Should You Try Resume Writing?

resume writingFor many freelance writers, the key to a consistent income is diversification. Maybe that means authoring articles, blogs, and web copy. Or perhaps you do copyediting, ghost writing, and brochures or newsletters for small businesses. Whatever you do, you probably put the proverbial iron in a couple of different fires at one point or another to keep your writing business thriving.

One often-overlooked area of writing that can net writers a decent income is resume writing. As boring as it sounds, for some writers, a resume is the perfect blend of creative writing, technical writing, and problem solving. And since most people either despise writing their own resume or are simply clueless about how to put one together effectively, paying a good writer to create one is a worthy investment that many people don’t bat an eye at.

I got into resume writing around the same time I started copywriting. It had occurred to me that writing blogs and articles might not be enough to carry me through the slower freelancing periods, so I took two online courses to learn how to write copy and resumes. It was a wise career move; now I enjoy doing both so much that I focus most of my freelance energy in these two areas.

There are simple ways you can add resume writing to your revenue stream, too.

Do some research first.

Before you start offering resume writing as one of your freelance services, make sure you know how to build a great resume. It may seem basic, but there are a number of ways to make a resume stand out… and there are even more ways to send one immediately to the rejection pile. Learn how to do it well and you’ll have clients referring you to everyone they know.

Don’t undervalue yourself.

I wrote a handful of resumes for friends and family for free when I first was building that area of my business. I was able to get some practice and earn some testimonials for my website this way. While it’s fine to work for free occasionally if you’re comfortable doing so, make sure you price your services appropriately. Do some homework and find out what local resume writing services charge. You might be surprised to see how much money people are willing to pay for a well-written and effective resume! From there, price your services according to your level of experience and your income needs. And don’t lowball yourself.

Offer other job-related services, too.

People need cover letters as well as resumes, and they’re likely to get both from you if they’re already paying for one. As with resumes, make sure you understand what makes a cover letter work (it is, after all, a strategic piece of marketing for your client). And you can charge for either one general cover letter, or for a number of letters tailored to the jobs for which your client is applying. It comes down to what your client needs and is willing to pay, but if they understand that it’s an investment in their future (which it is!), they should have no trouble trusting you with the task and paying you for your hard work.

Fitting a new revenue stream in with your current work.

Maybe you freelance part-time after your day job. Or perhaps you’re an established full-time freelancer who needs extra income. Whatever the case may be, it can be tricky adding an extra service to your schedule. The best way to incorporate resume writing into your writing life is to practice, practice, practice. Once you know what you’re doing, you’ll be able to quickly whip up amazing resumes and cover letters, which will earn you more money in less time. It starts with research and practice, though. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be ready to diversify your writing business and increase your earnings. There truly is no shortage of job-seekers in need of a resume revamp, so it’s the perfect addition to any writer’s arsenal!

kristin offiler Kristin Offiler is a freelance writer in Rhode Island. She has an MFA in Creative Writing, and when she’s not writing copy, resume, or articles, she’s working on her fiction. She can be reached at KristinOffiler.com or follow her on Twitter @KristinOffiler.

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This post was written by a guest author specifically for Emily Suess and Suess's Pieces. If you would like to pitch a guest post, contact Emily.
  • Sarah Nagel

    Interesting! Great info :)

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! Hope it’s useful for you :)

  • http://cjjohnsonwrites.blogspot.com CJ Johnson Writes

    This is the article I was looking for, because just the other day I was considering adding resume writing to my repretoire as a freelance copy writer and adding interview coaching as a service. Put my past management/HR skills to use :) Great article. Thanks!

    • Anonymous

      With former management and HR skills, you would be great at writing resumes. And if you also offered interview coaching, it would make you the complete package for your clients. Good luck!

  • Pingback: Freelancers, Need Some Extra Income? « Kristin Offiler

  • Robin @ Farewell, Stranger

    This is so helpful, thank you. I always skip resume writing opportunities when I see them listed because I’m not sure if I want to do that. I have an HR background and worked as a recruiter for years, so I’ve seen more resumes than I care to count and have written many, many of them for family and friends. Maybe it’s something I should look into. 

    • Anonymous

      It sounds like you have quite a bit of experience in this area already. It’s definitely worth considering if you think you’d enjoy it. The way I see it, writing a resume is different from reading a stack of resumes. I was responsible for reading resumes at a former job, and it was mind-numbing because so many of them were poorly written, dull, irrelevant to the job opening, etc. But I love writing resumes because I’m tailoring them, so I know they’ll make my clients look good because they’re not messy or poorly done. It’s so much more enjoyable to write a great resume than read a number of bad ones!

  • Jacey Blue Renner

    This was such a great piece!  Really enjoyed reading and it has gotten my brain churning as to what should be the best next steps for me and my freelance endeavors…:)

    • Anonymous

      That’s fantastic, Jacey! There are tons of opportunities for freelancers, it’s really just a matter of figuring out what sings to you and what would be worth your while business-wise. I don’t think you can go wrong with resume writing– there’s a huge need for them now! :)

  • http://www.resume-resource.com Resume Writing Resources

    We have a lot of professional resume writers on our site.  I’m a former writer and was able to writer resumes in my spare time. It was fairly good work though I got burnt out eventually

  • Alex Wilson

    These are the best-est short points i have seen so far, detailed and pin pointing ! 

    Appreciated!

  • resume services

    I think it really depends on the individual’s writing abilities and willingness to assess their strengths and liabilities.

  • resumestoyou.info

    Personally, I say that there is no reason not to try it yourself first. You know yourself best, and therefore can sell yourself the best. Almost everyone has had to write a resume in their life, so don’t be afraid to ask others’ advice. I wrote my own resume, starting with a fairly boring employment history, and have had much success with landing interviews.