How To Choose A Resume Service

As Seen In

logo of wsj
logo of wsj
logo of business-insider
logo of business-insider
logo of cnn
logo of cnn
logo of fatherly
logo of fatherly
logo of nbc
logo of nbc

Table Of Contents

The job market is competitive. One way you can stand out is your resume. With today’s technology, your resume may never reach a human thanks to the rise in Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). According to a report from Jobscan, over 98% of Fortune 500 companies now employ ATS as part of their hiring process. Smaller companies are following suit.

You could write your own resume and be fine. But for many, there’s value in hiring a resume writing service to do the work for you. Your resume may need an extra boost to get past ATS and into the hands of a hiring manager or recruiter. Choosing the right resume service could lead to landing your dream job.

Keep reading to learn more about resume services and what to look for in a resume writing service.

What Is a Resume Writing Service? 

A resume writing service is a business that assists in crafting a customized resume. Resume writing services employ professional writers to write resumes for clients. Services range from a simple resume audit or template to completely writing a full-blown resume based on information provided.

Fees vary between service providers and are based on the level of service provided. Resume writing services typically offer other services such as cover letters and LinkedIn profile reviews.

Resume fees also depend on the type of resume. Many providers offer resume services specific to a career field or professional level, such as:

  • Entry-level
  • Student
  • Professional
  • Executive
  • Military
  • Federal
  • IT/Tech
  • Career change

What To Look For In A Resume Writing Service 

Our career experts spent 45+ hours researching resume writing services. Several factors go into determining the right resume service. Here’s a look at questions you should ask when exploring various resume writing services.

What’s included in the package? 

Your first step in choosing a resume service is to look at what’s being offered by the company. There’s no sense in hiring someone to write your resume if they don’t include the components and services you need. Look over what’s included in their resume writing package. Most resume services offer more than one package option.

TopResume, for example, offers some of the most comprehensive resume packages around. Currently, they offer three tiered resume packages — Professional Growth, Career Evolution, and Executive Priority. Packages vary in pricing and services included. Here’s a snapshot of what you get with TopResume’s resume packages:

Screen Shot 2021-02-15 at 9.55.13 AM.png

Many resume services also offer a la carte services, in addition to their primary packages, for individuals who only need specialized service. Perhaps you don’t need one TopResume’s top-tier package, but still want someone to revamp your LinkedIn profile. They offer profile makeovers as a stand-alone service, as well as interview coaching and academic CV writing. Most services offer something for everyone even if you have specific needs. Decide what services you need and find a resume service that lines up.

Do they offer competitive pricing? 

You should also consider the cost of hiring a resume writing service in your decision. Many resume service companies offer similar services, but at different price points. You can find plenty of free resume builders that offer templates and other free services. When it comes to resume services, like other things in life, you often get what you pay for.

Entry-level resume packages can range from $99 to $170. You can expect to pay $300-$400 for an executive resume package, but some companies charge upwards of $1,000 for premium services like this. Pricing often depends on the level of service required or career field, but expect to pay $100-$300 for a quality resume package or more for specialized services. Spend time comparing service rates before committing to a particular service.

Is the company reputable? Does the company have good reviews?

Choosing a reputable resume writing service is paramount. It doesn’t matter what’s offered by a resume service or whether they have the lowest price. If they can’t back up their claims or meet customer needs, it’s not worth it.

Start by checking the company’s business profile and rating on sites like the Better Business Bureau. Doing your homework upfront can save you both headaches and money.

Only companies that are highly reputable make our list.

Like most products and services, you can find online reviews for resume writing services. Check out user reviews and complaints on sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau. Some resume writing services share reviews on their own website. Be sure to vet the reviews for legitimate claims of good or bad service.

Are the resume writers qualified? 

Join The Break Community

If you’re going to pay for professional resume writing services, you want to know the writers have experience helping people like you. Most services share details about their writing staff on the company website.

TopResume, for example, has a staff of over 1,200 certified professionals from over 65 industries. If you don’t see writer certifications listed on a resume service’s website, you’re probably better off finding another service that does.

Are there any guarantees? 

Many resume writing service companies offer guarantees to customers. Here are guarantee offers from several top resume writing companies.

Screen Shot 2021-02-15 at 9.53.48 AM.png

Always read the fine print on any resume service guarantee. The company may only offer to fix your resume instead of a full refund. Always know what you’re getting into before you commit to a specific service.

Does the company have examples of their work? 

Most resume services provide sample resumes and cover letters on their websites. It’s always a good idea to take time to look over the samples provided. First, you’ll get a feel for how their style. You also may come across a sample that’s exactly what you need. Look for samples specific to your profession for an idea of what they can do for you.

While it’s not always the case, if you don’t like the samples they share, the chances are good you won’t like working with them either.

When Should You Use Resume Writing Service? 

You can use a resume writing service anytime, but there are specific circumstances where it might make more sense. You should consider using a resume writing service when:

  • You want a professional-looking resume
  • You have a hard time describing yourself
  • You are changing careers
  • You are applying for a job promotion
  • You can afford to pay for premium service
  • Your current resume isn’t landing interviews

When Should You Not Use Resume Writing Service? 

There are also times when it might not be appropriate to use a resume writing service. Don’t pay for a resume writing service if:

  • You’re a skilled writer
  • Your current resume results in interviews
  • You aren’t ready to pay for resume services
  • You are underqualified for the job
  • You have access to free career services through your school

The Best Resume Writing Services

If you still need help figuring out which resume writing service to choose, our team of career experts can help. Check out the comparison chart below. For more information, you can also read our full guide to the best resume writing services.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is a resume writing service worth it?

Hiring a resume writing service is worth it if you feel it will directly impact your chances to land a desired job. Resume service companies offer a variety of packages to fit most individuals’ resume needs. Some even offer a free resume review so you can see if yours needs work or not.

How much does it cost to have someone write your resume?

Costs vary, but most resume writing services offer a beginning package for $150 or less.

What are the steps in the resume writing process?

Most resume services employ a similar process for writing resumes:

1. Review your resume

2. Ask you to share information about yourself and your needs

3. Match you with a writer and set up communication between you and them

4. Receive a rough draft of your resume

5. Discuss with the writer any changes/edits you want to be made

6. Receive a final draft of your resume

How long does it take to get a resume?

Turnaround time on resume writing services varies depending on the company, the services included in your package, and the amount of work needed to complete the resume. Typically, you should expect a rough draft within a few days and a finished resume in a week.

In need of alternative job search resources? Don't miss our round-up of the top job posting sites for additional options.

The Bottom Line

Using a resume writing service can take a lot of the guesswork out of whether hiring managers will look at your resume. Whether you just need a review, a template to get you started, or a premium writing service, there are several resume services to meet your needs.