If you are looking to venture into new freelance writing territory, you should consider developing your skills in resume writing. According to a survey conducted by The Ladders, a U.S. job matching firm, jobseekers who pay to have their resumes professionally crafted by a trained resume writer are:
For freelance writers looking to expand their services into a new niche, the opportunity to generate more revenue through resume writing is a hot market to pursue.
Gone are the days when a resume just listed a candidate’s past work history and related job tasks. Today, resumes are uniquely crafted to integrate targeted keywords, action terms, and quantifying terms to grab the hiring manager’s attention. Additionally, a skilled writer in this niche is trained to incorporate words from a job posting into the candidate’s resume; this is vital when candidates submit resumes to job sites or reply directly to online job ads that request resumes.
Certification & Training
The Professional Association of Resume Writers, founded in 1990, is one of many leading organizations that certify resume writers.
Some writers receive on-the-job training and expand their education through online courses to improve their knowledge and keep their skills current. Over the years writers have debated if one needs to become certified to succeed; the answer lies within the writer’s own goals and aspirations. A jobseeker would expect to pay more for a resume created by a certified resume writer. That writer may have acquired advanced skills for writing resumes at the executive level; therefore, the writer can ask for a higher billable rate. Various organizations offer certification at different costs. Becoming certified will require you to study for this designation and participate in lengthy skill-building courses.
Based on statistics from Elance.com’s Global Online Employment Report, earnings keep rising for resume writers, and so do the number of jobs. (Image courtesy of Elance.com)
Resume Writing Rates
Writing resumes can be lucrative for those who pursue formal training. Writers charge between $50 and $500 per resume depending on their credentials and expertise. Most often, writers without formal training will charge less and create simpler resumes for students, or unskilled labourers. A professionally trained and/or certified writer can expect to be hired by professionals and post-secondary educated career seekers from middle management and upwards. You can also charge for extra services like cover letters, follow-up notes, and thank you letters.
How to Get Started
The best way to get started is to practice your craft and hone your skills. A resume writer is more than a typist who is talented in formatting and making documents look fancy; it takes some real word wizardry to take your client’s raw information and mold it into an effective pitch that will sell his or her expertise to a prospective employer.
You can find free courses, both online and offline, to develop your skills. Such courses are offered through local colleges, organizations, or your local non-profit employment centre. Solicit your friends and family and offer to revamp their resumes for free to practice your skills. If you want to become certified, you can pursue this goal later as most certification programs are for writers with extensive experience in the industry.
Many writers start out by advertising via word of mouth through family and friends until they are confident in their skills to seek work beyond their inner circle. Once you have built up your skills and confidence, you can post free ads on local classifieds sites like Craigslist or run a print ad in your local newspaper. If you have a website, you can dedicate a page to your resume writing services and include “before and after” samples of your work. (Learn more here). Social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are also great sites to advertise your services.
About the author:
Christine Cristiano is a professionally trained resume writer who has penned hundreds of resumes for job seekers in various occupations and industries across Canada and the U.S. She also specialises in writing career-related articles for print and online markets. She can be reached at [email protected].
Visit her website, Proword Wizard Writing Services.