In an increasingly fierce job market, a professionally written resume is an important weapon in the job arms race. Although you need not be a professional writer to compose resumes, you do need a proven set of skills to be successful and attract clients. You can develop these skills in many ways, but potential clients will be looking for you to demonstrate them when deciding to purchase your services.

Many candidates have a skill set that matches criteria for a particular job. The job seeker whose resumes best articulates these skills is the one who gets the interview and the job offer. Resumes are primarily marketing communication tools. Show your potential clients powerful and compelling selections from resumes you have written as well as your experience writing marketing materials.

The mood and needs of hiring managers can change with the business cycle and breaking news. As a resume writer or a business professional writing resumes on the side, you need to have your hands on the pulse of business. Buzzwords, jargon and trends change rapidly, so paying clients will expect you to be on the edge of trends, not playing catch up.

Few clients will give you a comprehensive set of information to use in developing their resume. Many professional resume writers will schedule phone interviews with clients to delve deeper into the specifics of their experience. In addition to your understanding of what the hiring business is looking for, you need to develop a good rapport with the client and ask the right questions to discover the successes and day-to-day responsibilities that the hiring manager is seeking.

The first thing many clients will look for is past client testimonials. More than any qualifications, this shows that you can get the job done. You can also show your resume writing ability by obtaining a certification from a professional organization. These organizations include the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches, the National Resume Writers Association and the Global Career Services Network.

How to become a resume writer
  1. Look for internship opportunities. During or after your college experience, look for internship opportunities to gain hands-on experience. …
  2. Gain experience. The best way to get experience is to start writing resumes. …
  3. Attend workshops. …
  4. Get certified. …
  5. Find clients.

How To Become A Certified Resume Writer

What does a professional resume writer do?

Before you decide whether you want to become a professional resume writer, it is helpful to understand exactly what this role entails and the specific responsibilities and duties you will need to handle.

When working with a client, you will likely receive a list of the individuals qualifications and skills, as well as information about their work history and previous experience. Some clients may request that you use their professional social media profiles or other information, rather than providing it themselves.

Your job is to take the information about the client and transform it into an engaging document that presents them in a positive and appealing way. While strong writing skills are important, resume writers often spend much of their time researching their clients backgrounds and using persuasive language to appeal to and inform the person reviewing the resume.

What is a resume writer?

A resume writer is responsible for producing professional summaries for their clients. In this role, you would work directly with an individual who needs a professional resume written. The client would provide you with their job qualifications, work history, skills and areas of expertise, and you would take that information and turn it into an engaging and attention-grabbing document.

Since a resume is one of the first things that a potential employer will see about an applicant, it is important that the document is visually appealing and presented in a way that makes the reader want to learn more about the individual. When a client relies on a professional resume writer, they want to receive a finished product that helps them stand out among several applicants, as well as showcase their professional skills and accomplishments in an appealing way.

How much can you earn as a professional resume writer?

Many resume writers work on a freelance basis, providing their services to individual clients. Several factors impact the earning potential for each project, including the complexity of the resume, how much research you need to perform to gain insights into the industry and your level of experience in resume writing.

You might earn between $50 and $100 for a basic resume for a newer professional or someone without an extensive work history. For an executive-level client, you might earn up to $300 per resume.

One way to increase your earning potential is to become certified through one of the main professional associations. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary in 2018 for writers, which includes resume writers, was $62,170 per year.

How to become a resume writer

If you are interested in pursuing this career path, following several steps can help you increase your chances of becoming a resume writer.

1.Obtain a bachelors degree

The first step in working as a resume writer is earning a Bachelors Degree in English, Communications, Journalism or a similar area of study. You need strong writing and editing skills, and business knowledge can also help you learn common terms used in the corporate world.

If your college or university offers courses in human resources, consider taking some of these courses or pursuing a minor in this area of study. Human resources professionals are heavily involved in the hiring process and review resumes of applicants when they come in, so having a background in this area is helpful when you are writing resumes for individuals who want to stand out.

2. Look for internship opportunities

During or after your college experience, look for internship opportunities to gain hands-on experience. You might not be able to work as a resume writing intern, as many resume writers are self-employed individuals, but you can find opportunities to work with HR professionals or hiring managers to review resumes and identify what sets strong resumes apart.

As an intern, you can strengthen your resume writing skills by learning more about what recruiters look for in resumes and being part of the reviewing and hiring process.

3. Gain experience

The best way to get experience is to start writing resumes. Ask your friends and family members if you can craft resumes for them to improve your skills and practice turning an individuals background and work history into an engaging and appealing summary. You can also look for opportunities to volunteer, such as with organizations that assist with workforce placement and other similar agencies.

4. Attend workshops

Colleges, universities and professional organizations often host workshops that teach people how to craft professional resumes. Attending these workshops can help you gain insights into resume writing and improve your skills. A workshop might cover proper resume formatting, how to include references, the purpose of an objective and other components of a great resume.

5. Get certified

The National Resume Writers Association (NRWA) and the Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW) offer certification options for resume writers. Choosing to go through the process to obtain certification can show your commitment to your craft, as well as qualify you to charge more for each resume you write.

The certified resume writer salary average may be higher than the average for a non-certified resume writer because of their proven qualifications.

Obtaining certification usually involves submitting a portfolio of resume and cover letter samples, as well as passing written and practical tests demonstrating the applicants knowledge of the industry and resume writing skills. If you become certified through the PARW, you can also choose to be included in the associations searchable directory, which can help clients find you and request your services.

6. Find clients

Understanding how to become a professional resume writer can help you gain the education and skills needed to apply your skills and craft resumes for job seekers. The final step is finding clients who want to use your services and stand out from other applicants when applying to open positions.

You can look for clients through professional social media and network sites, online classifieds and even your own professional network. Setting up a website that demonstrates your skills and includes details about what you offer is another way to generate business and connect with people who are looking for professional resume writing assistance.

Skills for resume writers

Consider these top skills for resume writers:


How do I get certified as a resume writer?

The only way a writer can earn the NCRW certification is by demonstrating a high level of expertise in resume strategy, business writing, grammar and punctuation, proofreading, and electronic resume preparation.

How long does it take to become a certified resume writer?

Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW) credential is achieved after undergoing a 3-month resume training program from the academy. There’s also a self-paced version of the program available. The training program consists of: 5 web classes on grammar, formatting, writing, and homework assignments.

Can I make money writing resumes?

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.

How much does it cost to become a certified resume writer?

Step One: Become a member of CDI (review monthly and annual options here) and purchase the first step in certification, which is only $50 US. Step Two: Once your resume sample from step one has been approved, you would pay for the testing, which is only $150 US.

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