As most job seekers understand all too well, the resume creation process is anything but simple. Many people spend days, weeks, or even months trying to perfect their resumes. And don’t fool yourself: that quest for perfection is important, since your resume is the single most important tool in your job search arsenal.
That explains why some job seekers choose to rely on professionals to craft their resumes. If you have been considering a resume writing service but wondered whether it’s worth the money, then this article is for you!
Why hire a resume writing service?
The first question you need to ask is why you might want to hire a professional resume writing service. The answer to that question is almost always the same: resumes are difficult for non-writers to create, and what worked 5 or 10 years ago might not work now.
Sure, you may be considered an expert in your chosen field, but does that qualify you to write a resume? Probably not. The fact is that resume writing requires a certain skill set that most of us don’t possess. And without those skills, we may struggle to properly convey our real value as a potential value.
That’s especially true in today’s highly competitive work environment. Hiring managers have become adept at filtering out bad resumes, and they even have software to help them in that effort: the Applicant Tracking System, or ATS.
In fact, the ATS programs represent yet another challenge. You see, your resume needs to be written in a way that caters to the ATS requirements. Otherwise, the software will reject your resume and you’ll never even get a chance to have it looked at by human eyes.
The bottom line is simple: you’re probably not a professional resume writer. You may not have much experience with any type of formal or professional writing. You probably don't know what a hiring professional is looking for on your resume. Unfortunately, that means that your own attempt to create a resume could very well prove unfruitful.
Resume writers have read dozens if not thousands of resumes (depending on years of experience and volume) and know what is boring, tired, unimpressive, or otherwise undesirable in a resume.
In the end, hiring a professional resume writing service is there to ensure that your valuable skills and experiences are properly conveyed to your prospective employer.
What type of resume writing service is best?
The second question that you’ll need to answer involves the type of resume-writing service that you should consider. Yes, there are different options available, so you will need to decide which option works best for you. As you might imagine, they each offer different levels of service, and the prices can vary dramatically.
Related read: 10 Best Resume Writing Services (All Industries)
Be wary of resume factories, or “resume mills” as they’re sometimes called. These services often employ people with little professional resume knowledge. Many of their writers are inexperienced or may even lack proficiency in your native language. In addition, the companies behind these operations generally fail to provide the type of professional guidelines those writers would need to optimize your resume properly.
Make no mistake: this type of resume writing service is almost never worth the money you pay. If you do get a product back, it tends to be incomprehensible or rely on "creative" resume formats to disguise the fact that there is very little content.
You can spot these resume writer services by looking for these 3 things:
No physical address
No phone number to contact
No examples of resumes they've written
Template Services or Resume Builders
A resume template service cannot technically qualify as a resume writing service at all. We’ve included it here, however, to note that they exist – since you are likely to encounter them if you’re looking for a service. These operations tend to be a mixed bag, so there is always a risk when you use them.
Basically, they don’t actually write resumes at all. Instead, a resume builder provides one or more templates for you to enter all your work history details, and then the service creates a resume based on a template. If this is what you're looking for, here are 12 popular resume builders.
The costs are usually reasonable (if hidden), but the results can often be all but useless. That’s especially true if you need your resume to pass an ATS, since there’s no way for an automated template to adequately accommodate that screening software’s requirements.
As a rule, this option is only useful if you just want to get your basic resume details on record, and plan to deliver the resume directly to the person who makes the hiring decisions. If you're using this resume for online applications, you risk getting overlooked by some software due to formatting errors.
For example, if the resume template puts your contact information in the header or footer of a document, an ATS scan can't see it. For more information on the ATS and how to pass the ATS test, click below.
Certified Professional Resume Writers
Your best option will always be to rely on true professionals. The best resume writing services will have qualified, experienced resume writers on staff. These professionals will be able to take your important information and craft a relevant, effective resume that provides the branding you need to stand out from the crowd. They also understand what hiring managers and recruiters want to see on a resume in 2021.
As you might expect, though, resume writers will require more time and more money because the process asks for greater collaboration from you. Hiring a resume writer will require you to be involved at different stages of the process. The writers will need clarify details, and ask for your complete trust that the final product satisfies current industry standards and your job seeking needs.
You can find a certified professional resume writer on platforms like LinkedIn Profinder or Thumbtack, or use a trusted service with a wide network of writers. Our team researched over 200 resume service offers and came up with a list of the top 10 resume writing services for all industries.
Is a resume writing service worth the money?
The answer to this question all boils down to one basic truth: your resume matters.
Now, if you are a competent writer and have the time to learn what it takes to create an effective resume, then you probably don’t need to hire a resume writing service. However, if you have little experience with professional writing, then you almost certainly need a resume writing service to help you create a winning resume so you can secure job interviews and land your dream job.
As noted, resume factories and templates can be of questionable value.
A professional resume writing service, though, is more than just a means to an end. It is an investment in your job search efforts and could be the key to achieving broader career goals.
And when you consider the return on that investment, the costs for a professional writer are minimal indeed!
You get what you pay for, obviously. The key to ensuring that your resume writing service is worth the cost is to choose wisely. Find a well-known, reputable company that actively works with you to craft the perfect resume and cover letter for your needs. When you can do that, your resume will almost certainly be worth the money you paid.
The ZipJob team is made up of professional writers and career experts located across the USA and Canada with backgrounds in HR, recruiting, career coaching, job placement, and professional writing.