Your resume is arguably one of the most important financial documents you own

Most people don't think about their resume being a financial document. However, without it, you can't land your dream job to pay bills, plan vacations, or save for retirement. Hiring a professional resume writing service is often a great way to invest in your future.

The good news is that you don't have to shell out $1,000 for a resume writer. Of course, you can, but generally, the cost will be much lower than that. So, how much does a professional resume writing service cost in 2024?

Here are the main things you'll want to consider before you decide to hire a professional resume writing service:

  • The “why” behind hiring a resume writer

  • Scams, red flags, and poor quality services

  • The company or writer's reputation

  • Whether the process, including turnaround time, aligns with your schedule and expectations

  • How you will be expected to communicate with your resume writer

  • The professional resume writing service cost - of course!

Why should you hire a professional resume writing service?

It doesn't seem that writing a resume is rocket science. When you think about it, all you're trying to do is summarize your career for a new company to obtain a job. However, with the rampant use of Applicant Tracking Systems, or ATS, and the sheer competitiveness of the job market, hiring a professional resume writer can help you to stand in the sea of sameness.

Take the resume writers at TopResume, as an example. Each one has a wealth of experience, plus insight into how you can write an ATS-optimized resume and impress a hiring manager. On top of that, you can rest easy knowing that you'll get something that's specifically tailored for your career goals, based on your individual history. 

Professional resume writers are not only great at culling out the appropriate achievements from your career, but they have the right industry knowledge to ensure that your resume is relevant. 

Here are some tips for when you're considering which professional resume writing service to hire:

1. Do some research - discover reputation, red flags, and scams

The first step in finding a great resume writer is research. Whether you end up hiring a company or an individual, perform some due diligence. Read reviews on third party sites like Google, TrustPilot, or SiteJabber. Don't simply rely on customer feedback listed on the company's website.

This research will help you to determine whether the person or company you're hiring produces high-quality resumes. Sadly, there are a lot of bad resume writers out there who simply rewrite the content they're given. 

A bit of research can help shine a light on red flags and help you to identify scams before you fall victim. You're trying to put your best foot forward during your job search, so you want the company or person you hire to do the same. If you see the word “affordable” in pricing, you should probably avoid them.

Also try to find out whether you're going to be working with a specific writer within the company or if they outsource. Sometimes, writers will outsource their projects to freelancers via platforms like Fiverr or Upwork. If that ends up being the case, you could end up with a cookie-cutter resume that doesn't truly reflect your career accomplishments. 

Not only that, when you work with someone who outsources your resume writing project, there's a great chance for communication breakdowns as the person who is actually writing your document has no access to ask you direct questions. 

Make a list of a few companies you find that have good reputations and then make your decision based on the services they offer or guarantees they have.

2. Check out which resume writing services or packages are offered

Since your resume is only one tool in your job search toolbox, check to make sure the resume writing service you hire offers additional services. Most people who are searching for a job need a cover letter and an optimized LinkedIn profile. In fact, your LinkedIn profile is almost as important as your resume.

Does the resume writing service offer these additional services? You don't want to have to bounce from one writer to another just to get what you need. 

3. Understand the resume writing process

Once you've decided on a company or person to write your resume, there are several how-it-works type questions you need to ask. 

  • What is the turnaround time?

  • How much does the entry-level resume writing service cost?

  • How much does the professional resume writing service cost?

  • How much does the executive resume writing service cost?

  • Does the writer have any certifications, like accreditation from the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC)?

  • What is the resume writing service guarantee? Is there a guarantee at all?

  • How will I communicate with my writer?

  • Do I get any revisions on the resume produced?

You'll often find that the turnaround time is about 5 business days. That's because writers spend a lot of time on a single resume - well, the good ones do anyway. It can take approximately 10 hours to produce a new resume, when you consider the time spent analyzing your career history, having a conference with you to learn about achievements, and writing the new document. 

One thing that's critical to understand is that most resume writers perform their services virtually. This means that you'll do everything via email, telephone, or video conference. The key, though, is highly collaborative communication. If there's a breakdown in communication with your writer, that's a huge problem and needs to be addressed right away. 

You should always be allowed to make revisions and have some type of back-and-forth exchange with your writer. Even though resume writing services like TopResume employ writers who have experience writing resumes for a range of industries and professional experience levels, the writer isn't a mind reader. It's up to you to point out things that need to be corrected. 

Communication is also important when it comes to leveraging any guarantees offered by the company. You'll never find a resume writing company guaranteeing that you'll get a job with your new resume, but you should see something in the way of a guarantee. Usually, it's a certain timeframe for landing interviews. 

How much do professional resume writing services cost?

When you feel like you've found a couple of companies you could work with, it's time to dig into how much they'll charge. 

Keep the old adage that you get what you pay for in mind when comparing professional resume writing service costs. You should expect to spend somewhere between $200 and $1,000 - sometimes more, depending on the resume writing service you need. 

There are three basic ranges to consider when looking at professional resume writing service costs:

  1. Entry level: This is for anyone new to the job market or someone who has less than 5 years of experience. You should expect to pay around $200. 

  2. Professional level: If you're approaching 10-15 years of experience, you'll need someone with more experience who can concisely summarize your career with relevant keywords. For this range, your resume writer will likely charge somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 - $400.

  3. Executive level: As you might expect, someone seeking a senior-level management or C-suite position will need a more experienced resume writer. Executive services range from $350 - $700. 

If you need a cover letter, professional biography, thank you or follow-up notes, or a new LinkedIn profile, the rates will be higher as each service is usually priced individually. Though many companies do have bundles, not all bundles will contain all services. 

How do resume writing companies justify their fees?

Professional resume writing service costs are built around more than a person sitting at a computer typing words onto a page. It's about how much time is spent on each resume writing project. The average resume writing project consumes up to 10 cumulative hours. 

  • When an order is received, someone has to make sure all of the documents, intake questions, and job target links are received.

  • The writer then goes through everything to compare what was received with the sample job links to formulate a plan of action. Sometimes this period of time also includes a conference call with you, the client. 

  • Once the writer begins working on your project, they'll perform more research into your background and what prospective companies look for in job seekers. 

  • After the first draft is delivered, you'll be expected to go through it with a fine-toothed comb to notate any revisions you deem necessary - remembering that your resume isn't a chronicle of everything you've done during your career but a summary of your achievements as they pertain to a particular job. 

  • Finally, the resume writer reviews your suggested edits and acts as an advisor on whether the changes should be accepted. 

Most resume writing projects take one week from start to finish, although some can take longer depending on how quickly you and your writer collaborate. But, if you want your resume to pass the 6-second test, having a professional resume writing service in your corner can be the difference between winning your job search and losing.

TopResume would love to help you through the next steps of your career journey. We have a large network of professional resume writers ready to work with you. 

Recommended reading: 

Related Articles: