If you’ve worked on your resume for hours and perfected every word, but have yet to book any interviews, it might be time to invest in a resume professional.
But a big question still remains:
Do you hire an independent resume writer or a resume company?
Your resume is your first impression on an employer. This means you need a document that's more than just a good resume. It needs to be polished, well-written, and optimized to pass a potential screening.
If you want a killer resume that can snag you the interview you need to get your foot in the door, look no further. Here’s a breakdown of the difference between working with an independent resume writer and a professional resume service—what they offer, how much they cost, and the pros and cons of each.
Benefits of Hiring a Resume Writer
No matter which option you choose, both an independent writer and a writing service can give your resume a crucial upgrade. Let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits that both can offer:
- Polishing and streamlining your writing
- Saving you time, hours laboring over the page
- Using the right keywords for application tracking systems (ATS)
- Highlighting the right details
- Assessing your experiences objectively
- Demonstrating your value
- Superior resume to what you can produce yourself, which translates into more interviews opportunities
It’s clear that a professional eye can give your resume more than just a facelift. A professional resume writer can tap into the latest trends, use insider experience about the industry to tailor your resume, and make a powerful impression.
But out of the two, which offers greater value and convenience? Let’s get into it.
Independent Resume Writer
There are many independent resume writers who don't work for big resume firms but are instead freelancers who either work solo or have their own team or boutique businesses. What are the pros and cons of working with this type of resume writer?
- Personalized attention. You're likely to receive much more attention from an independent resume writer. Not necessarily, but often. It will be a one-to-one relationship, and you can expect to have at least one phone call directly with the person who will author your resume.
- Quality. Personalized attention often translates to quality. Also, an independent writer works for themselves and has more at stake than an employee of a resume writing company. The independent writer knows that the quality of their work product translates directly into their brand, reputation, and ability to earn more business.
- Partnership. Many resume writers become invested in your success. Helping people be successful in their careers is why they chose this work in the first place. Also, because you are likely to develop a deeper personal connection with an independent resume writer, they'll understand you and your career better, which can be valuable down the line. Many clients return to their resume writer again and again over the course of their careers, as their resume needs updating. This is much easier to do with a writer who wrote your resume in the first place.
- How the money is distributed. We don't want to say you'll save money using an independent resume writer versus a resume company. (In fact, the most premium resume services we've seen are independent writers who charge over $1000.) But an important thing to realize is that if you work with a firm, only a percentage of what you pay actually reaches the writer. The rest goes to the firm's overhead and profits. Whereas with an independent writer, you know they're keeping 100% of the money you pay them, or close to it.
- Risk of incompatibility. You might find that you don't work well with your resume writer for whatever reason. Fortunately, you can avoid that by using Resume Workshop to request a free resume review or consultation before you choose to work with a writer. That will give you exposure to the resume writer up front, before you commit to working with them or spending any money.
- Finding the right one. There are a lot of resume writers out there, and it takes time doing the research, searching, bouncing from site to site. Again, Resume Workshop has done that piece for you by aggregating proven, established, high-quality independent resume writers in one place.
Resume Writing Service
Just like freelance resume writers, there’s no shortage of resume writing companies out there. But are you getting a high-quality service or a resume mill? Here are some of the pros and cons to consider.
- Versatility. Often resume writing firms have multiple writers, and they will assign your job to the writer that is best suited to your situation based on their industry expertise. (This is not always the case; sometimes you are assigned to whomever is available.)
- Accountability. If an independent resume writer flubs the work, you have to work it out with that individual. But if you’re not satisfied with the final product at a resume writing service, you know that the writer has to answer to a manager, and that you may be able to speak with that manager or other decision-maker at the company to request a different writer.
- Impersonal. Depending on the size and how the resume company is managed, you may never even communicate with your resume writer. Sometimes your resume is outsourced altogether. It can feel like a black box that eventually spits out your new resume. This can be very disconcerting. After all, a good resume requires understanding your unique professional story, and if you never communicate with your resume author, how will they adequately capture your professional essence?
- Resume mills. Rather than a high-touch, boutique approach to your resume, so-called resume mills are resume companies who play the volume game. Their writers are driven hard to crank out resumes as quickly as possible. Obviously this doesn't lend itself well to producing carefully crafted, compelling resumes, and there are reports all over the internet of resume companies like this delivering generic and dull resumes at best, or messy, inaccurate resumes at worst.
- There are shady companies out there. Even worse than a resume mill, these resume writing companies don't appear to have any actual humans running them when you look around their websites. The teams behind these sites appear to want to remain anonymous, and for that reason alone we advise you to stay away.
Professional Resume Services or Independent Writers? The Bottom Line
The power of a hand-crafted resume is undeniable. A professional resume writer can help you command the attention of some of the top companies in your industry.
But if you choose the wrong writer or the wrong service, all of these goals could hit a brick wall.
Keep in mind that many of these tips are subjective—not all independent freelancers will offer personalized attention and not all resume writing services are content mills. No matter what you choose, you always run the risk of low-quality services. Always check for real reviews and do your research to avoid wasting your time and money on a resume writer that doesn’t follow through.
Ready to start your search for the perfect resume? Get a free consultation from one of the independent resume writers on Resume Workshop today.