What To Know Before Hiring a Professional Resume Writer

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September 8, 2022
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Let’s face it: Writing a resume takes work. If you’re considering hiring a professional resume writer to help save time and improve your chances of landing the job, here are a few things you need to know before taking the plunge.

What Does a Professional Resume Writer Do?

Resume writers rework your current resume to create a comprehensive, compelling resume that explains your experience and skills. They know how to tell your story in a way that not only reads well and sounds impressive, but also gets past applicant tracking systems (ATS).

A resume writer will also format your resume. They most likely won’t do any heavy lifting on the design front, but they will put your information in a format that works well with an ATS.

The bottom line: Resume writers make you look good to the exact kind of employers you want to attract. Some professional resume writers also provide career coaching — especially experienced writers who work with executive-level clients. Others may include a base cover letter that you can tweak for each job you apply for. 

However, a resume writer can’t do it all. They can’t read your mind. So you’ll still be involved in the resume writing process — answering questions and telling them more about your career experience and goals. 

Resume writer vs. resume reviewer

Resume writers and resume reviewers have two different jobs.

A resume writer gets information from you in order to create a new resume or rewrite what you have to make it sound better. 

A resume reviewer looks over your existing resume and gives you advice on how to improve it. Then, you’ll take their recommendations and rework your resume by yourself. In many cases, resume reviewers might not provide truly personalized advice. 

Many career coaches can also review your resume and offer feedback. Similar to working with a resume reviewer, you’ll implement their advice yourself. 

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Resume Writer

Working with a resume writer comes with its benefits and disadvantages. Is it the right decision for you? Use this section to help decide.

Pros of hiring a resume writer include:

  • Resume writers have strong writing and communication skills.
  • They’re up-to-date on current best practices for finding a job.
  • They’ll format your resume to get past applicant tracking systems.

Cons of hiring a resume writer might be:

  • You may have to pay a high price for quality work.
  • The finished resume might not match your writing style.
  • You might end up hiring a resume mill that produces generic, less-than-stellar work.

You might think hiring a writer will save you time. You’ll still need to communicate back-and-forth with the writer to ensure they have details on your career.

How Much Does a Professional Resume Writer Cost?

The cost of a resume writer varies widely. Many professional resume writers charge between $300 and $500 for a resume. On the low end, some charge $100 or less. On the high end, some resume writers charge upwards of $3,000. For most job seekers, this probably isn’t in the budget.

What’s included in that cost? You will exchange emails and/or phone calls with the writer so they can get to know you. Most writers include at least one round of edits. And of course, you’ll receive your resume document at the end of the process.

It can be reassuring to know that there are affordable resume writers out there. Just remember, you get what you pay for — and a cheap resume writer might not produce the caliber of work you’re looking for.

Is a Resume Writer Worth It?

There are plenty of alternatives to professional resume writers. You could use an online resume builder, (like Teal's AI Resume Builder) work with a resume service, or write your resume yourself. 

Is there any scenario when you should hire a resume writer? Working with a professional might be worth it if:

  • You’re not a strong writer.
  • You need help covering a gap in your work history.
  • You’re returning to the workforce after several years not working.
  • You’ve already been looking for a job for a while, and you’re not making progress.
  • You need motivation and advice.

These are some situations where the benefits you’ll get from a resume writer might outweigh the cost.

What To Look For in a Resume Writer

Not all resume writers are equal. If you do decide to look for a writer, it can be helpful to understand some good signs and red flags to keep an eye out for.

Three signs of a good resume writer

1. Experience

If a resume writer can demonstrate several years of experience, this is a good thing! Ideally, they've worked as a hiring manager or recruiter in the past. At the very least, you want a writer who has samples proving they can write a strong resume that helps their client get hired.

2. Collaboration

You also want to find someone who is willing to collaborate with you and communicate well throughout the entire process. If you can, ask the writer’s prior clients about their experience, or ask the writer about their usual flow of work. Ideally, you'll work with someone who's been doing this long enough that they have a strong process nailed down.

3. Certifications

Some resume writers have certifications by organizations like the National Resume Writers Association (NRWA) or the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC). To gain these certifications, writers have to go through a process that involves taking a quiz, submitting sample resumes, passing an exam, and then completing continued education over time. If a writer you’re considering is certified, this can be a promising sign. 

Three red flags to watch out for

1. Low price

The lower the price, the less impressive a resume you’re likely to get. A $5 resume might look attractive to a job seeker on a budget. But you’re probably not going to get anything good for that price. You may even run into services that outsource work to writers overseas who might not have a strong command of the English language.

2. Bad reviews

Make sure to read third-party reviews before deciding on a writer or a service. Obviously, a long list of one-star reviews is not a good sign. 

3. No contact information

You should also make sure the writer or company has a method of easy contact — such as a phone number or live chat. If they don’t provide a way for you to get in touch, this is a bad sign.

Teal AI Resume Builder vs. Professional Resume Writer

Teal offers a free, user-friendly AI Resume Builder to help you craft a resume that will land your dream job. Add your information once — then choose which details to include in each resume. Import your existing resume straight into the software. Or if you have a LinkedIn profile, you can import your information without logging in. We offer multiple professional resume templates to help you put your best foot forward. 

What are the differences in using Teal's AI Resume Builder vs. choosing a resume writer? The easiest answer: Teal is free!

While a professional resume writer will charge you a few hundred dollars, you can access Teal’s professional templates and customized recommendations at no cost.

With Teal, you’ll need to DIY your resume. You won’t be working with another person. But you’re still able to access the advice and information you need.

Not a strong writer? No problem! Teal provides prompts in every section to help you out. And Teal’s brand new Resume Analysis tool highlights areas, such as keywords for resume, you might need to improve.

Resume section prompt, Teal

You can think of the resume builder itself as the professional resource to guide you through the process. With space for every section of your resume and done-for-you formatting, you’ll feel confident in building an impressive resume. After you add your information, double-check your resume against the Resume Analysis tool (shown below) before you export the final document.

Resume analysis score, Teal

With guidance from a professional — whether that’s a human writer, professional resume examples, or our unique software — you’ll feel well-equipped with everything you need to create an impressive resume.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I assess the credibility of a professional resume writer or service?

To assess the credibility of a professional resume writer, check their certifications, such as CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer), read client testimonials, and review their work samples. It's also helpful to verify their experience in your industry and ask about their success rates in helping clients land interviews.

What specific benefits should I expect from hiring a professional resume writer?

Hiring a professional resume writer can provide you with a well-structured, polished resume that highlights your strengths and achievements. They can also offer industry-specific expertise, keyword optimization for applicant tracking systems, and save you time in the job search process by presenting you as the best possible candidate.

Can a professional resume writer help if I'm changing careers or have employment gaps?

Yes, a professional resume writer is skilled at crafting resumes that address career changes or employment gaps. They can strategically focus on transferable skills, create a functional resume format, and craft a narrative that explains gaps in employment in a positive light, making your transition or time off appear as an asset rather than a drawback.

Hailey Hudson

Hailey Hudson is a full-time freelance writer and content marketer based out of Atlanta, Georgia. She writes in the healthcare, digital marketing, education, and pet industries.

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