If you’re struggling to find your first job – or have a desire to find something better — resume writing services are an attractive proposition.
A refined resume can work wonders for a sluggish job search, but it doesn’t stop there. Some of the best resume writing services can also assist with necessary but difficult cover letters, offer interview training and revamp social media accounts to help make a job seeker a perfect package for potential employers.
The good and bad parts: There are so many services to choose from. It’s great to have so many choices, but how exactly do you choose?
Here are a few big things to decide before to ask yourself before committing to a resume writing service.
Resume writing services are an investment in your career — and a future salary. It’s good to keep that in mind while you’re researching services, but it’s also good to set a budget before you buy.
Depending on the service itself and the extent of what work you’d like to be done, there is a wide range of price tags. On average, services can run you from about $100 to $500 for services that include an extensive resume revamp, including consultations with a professional writer, rewrites, edits and finalization.
For some job seekers, that’s all that’s needed. But for others who are looking for additional help, prices go up. Some companies offer tiered packages that add additional services — and up the cost. That could add hundreds of dollars to your bill.
Another factor that could impact your budget: your employment level. Commonly, resume writing services have packages that tailor to the characteristics of the job-seeker, whether they are first-timers or executives. The higher up you are on the career ladder, the more you sometimes have to pay for specialized services.
What You Need Help With
You may just need help with your resume, and many writing services understand and support that. But if you need some more assistance, services can accommodate that you.
Think of resume writing services as a career buffet. From creating (or re-doing) a cover letter to some perhaps unexpected services such as creating an effective LinkedIn page, services over a full menu of options for you to pick and choose from depending on your appetite.
Some of those extra services are wrapped up in the company’s packages, but some can be a la carte. Most you may not think about potentially needing, such as career counseling, mock interviews, or integrating web search-friendly keywords into a resume or cover letter.
A good approach: Making a list of what you know you actually need before researching writing companies. That will help keep your budget in check and help to narrow down the companies to choose from.
No two time frames for landing a job are the same. You could be looking for that vital post-college job or have a job but are looking for that next step up or changing fields entirely. Some people can wait a month (or more) and some needed a job yesterday.
Whatever your case, resume writing services can help propel a job search to priority status quickly.
Generally, there’s a two- or three-day turnaround for basic resume writing services, but other full packages can take longer, depending on the number of additional services and required edits and rewrites. If you commit to a resume writing service, you are committing to a set turnaround time.
But for those looking for accelerated results, many services offer 24-hour turnaround times. They come with extra costs, typically, but they may be worth it if you are in a jam.
The Type of Work You’re Looking For
Chances are, if you’re looking for a job, you know exactly what type of job may be best for you. Your goal may not include a specific title or company, but you may have nailed it down to a few certain fields — or maybe just one field.
Resume writing services can work with that. Many companies, even those that offer basic resume writing packages, also have refined their services to tailor-fit specific jobs or fields.
Services may outline packages that are proven to fit first-time job-seekers, mid-level careers and even executive or higher-level positions. These packages include different levels of services beyond the universal resume help, including integrating keywords that different hiring managers in different fields look for in job applicants and advanced interview training and social media tweaks to reflect the job you’re looking for.
Many resume writing companies also outline the types of fields they commonly work with and have had success filing jobs for. Those include broad industries, such as technology, business and government positions, but sometimes even specific companies. If the job or field you’re looking for is listed by a writing company, it may be worth giving them a thorough look to see what they can do for you.
The Company’s Reputation
With hundreds of resume writing companies out there, there are hundreds of different levels of experience. How can you weed out the top from the rest?
Spend some time doing extensive research, both through reading through the company’s website and offerings and consulting some external sources. Look through the company’s lineup of writers and check their credentials and, most importantly, read their reviews.
Many of the services will post reviews from users who outline everything from the quality of writing and the turnaround times to whether the help landed them a job. But third-party sites will also list feedback from users, which may reveal more of the warts of the operations. Review both.
Additionally, don’t hesitate to reach out to the companies who make your shortlist. Most of the top companies will allow you to consult with specific writers before you commit to a purchase, giving you a first-hand idea of how it may be working with them and if they can best fill your needs.
Since resume writing services can be a big investment, it’s in your court to invest your time to find just the right one for you.