I speak to a lot of people who want to have their resume professionally written. However, they’re not sure why some resume writers charge $100 for their services, while others charge $1,000.

I also see a lot of confusion about “personal branding strategists”. Specifically, whether they differ from resume writers, and how.

Before you enquire about my resume writing services, or those of a competitor, allow me to shine a light on these issues.

1. COSTS OF PROFESSIONAL RESUME WRITING.

Personally, I prefer to buy products and services that are at the higher end of the market. Not because I’m rich, but because:

  • I enjoy dealing with people who are excellent at what they do
  • I have an innate appreciation for products that are well made
  • I find that top-notch products and services usually (and counterintuitively) save me money in the long term

It’s one of the reasons why I use a Mac Book Pro. It’s why I frequent Kylie Kwong’s restaurant in Sydney’s Potts Point.

It’s also why I listen to music via my Sennheiser HD25 headphones, which I bought when I was still in my 20’s. They don’t look like much, but they haven’t missed a beat (no pun intended) for over 10 years – and they sound better than the (cleverly marketed, but technologically inferior) Beats.

In my opinion, having your resume ‘professionally’ written by a cheap resume writer is akin to choosing inexpensive tyres for your car.

Technically speaking, the budget tyres are capable of getting you to your destination, but they will certainly not help you save time. They also won’t help you win any contests.

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This is why you don’t see Porsche 911s equipped with cheap tyres. Conversely, you don’t see many Toyota Corollas with expensive tyres, either.

Before you have your resume professionally written, you need to decide – do you relate to your career like it’s a 911 or a Corolla?

There’s nothing wrong with either option, but each has different priorities. Be clear on what your career means to you – and don’t expect high performance from a tool which is not designed with performance in mind.

To learn more about nuances of resume pricing, take a look at my guide to choosing a resume writer.

 

2. THE AWKWARD TRUTH ABOUT PERSONAL BRANDING STRATEGISTS.

If you decide to have your resume professionally written, you’re likely to encounter someone who claims to specialise in personal branding. (What is personal branding?)

Do you need a personal branding strategist or a traditional resume writer?

In short, you need both.

You live in a noisy world. To be competitive, you need to stand out – not necessarily as the best in your field, but as the most suitable for a particular opportunity (however, being both is ideal).

You also need to communicate why you’re the most suitable for a job via a number of channels – offline (your resume), online (your LinkedIn profile, your personal website and content) and in-person (your elevator pitch and job interview skills)

Personal branding, in its ideal form, equips you with the right tools to succeed in this world.

The process of personal branding requires a unique skillset which sits at the intersection of marketing, human resources, copywriting and design – all of which are backed up with a hefty dose of commercial acumen.

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Trouble is, most resume writers attempt to piggyback off the personal branding trend by calling themselves “personal branding strategists” – yet continuing to approach their work in the same way as they did back in 1995.

I know this because I regularly receive enquiries from people who have had their resumes professionally written, and have failed to see any results in the job market.

Worse, many of them have resumes which pitch them at a lower level of seniority. For example, I recently spoke with a bona fide CFO who had been applying for roles using a ‘professionally’ written resume which positioned him at the level of a Financial Controller.

I get quite disturbed when I see resume writers jeopardising careers of hard-working people who hire them to do the opposite. Which is another reason why I wrote the guide to choosing the best resume writer.