ZipJob Resume Review
Good customer service but a resume that didn’t meet our expectations
About the Company
Resume writing services offer job seekers relief from writing their own resumes. A resume writer might write a resume from scratch or take what a consumer has written, ask questions via phone or email, and recraft the initial draft into a strong document that will land the applicant an interview. But, while this is the ideal, resumes aren’t always well written, and resume writing services don’t always achieve the goal of helping consumers secure interviews.
We decided to see if ZipJob could produce a resume that would meet our expectations by sending them a subpar resume for a Materials Manager. The service met our expectations in terms of customer service and price. However, we weren’t overly impressed with the resume we received. ZipJob has three plans to choose from. We chose the Launch plan for $139 (more about the plans below). Read on to learn about our overall experience.
What We Like
Easy signup process
Insightful testimonials on their website
Resume draft was delivered on time
Resume’s Skills area contained strong keywords
What We Don't Like
Design and format made reading the resume difficult
Summary paragraph was too long and contained clichés
Resume lacked punch in the Experience section
Education and Training sections were poorly formatted
How It Works
The first step in our review process was to sign up for the service
Like other resume writing services we reviewed, we used our credit card to sign up for the service. We received an automated response a day later telling us that they received our payment and welcomed us as a consumer. The welcome note came across as generic, but that was expected.
We selected a package and uploaded our resume
We opted to sign up for the Launch package, which costs $139. ZipJob offers two other packages, the details of which can be found below. The next step was to upload our resume to ZipJob’s site. We had the option of filling out a form or uploading our resume and chose the latter.
We were matched with an expert resume writer
ZipJob says they will match consumers with a resume writer who will produce a professional resume “optimized to pass the applicant tracking system (ATS) scan.” Most resume writing services, save for one, don’t charge an additional fee for a phone call, but ZipJob does.
We received the first draft in seven days
ZipJob promised to return the first draft of our resume within four to seven business days. We inquired at one point when we would receive our draft and were reminded of the time frame. When we received our draft, the writer included in her note that they had met the seven-day deadline. If a consumer wants to receive their first draft in three business days, they can purchase the Premium package.
Resume Quality: Poor Formatting and Inadequate Content
When assessing the quality of the resume ZipJob’s writer produced, we looked at design, format, and, most importantly, content. While the resume’s design and format should be easy to read and appealing to the eye, the content of the resume matters most. For content, we critiqued the following sections:
- Summary Statement (should be brief yet show the value a candidate will offer an employer)
- Skills (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 as a section and traditional format is preferred)
- Training (should also stand alone and include all the courses our candidate has completed)
Design and Format
Our resume writer used Calibri Light at 10.5pt font, which was too small and a bit difficult to read. A more suitable size would have been 12pt. The headers were written with Calibri bold 12pt, which clearly differentiated the text from the headers. To mix things up, our writer used dark blue font for our candidate’s name, headers, and company names. This was a nice touch.
It was obvious that our writer was determined to create a one-page resume. Not only did they use small fonts, they also used .5-inch margins all around. (If our resume writer used the suggested 12pt font size and one-inch margins, our resume would have been a page and a half.) Also, our writer should have used more spacing, such as 3pt, between the bulleted statements to make them easier to capture.
Note: A candidate with 15-years of experience warrants a two-page resume, particularly with outstanding responsibilities and quantified accomplishments, which are the writer’s responsibility to draw out.
When reviewing resumes, we were looking for Summaries to be brief—three to four lines—yet still demonstrate the concrete value our candidate would deliver to employers. The Summary our resume writer wrote accomplished very little of what we hoped for. It was six lines long with the small font size and narrow margins as explained above. What stood out in the Summary were the multiple clichés, including “motivated,” “detail-oriented,” “hardworking," “dynamic,” etc. The Summary is a place where strong, industry-related keywords should be used, such as: “vendor,” “purchasing,” “order fulfillment,” “lean,” “contract management,” “negotiations,” “supply chain,” etc. However, our resume included only a few of these keywords.
In addition to providing very little value to the Summary, our writer inserted an Objective statement in the Summary. Objective statements are frowned upon by employers unless a job candidate is entering the job market for the first time.
Unfortunately, we can’t say the Skills area was formatted in a way that made the contents stand out. The skills were separated by commas, which made them hard to grasp with a quick glance (hiring authorities will take six to 10 seconds to skim a resume before deciding to read on). One thing we appreciated about the formatting was that the skills were not placed in a table. Most applicant tracking systems don’t digest tables well; the words end up in random areas at the recipient’s end. It appeared that our writer understood this about the ATS.
Another thing we appreciated is that our resume writer added other relevant skills to this section for a Materials Manager, in addition to the ones we provided them for our candidate. This is one of ZipJob’s selling points: Their writers create resumes that are ATS-friendly. Here are some examples of the job-related skills our writer included in the Skills area: “purchasing,” “inventory control,” “order processing,” and “kanban & lean manufacturing.” Our writer also added some transferable skills, including “leadership,” “interpersonal communication,” and “customer service.” No doubt these skills were pulled from job postings for a Materials Manager.
Lastly, the skills were placed in a grey area to make them stand out. This was a nice touch.
A strong Experience section starts with a brief job scope that summarizes a candidate’s overall responsibilities for the position. The job scope is written in paragraph format. Our resume writer didn’t include a job scope; rather, they jumped into bulleted statements. In resume writing circles, this is called “death by bullets.” Our writer was the only one out of all the writers who rewrote our resume without a job scope.
