How Resume Writing Costs Are Determined & What They Can Tell You About A Service
Given that you came across this post, we'll assume you're considering working with a resume writer.
We know that narrowing down your choice can be overwhelming, as there are hundreds of resume writers to choose from.
Pricing can also vary dramatically, adding to the confusion.
Sites like Fiverr offer services starting at $10-20.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, some executive resume writers charge upwards of $2,000 for a resume.
We know you're looking to get a quality document at an affordable price.
This article will help you understand how the resume writing industry operates.
After reading, you’ll be better prepared to choose the right service for you.
- How much resume writers charge
- How much to spend on a resume
- Why you should avoid exceptionally low pricing
- What to look for in a resume writer
- What to watch out for when choosing a writer
How Much Resume Writers Charge
The fees writers charge are driven by the following factors:
1) 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.
2) 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 said 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 explained.
To avoid disappointment, be sure to thoroughly investigate the company you choose to work with.
3) Amount of Time Spent on Your Document
You know how much time goes into preparing a resume.
It's not a quick process - and you wouldn't want to work with a writer who turns it into one.
Below, we prepared an outline of how much time we devote to crafting a single resume.
As you can see, 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.
Remember that the value-add in 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.
How Much to Spend on a Resume
Think of resume writing as an investment in your career.
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 a similar percentage into a document that can open the door to a higher salary?
For example, let's say you're making $80K and end up receiving an offer for $90K (a 12.5% salary increase).
After deducting a $799 investment on a new resume (under 1% of your $80K salary), your ROI would still be 11.5%!
For either investment, results aren't guaranteed.
However, they are likely based on historical performance.
Why You Should Steer Clear of Exceptionally Low Pricing
If a writer charges under $200-250 for your resume, they would be making around minimum wage after taxes, business expenses, and marketing costs are factored into account.
It's not a feasible pricing model.
If this business model works, it's probably because the company is either:
- Cutting corners
- Outsourcing your writing internationally to non-native English speakers (as many resume writing companies unfortunately do)
What to Look for in a Resume Writer
When choosing a resume writer, you'll want to find someone who:
- Has worked with clients of your experience level: If you are an executive, will the service devote enough time to evaluating your accomplishments to best highlight how you drove results?
- Has positive reviews from previous clients: What have clients said on third-party review sites such as Trustpilot and Google?
- Has a strong educational and writing background: Who will be writing your document?
- Will invest reasonable time into preparing your document - not rush through it: Is their writing process transparent?
- Has relevant industry certifications: Are they a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches or National Résumé Writers' Association?
What to Watch Out for in a Resume Writer
Beware of writers that:
- Charge rates that seem "too good to be true": Does the amount you pay reflect a reasonable hourly rate given the caliber of writer you want to work with?
- Craft documents that look like they were prepared by a resume writer: Does the company's writing style and design appear natural, or does it utilize excessive colors and formatting features that may put off discerning executive recruiters?
- Have negative client reviews: Does the service have a pattern of negative reviews?
- Do not provide a phone consultation: Are you comfortable only working with your writer over email?
- Do not have a credible website and LinkedIn presence: Does the service have a consistent track record?
- Do not hold an industry certification: If the service is not a member of a qualifying body, what other factors attest to their quality?
- 10 Tips for Working with Recruiters
- How to Add Metrics & KPIs to Your Resume
- How Recruiters Screen Resumes Using ATS
About Resume Pilots
Resume Pilots is an award-winning executive resume writing, career coaching, and outplacement firm. Our previous clients include CEOs and senior executives at the world's leading companies.
Here's how we can help you:
Resume, Cover Letter, and LinkedIn Writing: After a one-hour phone consultation, one of our expert writers will prepare your top-quality personal marketing materials from scratch.
Career Transitions: A powerful combination of our document writing and career coaching services helps position you to secure a new role.
We're a proud member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. All of our writers have studied in the Ivy League and other top-tier universities and have solid industry experience.