Search for “executive resume writers,” “top executive resume writers,” or “best executive resume writing firms,” and you will find pages of results from review boards that purportedly critique and list the “top 5 (or 10 or 20) best executive resume writing companies.”
At first glance, this may seem like a quick way to narrow down the “best executive resume writers” and find unbiased reviews, but this could not be farther from the truth. In fact, these sites have no accreditation or review authority, and worse, some are entry-level resume writing firms simply attempting to drive web traffic and bolster their business. This deception is considered false advertising by the Federal Trade Commission.
Who Actually “Reviews” Executive Resume Writing Firms?
Have you ever wondered who is behind these “best resume writing services for 2021” review sites and if they are actually providing legitimate unbiased reviews of companies? Who really establishes these top 10 review sites, and what is their motivation?
Consider the following facts—and a great alternative to finding and vetting executive resume writers or companies—all without bias!
Review sites are typically constructed for SEO purposes, rather than to educate you. They link and backlink to various sites to improve their page rank on search engines. The higher the page rank, the more opportunity they have to monetize the traffic they drive to their site. Maybe they are looking for partnerships, advertisers, or even customers. Perhaps they just want to drive up their page rank in order to sell their site. Maybe they are being paid by the companies they are supposedly reviewing. We don’t fully know. But we do know that we have not found any that provide these reviews to you in an unbiased fashion. In fact, there is no governing authority in the resume writing industry—including associations—that provide reviews of executive resume writers or resume writing firms. Perhaps one of the reasons these resume review sites can exist is that resume writing is currently an unregulated industry.
There is little to no continuity between lists of best executive resume writers. You would think that the top 5 or 10 would keep popping up on each review board, but it isn’t so. Try it yourself and see. So, who indeed IS the best or IS there a best?
Why Would an Executive Resume Writer Rank Other Writers? Good Question.
Believe it or not, many review sites offer their own resume writing and coaching services. Several high-ranking sites not only have lists with titles such as “5, 7, 9, or 10 (pick your number) best resume writing firms for 2021,” but they go so far as to list THEIR company #1 best service, giving their resume writing competition lower list ranking and a tongue-in-cheek review. I am surprised they think a professional looking to vet resume writers would even fall for this.
It goes without saying that companies offering resume writing services to clients in conjunction with trying to provide reviews of their competition by posting titles such as “top 10 resume writers for 2021”, are not sharing actual thoughts of a direct experience working with another resume writing firm. In other words, they were not a client of ANY executive resume writer or executive resume writing firm. And they offer no authority by which to review them.
On the business side, since 2020, the emergence of these resume writing review boards and their prevalence on the first page of most search engine results pose conflicts for the industry. Top executive resume writing firms and solo executive resume writers are often forced to engage in a legal exchange with these popup review sites when these sites illegally use executive resume writers’ patented trademarks and copyrighted material to form their review headline or other content or graphics.
Resume writing review sites don’t offer a legitimate review of other executive resume writing companies. They are misleading consumers by posting fake advertising with titles like “9 Best Executive Resume Writing Services for 2021”, which is actually a violation of the Federal Trade Commission guidelines regarding false advertising.
A Phony Review Site Example
Here is an example of a similar hustle used in (of all things) the trampoline industry:
“According to the FTC’s complaint, the brothers advertised and sold Infinity and Olympus Pro brand trampolines on several websites featuring the logos of supposedly independent review organizations that allegedly tested and approved the brothers’ trampolines. Each review entity also had its own website touting positive reviews from purported impartial experts and satisfied consumers, all recommending the brothers’ trampolines.
The FTC complaint alleged the review entities were not independent and the reviews were not objective. The complaint also charged that one of the brothers posted online reviews as if he were an ordinary trampoline owner, without disclosing his connection to the products he was promoting.”
How Fake Reviews Affect the Executive Resume Writing Industry
Some resume writing companies that have been victimized by fake or misleading review boards have used The Lanham Act to protect themselves:
The Lanham Act
While the FTC enforces consumer protection laws on behalf of consumers, the Lanham Act allows business competitors to privately sue advertisers for false advertising. The Lanham Act principally concerns violation of trademark law, but competitors can also file lawsuits for false advertising. To sue under the Lanham Act, you must prove the following:
- Advertiser made factually false claims about the product
- Advertisement did or could deceive a large segment of the target population
- Deception was an important part of the ad
- Product was sold across state lines
- Competitor (plaintiff) was likely to be harmed by the deception
Note that while the Lanham Act protects consumers (from trademark confusion and false advertising), only competitors can sue under the act.
We found one resume writing review site outside of the US that claims their reviews are authentic and written by customers or clients of various resume writers and companies. However, my company found a high-ranking review of our company services, and the “review” was very clearly not a client of ours. It was not only written in a juvenile way but described a detailed writing process and customer experience that was out of sync with our actual process and customer experience. We sent this international company a cease-and-desist letter. Nothing happened. And why does their review rank so high? Because they put our company’s name in the link and our organically high ranking drove up their bogus review.
The bottom line is we have yet to find a best of or top 10 executive resume writing companies list with reviews that did not mislead consumers. It is sad that these pages are allowed top ranking on Google, which in a sense, makes them look legitimate (a high-ranking website does not necessarily mean the page is non-biased). Still, it makes it more difficult for other executive resume writing firms that are not linking to thousands of other sites to rank organically high on search engines. Your average boutique executive resume writing firm does not have the financial backing or industry-regulated resources to battle such unscrupulous activity.
Where to Find the Best Executive Resume Writers, For Real
So, there you have it. But what can you do now?
We have a better solution for you to vet potential resume writing partners. Investigate writers on the top industry association websites. Often, they have lists of member writers and separate lists of certified and award-winning writers. These are firms that are positively engaging in continued education and a collaborative environment with other industry professionals! Now you no longer have to be misled by top 10 and best of resume writing review boards but can conduct your vetting process organically and without manipulation by entities that do not have your best interests at heart.
The top US executive resume writing associations are:
Mary Elizabeth Bradford is the Founder and Executive Director of CEOresumewriter.com and Maryelizabethbradford.com and a past executive recruiter. A thought leader in the career services industry for over 20 years, she holds 5 distinct advanced certifications for senior-level resume writing, online branding and executive-level job search coaching (CERM, CMRW, CARW, MCD, NCOPE). She has been seen and heard in major media including Forbes, Time, WSJ, Newsweek and NBC affiliate stations. She holds 2 CDI TORI awards and is a top tier judge for the elite CDI TORI awards for four consecutive years. Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s elite team of award-winning, certified, top executive resume writers, former top executive recruiters, and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier C-suite, board members and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want. She works with clients all over the globe.