This is really a difficult question to answer given the volume of work that abounds on the subject and the number of companies and websites offering advice (paid and free) on the topic. So let’s ask some different questions:
Will a poor resume get me disqualified – surely yes
Will a well written resume get me an interview – maybe
Will a well written resume help in the interview process – unlikely
If you think about it, resumes are marketing tools and like marketing, if you do it badly or not at all you surely will NOT get results. However, like marketing in general if you do it and do it well you will get results.
To continue the analogy, we marketing types understand that marketing can not get results in a vacuum or when only a single approach is used – we generally cultivate multiple options and we like to let a lot of people know what we are doing through as many channels as possible.
Shouldn’t job seekers adopt the same approach? Of course they should. The resume is only one tool that job seekers have at their disposal other tools are blogs, social media sites, networking and really really good recruiting companies. An emerging trend is Video Resumes – these short videos can be posted on YouTube and give potential employers another dimension when considering you for the post.
So, can a well written resume get you a job – I contest that it cannot – certainly not on its own and definitely not without the support of multiple options. The resume is only the first step in what has become a complex and protracted process. You can be disqualified along the way for so many reasons that have nothing to do with your (written) resume.
Given the logic that a badly written resume won’t get you into the starting gate, it therefore follows that your resume should be as professional as possible – if you can afford it, consider getting a professional resume writer to prepare yours.