$2,000 For A Professional Resume Writer? Are You F***ing Kidding?

I originally posted this on my MN Headhunter blog. I only have 2 comments on the post but have received 15+ email with horror stories from job seekers. Are there people in our industry taking advantage of the situation?


OK, I have been sitting on this for a few days now not sure what do about it and i wanted to cool down a bit before posting.

I met a dude who after 4.5 months of being out of work decided his resume needed some professional help.

He was right. He showed the original to me and it sucked. Sucked bad. Format, font, symbols, wording, it was awful. He tried. He meant well. Thankfully he realized it was an issue and wanted to do something about it.

So he went “shopping” for a professional resume writer. The guy makes $90K or so and spending some money on a resume was not a bad idea. I know some really good resume writers and they do a good job.

However, this dude found a “Resume Writing Guru”. Yep, that’s what it says on the “professional’s” “web site”. Professional is in quotes because as you will read that title is questionable. Web site is in quotes because his site looks like a 1st grader with color blindness built it.

$2,000 for the two page resume was the quote. WTF?!?!?!?!?!

I saw the end product. Much better than what he had, no doubt. Looked better. Read better.

The problem I have is the “professional” spent 30 minutes on the phone with the dude on the phone and had him fill out a 2 page form. That’s it. Nothing about past work experience. Nothing about what the dude was looking for.

Basically the “professional” cut and paste from the form into what looks like to me a template.

I get that this is not the norm. I get that resumes are one of the keys to getting the interview. I get that if a resume is holding back a dude from a $90K a year job investing in some help is a good thing.

But $2,000?

This wreaks of a “professional” taking advantage of someone in a difficult situation in a difficult time.

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Paul - what if we stick it to this dubious profession and pair each of your readers with an experienced recruiter who will help them write a kick-ass resume? I'm volunteering...
Please get permission and post the 15 stories here.
Yeah, John, that's what I've been talkin' about!

John Sumser said:
Please get permission and post the 15 stories here.
Or, do it online for less than 100 bucks, and get something that is way cooler than your basic MS Word.

Check this out. There is even a video included:


If you wanted your own resume builder (letter, interview, assessment, video, portfolio) website, you can purchase a private label version such as https://randstad.optimalresume.com

See https://www.optimalresume.com/outplacement.html

I can do a paraphrase of most of them:

- Most are near the desperate stage and willing to "invest" in themselves because they assume or are told by someone their current techniques or resume are not working.

- I have seen local resume writers I know and are well respected charging $150 - $250. For some that is reasonable depending on their income, ability to put something together and time they have to do it.

- The problem (my opinion) is that rates for some resume writers has gone up with the demand. I am seeing $300 - $700 frequently and then the "high end" charging $1,000 or more. And then there are those jumping with no experience seeing revenue potentials.

- I am seeing "job coaches" charging $500 - $1,000 for 3 hours. Some will give hiring manager, recruiter, exective names as a bonus. (I would argue they could get that with free with a little Google education)

- I am seeing LinkedIn presentations (how to use it) from $150 - $400 per person for a 2-4 hour session that may include a "professional" doing the profile.

Some are getting desperate and others are not realizing there are good templates to use for free.

I think the problem is many folks are taking advantage of the situation. Providing a reasonable service at a reasonable price is fair. But gouging, that's just wrong.

After doing my job search presentations going back to the last recession I have been frequently asked to do job coaching. It feels awkward to charge someone. So I do the presentations and am able to answer about 80% of the questions/issues job seekers are having.

I did start doing them online with the third this week. I do have a skeleton of a web site up, http://www.beyourownheadhunter.com with the idea of giving people as much information as possible.

Saves me time as I am getting many calls per week from folks seeking help. I can handle them plus anyone else interested in 1 60-75 minute session.

I do have three more presentations in the works for a total of four. Three will be free. A 60-90 minute LinkedIn will be $20 but if attendees are not able to pay, their call, then I will waive it.

These are tough times and I am tired of hearing the stories and I am tired of them getting worse.
A new message from my blog post:

"I had a similar experience with ladders. They wanted $700 to write my resume. Let's assume it takes them two hours. That's $350 an hour. As if that's not bad enough, when I pushed back on the price, the "resume specialist" insulted me and said I was "putting a price on my career success". How rude can you be?"

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