Hiring A Resume Writer: Everything You Should Know

Hiring a Resume Writer

Before we discuss the value of a professional resume writer, I want you to look at your resume. Is it a well-written, data-centered resume with a simple but elegant design? Does it accurately describe your accomplishments and all the success you’ve encountered? Would the president be impressed with you?

Okay…maybe the last question was too much pressure, but it makes you think. You don’t have to be embarrassed, introspection isn’t an easy task. Generally, you should hire a resume writer if any of the following situations applies to you….

  • You’re applying for jobs online and you have no idea what an Applicant Tracking System is.
  • You are applying for an administrative or management role, or entry-level with no experience
  • You’ve applied to more than a dozen jobs and haven’t even received a phone call
  • You have a complicated work history that you need help explaining
    • Employment gaps of more than 1 year
    • Multiple jobs within a 1 year span
    • Stay at home parent entering the work force
    • Small business owner moving into corporate space
  • Your vocabulary is not very advanced in your native language. Your grammar and spelling are not very good.
  • You are applying for a job that is six figures or more.

A resume writer is trained to help you patch up these situations and focus on your value. You also don’t have to deal with the stress of uncertainty. Most professional resume writers can understand exactly what the company is looking for and tailor your resume to the specific job. This is your future, pay well for it.

Independent Resume Writer vs Resume Writing Company

The majority of resume writing agencies and companies are middlemen. They market their services and then pass your resume to an independent writer and take a cut of the profits. As a general rule, an independent writer will charge you a lot less for the same quality of work.

Not only do they charge more, some companies do not even investigate the writers they hire. Some even operate resume farms by contracting work to writers overseas and providing them a basic template. They remain popular because most of their clients have never seen a good resume or can’t afford one.

That doesn’t mean every independent writer is good at their job however. Some resume “writers” will simply place your name into a template for an absurdly low price and then hand it off back to you. Even worse, some of them have invented AI systems to automate the entire process.

How do I know who to hire?

Do your research. First, make sure you are talking directly with the person who will be writing your resume. You want to make sure that someone can understand your specific situation not some third party writer who mass produces content. Then ask the following questions

  • What experience do you have with applicant tracking systems, and how will you use that to optimize my resume?
  • How much experience do you have drafting resumes for applicants in my industry?
  • What does your package include and what is the turn around time?

A professional resume writer should be happy to answer these simple questions. If they don’t know what an A.T.S. system is, then move on. They will not be any use to you. They should also have at least a year of experience writing resumes for the industry you are applying for.

If the writer is using their real name, they should also have a LinkedIn profile and maybe profiles on freelance websites. Look them up, and judge the writing on their profiles. You should also see if you can find any samples of their work, such as a portfolio or any products they sell.

Hiring a Resume Writing Service

If you are hiring a resume writing company then do some research first. Put the company’s website name into review websites Trustpilot, Sitejabber and Scamadviser. Look at the reviews to determine the quality of their work. You can also look them up on the better business bureau website.

Look for resume writing certifications on their website. There are organizations that certify resume writers by testing their skills for a small fee. These tests are in-depth and graded by certified resume writers themselves. The certifications you should be looking for are

Resume writing certifications aren’t a necessity, but they’re better indications of skill than nothing. A resume writer with great reviews but no certifications is still a viable option.

Review Testimonials.

Avoid any company that has multiple 1 or 2 star reviews that claimed they never received the product or they were given a resume with no interaction or phone call. Those are resume farms and scam artists.

Referrals: Ask your colleagues if they’ve used a resume writer. Ask if the resume got them any interviews or helped them introspect. If they’ve had a positive experience, chances are they ran into a good resume writer.

How much does resume writing cost?

A professionally written resume is not an expense, it’s an investment. Good resume writing is neither a fast nor easy process. If you want a strong chance at getting an interview at a six figure job, you should expect to pay between $250 and $500 dollars. For this price you should expect:

  • Rewritten premium content displayed on an ATS optimized resume template
  • A 30 minute initial phone call with your resume writer
  • At least a week of revisions (Although a good resume shouldn’t need that many)
  • A LinkedIn Template so you can align your resume with your LinkedIn profile.

Some resume writers offer a full package and involve various add-ons. These include Cover Letters, Thank You Letters, LinkedIn profile optimizations, custom resume templates, and more. If the full package is not in the product description, you should reach out to the resume writer for clarification.

Executive Pricing

If you are a known professional, manager, or executive you should be willing to invest in an advanced resume. You can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 dollars. For this price, you should obtain a professional writer with excellent qualifications who will investigate your career to identify the most valuable highlights. You should expect at least a 1 hour phone call or lengthy questionnaire.

Scam Pricing

Anything below $100 you should be suspicious of and consider a scam. Especially if there is no option to meet with your writer or discuss your career. Most likely this type of writer will put your contact info on a pre-written template and hand it off to you. This may work for entry jobs that require a resume as a formality. However, it will only hurt your chances against recruiters actively reviewing your resume.

Additional Cost Factors

  • The kind of job you are applying for
  • How many jobs you are applying for
  • How much experience the resume writer has
  • How much experience you have

The Resume Writing Time Breakdown

A professional resume writer should spend 5 hours minimum on your resume. A high quality resume writer will be spending around 8 – 15 hours on your resume. A lot of time goes into fact discovery about the client’s background, client’s value, company’s background, and the company’s needs. The entire process falls into three main phases.

Research Phase

You’ve submitted the order and it’s brought to the attention of the resume writer. They’ll begin with a document analysis. Afterwards they’ll reach out for a quick phone consultation to identify any additional information they need to craft your resume. Lastly, A professional will then do some background research into the company to determine the type of employee they’re looking to hire.

Document Review: 15 – 30 minutes

Phone Consultation: 15 – 60 minutes

Company Research: 60 minutes

Total Research Time: 1 – 3 hours

Drafting Phase

The resume writer has gathered all the ingredients, and gets started writing on your resume. They’ll create a resume outline to organize the most important information. This includes determining what sections are appropriate for this job industry, what type of resume format to use, and what qualifications the company is looking for vs the qualifications you have.

Once they’ve completed an outline, they’ll spend an hour or so on the content. This is where they take the information from your phone call and transform into various descriptions. Descriptions of your success, strengths, expertise, and work style. All with the objective of making you a good “fit” for the company.

Resume Outlining: 15 – 30 minutes

Content Writing: 60 – 120 minutes

Total Drafting Time: Between 1 – 3 hours

Revision Phase

No draft is perfect. Your resume writer should carefully go over the resume at least twice to perform routine edits. First, they’ll look over the content to make sure it’s accurate and impressive. Then they’ll perform a spelling and grammar check to get rid of any errors.

Content Check: 10 – 30 minutes

Spelling/Grammar Check: 10 – 30 minutes

ATS Check: 5 minutes

Once they’ve produced a final product, they’ll reach out for a final review. During the review, they’ll gather your feedback and answer any questions you may have.

Final Review: 10 – 30 Minutes.

Total Revision Time: Between 1 – 2 hours

Most resume writers should have a 2 business day turnaround time. Writers for more advanced positions may take longer, all the way up to 14 business days. Especially if you’re an executive with a lengthy history and a lot of accomplishments. A lot of time will go into selecting the best achievements to write about.

Making a Decision

Remember, a good resume is an investment. You do not want to entrust a great opportunity to an amateur. With that being said, not every opportunity is worth investing in. If you’re a recent graduate applying to a minimum wage or entry level job, hiring a professional may not be worth it.

However, if you’re applying to a six figure job or at a startup/fortune 500, you should always hire a resume writer. Most resume writers want to get you the job, your success is their success.

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