How Much Should A Resume Service Cost?Justin Olsen, CPRW
READ THIS BEFORE YOU HIRE A RESUME WRITER!
You are looking for a new job and decided to find a resume writer who can get you past that first hurdle of the career change, the dreaded RESUME! You haven’t updated your resume in quite some time, maybe a few years, or maybe 15 years. It’s been a minute – but you know you need help making updates to your resume and refreshing the content and formatting. So, you decide to search for resume services online and stumble across a literal ocean of different options.
Let’s say you are a seasoned professional sales representative for a pharmaceutical company and looking to get into something a little different. You review several different resume companies offering various pricing options based on experience level, industry, or whether or not you are just needing some edits or a complete rewrite of your existing documents.
Overwhelmed, you become increasingly frustrated at the plethora of different pricing levels and options you are finding and decide to just go with the most expensive resume service on your list because you think that you will “get what you pay for” since many of the features, promises, and guarantees all seem to be the same across the different websites promoting themselves.
If you stumbled across this article during your search for a resume service, but hesitant to pull the trigger because of the mixture of costs, consider yourself lucky and STOP SEARCHING HERE! I am a certified professional resume writer (CPRW) who has been writing resumes for over 17 years as I am writing this sentence. That being said, I can honestly tell you that there are resume services out there that are simply charging way too much, and some that are charging way too little. Then there are those that exist somewhere in-between the price gougers and budget offers.
This makes things extremely confusing for a job seeker, like yourself, who has not had the need to update a resume in 15 years or so and pressed for time. Nobody likes spending hours researching anything, especially when there are so many cost variations between companies that have virtually the same offerings. So let me break this down for you as simply as I can to help bring some transparency into the resume writing industry.
Cheap Resume Services
The lower-end priced resume services, usually priced at around $79 or lower, are going to get you into big trouble. First of all, we all know that if something seems too good to be true, it usually is. It has been my experience that resume writers offering their services in this price range tend to not be qualified with enough experience, certifications, or other credentials required to produce quality output. In today’s high-tech world, anyone can throw together a website in a day and start making money – but the real test is whether or not they can stay in the game.
I’ve seen dozens, if not hundreds, of cheap fly-by-night resume services come and go over the years because they had poor business execution and terrible service quality. We’ve had more clients than I can count who used a cheap resume service and had to pay us to fix their mistakes. This ended up costing them as much as a more expensive service in the long run, rather than choosing a company with mid-range prices to begin with.
An example of what to avoid would be cheap resume writers found on Fiverr or upwork which tend to be freelancers located in various parts of the world looking to make a quick buck, and with zero credentials. Stay away from low-cost freelance sites if you are expecting anything quality whatsoever when it comes to resume writing. There is too much at stake with your career to be cutting corners.
Learn from the mistakes of others – and don’t repeat them!
Mid-Range Priced Resume Services
Resume writers whose prices fall somewhere in the middle of others, cost around the $100 to $300 range depending on the client’s experience level and goals. For example, an entry-level job seeker can expect to pay somewhere between $99 and $125 for a resume, while an experienced professional can expect to pay somewhere between $129 and $170 for a high quality service.
Executives and federal government job seekers can expect to pay a little more, closer to the $179-$300 range because there is more work involved on the resume writer’s end. Usually, these mid-range priced resume services offer a great balance of affordable cost vs. quality and most likely possess the credentials which are necessary to provide a first-class experience to clientele within the resume writing industry.
Expensive Resume Services
The most astonishing phenomenon I have seen take place within the past two decades of running a resume writing business, is when writers charge gargantuan amounts of money just to prepare a resume for a job seeking client. In my opinion, there are several things wrong with companies that are charging upwards of $400 to as high as $900 or more for resume writing. First, job seekers are usually out of a job, so the budget is tight. Second, this is one of those very rare cases where “you don’t get what you pay for” when it comes to paying a higher price.
Simply put, writing a resume, even a complex one, usually only takes a good writer who knows what he’s doing, a couple hours or less to do the actual work. Of course, this depends highly on how much information there is to collect and review, what type of industry is being targeted, and whether or not the client is making a complete career change into a different industry. These factors all play a huge part in how long a resume writing project will take, but it still does not justify prices around the $500 range or higher. That’s just price gouging. You are not going to receive a higher level of service just because you are paying more in this instance.
In fact, just as I said earlier regarding the cheap resume services, we have had many clients come to us over the years after using a more expensive service and ended up hiring us to fix their mistakes. I worked with a client once a couple of years ago who spent over $400 on a resume service, and said they were working with someone who’s second language was English and did not even know their industry at all.
Believe it or not, there are companies out there charging insanely high prices, and just outsourcing the projects overseas for cheap labor and collecting all of that profit for themselves. Even the ones who keep the work in the United States, are just charging whatever they want with the perception that you will receive something better for paying more. That’s hardly the case.
Compare Resume Services by Price Range
How to Choose the Right Resume Service
- Always avoid cheap resume services. Better to attempt it on your own than to waste money.
- Look for services within the mid-pricing range. They are affordable and usually have credentials.
- Ask if the writers have knowledge of your industry. You shouldn’t hire a plumber to do an electrician’s job.
- Find out how long they have been in business by conducting a who.is search or ICANN lookup.
- Verify that the company is based in the United States.
- Make sure your project is not being outsourced overseas.
- Ensure that a phone consultation with the writer is included in the price.
- Require English language proficiency. Proper grammar matters.
In all reality, finding a fair-priced resume service is not all that difficult, but does take a little time to find the one that best fits your needs. There are many things to consider as outlined above and hopefully this article has been a useful resource to point you in the right direction.