The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Resume Writer

Jun 26, 2013 - Joe Matar

With the large number of applicants vying for jobs, catching the attention of hiring managers with a strong resume and cover letter is a must. In the past few years, professional resume writers and writing service companies have popped up to help job seekers turn out professional documents. But should you hire such a service?

Candidates who have a negative online reputation may want someone who can smoothly turn a phrase and improve their image. Or if you’ve been in a technical field and are applying for management or marketing jobs, your writing skills may need some tweaking to appeal to a different hiring criterion.

If you do feel professional writing would improve your resume, there are both pros and cons of hiring a resume writer. Here are a few aspects of outsourcing writing tasks that will help you make a strategic decision:


Quality writing

The new hiring paradigm involves waiting until the perfect candidate comes along. While there is really no direct correlation between someone’s writing skills and job performance, quality writing screams quality work. A grammatical mistake can be read as lack of attention to detail, and the use of slang can say you’re too informal in professional settings.

For many jobs, the ability to write clearly and effectively is essential. This includes any job with customer contact such as sales, marketing, customer service and technical support. A well-written resume will ensure you come across as a quality candidate for any job.

Cross-functional abilities

It’s no longer enough to do one aspect of a job. More employers are expanding job descriptions and increasing duties to compensate for the perceived instability in the economic climate. Often this involves writing your own reports and interacting more with customers with decreased support staff.

Demonstrating good writing on your resume tells a company’s HR department that they can count on you to fill cross-functional jobs and gives you a competitive edge over other candidates.

Knowledgeable about hiring practices

If you’ve been out of the job market for a period of time, it’s hard to know what the current hiring practices are without a lot of time-consuming research.

Many resume writing services have been in business for years and track industry trends. Their writers are trained in how to respond to the demands of HR professionals and hiring managers. Insider knowledge is an intangible benefit worth the cost of using a service.


Resume mills

Professionally written resumes are now so popular there’s almost no advantage to using one. Spell and grammar checks in your word processing program can ensure a minimum level of quality, and that may be all you need.

Many resume writing services are so busy they now just churn out resumes, many of which read the same. A resume with style and personality may be refreshing to a human resources manager who’s used to reading carbon copy documents every day.


If you’re out of work, the cost of a having a resume professionally written is a big consideration. Prices vary, with top online companies charging from $49 to $199 for their services.

Hiring an independent writer via Craigslist is one option to cut costs. This may be more economical and can give you more personalized attention...but it’s very difficult to gauge experience and success.

Cover letters

An eye-popping cover letter is personalized for the company and job you’re applying for. Your professionally written resume may include a standardized cover letter. If you write your own customized cover letter, it’s a sure tip-off that you’ve used a professional service, as it’s almost impossible to match writing styles. For many, this dilemma makes the decision not to use a resume writer easy.

The pros and cons of hiring someone to write your resume professionally need to be carefully weighed. The process is not for everyone, but for some, the benefits can outweigh the downsides.

That said? Creativity and style could be a more appropriate way to land your new job!

Sarah Boisvert is an author who writes on a variety of business and innovation topics. She also covers social media and online reputation management.