We’ve all been there and done that - created and sent resumes to potential employers, I mean. I personally have spent many hours poring over my most current resumes, or at least the ones I planned to submit to a potential employer to really make a good first impression. There were times I didn’t hear from them, and times that I did get a call back to let me know I got the job.
For the most part, I think getting or not getting the job was influenced primarily by my work experience and history. Deep down, however, I suspect that my resume has a lot to do with it, too. I tinkered so much with the look of my resume through the years, adding quotes (ugh) and photos (double ugh), experimenting with fonts and indentations, and even padding up the merits and employment history parts to include unnecessary awards and job experiences to make me look more impressive.
I would like to warn you now that this often doesn’t work in your favor. Most employers do not go through resumes with a fine-tooth comb, and only take note of inappropriate details such as weird email addresses, headshots, etc., before throwing it in the trash.
But what if resume-writing becomes the source of your income? It’s now a relatively known career path, and it’s a legit way to make money, so why not? Interested? Read on.
How do I start?
If it’s your first time to try being a resume writer, I would suggest to keep working on the craft first. Just like with any writing project, being good at something requires the right amount of practice and confidence before you can become a pro. First, know and learn the best practices of resume writing while letting go of archaic ones. Those with a writing background already have an advantage, of course. However, even newbies can be trained to do the job, and even receive certification for it to boost customer confidence.
You can start your own resume writing business from home once you feel that you’ve mastered the craft, but I suggest trying to join an existing online agency that already has a client base and allows home-based writers within their roster first. Consider the following and see if they are hiring:
What are the available services involved with resume-writing?
There are many things that make up a good resume - one that will make a potential employer give it more than just a perfunctory glance. If you plan on starting a business crafting professional resumes, here are some other services to think of including:
- Phone consultation and interview (phone or face to face) with a client - this extra service ensures a personal touch and attention, and one which your clients will appreciate because they know that you intend to create a resume that’s theirs and theirs alone.
- In-depth questionnaire - having a client fill out a more detailed history of employment, merits and awards, and even testimonies from former employers and colleagues means you can highlight why they are the perfect person for the job.
- Updating existing resumes - you can choose to include this service under a more affordable price range, but also offer the option of crafting a totally new and more updated resume for a standard fee.
- Customizing resumes for specialized jobs - not all resumes are created equal, as you can have a range of clients from those applying for work for the first time, to those who are already considered experts in their respective fields. There are also specialized resumes with their own language and jargon, such as the medical field, government service, military, and others that need research and in-depth interviews.
- Cover or thank you letters - these are two often overlooked parts of resumes that nevertheless go a long way in making a resume stand out, so offer them to clients.
When I researched the potential income of resume writers, I was shocked. A standard professional resume alone can cost $80, while other peripherals included, such as cover and thank you pages, can earn you as much as $500 per client!
Take note that these rates do not include a certification for being a professional resume writer yet, which can significantly up the rates. If you are already certified, you can charge up to $50 for a cover or thank you letter alone. Those who offer packages are known to charge around $250 per client, with additional costs depending on other special services such as the ones I mentioned above.
If you want to become a Certified Resume Writer, consider the following programs:
- The Professional Association of Résumé Writers & Career Coaches - With a membership of 1500, this is an association that gives out Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW) certificates to members.
- The American Writers and Artists, Inc. - Founded in 1997, this organization currently offers a Pro Resume Writer Program for those who want to start a part-time resume writing business.
- The National Résumé Writers' Association - A nonprofit trade association for professional resume writers, the organization aims to encourage ethical practices in the industry while increasing its career visibility and raising standards. They also offer a certification program.
I do admit to getting bored with just one kind of writing, or even keeping up with my list of paid survey and GPT sites day in and day out. Although resume writing sounds like a challenge and something that needs time, effort, and money to invest in, the financial rewards seem to be worth it in the end. Personally, it’s something I am willing to try as another source of steady income.
Would you consider resume writing as a new career? What are the pros and cons you can think of if that is your job? Share your thoughts, I’d like to hear them.