Choose the best resume writing service for job-search success.

So, you're thinking about investing in your career with a professionally written resume. It's definitely worth considering since your resume is the single most important tool in your job search arsenal to help you get noticed and land interviews. In this post, we cover the pros and cons of hiring a resume writing service, the questions you should ask before securing one, and a final checklist to help guide you. 

Should you have your resume written for you? 

Unless you're a professional resume writer or you have a resume that's already landing you interviews, hiring a resume writer is likely in your best interest. Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of hiring a resume writer. 

Resume writing service pros

By hiring a resume writer, you're in a position to benefit from the following:

  • You'll have a competitive resume compared to other candidates who might have also hired a resume writing service. 

  • You'll increase your chances of landing interviews.

  • A professional resume writer knows how to write a resume to get past those pesky applicant tracking systems. If your resume doesn't get past an ATS, it won't be seen by human readers. 

  • You'll save a lot of time not having to write the resume yourself. Not to mention, you won't have to stress as to whether it's good enough to land interviews. 

  • Job search costs, including hiring a resume writer, are often tax deductible. Refer to a tax specialist or the IRS to clarify if this would be the case for you. 

Resume writing service cons

Now, let's look at some of the costs and risks associated with hiring a resume writer:

  • You'll have to pay for the service. 

  • If you like to maintain control over the entire process, hiring a resume writer might be an uncomfortable choice.

  • You'll need to set some time aside to answer questions either by email, messaging, or phone call. 

  • You'll need to do some research to sift through the good and not-so-good writers or services.

  • You run the risk of not loving your resume or it not sounding like you. However, if you do your research to find a reputable writing service, this isn't typical. 

As you can see, for many candidates, the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to hiring a resume writer to help you craft your resume. 

What to look for in a resume writing service

Now that you've decided to hire a resume writing service, what's next? Well, before you fork over some of your hard-earned cash, make sure you find the resume-writing service that's right for you. Ask yourself the following questions before choosing the perfect service to help you land your dream job, faster.

Is this a reputable group?

How long has the organization been in business? Do they have a good reputation in the industry? Look for things like video testimonials and customer success stories that illustrate the work the group is capable of. You can also get a sense of their experience within the industry by reviewing their information in the “About Us” or “Company History” sections of their site.

Do they offer competitive pricing?

Not everyone can afford the $1000+ price tag that some companies charge for career coaching and resume-writing services. Take a look at your finances and determine what type of help you're looking for and what you feel comfortable spending. 

In terms of how much you can expect to pay, as you do your homework, you'll see that there are resume-writing services available at just about every price point. The range for having your resume written can start around $99 and go upwards of a few hundred dollars. 

That said, just because a resume writing service costs hundreds of dollars doesn't necessarily mean they're better writers or that you'll receive a better quality resume. It's possible to receive a high-quality resume that lands you interviews for under $200. 

What will I get for my money?

Ideally, you want to have some sort of free resume evaluation or consultation, which may occur before you purchase a resume rewrite, and then the right to edit a draft version before finalizing the document with your writer.

Many services will also include a customizable cover letter, a LinkedIn makeover, or some other service with their resume packages. If you haven't searched for a job in a while or don't know what to put on your LinkedIn profile, you may want to consider purchasing one of these all-inclusive packages to spruce up your entire personal brand.

Will my writer be knowledgeable about my field or industry?

While it's not always possible to find a resume writer who's worked in your industry, it is important to be on the lookout for one who has at least worked on resumes for other professionals in your line of work. Ask about their experience in your field or line of work to be sure, and keep looking if you're not satisfied with their answer.  

How familiar will the writer be with keywords?

Every profession has its own set of jargon, acronyms, certifications, and skill sets that describe their work and industry. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are programmed to look for these resume keywords to rank your application and determine if you're a good fit for the role.

Good resume writers should understand how applicant tracking systems work and how to optimize your resume with relevant keywords so that it's ATS-friendly.

Do they offer any guarantees?

