LinkedIn ProFinder Review
About the Company
If you’re looking for a pro to write your resume, you can find one through LinkedIn ProFinder. ProFinder is not your typical resume writing service. In fact, it’s more like a social-networking solution to resume writing. To use ProFinder, you’ll need to log in to LinkedIn and find the ProFinder option under the Works icon. Then you select the type of service you need. (Working through ProFinder, you can actually find people who to help with all sorts of projects, including graphic design, career coaching, and accounting.)
Within a day of selecting the resume writing service through ProFinder, you will receive an email from LinkedIn with a list of five service providers who will bid on your project. We wanted to see how a ProFinder expert would turn our bland resume for a Materials Manager into something that would sell them to potential employers. To test the service, we decided to go with a writer who we hoped would produce a document that was better than the one we submitted. Ultimately, the product we received failed to meet our expectations.
What We Like
Easy signup process
Writer was quick to respond and personable
Quick turnaround time
Solid Training and Education sections
What We Don't Like
A lack of upfront clarity on price
Work was limited to reformatting
Extremely small font size
Experience section packed no punch
The First Step in Our Review Process Was to Request a Resume Writer Through the Profinder Portal
We submitted a request on LinkedIn for someone to rewrite our resume and received emails from five writers who wanted to bid on our project. These writers were not employees of LinkedIn, but freelancers who pay $60 per month for a LinkedIn Business Premium account and have at least 10 recommendations in order to advertise their service.
We Communicated via Email With the Five Writers Before Settling on One to Rewrite Our Resume
Initially, we communicated with the five resume writers via email. The fees charged seemed arbitrary; one of the writers quoted a price of $500, another quoted $100 but later said they were too busy and retracted their offer. Finally, one writer agreed to rewrite our resume for $145. We chose them.
We Spoke on the Phone With Our Resume Writer
We spoke briefly with our resume writer by phone, who said that they would reformat our candidate’s resume. What we didn’t realize at the time was that reformatting was all they would do. Little of the verbiage of the resume changed. However, the resume did look much nicer when they completed the job.
We Received the First Draft in Four Days
Most of the standalone resume writing services that we reviewed had a clearly stated policy of how long it would take for them to rewrite our resume. With ProFinder, our writer told us they would have it completed within two days. On the day the resume was due to be completed, we received an email saying it would take a bit longer, as our writer’s editor was taking longer than expected to finish up the work. We appreciated the communication and the promise of a quick completion.
Resume Quality: Difficult-to-Read Font Size and Unimpressive Content
When assessing the quality of the resume produced by our writer through LinkedIn ProFinder, we looked at design, format, and, most importantly, resume quality. While the resume’s design and format should be easy to read and appealing to the eye, the content of the resume is what matters most. With regard to content, we critiqued the following sections:
- Summary Statement (should be brief and demonstrate the value a candidate will offer an employer)
- Skills (should be easy to spot and relevant to the industry)
- Experience (the most important part of the resume; this is where the accomplishments must really shine)
- Education (should stand as its own section; traditional format is preferred)
- Training (should also stand alone and include all the courses our candidate studied)
Design and Format
Almost every resume writer we’ve encountered uses a different font style and size (which is usually small). The reasons for their choice in font style are personal preference and to set themselves apart from other services. The reason for a small font is to limit resumes to a single page, even if they should be a two. The font style and size our writer from ProFinder used was Century Gothic, 9.5pt. This is an appealing font but far too small for one to read at a quick glance. In addition, the color was light, making it even more difficult to read. A slightly larger font would have been better.
Another component of design and formatting that we considered was margin size. The margin size our writer used was not as narrow as some other resumes we received, but the sizing was somewhat odd and asymmetrical. The left margin was .81” and the right .63” while the top margin was .31” and the bottom .44”. Most of the other resume services we reviewed delivered documents with .5” margins all around. Again, this appeared to be an attempt to keep our candidate’s resume to one page.
The Summary length was an appropriate three and a quarter lines long with 9pt. font. There were three clichés, such as “proven track record,” “perceptive,” and “responsible for.” But, there were also industry-related words that made the Summary stronger, including “Materials Manager,” “purchasing,” “order fulfillment,” “team leadership,” “business acumen,” and “vendor management.” Another nice touch was the mention of the leadership and business strengths of our candidate: “Acknowledged by management for team leadership and business acumen.” This was one of the strongest sections of the resume.
Our writer didn’t make improvements to the Skills area. In fact, they left out one of the skills (“purchasing”) that was on our candidate’s resume. They also didn’t add additional skills that would complement a Materials Manager’s occupation. Some other resume writers we reviewed analyzed job descriptions we sent them to determine which additional keywords to include in the Skills section as well as other sections of the resume.
One specific item that our resume writer used in the Skills section that we didn’t find appealing was the checkmark. However, this was not a deal-breaker and was something we felt a consumer could easily customize to their liking.
We were pleased to see a job scope included in the Education section. This short three- to four-line paragraph explains the overall responsibilities of the job candidate for a position. (One resume writer we reviewed failed to include a job scope in paragraph format. Rather, they bulleted every duty and accomplishment making them look like a grocery list.) In this case, we were satisfied with the job scope our ProFinder writer produced.
