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The Definitive Guide to Resume Writing Services

February 25, 2020

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Resume writing services can help you create a resume that best represents your skills and qualifications for a job. People often hire these professional services so they can make good first impressions and get more interviews. Depending on your writing skills and situation, a resume writing service might benefit your job search, too. In this article, we discuss when to use resume writing services and how to find one, as well as provide answers to frequently asked questions.

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What is a resume writing service?

A resume writing service involves hiring a professional writer to review, revise and write your resume. You pay fees for varying levels of help, ranging from improving your current resume to writing a new one to providing job search and interview advice. Many resume writing services exist, and each one offers different features. However, common components of resume writing services include:

  • Large networks of professional resume writers from a variety of industries and, often, countries that the company will pair you with depending on your industry and needs
  • Free reviews of your current resume
  • A survey you fill out to provide the writer with information about your goals and requirements
  • A conversation with the writer to discuss your work history, skills and other resume components
  • The inclusion of words and phrases that get picked up by applicant tracking system (ATS) technology on job search sites
  • A draft of your new resume to review and an opportunity to make revisions, if needed
  • A satisfaction guarantee

Most resume writing services offer three packages you can choose from at different price levels. The lowest-cost package usually provides you with a new, keyword-optimized resume. The middle-level one might also include a cover letter. The most expensive package often includes services such as interview coaching or creating a professionally written profile for job networking sites.

Understand, however, that professional resume writing services involve teamwork. Rather than simply paying the writer to produce an effective resume, you are involved in multiple conversations and reviews, which will require some time commitment.

Related: 6 Universal Rules for Resume Writing

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When to use a resume writing service

You might choose to use resume services if you need to enhance the quality of your resume's writing or content. You could benefit from hiring one of these services if:

  • You want to improve your writing. If you need help with summarizing your skills and background into a concise, thoughtful yet creative resume, you might want to pay a professional to do it for you. These writers have a lot of resume writing experience, and some are even certified. When you hire one, you are guaranteed a well-written, high-quality resume that represents you and your goals.
  • You find it difficult to describe yourself objectively. Discussing your strengths, weaknesses and qualifications with another person can result in a better summary of yourself.
  • You are applying for a promotion. If your goal is to get a job that pays more or has greater responsibilities, a resume writer can help you stand out from the competition and look professional.
  • You lack the time to write your resume. If you are busy with personal, family or current work demands, a resume service might relieve the stress of writing a resume or allow you to create a resume faster than you would be able to yourself.
  • You can afford it. Make sure hiring a resume writing service—which can cost anywhere from under $100 to upward of $1,000—is within your budget. If so, it can be a good investment.
  • You are not getting interviews. If you have repeatedly applied to jobs without receiving any responses, your resume might not be getting picked up by ATS software or catching hiring managers' attention.

Resume writing services can also improve the design and organization of your resume, making it easier for employers to scan and read. If you choose a service that employs professionals from all industries, you will be able to work with a writer who understands your field and what its hiring managers are looking for.

Related: 10 Resume Writing Tips to Help You Land a Job

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When to not use a resume writing service

You might not need to use a resume writing service if your resume is already good quality or if there are other reasons you have not received an interview. Before you pay for a resume writing service, make sure you are going to benefit from it. Reasons you might not use one include:

  • Your resume is good. Most resume writing services offer to review your resume before you hire them to rewrite it. If they tell you your resume summarizes your skills, experience and goals in a concise, well-organized way, then you likely do not need to pay for the service.
  • You are underqualified for the job. If you are applying for positions for which you are unprepared or underqualified, a better resume is not going to improve your chances of getting an interview. You might need to reassess your objectives instead.
  • If your money is better used elsewhere. If you are applying for entry-level or low-paying jobs, you might want to save your money. Recent college graduates, for instance, might not have much experience to provide a resume writing service and to list on their resumes. In this scenario, hiring a service might not be the best use of your money.
  • You are a skilled writer. If you have strong writing abilities, use them. Particularly if you are applying for writing jobs, you might want to create a resume that is in your own voice and style.

If you are unsure whether you need a resume writing service, take advantage of the free resume review many companies offer. Their feedback can help you make a decision.

Related: Resume Writing 101: Tips for Creating a Resume (With Examples)

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How to find a resume writing service

When searching for a resume writing service, look for a company that is reputable and meets your needs. Most of these companies are national or international and based online. Start by searching online, and follow these suggestions for finding the right resume writing service:

  1. Look for professionally-designed websites. Go to a company's website and make sure it looks professional. Fees, packages and the resume writing process should be easy to find and clearly explained.
  2. Read online reviews. Look for testimonials or references on the resume writing service's website. Use search engines or professional networking sites to find reviews and recommendations.
  3. Ask for examples. Request and read samples of the company's work, which will give you an idea of its quality.
  4. Make sure they use ATS. Reputable companies will include in their resumes keywords and phrases that ATS software will detect.
  5. Look for experienced writers. Research the qualifications of the writers the company employs. See if they have titles such as certified professional resume writer (CPRW), certified expert resume writer (CERW), master resume writer (MRW) or nationally certified resume writer (NCRW) behind their names that show they have the training and experience to produce quality resumes.
  6. Connect with a writer. Once you find a few companies you like, talk to your potential resume writer to make sure you feel comfortable communicating with them.
  7. Get a guarantee. Choose resume writing services that guarantee their work and your satisfaction.

While looking for a resume writing service, learn to identify companies that might be scams. To avoid becoming a victim to a fraudulent resume writing service:

  1. Make sure the company is credible. Search for online reviews and ratings on sites such as Better Business Bureau. Be suspicious if a company has lots of five-star reviews that use the same language or lack verification.
  2. Be wary of affiliate marketing. If you find a resume writing service through a "best of" list, look for affiliate links within the text that indicate the site gets money each time someone signs up for the service after clicking on that link. While the resume writing service might not be a scam, know that the site might only be promoting its services for financial reasons.
  3. Look for unrealistic promises. Avoid resume writing services that guarantee to get you a job or promise impossibly fast or cheap services. Make sure all the information on their site is transparent.

Rather than choosing the first resume writing service that appears on an online search, assess several to find a reputable one that meets your needs and budget. Find the best resume writing service that has well-qualified writers with knowledge about your industry.

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Frequently asked questions about resume writing services

The following are questions job applicants commonly ask when deciding whether to hire a resume writing service:

Why hire a resume writing service?

Professional and certified writers know what information and characteristics to highlight on a resume to get a job interview. After communicating with you about your skills, job qualifications, experience and career goals, they will create a customized, effective resume. This allows you to spend more time doing things like networking, searching for jobs and preparing for interviews.

What are the steps in the resume writing process?

While each company differs, many follow a similar process:

  • Analyze your resume.
  • Provide you with a form to fill out so you can share your needs and goals.
  • Match you with a writer.
  • Set up a phone interview between you and the writer.
  • Send you a first draft of your resume.
  • Discuss any changes to your resume with the writer.
  • Send you a final draft of your resume.

How long does it take to get a resume?

Depending on the company, resume writing services can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. You might receive your first draft within a week or less, then have another week to make revisions. Often, the length of the process depends on how quickly you respond to the writer.

How do I work with the writer?

Many resume writing services start the collaboration between you and the writer through a questionnaire. Then the writer will schedule a time to discuss your resume and its contents—typically over the phone. Once you receive a draft of your resume, you can give the writer feedback online or by phone.

What does a resume writing service cost?

A service's cost depends on which package you choose. Basic packages cost, on average, just under $150. Deluxe packages can cost upwards of $1,000 and include far more features and services than just a resume.

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