190: Should You Hire a Professional Resume Writer or Go it On Your Own? How to Decide

Should You Hire a Professional Resume Writer or Go it On Your Own? How to Decide

A reminder that I’ve moved to a once-a-month webinar format, held on the third Thursday of the month at 4:00 p.m. Eastern. The topic is different each month, and I jam-pack them full of content.

To learn about the next webinar: https://mastercoachwebinars.carrd.co

Today, I’m talking about whether you should hire a professional resume writer or DIY it. A disclaimer here: I believe EVERYONE would benefit from a professional resume writer. The question then becomes, is the cost worth it? Are the stakes high enough that I need a professional to help me be competitive?

Here are the considerations:

  1. Where is the bar? How competitive will the positions I am applying for be?

    1. What is my timeline to be in a new position?

If you are expecting a salary of $150K, every week you are unemployed is costing you $2,885. Even if you subtract unemployment benefits, you are still losing money every week you are unemployed. If a professional resume writer can help you shorten that timeline by even 1-2 weeks, it has paid for itself.

  1. Is this a strength I possess, or will I be starting from scratch? Do I have the time to do this – and do I want to use my time this way?

Let’s say you’ve decided to use a professional resume writer. How do you choose?

I’ve created a document, How to Assess Resume Writers, that you can download from my LinkedIn profile. I’m going to hit a few high points from that document here:

  1. Review their website and LinkedIn profile – are they professional? Do they work with people in similar situations to yours? Look for examples of their work – do you like what you see?

  2. Review their credentials. While credentials aren’t everything, there are a lot of people out there calling themselves resume writers who have absolutely no formal training. It is not at all uncommon for me to review a resume that has been “professionally written,” only to find 25+ errors in the document.

Look for writers with the ACRW (Academy of Certified Resume Writers) or MRW (Master Resume Writer) designations, as these are the gold standards in resume writing.

  1. Evaluate your interactions with prospective resume writers. How responsive have they been? Are they friendly and understanding – or short and distant? Do you feel a connection with them?

  2. Find out about their process. Do they want you to fill out worksheets or do they get the information via phone or Zoom calls? What is the expected timeline? If a resume writer doesn’t offer any direct conversation with you, move on to the next option.

  3. Ask about price. Price isn’t everything, but it should be a consideration. As a general rule of thumb, you want a resume writer whose fees reflect approximately ½% - 1% of your annual expected salary for the resume only. For example, if you are seeking a $100K salary, expect a resume writer to charge $500-$1000, + extra for LinkedIn profile, cover letter, or other documents. Be very wary about services promoting a $99 or $199 fee; if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

  4. Determine if this provider also offers job search coaching – it can be a great benefit to go to a “one-stop shop.”

*Are you in the wrong job that chips away at you every day? The CareerSpring document and coaching program will help you find a job that uses your zone of genius, recognizes your value, and pays you what you’re worth.*

If you’re ready to take your job search to the next level, schedule a complimentary consult to learn more: https://calendly.com/lesaedwards/zoom-meetings2

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