We Explain How Much a Resume Writing Service Costs & Why
Resume writing services can vary widely in price. Top executive resume writers charge $750-$2,000+ for a resume. You can also find more affordable resume writing services that cost $150-$450. A service's fee structure tends to reflect the level of quality and client service you are likely to receive.
Given the hundreds of resume writing services available, we know that narrowing down the best option for you can be overwhelming – especially if you have never worked with a resume writer before.
In this article, we answer the following questions to help you understand how the resume writing industry operates and what you can typically expect from given pricing tiers:
- How much does a resume writer cost?
- Should I pay someone to write my resume?
- Why should I be skeptical of “affordable” resume writing services?
- What qualities should I look for in a resume writer?
- What red flags should I watch out for?
How much does a resume writer cost?
You can expect to spend $750+ on a top executive resume writer or $150-$450 on an entry-level resume writing service. The fees a given writer charges are driven by their experience and education level, quality of deliverables, and amount of time spent on your document.
Experience and Education Level
In the resume writing industry, there is a close correlation between price and quality.
If you work with an experienced resume writer who graduated from a top university, you can expect their fees to be in the range that other professional service providers would charge.
To put it in perspective, accountants and lawyers charge between $75-300 an hour for their services. You can expect to pay a similar hourly rate for a highly-qualified resume writer.
Depending on where you are in your career and the quality of service you expect, you'll want to carefully consider who will be writing your resume.
Quality and Results They Deliver for Clients
Professional resume writers add value to their clients, and their documents can cut down the time it takes for you to secure a new role.
By choosing a reputable service, you won't end up with a low-quality document that leaves you frustrated and that you will ultimately have to fix yourself.
For best results, look for an in-depth, personalized writing process that includes a phone consultation and one-on-one communication with your writer.
As Jenny Foss explained in a LinkedIn post, "there is (quite literally) no barrier to entry [in the resume writing industry]."
"I reviewed quite a few 'expert' resumes in recent days -- resumes that people paid money they cannot afford to throw away right now…. [they were delivered with] typos, grammatical errors, filled with cliches," she said.
To avoid disappointment, be sure to thoroughly investigate the company you choose to work with.
Amount of Time Spent on Your Document
You know how much time goes into preparing a resume.
It's simply not a quick process – and we wouldn’t recommend working with a writer who turns it into one.
Below, we outline how much time we devote to crafting a single resume: the end-to-end writing process takes the equivalent of a full working day.
By nature, resume writing needs to be high-touch to be effective, which takes time.
Keep in mind that the value-add of working with a resume writer is not only their writing ability but also their ability to ask the right questions.
A service that relies on both written background materials and a phone consultation is more likely to result in a well-written, achievement-based document.
If you are only looking for copy editing or feedback on your resume (not an end-to-end rewrite), you can expect to pay less.
Should I pay someone to write my resume? How much should I spend?
Think of hiring a resume writer as an investment in your career. If you are having a hard time crafting your resume, are in a time crunch, or could use the help of a 3rd party to help you identify what is most important to highlight, working with a resume writer can be a great option.
How much you spend on your resume will depend on how much you value quality and your budget.
We'll argue that it's worth spending about 1-2% of your annual salary on a quality resume.
To put this amount into perspective, consider that wealth managers charge (at least) a 1% fee to manage your investment portfolio, which typically provides an 8-10% annual return.
Would it be reasonable to invest 1% of your annual salary into getting a document that could very well open the door to a higher salary?
For either investment, results aren't guaranteed.
However, they are likely based on historical performance.
Why should I be skeptical of “affordable” resume writing services?
Simply put, if a writer charges under $200 for your resume, they would be making around minimum wage after taxes, business expenses, and marketing costs are factored into account.
It is just not a feasible pricing model.
If this business model works, it's probably because the company is either cutting corners or outsourcing its writing internationally:
Some resume writers reuse significant portions of your existing content and/or do not provide a one-on-one consultation. Instead, all of your communication with your writer will be via email.
If you would like to work with a resume writer but don’t mind putting in additional legwork on your end, a lower-priced service could be an option.
However, if you are looking for a truly bespoke service that will add value by helping you brainstorm content and rewrite your entire document from the ground up, you may be left disappointed.
Given their fee structure, many low-priced resume writing services outsource their writing to non-native English speakers abroad. While we don’t view this to be an ethical practice, it is an unfortunate reality in the industry.
If you come across a company that is quite inexpensive and does not allow a phone consultation, it could potentially be outsourcing its writing abroad.
What qualities should I look for in a resume writer?
When choosing a resume writer, consider whether they have relevant certifications, positive reviews, strong writing samples, and have worked with clients of your experience level.
Consider the following questions:
- Is the company or writer a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC) or National Résumé Writers' Association (NRWA)?
- Do they have positive reviews from previous clients on third-party review sites such as Trustpilot and Google? Are there any “red flags” that clients consistently mention?
- Are their writing samples reflective of the type of work you would like to receive? Do their formatting and writing style align with recruiter expectations?
- Have they worked with clients of your experience level? If you are a busy senior executive, for example, will the service have the ability to evaluate your accomplishments to best highlight how you drove results?
- Who will be writing your document? Do they have a strong academic and writing background?
- What does their writing process look like? Will you get to work with your writer one-on-one?
What are red flags I should be aware of?
We strongly advise steering clear of resume writers that charge rates that seem “too good to be true,” utilize tacky formatting, or do not have an established online presence with a proven track record.
Before you hire a resume writer, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the amount you pay reflect a reasonable hourly rate given the caliber of writer you want to work with?
- Do the company's writing style and design appear natural so the resume doesn’t look like it was prepared by a resume writer? Do their resume templates utilize excessive colors and formatting features that may put off discerning executive recruiters?
- Does the service have a pattern of negative reviews?
- Are you comfortable only working with your writer over email, if they do not provide a phone consultation?
- Had the company been around for multiple years? Does the service have a consistent track record with a credible website and LinkedIn presence?
- If the service is not a member of a qualifying industry body, what other factors attest to their quality?
We hope that this article helped you understand how much resume writers cost and why.
- How to Choose a Top Executive Resume Writer
- What Do Recruiters Expect in an Executive Resume?
- Effective Executive Resume Templates Downloads
About Resume Pilots
Resume Pilots is an award-winning executive resume writing firm and a proud member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. Our previous clients include CEOs and senior executives at the world's leading companies.
As a professional services firm, we take your reputation seriously. We are committed to delivering writing excellence and superior service while operating with integrity and discretion. Recruitment firms we partner with also trust us to consistently deliver quality documents for their clients.
Our writers have studied in the Ivy League and other top-tier universities and have strong writing backgrounds coupled with industry experience.
Here's how we can help you:
Resume, Cover Letter, and LinkedIn Writing Services: If you are looking for end-to-end support, hire one of our professional resume writers to rewrite your documents from the ground up.
Executive Resume Template Downloads: If you plan to prepare your own resume, consider using one of our classic, ATS-friendly resume templates for Microsoft Word.