What to Look for in Hiring a Professional Résumé Writer

Prospective clients come from all paths of professions and walks of life, and it never ceases to amaze me the different styles people have when approaching a business transaction.

When it comes down to hiring someone to write the most intimate and revealing document about their lives, I truly fear for the people who don’t take the time to research a professional résumé writer thoroughly before booking their services. Before hiring a résumé writer, it is important to do your due diligence, because just like there are differing levels of honesty in any other profession, the same goes for this business as well.

Some résumé writers are members of professional associations while others are just fly-by-night operations that churn out limited to low-quality documents to make a quick buck. You do get what you pay for, so it is especially important that you research who you are investing your money in for this career document.

Here are some basic questions you should ask before hiring a résumé writer:

1. Know who your writer is.
Ask: Will you be writing my résumé, or is it someone who works for you? Are you sub-contracting it out?

2. Know what you are paying for.
Find out what the fee structure is for the particular résumé you need developed. Ask questions about any other additional services that you are considering. Oftentimes, there are package prices available. Make sure it is stated in writing what is being delivered.

3. Find out the turn-around time.
What kind of time schedule is the writer offering to you? Are they willing to put it in writing? Does that include edits? This can make a difference if you are in a hurry!

4. Know whether this is original work.
Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions like: Will the résumé you produce for me be template-based or an original? Templates can work for very simple résumés but often come across stale and canned. Having an original document truly makes this YOUR résumé.

5. Know what the client satisfaction guarantee is.
What happens if you don’t like what has been produced? What kind of refund or satisfaction guarantee are you offered? Protect your investment. Reputable résumé writers will state this policy up front, and are driven by customer satisfaction. After all, many writers thrive on referrals from previous clients, so they are highly motivated to make sure you are happy with the end result. But be aware that if you don’t like the result, there will usually be some kind of refund (not complete) – there will be a small fee to compensate the writer for the time already spent on this document.

6. Find out which format your document will be delivered in.
The writer should state which document type you’ll be receiving… usually a Microsoft Word or PDF document

7. How does the writer gather information about you to write the document?
There are many different styles of writers and company operations. Some large résumé writing companies conduct all of their résumé transactions via the Web or email – clients simply fill out intake forms and a new résumé is produced from that information. Most other companies perform some kind of consultation either over the phone or in-person. Generally, a good writer wants to find out as much information about you as possible, and will request information in advance of such an interview to be able to prepare for that meeting.

8. Check out the writer’s credentials.
Professional résumé writers are dedicated to their craft, and work hard to build their professional credentials. Make sure that they belong to industry associations, and are engaged in their work. Do they have a website? What kind of information do they supply on that website- anything about their memberships or affiliations? Have they been published or spoken to any business groups? Make sure that they are legitimate.

These tips will help you protect yourself and the investment you are making into your most important career document.