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Does It Pay to Use a Resume Service? New Data Says Yes

Maurie Backman, The Motley Fool

Whether you're new to the job market or are a seasoned worker seeking a change, you probably know that your resume is your ticket to landing an interview and eventually getting hired. And while you can certainly knock out that resume yourself, you may be tempted to pay for a resume-writing service to do the job for you.

The benefit of going this route is that you'll have a professional writer in your corner who knows what hiring managers look for in a resume. The downside, however, is the cost at hand. Resume-writing services run the gamut from a few to many hundreds of dollars, depending on the scope of the work, so you may be wondering if those fees are actually worth it.

Resume

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New data from TopResume, however, says yes. A recent study found that job seekers with professionally written resumes land new jobs sooner and earn more money than those who don't use a resume service. In fact, 68% of job candidates who used a resume service got offers within 90 days. And that's reason enough to consider outsourcing your resume to the professionals.

Is a resume service right for you?

If you're a decent writer and have been getting a good response to your resume, then there's probably no need to bring in a professional, even if your interviews ultimately haven't amounted to an offer. If you've been landing those interviews in the first place, it's a sign that your resume likely isn't the problem. On the other hand, if you're struggling to get interviews, it could be that your resume is to blame, in which case hiring a professional could not only help expedite your job search but save you the stress and aggravation of spinning your wheels.

What to look for in a resume service

Not all resume services are created equal. If you're going to use one, first ask for samples of the company's work to get a sense of what it brings to the table. At the same time, look for client testimonials -- ideally, ones you can source independently, as opposed to those featured on the company's website.

At the same time, make sure to understand the fees involved. Some resume services charge a flat fee. Others make you pay by the hour. Explore your options to see which is your most cost effective, keeping in mind that some services might extend their scope to include things like cover letters and interview coaching.

Another thing: When seeking out a resume service, aim to work with one whose writers actually know something about your industry. This will make them more likely to be of actual help.

Finally, find out if the service in question offers any sort of guarantee on its work. Granted, most resume-writing companies won't guarantee that you'll find a job within a certain time frame, since that's really out of their control. What they might do, however, is offer you a free resume rewrite or additional support if their efforts don't result in an uptick in interviews.

If you've had a hard time getting your resume noticed, hiring a professional to create one for you might be your best bet. Consider it a worthwhile investment in your career.

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