.

That's the mindset that you should have with your resume:  You can flurry in all the keywords you want but make it make sense. Don't start getting generous and sprinkle your keywords all over your resume like you're Rupert Grint* handing out free ice cream. If Google's algorithm is smart enough to know what you're doing when you keep using keywords to get a higher ranking on Google, don't you think the algorithm the company uses to screen through the resume is too?


_____

* Actor who plays Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter Series. 

_____

I will be getting back to the importance on the Personal Interests section in a future post, but I will say this: Keep This On Your Resume! Don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise. I have some stories that I'm going to get into in a future post of 'mentors' degrading my interests and equating listing my blog and being a USATF Track Athlete on my resume to writing 'I like Ketchup'.

I let the resume writer know I was dissatisfied with this edition and essentially wrote a whole 6 paragraph essay picking apart what was wrong with it. I guess you can say I became an english teacher for these 7 days, I had to explain proper sentence structure format, provide alternative words due to words they used weren't used correctly, and also edit a lot of sentences entirely. I didn't want to be rude picking it apart, but I was also paying for this service. $139 to be exact.

It's a two way street between you and the TopResume Writer.


You give the resume writer feedback and they make the changes to get that much closer to the resume that you are going to be satisfied with. You can't say you don't like the revision and not explain what it is that you are dissatisfied with. There were some occasions where the way she edited a section - compared to my resume I sent in - it sounded too simplified technical-wise and I would redirect her to my resume I sent in and the technical language I used.

As we kept revising it, the amount of things I pointed out became less and less; we worked together bouncing back and forth via email on what changes to make. Each resume revision was sent in a Word Document, so you can easily edit it on Google Docs once they send it through!

Tip for Resume Writing: ADD COLOR. Do you know how boring it is to look at a document with no color at all, all resumes just start to look the same (if a person is looking through them not Artificial Intelligence). Change your name, and heading for each section to a neutral color. I chose a dark-ish blue - not sky blue but also not navy, kind of like jeans colored?

In terms of the sentence structure, did that ever get better?


Not really. I had to really dissect each sentence and line to make sure that the structure made sense and it wasn't just random words thrown together to make it look intelligent when in actuality it made no sense. I mentioned this earlier but I read a lot, and obviously as a blogger write a lot, so I was well aware of an incorrectly structured sentence when I saw one. If English is not your first language, or you are not fluent in it, RUN.

How would I rate the service?


⭐⭐☆☆☆ 

2 out of 5 Stars

In the end I did end up with a resume I was satisfied with but the process was a lot of me pointing out my industry's standard as if she wasn't a professional in my field as advertised on the TopResume website. I am rating the process, not the final product.

Everything is now written better than what I had previously, and as for call backs has it changed? Well, in some ways its the same, but in other ways it's not. I attended an interview last week and the person interviewing me said he took one look at my resume and knew he had to see me, so I will say that the changes made were most definitely needed for my resume.

According to their terms and conditions they say that if you don't get an increase in calls in two months or so then you can tell them that and they will go through the whole resume revision process again, free of charge.

This 2 out of 5 star rating is mainly because for the reasons I listed above:
  • The resume writer wasn't a professional in my field as advertised.
  • Sentence structure was poor until I had to continuously point it out and offer alternatives.
  • The format of the resume was all wrong in the beginning.
The only reason we ended up on a resume format that was satisfactory was because I did my own research on resumes in my field to get some inspiration and edited the resume writer's sentences to actually be complete sentences- it was clear I needed to pull more weight in this revision than I originally thought.

Okay so where should you go if your resume is in need of a glow up?


Luckily for you - and unluckily for me - I came across this tweet a few days ago detailing websites that offer free resume revisions - Free Resume Help List + some extra stuff tweet!

Have you recently fixed up your resume? Would you give TopResume a try?


25 comments:

  1. These are some really good tips to build a decent resume! Also the tools of free resume builders are incredibly useful, I do agree though that the service doesn’t really reflect the price you paid for it. Great post x

    bumblingalong.co.uk

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  2. I am glad to know that they are not worth it! Thanks so much for sharing your opinion!

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  3. This was so interesting. I've never heard of this service but that sounds so poor for a not so cheap service. I think it's awful that you need to edit their sentences and grammar. At the end of the day, that's what a lot of people need help with, especially if their skills are more technical. I would definitely avoid them in the future. I'm glad the final product was something you were happy with! I hope it brings in some results for you x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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  4. OMG - $139/$149 is so expensive for this type of service. I would have been so upset if they did not honor the additional $10 off, too! I'm glad when you called that someone made it right. I had a similar experience occur with Grammarly where I missed out on a deal by a few hours and requested to honor the deal, but CS would not allow it. So instead of gaining a new customer they lost a sale!

    Second, I am in disbelief that they could charge such a high price when their staff are not equipped to (1) give you advice in your field, as advertised and (2) that they were sending you suggestions written with incorrect grammar.

    I'm glad that this worked out for you in the end and that the resume ended up being much stronger when you paired some of their advice with your own writing skills.

    Also, I totally agree with you that interests do add a special touch to any resume because they provide a natural way for you to connect with the person reviewing your resume or interviewing you!

    Wishing you all the best as you use your revised resume to seek out new roles!!

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  5. I'd be so upset if I paid that amount of money for something and then went back and it was cheaper on the same link. It's a bit of a joke that the customer services didn't do very much to help you and even worse that you didn't feel like the service that they offered was any good!

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  6. Wow! The experience you had sounds crazy. You shouldn’t need to pay so much to correct other people’s grammar.

