Your resume is arguably one of the most important financial documents you own. Without it, you can't land your dream job to help pay bills, plan vacations, or save for retirement. Hiring a professional resume-writing service is an investment in your future.
It doesn't seem that writing a resume is rocket science. When you think about it, all you're trying to do is summarize your career for a new company to obtain a job. However, with the rampant use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and the sheer competitiveness of the job market, hiring a professional resume writer can help you stand in the sea of sameness.
The good news is that you don't have to shell out $1,000 for a resume writer. Of course, you can, but generally, the cost will be much lower than that. So, how much does a professional resume-writing service cost?
Do some research
The first step in finding a great resume writer is research. Whether you end up hiring a company or an individual, perform some due diligence. Read reviews on 3rd party sites like Google, TrustPilot, or SiteJabber. Don't simply rely on the customer feedback listed on the company's website.
You're trying to put your best foot forward during your job search, you want the company or person you hire to do the same.
Since your resume is only one tool in your job search toolbox, check to make sure the resume-writing service you hire offers additional services. Most people who are searching for a job need a cover letter and an optimized LinkedIn profile. In fact, your LinkedIn profile is almost as important as your resume.
Does the resume-writing service offer these additional services? You don't want to have to bounce from one writer to another just to get what you need.
The resume-writing process
The first thing to understand is that most resume writers perform their services virtually. You'll do everything via email, telephone, and video conference. The key, though, is highly collaborative communication. Most resume-writing services employ writers who have experience writing resumes for a range of industries and professional experience levels. However, the writer isn't a mind reader. You have to provide the details of your career so they can properly optimize your resume to get you past the ATS and impress a hiring manager.
Find the right price
When you feel like you've found a couple of companies you could work with, it's time to dig into how much they'll charge.
Keep the old adage that you get what you pay for in mind when comparing the cost of hiring a resume writer. There are, of course, resume-writing services out there that charge hundreds of dollars. There are three ranges to consider when finding the right price for the service you need:
Entry level: This is for anyone new to the job market or someone who has less than 5 years of experience. You should expect to pay up to $200.
Professional level: If you are approaching 10-15 years of experience, you'll need someone with more experience who can concisely summarize your career with relevant keywords. For this range, your resume writer will likely charge somewhere in the neighborhood of $200-$400.
Executive level: As you might expect, someone seeking senior-level management or a C-Suite position will need a more experienced resume writer. Executive services range from $350-$700.
If you need a cover letter, professional biography, thank you or follow-up notes, or a new LinkedIn profile, the rates will be higher as each service is usually priced individually. Though many companies do have bundles, not all bundles will contain all services.
How do resume-writing companies justify their fees?
The cost of a professional resume is built around more than some person sitting at a computer typing words onto a page. It's about how much time is spent on each resume-writing project. The average resume-writing project consumes up to eight cumulative hours.
When an order is received, someone has to make sure all of the documents, intake questions, and job target links are received.
The writer then goes through everything to compare what was received with the sample job links to formulate a plan of action. Sometimes this period of time also includes a 30-minute conference call with you, the client.
Once the writer begins working on your project, they'll perform more research into your background and what perspective companies look for in job seekers.
After the first draft is delivered, you'll be expected to go through it with a fine-toothed comb to notate any revisions you deem necessary–remembering that your resume isn't a chronicle of everything you've done during your career but a summary of your achievements as they pertain to a particular job.
Finally, the resume writer reviews your suggested edits and acts as an advisor on whether the changes should be accepted.
Most resume-writing projects take one week from start to finish. Although, some can go longer depending on how collaborative you and your writer are. But, if you want your resume to pass the 6-second test once it gets past the ATS, having a professional resume-writing service in your corner can be the difference between winning your job search and losing.
TopResume would love to help you through the next steps of your career journey. We have a large network of professional resume writers ready to work with you.