While we all have strengths, resume writing is very rarely at the top of most people’s list of skills, especially when it comes to writing our own. As recently as a decade ago, a resume was often just a simple black-and-white ‘career obituary’ – a history of past employment. Today, though, this important document has the dual challenge of competing with potentially thousands of other applicants for those all-too-rare opportunities, AND it also must be optimized with applicant tracking software in mind. You can have an impressive resume, but if it’s not up to date with the latest recruitment and hiring strategies, it may not even make it past potential employers’ Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) - sifting software that more and more companies are using to assist in the candidate selection and hiring process.
What is a “Professional Resume Writer” and what does a professionally crafted document cost?
Currently, in Canada, there are no regulated qualification standards or guidelines for the role of ‘Professional Resume Writer’ -- anyone can claim the title. In addition, there is no standard pricing schedule for you, the client, to view and compare. Truly, there is no way to know what you are going to get before you take the plunge to purchase. You can search trusted old Google, or sort through online "writer for hire” ads, but that may leave you feeling more confused than before you started your research. How can one company offer services for less than $100 while others charge $1,500+? That is a huge difference in price, but don’t think that cheaper is better; your career is far too important to take an uneducated risk.
Recently, I set off, along with ProMotion Career Solutions' award-winning Master Resume Writer, Maureen McCann, to uncover the value of hiring a Certified Career Professional in Canada. By initiating a group study that entailed surveying various members of Career Professionals of Canada - Canada’s leading association of Career Professionals - we were able to delve deep to uncover what other independent career marketing experts charge, and the value they bring to their clients. Compiling our research, we produced a baseline to help clients make a more informed and educated choice when faced with the important decision of how and where to invest in their careers.
Although some of the Career Professionals studied offered flat rate pricing, most used a tiered pricing model, with the cost reflective of the complexity and anticipated income of each career level. Below is a breakdown based on the survey results:
All those involved in the study are active members of Career Professionals of Canada, demonstrate commitment to continuous learning and professional development, and maintain up-to-date knowledge of industry trends and strategies through regular involvement in workshops, seminars, and courses. Additionally, all career experts surveyed have a background in Human Resources and/or are Certified Resume Strategists (CRS).
Of course, you can always find “bargain” writers who charge under $100 and promise to produce a document in just a few hours. While this may be tempting - especially if you are out of work and highly conscious of your finances - it’s important to remember that the resume is an important marketing document that can either help or hinder job search success. An industry-certified professional writer devotes significant time providing one-on-one, customized service.
The intake process often starts with a thorough career exploration worksheet. This may be followed by a 1+ hour consultative interview that is vital to uncovering pertinent information needed for crafting - from scratch - a uniquely designed, personal-branded, value-focused, ATS-friendly resume that will effectively captivate hiring authorities. When considering your options, keep in mind that the amount of time required to thoroughly and accurately complete this process, ensuring the final document is free of grammatical, spelling, and other errors, could not be justified if the writer is being compensated at a bargain-basement price.
Certified Resume Strategist
An Independent Consultant and Owner of Paradigm Resume Services, Kamee is dedicated to propelling the careers of professionals across all industries, occupations, and career levels through the strategic creation of personal branded, captivating career marketing documents.