Many professional resume-writing services will not offer any guarantees, as it's impossible to guarantee someone a job offer – there are just too many variables the writer can't control once they hand over the final draft of your resume. That said, there are services out there that will rewrite your resume for free if you don't receive 2x more interviews within 60 days of receiving your final copy.

Is this service a good fit for my needs?

Every resume-writing service works a little differently. The key is to find out how the process works with each service and determine which approach best suits your needs. For instance, if you don't have a lot of free time on your hands, you may want to partner with a service that allows you to submit all your information online and work with your writer via email. 

If you hate to type, don't like email, and like to do everything over the phone, an online service is probably not the right fit for you.

Choosing a resume writing service checklist 

Here, we summarize and reiterate some of the key takeaways noted above, with additional insights to ponder. Consider this list your go-to checklist when researching various resume writing services. 

  • Look beyond cost. Don't let cost be the main or only factor you consider when securing a resume writer. Yes, as mentioned, you want an affordable option. However, you also want a reliable option based on reviews, examples, guarantees, and the other factors outlined below.

  • Seek out a free consultation or initial review. Many services will offer a free resume review to help you kick off the process and determine if it's worth upgrading to a paid service. During the review, you'll get a sense of the service provider and the value they can add if you should choose to upgrade. 

  • Research reviews and testimonials. No matter how good a resume writing service appears to be based on its website and packages, it's how it helps people that's most important. Research online reviews and testimonials to find out what people are saying about the resume writer and service. Though it's not possible to please everyone, the majority of reviews should speak to how much value the service added to the job search process. 

  • Consider their experience level. Seek out resume writers who have been in the business for a while and have a solid reputation as experts in the field. 

  • Look for examples of their work. Many resume writing services will already showcase samples of their work on their website. If they don't, it's worth asking for some resume samples to verify their resume writing skills. Bear in mind that you'll likely only see general samples, as confidentiality can prevent service providers from sharing actual resumes that include a client's name and information. 

  • Search for guarantees. As previously mentioned, resume writing services generally won't guarantee you land a job, given the many variables that go into receiving a job offer. However, reputable services do often offer some type of guarantee in terms of increasing your number of interviews. 

  • Be clear on the revision process. Revisions are a necessary part of the resume writing service to ensure you get the final product that you feel good about and will land you interviews. That said, another important item to consider when seeking out a resume writing service is what their revision process is like. Are they willing to revise your resume to the point that you're happy with it, or do they only offer a limited amount of revisions, regardless of how you feel about the final result? Be clear on the revision parameters and choose a provider that you trust will work with you until you get a product you're satisfied with. 

  • Consider package options. In addition to writing a resume, having a cover letter written and your LinkedIn profile updated as you move forward in your job search can be beneficial. Look for resume writing services that offer package options that include all of these items, so you have a one-stop-shop access point for all your needs vs. purchasing items piecemeal. Plus, when you work with a single provider for all your job marketing materials, the provider will apply consistent parameters across all items, so they complement each other as they should.

  • Seek out credentialed writers. When you're considering various resume writers, check to see what type of credentials they have. Reputable resume writing services hire writers with the right credentials to help you get the best resume possible. Some resume writers hold credentials like Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC), Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), and Certified Workforce Development Professional (CWDP). However, a resume writer can have many other credentials that speak to their expertise, like a history working in recruiting, human resources, and other specialized areas to support career guidance and resume writing. 

  • Go with your gut. At the end of the day, you need to feel good about the service you choose. When taking into consideration all of the factors listed above, what is the best resume writing service to meet your needs? 

Resume writing services are worth it

Remember, sometimes you need to spend money to make money. Don't think of this purchase as a cost. Instead, consider it an investment in your career. The less time it takes you to land your next job, the more money you'll earn over the course of your career.

When it comes to your job search, you want to make sure you're getting the expert help you deserve. That's where TopResume comes in. And if you're not quite ready to hire a resume writing service, you can always submit your resume for a free resume review, and go from there! 

This article was originally written by Amanda Augustine and has been updated by Ronda Suder. 

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