Writing a resume isn’t an easy feat — if it were so simple, we’d all land every dream job we ever wanted. But resumes take work. Often, you have to tweak (or entirely rewrite) your resume for different job applications, as well, even if you’re applying for jobs within the same industry. This is because your resume needs to not only share your relevant experiences and skills, but it also needs to jump out as valuable to the particular hiring manager reading it.
Of course, there are steps you can take to elevate your resume, such as mirroring the language of the job advertisement, using power verbs, and backing up your claims to success with hard numbers. But it takes time to write a winning resume — and not everyone’s a writer!
That’s why many people hire resume writers to help them. A resume writer is someone who writes resumes for job seekers. They help others better express themselves and share their work history, educational experiences and skills to prospective employers.
Hiring a resume writer can certainly help you nail your job application. Just getting a second pair of eyes on your resume, from anyone, is helpful. But working with a resume writer is not for everyone. Here’s what you should know before hiring one.
First things first, resume writers come with a cost. According to ZipJob, you can expect to pay between $100–400, although some charge as much as $1,000. While all resume writers set their fees differently, you should expect to pay decent money for someone to basically help you land a job. And, unlike lawyers and realtors, for example, resume writers charge you even if you don’t snatch the job. So make sure to shop around before landing on one resume writer.
The resume writer you choose isn’t necessarily a specialist in your field. Most resume writers are writers. Some are designers. But the best, most professional resume writers are those who have years of hiring experience with both writing and design skills — and those that know your industry. So if you’re applying for jobs in fields like engineering or technology or healthcare, for example, they might not know the first thing about what your industry demands. While they can, of course, help you make your resume more compelling to read by editing your language, they may miss major opportunities. So, if you can, find a resume writer with experience in your industry.
There are organizations that offer certifications, such as the National Résumé Writers' Association (NRWA).
At the end of the day, you know yourself better than anyone else. That’s why you’re probably the best person to write your resume. A resume writer is only going to know how to describe you and your experiences based on what you tell them. So, if you’re going to use a resume writer when discussing your needs with them, make sure that you’re sharing as much as possible — even if you don’t think it’s all necessary or relevant. (You never know how they might be able to spin it to be applicable!) Also, if a resume writer offers to write your resume without talking to you at all, run away. The process should include a lot of back-and-forth collaboration and, if it doesn’t, they’re probably not a good resume writer.
Part of your appeal is all the little nuances that make you you. Sure, most employers are going to be looking at your experiences and skills to see that you can do the job for which they’re advertising. But they also want to know that you’re going to be a good fit for the company culture — and they can only deduce that by getting to know you (not someone you hired to write your resume). So it may be difficult for a resume writer who doesn’t know you to nail your voice and overall persona. While you may use a resume writer to help you articulate yourself, it’s worth going over their work to still give your resume that personal touch of your own.
While resume writers are great in the sense that they can help you put your experiences and skills into words that make hiring managers want to call you up for an interview, they’re not always totally necessary. Chances are that you can write your own successful resume if you just carve out the time for it. There are plenty of resources to write an awesome resume, including tips, templates and other resources on Fairygodboss!
This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at HerReport.org by night.