What’s most important about the Experience section is that it sells the candidate with accomplishments that are quantified with numbers, dollars, or percentages. Our resume writer didn’t achieve this as much as we would have liked. This was due to their failure to ask questions that would draw out more descriptions and quantified results. Here’s a statement from our original resume: “Implemented cycle count program resulting in over 95% inventory accuracy.” Our writer could have inquired as to what kind of program it was as well as how long it took our candidate to implement the cycle count program. This was the statement they wrote: “Developed and launched a cycle count program that generated a 95% inventory accuracy rate.” This revision was hardly more descriptive than the original.
Following is another example of how our resume writer didn’t ask probing questions to add value to an accomplishment from our candidate’s original resume. The original statement from our candidate’s resume read: “Directly involved in three successful company warehouse moves, in charge of every phase from planning, coordinating to complete warehouse design.” Our writer produced: “Played a pivotal role in three warehouse relocations, managing every phase of these corporate processes including planning and full warehouse design operations.” They did a fine job of wordsmithing the original statement, but the timeliness in which the moves were made and whether our candidate had stayed within budget should have been drawn out by our writer.
Our writer listed our candidate’s Education on one line to save space and keep the resume to one page.
Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology with Minor in Urban Spatial Development, University of Massachusetts
Our preferred way of writing the Education section is to include the major and university/location on two separate lines:
Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, Minor in Urban Spatial Development
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
ZipJob’s formatting isn’t a deal-breaker in itself, but most resumes have the degree separate from the university. Our writer was not unlike other writers who also wrote the Education section on one line.
Our candidate engaged in a six-week training program of 10 courses, which was noted on the resume we submitted. Training of this type is extensive and can explain a gap in employment. This fact was initially lost on our resume writer. The first draft we received had the Training section placed on the bottom with no dates of attendance.
We asked our resume writer to move the Training section closer to the top. They complied but didn’t highlight it as much as we would have liked—the training courses were listed in a paragraph in order to save space. After another round of emails, our writer listed the dates of the Training below the paragraph. This was the best we could hope for.
Resume Writer Certifications: Member of PARW/CC
ZipJob writes on its website that all their writers are highly experienced and are certified through the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARW/CC). What’s more, their writers have backgrounds in recruiting, career coaching, job placement, and professional writing. This is impressive, as most resume writing services we reviewed made no such claims.
Guarantees: Twice the Interviews in 60 Days
ZipJob’s guarantee is quite generous. They are confident that their writers will produce “job-winning” resumes. Furthermore, consumers should expect to land twice as many interviews within 60 days. If this isn’t achieved by their customers, the resume service will assign a senior writer who will compare the resume to various job descriptions, followed by an updated resume and suggestions as to how the consumer can make further improvements to their resume.
Samples & Testimonials: Lacking in Resume Samples but Honest Testimonials
ZipJob only posts three before-and-after samples of resumes on their site, whereas one resume service we reviewed listed 25 resumes consisting of various industries. The samples were similar in format, which might make one wonder if ZipJob uses a template to create their resumes.
We were impressed with the honesty of the 786 testimonials posted on its website. Overall, the resume writing service shows a 4.5 rating out of 5 including ratings as low as one star from disgruntled customers. But for the most part, the testimonials were extremely positive.
Available Plans & Pricing: The Lowest Price on the Market
ZipJob offers three plans depending on one’s job-searching level and needs.
- Professionally written resume
- Keyword-optimized to pass ATS scanning software
- One-on-one communication with your U.S.-based writer
- First draft delivery in four to seven days
Fast Track: $189
- All Launch features
- Cover letter designed to increase your interview chances 50%
- 60-day guarantee
- All Fast Track features
- Keyword-optimized LinkedIn profile update
- One of the most experienced writers on their staff
- Expedited delivery (three days)
The Competition: ZipJob vs. The Muse
In regard to resume quality, the two resume services were not far apart. Both services did a poor job of formatting our resume, but the clincher for us was the content. The Summary sections that ZipJob and The Muse writers produced were too long and contained multiple clichés. Although ZipJob’s writer formatted a Skills area that was dense and harder to read, it was more ATS friendly than the Sills area written by The Muse. ZipJob’s writer didn’t add value to our candidate’s resume in the Experience section, whereas the writer from The Muse did slightly better. Finally, ZipJob impressed us more than The Muse when it came to the Education section. Their writer included our candidate’s minor in Urban Spatial Development, whereas the Muse’s writer left this information out.
ZipJob’s customer service was by the book. As advertised, we received the rewrite of our resume by the seventh day. In addition, when we wanted to communicate with our writer, we had to sign into ZipJob’s secure portal. This can be a good thing, but it also adds another step to the process. The Muse’s writer was more personable and flexible. Their emails to us were friendly and they allowed for additional revisions without an additional cost. The Muse not only offered better customer service than ZipJob, but it also beat all the resume writing services in this area.
We chose ZipJob’s introductory package, which costs $139. The Muse’s entry-level package offered the lowest cost at $119 yet produced a better resume.
For resume content, customer service, and pricing, we give the nod to The Muse. If you’re in the market for an entry-level resume, we suggest going with the Muse.
Final Verdict: Mediocre Customer Service & a Disappointing Resume
ZipJob delivered adequate customer service. Our resume writer came through with the first draft at the 11th hour. For someone who needs a resume fast, don’t expect ZipJob to exceed expectations. Where we felt ZipJob was disappointing was rewriting our resume. It passed for a resume with adequate prose as well as one that would pass the ATS. Overall, however, it wasn’t a resume that would do a great job of selling our candidate. It was formatted for a one-page resume and, as such, the font was too small and the margins too narrow. The Summary was lengthy, making it difficult to read quickly, and the Experience section was not much stronger than the resume we submitted. We recommend ZipJob for someone who is looking for an entry-level position, but if you're really trying to move up the ranks, we suggest you try another service.