In this article, I’m going to sort through the facts about resume writers, and hopefully help you decide (a) whether you need the help of a professional and (b) if you do, how to find one that’s right for you. The truth is that, while many people benefit from the work of professional resume writers, not everyone needs our help.
As a professional resume writer myself, I’m often asked by potential clients whether they really need a rewrite. You might think I’d always say yes, but actually that’s not the case. If you’re thinking about hiring a professional resume writer, or maybe just researching resume writers to understand more about the pluses and minuses, this article is for you.
What do professional resume writers do?
Most people find writing their own resume a daunting and confusing prospect. A good resume writer takes all this stress away. A professional resume writer’s job is to craft a compelling marketing document, rather than just writing a factual history of your career.
The best resume writers are either experienced in hiring, have specialty industry knowledge or have formal training in resume writing.
Do you need a professional resume writer?
Professional resume writers are not the best option for everyone. Here are the questions to ask yourself in order to determine whether you should outsource this important task.
- Are you seeking a pay raise, increased responsibility or a promotion? If so, a professional rewrite is a must. You’ll be competing with lots of other people, some of whom may have more suitable experience and putting your best foot forward is absolutely critical.
- Do you earn at least $30,000 a year? Others may disagree with me on this, but I think that it’s important to have your investment pay off in a reasonable time frame. If it’s less than $30,000, I’d suggest writing your own resume builder.
- Do you have some work experience in your target field? If you’re making a complete career change, or just starting out, a professional rewrite would probably not be of much help. If you don’t have any, you should concentrate your efforts on gaining some before investing in a writer.
- Do you have a clear sense of the type of position you want next? You should focus instead of being resourceful about finding opportunities and on customizing your own resume to suit each one. Without a clear target, a professional writer can’t make you shine.
- Are you talented at writing about yourself? If this is you, go for it! You can invest the money you save in a spiffy new outfit for the job you’re destined to get soon. Some people do an excellent job of writing their own resume and do not need the help of a professional.
How to find a resume writer?
This example may bring up writers who specialize in your field, but if not, at least it will bring up writers who have mentioned that industry or field on their website. Try searching for the term resume writer + your industry or field. For example, “resume writer + automotive” or “functional resume + marketing.”
I recommend starting your search by asking friends, family, colleagues or recruiters you know. A personal recommendation is always valuable. Most resume writers work virtually so you don’t need to restrict your search by geography.
Note: It isn’t necessary that your writer have extensive expertise in your field or industry — good writers can write for anyone — but this is one way of narrowing your search down
How much should a resume writer cost?
The truth is that cheap resume writers are cheap for a reason. Writing a great resume takes skill and experience and those things will always cost money. Resume writing fees vary greatly and it can be tempting to look for the cheapest option. Cheap rarely means anything good when it comes to resume writing.
A good resume writer will spend many hours developing the messaging, strategy and copy for your resume. He or she will be applying their years of experience and their extensive specialist knowledge, and as a result, you will likely shave weeks or even months off your job search.
In general, a good professional-level resume should cost between $350 and $700. An executive resume from a well-qualified writer is more likely to start at $600 and fees can go as high as $1,200 depending on length of experience.
Hiring a professional resume writer can be an excellent investment, provided you meet one of the criteria I laid out earlier. But it’s important to take your time to shop around and to choose wisely, because cutting corners or trying to save money may cost you valuable opportunities.