Screening and vetting a resume writer can be troublesome on its own if you don’t know what to look out for.
And, I’m guessing you’ve never worked with a resume writer before.
With no prior experience, I’m providing you with a breakdown to help you.
Below, I answer the following for you:
- What credentials your resume writer should have
- What cost can you expect from a skilled writer
- What questions should you ask before hiring anyone (++ a few example questions are included below)
- Find out whether working with a professional writer is worth the time/effort
- Are you cheating when hiring someone to write your resume
Right now, you’re probably asking yourself…
What certifications should you be looking for?
Should the resume writer you hire have experience in your career field?
What does the average resume writer cost?
These are all valid questions. So, let’s focus on each of these:
Should your resume writer have certifications?
This is always a sticky subject.
If you ask a certified resume writer, he/she will likely tell you to ONLY use a certified writer.
If you ask someone without a certification, he/she will likely give you an opposite opinion.
Yes. Resume writing certifications have their place in the resume industry.
A certification does offer some degree of measurement as to the writer you hire.
However, the sheer ownership of a certification does not QUALIFY someone to write any resume … especially not yours.
I’m sure you’ve come across someone in your industry who is certified yet lacks the true skills to perform well.
Well, this inadequacy can be found in the careers industry too.
To increase your chances of getting a quality resume writer, there are a few career credentials to look out for.
- Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) – this the oldest-offered resume writing credential issued by the Professional Association of Resume Writers/Career Coaches (PARW/CC). Easy to obtain. However, the passing criteria for the CPRW has risen in recent years.
- Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW) – this certification requires a sizable financial investment. Professional writers who invest in and maintain this certification could be seen as diehard resume writers.
- Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) – this certification is affordably priced for members of the National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA). The NCRW certification requires continuing education credits (CEUs) to maintain, which makes it a highly sought after certification.
Does the writer need to have experience in your career field?
Any skilled resume writer reviews a person’s work history and compares that against the forecasted job title.
There are times when even the most seasoned resume writer needs to perform a fair amount of research BEFORE starting to write any resume.
If you’re within a unique career field, finding someone with your exact career experience can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Though, there are some professionals who think they’re as unique as unicorns. And, will resist the advice of the most experienced resume writer. If you’re one of these, you’ll want to avoid a resume writer altogether.
What should you expect to pay for a resume?
You wouldn’t expect the cost of a resume to be such a deep subject.
But, it is.
Cost is directly related to quality.
Pay $100 for a resume, and your finished resume will likely look more generic.
If you expect a resume writer to spend a decent amount of time on the writing of your project, then you can’t expect to make such a small investment.
Of course, there are professional resume writers are the far end of the spectrum too.
For example, fees for a resume can be $500 to $1,000. Sometimes more.
There are a few variables that affect the cost.
- Certifications the resume writer holds
- Years of experience of the writer
- Industry recognition from resume writing awards (e.g. TORI Awards)
You don’t need to hire a writer with any of the above. However, a writer holding 1 or 2 from this list should be your goal.
What to ask BEFORE you hire a resume writer
Like any other professional you hire, you’ll want to ask the right prescreening questions.
Asking these questions will also help you determine whether you “click” with the person you’re about to hire to write someone as important as your resume.
So, here are a few recommended questions to help you identify the right resume writer for you:
- Are you a certified resume writer?
- How long have you been writing resumes?
- Do you participate in any professional resume writing associations?
- Do you have a few resume examples I could review?
- Any client testimonials I could read?
- Do you offer other services in addition to resume writing services?
The above questions will give you a good base of information, which helps when you’re considering more than one resume writing firm.
You might have specific resume writing needs too.
For example, these questions might apply to you:
- What do you know about ATS resume compliance?
- Do you write resumes for USAJobs? Government employees?
- What results have you had with your clients?
Despite asking the right questions, there’re more you should know.
For example, who will be writing your resume?
Yes, you read that correctly.
Unfortunately, there are many resume writing mills online these days.
For those who don’t know, resume mills are companies who offer affordable resume writing services (e.g. $100 to $200+), and then, hire low-cost resume writers to complete the projects.
Resume mills are essentially the Wal-Marts of the career industry.
Companies like these get the lion’s share of the profit from each project … and the resume writer is all-too-often paid the least.
This is the main reason most in the career industry dislike companies like these.
Another reason for dislike is that the “resume review” that prospects receive in most cases wasn’t reviewed by anyone.
These companies sometimes “trick” prospects into thinking there’s something wrong with there resume. When, in fact, this might not always be true.
Lastly, the person who “reviewed your resume” is actually a salesperson.
The person who will write your resume will be someone else entirely.
With this said, ask WHO will be writing your resume.
Ensure the person you talk with on the phone IS the person you will talk to throughout the writing of your project.
Be sure to know your resume writer’s track record with clients.
Some may claim to be a voted “Best 10 Resume Writers.” Yet, these might not be accurate claims.
You can learn a bit about your resume writer’s track record by asking for client testimonials.
Also, be sure to check out the LinkedIn profiles and online reviews for any resume writing service BEFORE making any hire.
Is a professional writer worth it?
There are critiques on both sides of this topic.
Some believe resume writers aren’t worth the investment, while others argue for their use.
There are plenty of videos on YouTube on how to remove your own appendix. But hey, if you want to save a buck …
For me …
I’ll hire a professional to do it.
Pros of Hiring a Professional Writer
At this point, you’re probably scratching your head wondering what’s the point to all this.
You want to know whether hiring a professional resume writer is right for you.
So, let’s look at some of the pros for hiring a resume writer.
First, a professional writer is knowledgeable about hiring practices and knows about some of the advanced writing techniques affecting today’s resumes.
For example, resume writers know that complying with ATS software is a mandatory requirement for anyone conducting a job search.
There’s a lot that’s been written about ATS resumes.
In simple terms, ATS software is an internal CRM/hiring system for a company’s HR department.
Not too complicated right?
Yet, the sophistication of each company’s software plays a key role in what the HR department sees/controls when hiring. For example, the ATS software used at Google headquarters would be vastly more powerful than the software used by your local bank.
ATS software has become a go-to for many hiring companies because it offers time-saving functionality.
For example, this software can prepopulate job postings, manage job interviews, automate communications with hiring candidates, and so on.
Second, resume writers can resolve a burden.
If you’re someone who despises writing a resume, then look no further than a professional writer to complete the task for you.
This is especially important when you have career issues that you just don’t know how to address when writing your resume.
A resume writer can be impartial. And, sometimes, individuals need those “fresh set of eyes” that a resume writer offers.
For example, a skilled resume writer knows how to handle:
- Gaps in employment
- Irrelevant work history
- Changes in career focus
- Challenging career/resume objectives
Do you feel like you’re cheating by hiring someone?
There have been some who have called into consideration the ethics of hiring a professional resume writer.
In fact, maybe you have too. Or, maybe you feel that there is some cheating involved when working with a resume writer.
Using a professional resume writer can give you the feeling that you’re getting an unfair “head start.”
Yet, there’s no difference between …
… a jobseeker like you hiring a resume writer to market their career …
… and, a company who hires a marketing firm to do their marketing.
So, in short, it is not cheating for someone to write your resume.