Everyone Wants to Help You With Your Resume

Jul 21, 2009
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

The list of companies offering resume writing, enhancement, and tracking continues to grow faster than you can say LinkedIn, with new vendors entering the market this summer.

You may have already heard of some of the resume managers, like ResumeBear. The Bear’ll follow your resume and tell you who’s opening it, forwarding it, and printing it. New features are on the way. Or you may have come across the Resume Donkey. The Donkey’ll rewrite your resume, using professional writers.

Let’s not forget VisualCV. Recruiting-industry junkies might recognize this guy’s resume using the VisualCV tool.

Likely, you’ve heard of Zapoint, which will “take a resume and transform it.”

And a friend of mine (who has to toil in the uncomfortable environs of Laguna Beach) will be launching a “free, online professional resume builder.” Jeff says his new tool will allow employees to create or redo their resumes the way employers want ’em.

Those are just a few. You’ve got your Pongos and your Emurses; you’ve got your Resume Creator, Resume Maker, Resumizer, and resume everything else, some of which seem a little blah compared to all the new multimedia sites out there like VisualCV.

Now, at least three new players, some you may not know about, are joining the field:

  • Verbal Summary. Recruiters can use it either to present a candidate to a hiring manager, or to describe a job to candidates. The important part is the audio; see its demos. What Verbal Summary’s doing that’s a little different is focusing on third-party recruiters (the founder was amazed to see how little money is spent by agencies to differentiate their candidates compared to how much is spent on sourcing, social media, tracking applicants, and branding). Verbal Summary is $50 a month, $500 a year paid in full.
  • FacesForce, in beta, obviously excluded the word resume and its many variations, deviations, and permutations, from its name; the company hopes to be more than just for job-seekers. FacesForce wants to stay with people throughout their careers, such as if people want to record a video to pitch new business. Pricing, it says, is simple.
  • Rezbuzz. This offshoot of Corp Shorts offers a long list of features, but in a nutshell, candidates pay $495 to have a resume made, and housed for a year. For the time being, at least, companies access the resumes for free. It sees consistency as its advantage: one community of quality professional resumes, not a hodge-podge of do-it-yourself bios. The CEO is executive search veteran Mark Sadovnick, who’s enjoying the good PR Rezbuzz is getting.

The careers columnist Joyce Lain Kennedy, author of Resumes For Dummies, says that when it comes to all these new fancy resume variations, she’s “up for anything new and improved that connects people with jobs.”

But, she warns, “the new wave of infinite Internet spotlighting can have unintended consequences.”

For one, Kennedy says, the multimedia features “revive with a heavy dose of steroids the classic photo-on-resume argument — legal exposure to charges of bias against protected classes.”

Kennedy also says the “wild card for the recruiting industry is what will happen when the federal government takes an updated look at discrimination and the ‘Internet Walking, Talking Applicant.'”

One of Kennedy’s favorite resume writers is Kathryn Troutman. Troutman is the CEO of The Resume Place, among the oldest resume services in the U.S. still operated by the original owner. Her firm’s sales doubled this year over last.

Troutman explains the multimedia-resume startup boom this way.

“Entrepreneurs recognize that the vast majority of potential customers have little idea of how to go about living their job hunts in public — adding videos, video clips, audio bites, and even RSS feeds to flesh out their digital beings. Resume providers are counting on a lack of technical skills, especially in adults of earlier generations, to boost demand for their wares. That’s probably why anyone who understands technology and writes well, but who lacks deep pockets for heavy investment in other industries, decides to start a resume-writing service on the cheap and jumps in. This inclination is especially true if the entrepreneur has a background in HR, recruiting, or some other claim to career management fame.”

Troutman says that if history repeats itself, the industry will shrink in a few years when the job market revives. “By then,” she says, “job seekers will have become more adept at preparing their own digital presentations.”

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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