Writing resumes to help people land a job or transition into a new career is an in-demand writing service that many freelance writers offer. The high unemployment rate and competition for new jobs are making resume writing more popular than other common services like writing SEO copy or ghostwriting how-to articles. Even though a typical resume is no longer than 300 words in length, it is not easy work. Even if you were to use a common resume writing software for layout and to find common catch-phrases to use, you still need acute research and communication skills to produce a professional resume—not a cookie-cutter resume, or a one-size-fits-all resume.
About this type of freelance work
As its name suggests, your main job is to produce professional resumes for your clients. They will rely on you to present their job qualifications, areas of expertise, and experience in the best way possible—using catchy words
and a design that grabs attention and appeals to the person who is in charge of hiring. You may need to use terms specific to the job or industry that your client is planning to apply, and you may need to format a resume in a variety of ways (e.g., PDFs). Many clients want both a traditional resume and an SEO-friendly resume to post on the Internet. Besides traditional writing skills, you should also know how to optimize copy for the web.
Benefits of pursuing this career
Writing a resume may not require a lot of writing (compared to writing an informative how-to article), but you will spend more time researching the client’s background and the job market as well as phrasing sentences that persuade and inform the hiring manager. The first dozen or so resumes that you write for clients do take a while to write. It’s a myth that a competent resume writer can whip out a new resume every 30 minutes or so. You may spend a day on just crafting one resume for a client, making sure you have included all of the specifics that go into a winning resume. After a while you develop the skill-set to organize and write a resume quickly and professionally. You will also become an expert on knowing which types of phrases work best to showcase qualifications and work experience in a resume.
Why is this type of career in demand right now?
The high unemployment rate and stagnate economy has caused many unemployed individuals to revamp their resumes before they search for new jobs. Many individuals do not have experience in writing a resume. They would rather hire an expert freelance writer to do this work for them—and to do it right the first time.
What type of person would love this career?
Writing resumes for individuals offers you the opportunity to help them land a job, in addition to earning money from your writing skills. Resume writing is more engaging and client-facing because you will need to work one-on-one with the client. Rather than a client hiring you to produce a bunch of repetitive articles for a website, a client hires you to focus on one piece of writing and to make it the best piece of work that you have ever produced.
Disadvantages/obstacles in this career
Writing resumes and cover letters are becoming a more skilled profession. You may need to become certified so that you can pitch yourself as a “Certified Professional Resume Writer” to compete with other writers. You also must be comfortable interviewing your client via the phone, Skype or e-mail to compile the right information for his resume. It is also common that a client will ask for many revisions after completing his resume. You should do the necessary revisions without charge.
Before you begin to offer resume writing services, you should be able to pass the requirements set forth by the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. You may also need to think like an HR or a hiring manager. You should know how to use the most appropriate phrases and jargon in a specific type of resume. In fact, it might be better if you can specialize in a particular market or niche.
Breaking into this career
Begin with yourself. Try to create your own resume and sell yourself to potential clients. You can also research different sample resumes, as well as revamp and revise resumes of friends and family members. You can also search for HR groups that routinely hire aspiring resume writers.
Who usually hires in this field?
• HR groups
• New graduates
• Individuals who are looking for new jobs
• Business executives
• Laid-off individuals
What is the average pay rate / salary?
Rates in this niche vary widely based on the complexity of the resume and the industry. Writing a standard resume for somebody who wants to land a job at a retail store might pay between $50 and $75 per resume. A resume to land an executive job at a Fortune 500 company might pay between $200 and $300 per resume. In a year, it’s possible to earn around $58,000 just for writing resumes. In addition to writing resumes, you can also offer ancillary services like writing cover letters, proofreading, and job research.
How and where to find jobs/clients
Finding resume writing jobs shouldn’t be an issue since you can find open positions on nearly all popular job sites. You can register with Elance.com or Freelancer.com, create a profile, and start applying to such jobs. You can also search for recruitment agencies that hire freelance resume writers. You can find such agencies on LinkedIn.com.
Are there other jobs I could do instead?
If you’ve read this entire post and aren’t sure it’s the kind of job for you, there are other side hustles you could try, even beyond writing.