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Resume Writer Job Description, Career as a Resume Writer, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training: College

Salary: Varies—see profile

Employment Outlook: Fair

Definition and Nature of the Work

Resume writers prepare resumes, or summaries of the qualifications of an applicant who is searching for a job. Resume writers are aware that potential employers may only look briefly at a resume. Therefore, they prepare an applicant's resume so that it makes a favorable impression quickly. Resume writers make sure that the resume presents the applicant's qualifications, job history, and experience in a clear and readable format. Resume writers research the best design to catch a potential employer's attention. They can set up the applicant's work experience on paper in a variety of ways. They can suggest different methods for printing resumes. Resume writers also know the correct words to use when listing the applicant's qualifications, skills, education, and job history.

Many resume writers specialize in writing resumes for one type of applicant. For example, some writers prepare resumes only for executives or only for applicants to a specific industry. These writers may use specific wording in the applicant's resume ensuring that it appeals to potential employers from that industry.

Resume writers may be employed by companies that provide this service, or they may work on a freelance basis out of their homes. Many resume writers use word processing or desktop publishing software programs to prepare the resumes. The writer can use these programs to produce a high-quality, professional-looking document that is very readable.

Education and Training Requirements

Most resume writers have a college degree, although there are no specific educational requirements for this job. Resume writers should have typing skills, proofreading skills, and a basic knowledge of computers. They should be able to communicate with a customer to decide what information about him or her would be most valuable on the resume. They should write well and be able to produce error-free resumes. Many resume writers have previous experience in personnel departments, where they learned to evaluate effective resumes. This can contribute to their ability to write resumes that will attract a potential employer's attention.

Getting the Job

Resume services place help-wanted ads in newspapers and on the Internet. Writers can also call resume writing services to inquire about job openings.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Because most resume writers are self-employed, advancement consists mainly of acquiring more clients. Resume writers may use their desktop publishing or word processing skills in areas other than resume writing to supplement their earnings. They may also move into the job of executive search recruiter or employment counselor.

Because many people are proficient computer users and many word processing programs and books on how to write resumes are available, jobs for resume writers may decrease in the future. However, the large number of job applicants will ensure that this service is needed for highly competitive fields.

Working Conditions

Resume writers may work in their own homes or for resume writing services. They work at computers. Work hours vary. Self-employed writers may work part time or full time depending on the flow of work. Resume writers employed by companies are likely to work in an office environment, but they may do some of their work at home.

Earnings and Benefits

Writers who work for a service may get a small salary plus a commission for each resume that they prepare. Yearly salaries for resume writers can vary widely due to the types of clients the writer has and the number of clients the writer has. Most resume services charge around $150 for a basic resume. Generally, someone who writes resumes for college students will make much less than someone who writes resumes for executives.

Where to Go for More Information

Association of Career Professionals International
204 E St. NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 547-6377

Due to the uneven nature of resume writing, no official survey on median salary exists for resume writers. Resume writers are essentially a cross between a writer and an employment interviewer. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median salary for employment interviewers was $40,970 per year in 2003. Full-time, salaried writers made a median yearly wage of $44,350 in 2004.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesHuman Resources