Paying for resume services can be a tough pill to swallow. After all, why pay someone to write something about you that you could write yourself — or have been trained to do so?
Consider this: 61% of hiring managers consider a customized resume to be the No. 1 way for applicants to boost their chance of getting a job, according to CareerBuilder. The same survey indicated that resumes are likely to be dismissed if they include typos (58% of hiring managers agreed), is too generic or impersonal (36%) and doesn’t include a list of skills (35%).
The key success word for job applicants: customization. That’s a big benefit of resume writing services. They are never impersonal, with writing experts talking directly with you several times in order to fine-tune a resume to both your skillset and the job you’re looking for. Typos are one of the most common problems with resumes, but also one of the most preventable. That’s where the spelling and grammar experts of such services become invaluable.
But how much is this all going to cost you? It depends on you.
Think about what you need
Before researching resume writing services, consider the following factors: what type of job is this for you (first job, mid-level, executive), whether you’re moving to a new industry/field and how long you’ve been looking.
For those who simply need a resume refresh or don’t know how to start writing a resume, several services offer a basic package. Typically that ranges from about $100-$400 and includes consultations with writing experts, a handful of feedback sessions and final edits. Those basic packages average turn-around time of a few days, but for extra cost you can get a full resume revision in about a day.
From there, different packages add more amenities and those usually pump up the overall price by $200-$300. But for those switching fields, looking for jobs in competitive industries or those in senior positions, the packages include even more customization, typically by including keywords more resume search engines pick up or integrating language even more specific to industries such as healthcare, finance and business. According to Capterra, up to 75% of large companies use an applicant tracking system, or ATS, to automatically screen resumes for keywords. The majority of upper-tier packages from writing services also include ATS optimization.
Adding in cover letters
You can expect to also pay a little extra if you’d like some help writing or refining a cover letter to go along with your resume — but it’s worth it. Cover letters showcase your personality beyond what you can convey in a typical resume, helping you to stand out from the pack. CareerBuilder found that almost half of job recruiters say that not having a cover letter could lead to a job application being rejected.
Some companies offer cover letter help in basic packages, while some offer it as an add on for a few $100 more or so. That service features much of what you get with resume writing: several consultations, rewrites and back-and-forth edits with your resume writer to tailor it to the job you are seeking. That personalization can give you a tangible edge. Glassdoor found that on average, a corporate job attracts 250 applicants, of which only 2% will be invited to interview. A compelling, attractive cover letter can help you into that 2%.
More amenities to choose from
For resume and cover letter services, the average you’ll expect to spend is around $100 to $700, depending on the specific services you need, package offers and deals. But many resume writing services also act as potential career gurus as well, with additional amenities including career coaching, helping spruce up your social media pages and interview practice. Such services fall under the realm of networking, and up to 85% of jobs these days are filled via networking, according to LinkedIn.
These career-help add-ons range wildly in price based on the resume writing services; and some services don’t offer them at all. But if you’re looking for a full career or job refresh, dig a little deeper to find the company that offers just what you need the most help with. Such networking services are part of some companies’ advanced packages and some can cost extra a la carte. On average, a full range of services — resume and cover letter help and additional services such as interview training or ATS optimization — can cost a job seeker somewhere as low as $100 or $150 to about $1,000 on the very high end.
The good news: The final cost is entirely up to you.
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