Lately, there’s been some pretty absurd allegations slamming the entire résumé writing industry that I wanted to address because they are potentially very misleading to job seekers.
One of these absurd claims is this:
“You should never pay money to have a service write your résumé for you.”
This statement is about as ridiculous as saying you should never write your own résumé.
So, should you write your own résumé or not?
The answer is: it depends.
Sometimes it makes sense to hire a professional writer.
Sometimes it doesn’t.
I do agree that not everyone should hire a résumé writer. Just like not everyone should hire a fitness trainer or chef.
It’s a personal choice.
But you should make sure that it’s a choice that makes sense from a “return on investment” perspective.
I didn’t hire a personal trainer because I have personal training experience and have the discipline to work out on my own. That made sense.
I did hire a cleaning service. While it was something I could have done myself for free, I felt my time was better spent on more important tasks that would lead me “closer to money”. That made sense.
Will writing your own résumé get you “closer to money” (landing the job) faster than hiring a professional service?
Not necessarily, unless creating personal branded documents is a proven area of your expertise.
When it makes sense to hire a résumé writing service
Generally speaking, the more work experience you have, the more urgent/complicated your job search, the more money you make, and the less time you have to spend on doing things yourself, the more likely you should invest in a professional résumé service.
Obviously I wouldn’t expect a high-school student or someone who’s looking for part-time work to spend money on hiring a writer because the ROI isn’t there.
But if you have some solid experience and you want to position yourself as a quality candidate for a job, then it probably makes more sense to hire an expert.
There’s a cost to DIY
Going the DIY route isn’t necessarily the cheaper option. In fact, it might end up costing you more if your efforts don’t attract the interviews and your job search drags on longer than anticipated with no job offer anywhere in sight.
And this doesn’t even factor in your “sweat equity”.
Creating a stand-out résumé is way harder than you think
Anyone who tells you that you can slap together a professional level résumé in as little as one or two hours is being misleading (I’m being very diplomatic). It can take at least a couple of hours just to do the prep work and then another few hours to complete a junior to mid-career level résumé and that’s if you actually know what you’re doing.
I’ve had senior level résumés that probably took me as long as 12 hours to complete from prep to the first draft. And I have years of recruitment and sales and marketing experience.
There are just some things you should leave to a professional
The whole point of hiring a professional for anything is to increase your success rate in terms of realizing your desired outcome, whether it’s a fitness goal or a clean house.
Hiring someone who knows what they’re doing also eliminates the guesswork and frustration that comes with trying to do things on your own that’s not your zone of genius.
While I encourage people to write their own résumé and offer resources to help them, I have to be honest with you – 9 times out of 10 they can’t produce a document that’s anywhere close to what a premium writer would create.
And why would they? It’s not their zone of genius.
DIY can be risky
So, if you feel you have some solid writing talent and you have a lot of time on your hands you could try the DIY route. But there’s a risk.
You could waste a lot of valuable time and effort trying to do this yourself only to end up with a document that’s still not cutting it.
The truth is, you can’t be good at everything and that’s perfectly okay. Focus on your strengths and leave the other stuff to a professional.
Even I paid for professionals
While I’m pretty technically savvy, I still hired a web developer to set up my site and someone else to get my email automation up and running.
Yes, it was expensive and no, I didn’t want to spend the money.
But in retrospect, it was well worth the investment to not have to deal with struggling with this stuff for months on end, which would not have brought me “closer to money”.
Being too budget conscious can sometimes back-fire
What I’m trying to get at is this….
You could be doing yourself more harm than good just to save a few bucks.
You have to figure out if attempting to write your own résumé is actually worth the time investment, frustration, headache, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Trust me, there will be a headache.
Or is it better for you to hand it over to an expert so you can focus on self care, spend time with your family, and plan your career success strategy?
It’s a personal choice, but make it a sensible one based on facts.
Contact me first
If you’d like to discuss how we can work together to create a résumé that will free up your time to focus on other things that make more sense, click here to set up a free discovery call.
Hi! I’m Diana.
I leverage over 10 years recruitment and sales/marketing experience to create attention-grabbing résumés, cover letters, and Linkedin profiles that help job seekers stand out, get noticed, and get hired.
Need help? That’s what I’m here for!
Are you in the midst of a job search and not getting the results you want? Or are you’re thinking of making a change and want to make sure you get started off on the right foot? Then I recommend you reach out for some help. You can contact me directly here!
Free résumé help below!
If you haven’t done so already, just click on the links below for and download these valuable PDFs:
I look forward to helping you with your career success!