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  7. This sounds like such a good service but it's a shame that there were so many things which just didn't match up to the price point and advertising. I'm so glad that you really went in on this post and told us all the details because I'm sure it will be very helpful for anyone who may be considering it in the future and lets them know what it was like. It's quite ridiculous about the whole discount issue and that noone was able to sort that out for you! Thanks for sharing as always Sahara, looking forward to more informative posts in the future xx

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  8. I think based on your review I definitely wouldn't try the service because although I am a native English speaker, I have terrible grammar and that would be what I would need help in. I can't believe they charged you so much and didn't deliver on having an expert in your field help you - feels a bit like misselling? However, this post has definitely reminded me that I need to redo my resume as it's been quite a while since I last made edits or revisions.

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  9. Crikey, that is a LOT of money for what seems like a pretty poor service. I'm surprised you'd heard such good reviews? I sounds like you could probably have written just as good of a resume (if not better) yourself, based on how articulate you are in your blog posts! x

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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  10. I love the honest feel of your experience here, even if it was not as good as it was advertised. At the end of the day, we all reach a point where we need help and, even if you had to do more then you expected, at least you came away with a resume you are currently satisfied with.
    It is always a shame when the 'professional's' charge a lot and turn out to know even less then you in a specific field. Thanks for including a link for free services! I know it will give others a hand up.

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  11. I’m glad that you made a post like this. I got an email from a cv company that offered to check over my cv for free. And I felt like it was super negative to the point that it felt like a selling tactic. It just deflated my self esteem. So I decided to just leave it to luck with my cv. Great post thank you for sharing your experience! ✨

    Lia

    www.insidethethoughtsoflia.wordpress.com

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  12. This sounds like a really awful experience. I'm so sorry that you had to deal with that.
    I was instantly skeptical just from reading your title. Those services sound sketchy.

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  13. I'm actually re-doing my resume right now so this post was perfect to come across! I'm always super suspicious of resume services and now I know not to go with Top Resume, lol!

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  14. glad you wrote this review to let others know the cons for this company.

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  15. This sounds like an awful experience! I am sorry you paid all that money and didn't have a good experience. I am glad in the end you got a resume that you were happy with, have you had any success with your new resume?

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  16. I never used a service like that before and I feel like one day I will. I think there are better ones than this. I'm sorry you had to spend a lot of money to get through this.

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  17. Thank God I now know that it doesn't worth the time! It seems to be a very bad experience! Wonderful Post! Have a great day!
    Allurerage
    Rampdiary

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  18. I have been so tempted to use their service. I'm under a time constraint in finding a new job. I can't really afford their serrrvice given the exchange rate.

    Thank you for your research! And the link at the end.

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  19. It is great that there are so many different services out there to help you find jobs and prepare for interviews from your computer. Oh man, the initiation price is expensive but as long as they do the job right, it's worth it. It is great that you got a discount. Though, it was a bummer that the service wasn't all that great. At least you now have experience with them and know firsthand. I usually give a free service once a year on reviewing resumes for college students.

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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  20. It's so annoying that the service didn't live up to what was advertised, especially at such a price! It's definitely been a while since I've looked at my resume as I'm self-employed and a creative so it's more word of mouth or showing what I can do physically. I'm sure I'll have to put together one at some point in the future, though so I'll definitely be checking out the free sites!
    Alice Xx
    www.blacktulipbeauty.co.uk

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  21. Wow. A lot has changed out there hahaha. I've been using the same template (a friend of mine paid for a professional to create hers more than 10 years ago now) that my friend gave me. Granted I have been employed for a good 5+ years now so it is interesting to see and hear so much about resume presentation and details. I wonder if my "old school" version still cuts it? Either way I don't think I'd be ok with paying for this, especially the amount you paid! That seems very $$$ and for what you got, it's a real shame.

    Sxx
    daringcoco.com

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  22. Thanks for sharing this review! I love it when people are honest and it's good to know how you really felt about the service. I think I'll give this resume company a miss!

    Nicola
    http://nicshealthylife.co.uk

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  23. Oh dear! :-( I'm so sorry to hear your experience with them was so, appalling. You'd think people who write or re-write resumes for a living would know how to put proper sentences together! To be honest it's been a while since I took a look at mine. It's black and white, with headings, and just over two pages. I completely agree about adding your interests, it shows the employer that you have hobbies and some team activities also show them you're a team player, which is a good thing. I do like your idea of using a neutral colour for the headings - I'll be switching to a dark blue. :-)
    Kim x chimmyville.co.uk

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  24. OMG I would never pay for a service like this. I would think it is more or less a scam but then again I am a bit of cynic. I would see that price tag and be like nope. You could pay someone the same amount of money in person who you know has the background in what you are looking for. Just ask around and let them know you are willing to pay. So theres that.

    I would also be wary of data mining scams. I am blown away on how the job search "market" has turned in to a billions of dollars scam. All these companies making money off the job search. Hmmm. Job aggregators are posting millions of inactive jobs that companies for some reason leave on their careers page even though the job is not actively open. Why would they do this? Why would they want to get all those resumes flooding their inboxes? Well they leave them on their careers page because they don't deal with it. The third party recruiting company deals with it. So why would the third party recruiting company want to have their inboxes flooded with resumes and user profile information, hmm......#fakenews #everythingisascam

    Allie of
    www.allienyc.com

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  25. So frustrating that you didn't get good value for money - that is a lot of money to pay to have to do further work yourself! I'm glad you did get some positives out of the experience but it doesn't sound like I'd want to use!

    Hope that you are having a lovely weekend :)

    Away From Blue

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