You’re considering some resume writing services to upgrade your resume, but how do you choose between all the options out there? This guide will walk you through common decision points and the guidelines we recommend.
1) Professional Resume Writer vs. Resume Writing Services Company
When you hire an individual resume writing, you’ll know exactly who you’re working with from the start. There’s comfort in knowing the face of someone before you buy from them. But if they don’t turn out to be a good fit or they’re too busy to get your resume done quickly, you don’t have much recourse. You’re stuck waiting or going through a song and dance to get a refund.
When you hire a company that delivers resume writing services you may not know your assigned writer right away, but the company is incentivized to assign the right professional resume writer for the job. They’ll also have a quality assurance process to make sure all resumes exceed expectations and a correction process if you’re dissatisfied. Plus, companies typically have additional services you can use for your job search.
2) How is the resume created?
Unfortunately, many resume services become a “resume mill” when they’re experiencing a high volume. This means they simply optimize your resume for keywords and change the format. This might be an upgrade from your current resume, but it will fail to impress once in front of a hiring manager so you’re better off writing it on your own.
Instead, you want to make sure the resume writing service considers your specific professional accomplishments when they create your unique resume content. It’s the specifics that make a recruiter want to interview you. We take pride in our resume writing service delivering a unique resume for each individual.
Some resume services cost over $1000 while others will spit out a “resume mill” product for as little as $99. A reasonably priced, high-quality service will land somewhere in between. We recommend that you establish your own price range then focus on the quality of services within that range by using our guidelines.
4) Turnaround Time
How quickly do you need your new resume? Many individual resume writers get backed up for weeks during busy seasons, so make sure the expected turnaround time aligns with your needs. It takes time for a skilled writer to craft your resume and you won’t be their only client if they’re good, so expect 4-7 business days. We also recommend you inquire about how many rounds of edits (if necessary) are included in the package.
5) 3rd Party Reviews
Individuals and companies want to sell their resume services, so the information they present will show them in the best light. You also want to look where the light is brightest: 3rd party independent reviews.
TrustPilot is the industry leader for verified independent reviews to learn about other customers’ experiences with a company. Every company will have negative reviews, but the important consideration is what % are negative vs. positive, as well as how companies handle negative reviews received.
6) Credibility of Resume Writing Services
A resume writing service’s credibility will tell you a lot about what your experience will look like. If LinkedIn ProFinder or the Forbes Coaches Council has acknowledged them for their level of service, you’re probably looking at a worthwhile investment.
Also, consider the credentials of writers. Real world experience like backgrounds in HR and recruiting are valuable but don’t guarantee quality. In fact, most professional recruiters and human resource professionals are not trained in resume writing. Resume writing companies typically have their own training processes, which supports their reliability. Lastly, beware of the common pitfall of believing a CPRW (Certified Professional Résumé Writer™) certification is enough. From our experience, this certification is outdated and lacks rigor so we recommend you take it with a grain of salt.
7) Formats and “Editability” of Resume
Make sure your end product is in a format you can edit and that editing won’t misalign the entire document. Some resume writers will use custom formats that require you to hire them any time you want to make edits.
Given you’ll want to adjust your resume for individual postings and add to it as you grow in your career, make sure you can edit your resume effectively. For example, The Job Sauce sends all resumes in Word, PDF, and Google Doc formats.
8) Bonus Material
What else is included in the package? The most common and valuable bonus is material that supports LinkedIn optimization. If your resume is ATS-optimized and written to impress a recruiter or hiring manager, the content will be great for LinkedIn because recruiters use the same keywords in their searches. But a strong LinkedIn profile takes more than duplicating your resume content, so look for packages that include further guidance.
The best resume writing services give you access to other job search services. You may want interview coaching or salary negotiation support, so consider companies that provide other services you’ll likely want.