However, we were disappointed to find that our writer didn’t ask probing questions when rewriting our candidate’s Experience section and, as a result, made no improvements to the bulleted statements. An accomplishment like, “Implemented cycle count program resulting in over 95% inventory accuracy” could have included the kind of program our candidate implemented and the time it took to implement. We found that some resume writers were better at asking questions to draw out more detail and create eye-catching accomplishments. At the very least, our writer could have inserted industry-related words that would increase the chances of our candidate’s resume passing an applicant tracking system (ATS).
The bottom line was that the only work our ProFinder writer did on the Experience section was to reformat it; there was no value added to it.
Unlike other resume writers we reviewed, our ProFinder writer listed our candidate’s education on two lines. This is the traditional way to write a job candidate’s education, with the university and location on the top line and the degree of study on the second, or vice versa. This is how our writer listed the education:
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, Minor in Urban Spatial Development
Other resume writing services listed the education experience on one line to save space and ensure that the resume fit on one page. We preferred the approach our ProFinder writer used.
The writer we found through LinkedIn ProFinder formatted the Training section in a well-organized manner to include the 10 courses our candidate completed over the course of a month. Other writers rewrote this section as a paragraph, making the information more difficult to read, or they failed to include the dates of graduation from training programs. To include the Training information the way we preferred, our writer clearly had to decrease the font size. If our writer had listed the Training section in one paragraph, they could have used a slightly larger font, which might have been more acceptable to someone who is scanning dozens of resumes every day.
Our writer also used two columns in writing the Training section. While this was aesthetically pleasing, neither columns nor tables can be easily processed by ATS.
Resume Writer Certifications: Our Writer Had No Certifications for Resume Writing
The freelancers who use LinkedIn ProFinder to find clients might have certifications relevant to resume writing, but this was unclear unless we took the time to visit their individual websites. Our resume writer held two certs: Certified Personal Consultant (CPC) and Certified Staffing Professional (CSP). One of the other bidders possessed a Professional Resume Writers Association (PRWA) certification, one of the most respected among resume writers. Another held an International Coach Federation (ICF). The last two bidders didn’t make it clear if they have a certification related to resume writing.
Guarantees: Vary by Writer
One of the five writers bidding on our rewrite comes close to offering a guarantee, boasting that “85% of clients schedule an interview within 30-days and receive one to five offers within 45-days.” However, none of the writers made promises of doubling interviews or offered money-back guarantees like some other resume writing services do. Ultimately, though, the value of these guarantees is questionable. In the end, it’s up to candidates to apply for jobs they’re qualified for, submit resumes tailored for the jobs, and pass phone screens.
Samples & Testimonials: Some Available on Individual Writer Pages
To read any of the writers’ testimonials, we had to go to their personal websites. One writer boasted of stellar recommendations but no samples of their work. Another writer sent us to his LinkedIn profile and from there to his website. This writer highlighted five resume writers but had no samples or testimonials. The third writer’s website spoke more about his executive coaching practice, making it seem as though resume writing was not his primary business. The fourth writer directed us first to his LinkedIn company page, where we had to search for a link to his website. Once on his site, he explained the types of resumes he writes and how they vary based on years of experience of the consumer. We saw five testimonials but no resume samples. The writer we chose, however, had no website for us to visit. Instead, we went to their LinkedIn profile, where they had 33 recommendations. It was unclear which of these recommendations were for career coaching or resume writing.
Available Plans & Pricing: Flexible but Not Transparent
Because our writer had no website and gave no rundown of their pricing, we had to talk on the phone to determine what they would do for our client’s resume and what it would cost. Our writer originally gave us a price of $190 but then lowered it to $145, possibly because of the minimal work they did.
The Competition: LinkedIn ProFinder vs. ZipJob
We found our resume writer from LinkedIn ProFinder to be more amenable to meeting our needs than the writer for ZipJob. With our ProFinder writer, we had a nice phone conversation, followed by a delivery of our product two days later than promised. The writer from ZipJob was not as flexible. They delivered our resume on the last day of the deadline.
The most important component of a resume writing service is the quality of the resume they write, and ZipJob came out ahead in this regard, despite producing a six-line Summary containing multiple clichés. ProFinder’s writer delivered a Summary that was four lines long with no clichés. ZipJob’s writer formatted a Skills area that was dense and harder to read than ProFinder’s; however, it listed more industry-related skills.
Experience is the resume’s most important section, so we weighed it heaviest when comparing the resumes we received from all the writing services we reviewed. While our ZipJob writer didn’t include a job summary, they did add more value to our candidate’s resume than ProFinder’s writer by writing more descriptive accomplishments and duties. Although we were more impressed with ProFinder’s Education and Training sections, we couldn’t get past the lack of effort they put into the Experience section. In the end, we found the quality of our resume from ZipJob to be narrowly superior to LinkedIn ProFinder.
Final Verdict: Resume Writer Was Attentive but Not Stellar
While our writer from LinkedIn ProFinder was quick in responding to our communications and delivered our rewritten resume in a reasonable time, we found that there was very little change from our initial resume. Our writer reformatted it to look more attractive as a one-page resume, but the font was small and difficult to read. They sent us a two-page version with a larger font upon our request. However, the two-page resume was almost identical to our candidate’s original resume.
While we weren’t terribly impressed with our experience through LinkedIn ProFinder, we do recognize that this provider is more of a platform than a service. As such, the product and service you can expect will vary tremendously depending on which writer you choose. If you find the right writer, ProFinder can be a valuable service.