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.
You'll find services starting at $10-20 on sites like Fiverr.
You'll also find executive resume writers who charge upwards of $2,000 for a resume.
That said, we know you're looking to get a quality document at an affordable price.
We'll 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 to decide how much to spend on a resume
- Why you should steer clear of 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 amount writers charge is generally determined by the following factors:
1) Experience and Education Level
In the resume writing industry, there tends to be a close correlation between price and quality.
Consider who will actually be writing your resume.
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.
2) Quality and Results They Deliver for Clients
Professional resume writers add value to their clients.
Their documents can often cut down the amount of time it takes you to secure a new role.
During the writing process, you also won't have to chase them or get frustrated by a low-quality result that you end up having to fix yourself.
An in-depth, personalized writing process should include a phone call and one-on-one communication with your writer.
However, as Jenny Foss explained in a LinkedIn post, "there is (quite literally) no barrier to entry [in the resume writing industry]."
She goes on to say, "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."
To help ensure the process goes smoothy, be sure to 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 simply not a two-hour process - and you probably wouldn't want to work with a writer who turns it into one.
Here's a quick outline of how long it generally takes us:
- Research: 1 hour
- Phone Consultation: 1-1.5 hours
- Writing: 4-5 hours
- Revisions: 1 hour
That's the equivalent of a full working day.
To be effective, the resume writing process process needs to be high-touch, which takes time.
Remember that value-add in working with a resume writer is not only their writing ability but also their ability to ask the right questions.
This combination will result in a well-written, achievement-based document.
How To Decide How Much to Spend on a Resume
You should think of resume writing as an investment in your career.
How much you spend on your resume comes down to how much you value quality as well as 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.
It would be reasonable to invest a similar percentage into a document that can open up the doors to a higher salary.
For example, let's say you're making $75K and end up receiving an offer for $85K (a 13.3% salary increase).
After deducting a $679 investment on a new resume (0.9% of your $75K salary), your ROI would still be 12.4%!
For either investment, results aren't guaranteed.
However, they are highly likely based on historical performance.
Why You Should Steer Clear of Exceptionally Low Pricing
Recognize that if a writer charges under $200-250 for your resume, they would probably be making around minimum wage after taxes, business expenses, and marketing costs are factored into account.
It's not a feasible business model.
If it works, it's likely 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 look for someone who:
- Has worked with clients of your experience level
- Has positive reviews from previous clients
- Has a strong educational and writing background
- Will invest reasonable time into preparing your document - not rush through it
- Has relevant industry certifications
What to Watch Out for in a Resume Writer
Beware of writers that:
- Charge rates that seem "too good to be true"
- Have negative client reviews
- Do not provide a phone consultation
- Do not have a credible website and LinkedIn presence
- Do not hold an industry certification
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.