10 Considerations For Choosing the Right Resume Writer

Have you ever considered hiring a resume writer to help improve the quality of your job applications?

A professional resume rewrite can make all the difference in the world, especially if you’re in one of these all-too-common situations:

  • You’re applying to tons of jobs but rarely hearing back from employers
  • You’re transitioning into a new industry and struggling to identify transferable skills
  • You struggle to condense 15+ years of experience into one or two pages
  • You’re in a niche job market with very specific resume requirements

Much of the time, you can revamp your resume yourself. Other times, it’s worthwhile to have an expert prepared this valuable marketing document for you.

But before you run off and give your money to a resume writer, think through these 10 important considerations.

1. Have reasonable expectations

A professionally written resume can be a huge help for job seekers, helping you put your best foot forward when applying for jobs. And it can definitely help you get that foot in the door with employers.

But your resume it isn’t the be-all-end-all of your job search. There are a lot of factors that go into the hiring process; no resume writer can (or should) promise that a resume, by itself, will get you the job.

And, in all likelihood, you’re going to need multiple versions of your resume, not just a single perfectly-crafted version. The best practice is to customize your resume according to the job you’re applying to.

So don’t expect the resume writer to provide a silver bullet for all your job search woes. Instead, look for a service that will offer you a good baseline resume, along with some actionable advice on how you might modify the document for specific jobs.

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2. Have a reasonable budget

Hiring a resume writer is going to cost you money. How much money will depend on the level and quality of service you’re looking for. Prices can range from a $49 bare-bones “resume review” to several thousand dollars for high-end executive services.

When it comes to money there are three major considerations to keep in mind:

  • Beware of suspiciously cheap resume writing services. Like many things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to resume writing.
  • This is an investment. When you’re unemployed you’ve got to be careful with your expenses. But don’t let penny pinching today get in the way of a paycheck tomorrow. A quality, targeted resume can help you land a job sooner, putting money in your pocket. That being said…
  • Don’t spend more than you can afford. Remember that a resume–no matter how perfect–doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the job. So be prudent with your money and invest only what you can afford on your current budget.

3. Find someone with experience in your industry

Just as every profession has it’s own culture and certifications, they each have their own formatting and language rules for resumes. What works in one industry might not play in another.

For example, a curriculum vitae for an aspiring college professor is going to be very different than the resume for programmer. The ideal resume for a nonprofit professional isn’t the same as one for a corporate big-wig.

You want a resume that will give you the best possible chance to land your dream job. So you need to find someone who understands the language, the best-practices, the hot-trends, and the tricks for resumes in your desired field. And experienced hand will always give you an inside edge over a more generic resume.

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4. Ask for recommendations

So how do you find a seasoned resume writer who understand the ins and outs of your field? Ask your network!

Your peers, colleagues, and friend may be able to recommend just the right person for your needs. You should also consider reaching out to your relevant professional association to see if they can recommend a quality resume writing service.

5. Explore their the online presence

Any resume writer worth their salt should have a well-established online brand: a solid website, comprehensive LinkedIn profile, and a professional presence on other social media platforms.

Why is this so important? Because If they aren’t going above and beyond with their own professional brand, how are they going to help you with yours?

Review the resume writer’s online activity. Beware of websites that seem out-of-date or writers that seem overly self-promotional.

6. Look for professional credentials

There are several professional associations for resume writers. These groups include:

Each of these organizations offer certifications and training for resume writers. While membership in–or credentials from–a professional association isn’t a guarantee of quality, it is one way to evaluate how serious the resume writer is about their profession.

7. Seek out reviews

Many resume writers include testimonials from happy clients on their websites. You’ll want to dig deeper than this before you make your decision.

See if their resume writer (or their company) has been reviewed on Yelp, Google, or another review site. You should take any individual review with a grain of salt, but reviews, in aggregate, can be enlightening.

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You can also ask a prospective resume writer if you can speak to one of their previous clients. This is a great option, particularly for higher-priced services.

8. Don’t rule out a long-distance relationship

Most cities will have an array of local resume writing services, catering to your specific needs. But thanks to the internet, you’re no longer confined to just your local options.

There are amazing resume writers all over the world. And with Skype, Facetime, and other communications tools, you can build trusting relationship with a resume writer without ever having to meet in-person.

9. Follow the rule of three

At a minimum, talk with three different resume writers before making a decision.

This is a best practice no matter what kind of professional service you’re looking for. But it is particularly important when selecting a resume writer. (Remember: your professional reputation is on the line!)

Take the time to get to know each person and get a sense of who they are as a person. Look for someone who you connect with and go with your gut.

10. Understand what you’re signing

Read through the service contract thoroughly so that you understand what you are getting for your money. You don’t want to get caught off guard later on because you failed to read the fine print!