It seems like every client or potential client is being sold to buy some secret ingredient to short cut their difficult search. It does bother me that these services claim a short cut to success in finding meaningful employment. As an 18+ career services veteran I have viewed and overviewed hundreds of these services it seems, their claims and their methodologies. We have never promised someone a job or x amount of income. These services should not either. The good ones offer one piece of a what should be a multi-pronged approach when it comes to career search.
We promise to do what we say we will do in our contract and agreed upon terms. We often and always strive to do more than people expect. That's our goal. We have never made wild claims but remain hopeful and positive about the good things that come from foundational elements to a strong, multi-faceted and often multi-month search strategy.
One strategy that has been utilized by savvy, career services veterans focuses on targeted distribution of resumes. But no career services professional or career coach would ever suggest that you blindly and only send any old resume out to recruiters. Search is a planned event. One method among probably hundreds that we use remains selected, targeted or hand picked resume distribution. These distribution services can offer one aspect of this strategy. Furthermore, don't think that your labor is not required in a high level job search. It is. No one can do it for you if you are not involved and following up with recruiters and others.
Recently a question came up on Linked In that asked whether resume distribution services are worth it or not. I do not give you an all or nothing answer here. Look at how long the company has been in business. Look at what they say they will do. Lower your expectations – don't look at the distribution as your only answer. It's not a lottery ticket. There are no lottery tickets to your ideal job. If you find them let me know by the way!
Here was my reply:
In my association with many colleagues and career service associations for 18+ years I have beta tested and utilized many services for my clients, including designing my own proprietary distribution methods and using resume distribution services.
Ones that are targeted, cost effective and only focus on sending to opted-in member companies help me assist my non-confidential clients market themselves. I work with Resume Spider for those reasons. I have not used the others lately so I cannot comment on their effectiveness at this time but I would not off-handedly write them off until I tested them and talked to their principals.
For other executive clients I work on targeted, direct e-mail campaigns that are embedded in their career services programs or outplacement programs.
Do not expect any one method of distribution to work magic especially in this tough economy. Distribution services serve a purpose. But again, do not expect this one method to be your only method. In most searches I have not found a panacea, a magic pill. This economy consistently reminds me that hard work, diligent networking and constant revisions to search rule the day. By the way, I don't recommend distribution services for jobseekers who want confidentiality in their search.
Additionally, do not expect an inferior resume, widely distributed to connect to third party recruiters or hiring managers. Your resume and writing need also to be singularly excellent. Still that cannot guarantee you will be called for interviews. But it will give you better chances when applying directly to jobs or sending targeted distributions.
For my clients I consider many methods to help them.
Distribution methods are just one.