Should You Hire a Resume Writer? Are Professional Resume Services Worth It?
If you haven’t worked with a resume writer before, we know you might be hesitant to trust a third party with such a personal, important document.
You may be wondering whether investing in writing services is worth it, how the process works, and how to choose a qualified writer.
In this post, we address these and other common questions we hear from potential clients who are deciding whether to hire a professional resume writer.
What does a resume writer do?
Resume writers are experts who craft professional job application materials that clearly and concisely articulate your work history and accomplishments in the way that recruiters expect to see them.
If you’re having writer's block, not feeling confident in your current resume, or simply in a time crunch, having a third-party expert listen to your story, ask relevant questions, and write up your career summary can take off a lot of the pressure.
The process also doubles as excellent interview preparation!
Resume writing is a collaborative process, so you’ll find yourself answering questions similar to those you would be asked in a job interview (without any of the pressure).
Who should use a resume writer?
Professionals of all experience levels can benefit from resume writing services.
Even if you’re applying for your first role out of college, you’ll end up with a document that you will be able to leverage throughout your career.
More senior clients recognize that their resume serves as a personal marketing document and are willing to invest in a service that ensures they are presenting themselves in the best possible light.
At Resume Pilots, many of our clients work in roles that don’t require much writing or simply struggle to explain their accomplishments on paper.
Others are generally strong writers but choose to work with us because resume writing isn’t an area they have significant experience in (and it can be awkward to write about yourself and your accomplishments in the third-person).
What does the process look like?
The resume writing process typically consists of three steps: information gathering, writing, and revisions.
1) Information gathering
Your writer will gather information from you and learn more about your background via a questionnaire, phone call, or in-person meeting.
Some resume writers don’t require or provide a phone consultation. However, we have found this to be one of the most valuable components of the process.
Skilled resume writers have strong interviewing skills. They’ll ask you specific, thought-provoking questions that allow them to highlight your accomplishments as effectively as possible.
If you only communicate with your writer via email, you may miss out on highlighting valuable information that you may not have thought to include yourself!
Your writer will take the information you provide and craft your document, ensuring that it is ATS-friendly and tailored to the types of roles you are targeting in your search.
Because this is the most critical element of the process, you should choose to work with a reputable writer you can trust.
After you receive your document, you will have the opportunity to review it and provide feedback.
When you receive your first draft, it should be strong enough for you to apply for jobs with.
However, you should allow time for two to three rounds of minor revisions before arriving at your perfect document.
During the revision process, an experienced resume writer will play devil’s advocate and push back on your suggestions if they will not truly add value.
While it is ultimately your document, you should work with a writer that you trust has your best interests in mind and will let you know if some of your proposals aren’t best practice.
Once your revisions are complete, you’re ready to start applying!
How do I know if someone is qualified to write my resume?
Before hiring a resume writer, make sure to conduct your research to confirm whether the writer you are considering is qualified.
At a bare minimum, a qualified writer should be a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches and hold the Certified Professional Resume Writer credential.
These individuals are required to pass a thorough examination on resume writing theory and practice, have significant industry experience, and remain up to date with recruitment trends.
You should also choose a writer you can trust:
- Read their reviews and see who they have worked with in the past.
- Read about their background.
- Call them.
- See if you would be comfortable working with them.
Choosing a resume writer is just as important as choosing any other professional to represent you such as a lawyer or accountant.
A writer’s work may very well propel you ahead in your career and open doors for you – or hold you back.
How much should I pay for a professional resume?
You'll be able to find online resume writing services that fit into nearly every budget.
We’ve seen services that charge anywhere from under $100 to over $1,000 for a resume.
While hiring a resume writer can be a sizable investment, a writer’s fee is likely a reflection of his or her professionalism and skill level.
The best resume writers devote a considerable amout of time to:
- Understanding your employment history and career goals via a questionnaire and consultation
- Crafting a truly well-written document
- Working with you to make any changes and edits, if necessary
If a writer is feasibly able to write your resume for less than the price of a one-hour career coaching session, you may want to reconsider.
It’s a known fact that some online resume writing services outsource work internationally to keep costs down.
Before deciding to pay someone to write your resume, consider whether the investment is worth it for you:
If you’re making over $40,000 per year, you’ll invest less than 1% of your annual salary on your resume.
In this case, spending money on a professionally written resume can be well worth it - especially if it leads to your dream job or a promotion.
If you’re making considerably less, you may consider preparing your resume on your own and simply having your final document edited.
If you’re a student, you may be able to find the help you need at your school’s career services center instead.
Occasionally, resume writers will offer reduced fees for current students or recent graduates, so you may want to reach out to ask whether that could be an option.
Have you written a resume for my industry before?
At Resume Pilots, we’ve worked with clients across the majority of job sectors.
However, no resume writer has worked with clients in every industry and position imaginable - and that’s okay.
When hiring a writer, the most important characteristic you should look for is writing and interviewing ability - not whether they have experience in your specific niche.
Resume writing principles and best practices are consistent across industries.
The best resume writers conduct outside research and ask you questions about your role that will fill in any gaps in industry knowledge.
What matters most is whether a writer can help you present yourself in a compelling yet professional matter.
Are there any guarantees?
Because your resume is just one component of the job search process, trustworthy resume writers should not guarantee that you will receive interviews or job offers as a result of using their services.
When you apply for a job, there are many variables that determine whether you will be offered an interview or ultimately be hired:
- Your fit for the role
- Your experience in the area
- Your educational background
- The quality of other applicants
- Your preparation for and performance during the interview
However, you can rest assured that professional resume writers will help you identify and articulate your strongest credentials to recruiters in the best way possible.
Wondering how your resume stacks up? Submit it here for a free review!
We'll provide you with personalized feedback on five key areas of effective resume writing and let you know how we can help, if needed.
If you have any questions about the resume writing process, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read more about us here.