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Hiring a Resume Writer

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I've hired many different resume writers over the past decade or so.  The one thing I learned is that you definitely get what you pay for.  Here's a list of the various services and what you'll likely get for your money:
  1. Simple Resume Writer - $150-$250. This is the bare bones starter package for most resume agencies.  This package will likely get you a 30-60 minute initial conversation and a few changes (over email) to your resume.  Most of the time, the person taking your information is NOT the author of the resume.  It will be written by an offshore agency or put into a canned system and formatted appropriately.  Sometimes these agencies will simply rewrite your LinkedIn profile or your current resume with better words. They will stop working with you after sending the final resume.
  2. Technical Resume Author - $250-$500. This is the next step up from the starter package.  Your initial phone interview will likely take 1-2 hours and the author possibly works directly for the agency at the same office.  You will be asked to explain your work history and follow up with some information such as two job targets, quotes from references, performance review analysis, and a list of technical proficiencies.  Changes are typically limited to 2-3 revisions over email or phone.  They will deliver a set of resumes in multiple formats and likely give you a set to include in your LinkedIn profile.  A cover letter is also provided.  They will stop working with you after sending the final resume.
  3. Resume and Personal Branding - $500-1,500. This is a full featured service and includes many different phone conversations and revisions.  The agent will not always follow up throughout the interview process, but, will work to assure your entire profile is set up to bring in job opportunities.  Personal branding is also very typical with this package and the author will work to assure your 'brand' is created with your best interests at heart.  Agents do not typically follow you through the interview process.
  4. Full Service - $1,500-$3,500+.  This package is the full deal.  It includes everything above, but, the personalized agent will typically follow you through every job opportunity, sometimes even hooking you up with local companies.  The agent will help with interview process and act as your personal liaison for your search.  I've met some great agents using this technique and even had conversations over lunch.  It's a full service package with a price tag to go with it.
Again, these are just my personal experiences and values above may change at any time.  Remember the agency working with you on this project will be working with others at the same time.  They are in the business to make money, so they will be limited in their time spent with you on any topic.  Keeping focused during your conversations and setting goals is always the best move for hiring any of these services.
Let me know what you think.

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