Last week I introduced you to Loft Resumes, a service that provides custom-designed resumes to job seekers in a variety of industries. I also provided sample formats from some of The Essay Expert’s successful resumes. I then asked you to vote on which you preferred.
Here’s what the survey looked like for those of you who missed it…  I’d still love your input!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Thank you to the 25 people who responded to my survey! Here’s the tally:

“Do you prefer the designs of Loft’s designs or The Essay Expert’s?”

1 person preferred Loft Resume’s designs. [This person was in the insurance industry]

17 people (68%) preferred The Essay Expert’s designs.

1 person liked both equally. [This person was in the IT industry. Note that The Essay Expert has some  other formats you might like better!]

1 person did not like either one. [This response came from an attorney. I agree none of the formats presented would be appropriate for an attorney. For attorneys we use much more straightforward designs.]

5 people chose “Other” and provided the following feedback:

ATS Concerns – Essay Expert’s designs are better, but I fear the inserted box and other graphics might skew an Applicant Tracking System preventing the information from being read and stored, costing an applicant the job by not registering properly within its system. If physically scanned, the Essay Expert is more professional and provides information employers want. [from a career professional/resume writer]

My response: It is true that text boxes and graphics can skew an ATS system. After posting my article, I was contacted by a representative of Loft Resumes who stated that their resumes do well in Applicant Tracking Systems as well. I would have to test a resume myself to know if that is an accurate statement (Loft does not advertise that their resumes are ATS-friendly).

Keep in mind that every job seeker must have TWO resumes: one for the computer robots and one for humans. Hiring managers, in my experience, really love The Essay Expert’s resumes. I do not have any information on their response to Loft’s designs.

Too Dense – I don’t like either one, they are both too dense with info, the eye doesn’t know where to go to quickly pick up the pertinent details. [from someone in the High Tech industry]

My response: Thanks for your feedback. Thankfully the hiring managers who looked at The Essay Expert’s resumes appreciated something in the resumes, since both of these candidates got job offers for their targeted positions! Neither was in High Tech, and we would certainly use a different format for a high-tech position.

Industry-Dependent Design – It greatly depends on the industry/position. If in creative industry would prefer LOFT.  AND…
– I think Loft’s resumes are a little too designy — the design has more impact than the information contained within it. But Loft’s could be very good for people in the arts, film production, etc.

My response: In fields like marketing and sales, you might be right that LOFT resumes could be viewed more favorably. In a field like graphic design, of course, it would be preferable for the candidate him or herself to design the resume!

– It’s position AND audience specific.

My response: I couldn’t agree more. We use different looks and feels for every industry we work with.

As stated above, if the audience is a hiring manager a highly formatted resume is generally viewed favorably; recruiters hate them.

Even The Essay Expert’s samples here might be too “fancy” for an accountant, although two responders in Accounting and Finance stated they were very likely to purchase an Essay Expert resume and very unlikely to purchase a LOFT resume.

One responder whose industry is aerospace/defense wrote, “The Loft’s [formats] would never work in my industry.”

And I received one response from a person in “consulting” who stated he or she would be very likely to purchase from The Essay Expert and very unlikely to purchase from Loft.

– I like LOFT designs for their uniqueness. They are probably appropriate for someone in more in a creative field versus an executive position. I like Essay Expert’s designs for their clean, uncluttered appearance. They are easy to read and probably more scannable than the LOFT design.

My response: Thank you! I believe I addressed this comment above.

“How likely would you be to purchase a resume design by Loft Resumes, The Essay Expert, or Another Service?”

Overall, my readers (who I admit might be predisposed toward resumes by The Essay Expert) are much more likely to purchase a resume designed by The Essay Expert than they are to purchase a resume from Loft or another service. It was also striking to me that 50% were very likely or somewhat likely to purchase a resume from The Essay Expert.

A gift to you!

Thank you for your support, and if you responded to this survey and are considering purchasing a resume package from The Essay Expert, I will be happy to offer you a 20% discount on any package (maximum discount $100), offer good through April 30, 2012. Note you must complete the survey to qualify for this offer! This is your reward for being a loyal reader and participant in my interactive media opportunities – and for reading to the end of this lengthy article!


  1. I did not find Preptel to be particularly valuable. For another opinion, I shared the site with a friend who is the head of recruiting for a 900 employee organization. She agreed. While the concept is wonderful, the execution leaves much to be desired. Many of the suggestions to improve keyword matches were nonsensical and words that were important matches were ignored. For example, the program missed the term “CAD” (computer aided design) but picked up “plan” and lost the connection between them both.

    A site I do like is, but I use it to get an impression of what words are used most frequently in a job description. I might exchange the words highlighted in wordle with those in my resume to get a closer match.

    Thank you for your posts, I find them quite helpful.

    • Thank you for your comment Rebecca. The issue is that of companies who use ATS systems, about half of them enter the desired keywords by hand, thus making sense to a human, and half let the computers determine the keywords. For that second half, unfortunately the keywords are often non-sensical. That’s why a program like Preptel can be useful!

      I’m glad you are getting value from my posts and appreciate your feedback!

Leave a Reply