Professional Resume Writer vs. DIY Resume Writing

Attius Li- Author
Atticus Li
Job Search Tools & Services
June 4, 2024
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Crafting the perfect resume is no small feat. Many job seekers struggle with deciding whether to write their resumes themselves or to hire a professional. With employers taking an average of just six seconds to glance at a resume, getting it right can mean the difference between landing an interview and getting passed over.

This guide offers insights into both approaches, helping you weigh the pros and cons based on your unique situation.

We've seen firsthand how the right resume can open doors for job seekers

From understanding applicant tracking systems (ATS) that companies use to filter candidates, to maximizing your personal branding in every line of your resume, we bring a wealth of knowledge about what hiring managers are looking for.

Whether you're tempted by the DIY route or considering professional help, this guide will point you toward making an informed decision that suits your goals. Ready? Let's get started.

Table of Contents

  1. Evaluating Your Needs and Capabilities
  2. DIY Resume Writing
  3. Professional Resume Writing Services
  4. Cost Comparison
  5. Making the Right Choice
  6. FAQs

Evaluating Your Needs and Capabilities

Assess your career complexity and time availability for resume writing to determine if you should DIY or hire a professional.

Complexity of your career history

Your career history might be hard to put on paper. If you've had many jobs or worked in different fields, showing off your skills can feel tough. Professional resume writers are good at making complex histories look great.

They focus on what you did well at each job instead of just listing duties. This makes your resume stand out to recruiters.

Professional writers turn a rich career into a compelling story. Using professional help is smart if your job search feels complicated. These experts know how LinkedIn works and how to keep resumes away from the spam folder. 

They also provide advice that's just right for your situation, like not sharing college graduation dates if you finished more than 20 years ago.

This keeps your application moving smoothly through recruiting software and into the right inbox.

Time availability for resume crafting

Crafting a resume takes a lot of time and effort. You need to think about your job history, skills, and how to show yourself in the best light. This means putting together your self-presentation in a clear and creative way.

Some people might have hours to spend on this process, while others might only find a few minutes here and there between work and life duties.

On one side, doing it yourself lets you control every part of the creative process. You decide what goes on your resume and how it looks. But this needs time for thinking, writing, and proofreading to make sure everything is perfect.

It's important because mistakes or a generic look can make your resume less effective at getting job offers. On the other hand, not having enough time could mean rushing through this task without giving it the attention it deserves.

Did you know? Leonardo da Vinci is often considered the ‘’father of the resume.’’ Though his application wasn't quite the standard format we use today, it was a letter written around 1482 highlighting his skills to Ludovico Sforza, a potential employer.

DIY Resume Writing

Crafting your resume yourself gives you control and saves money. However, it requires time and expertise.

Pros & Cons (DIY Resume Writing)

Exploring the advantages and downsides of DIY resume writing reveals various factors to consider. Here's a detailed look:

Pros

  • Low cost
  • Control over content
  • Flexibility in updates

Cons

  • Requires significant time
  • May lack ATS optimization
  • Potential for errors
  • DIY resumes may be generic and less impactful
  • DIY resume writing might result in missed opportunities and decreased competitiveness

Writing your resume on your own can save money. You get to pick what to include in it. Updating it anytime is easy too. But, this route eats up a lot of your time.

Without the right tools, your resume might not pass the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Simple mistakes can slip through. Often, DIY resumes don't stand out much.

They might cause you to miss great job chances, making you less competitive.

Professional Resume Writing Services

Consider the benefits of professional resume writing services, and how they can enhance your job-searching journey. 

Pros & Cons (Professional Resume Writing Services)

Exploring the advantages and drawbacks of professional resume writing services can guide you in making an informed decision. Here's a simplified breakdown:

Pros

  • Expertise in latest trends
  • Optimized for ATS
  • Reduces stress
  • Increases job opportunities
  • Time-Saving
  • Overcoming Challenges
  • Increased Visibility

Cons

  • Can be expensive
  • May use common outlines
  • Relies on someone else's interpretation

Professional resume services offer access to specialists who stay current with employment market tendencies. They ensure your resume is Applicant Tracking System (ATS) friendly, easing the application process. 

These services also diminish the stress of resume making and can boost your chances at job openings. On the downside, they come with a cost, and there's a risk of receiving a resume that feels too standardized or misinterprets your unique experiences.

Choose the right professionals with a proven track record and expertise in your field.

Pro Tip: Professional resume writers can unearth relevant keywords beyond the job description. By incorporating these industry-specific terms often missed by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), they can unlock hidden job opportunities you might not have otherwise found.

Cost Comparison

When comparing costs, consider various fees and services.

Explore the differences between DIY and professional service pricing.

DIY vs. Professional Services

Choosing between DIY resume writing and hiring professional services depends on various factors, such as your budget, time, and the complexity of your career history. To help you make an informed decision, here is a comparison in an easy-to-understand factors to consider in cost comparison:

Cost

  • DIY: Free to low cost, using tools like AI resume builders for content suggestions.
  • Professional: Can range from $50 for coding-related resume services to $1,500-$5,000 for experienced writers.

Time Investment

  • DIY: Varies based on your skill level; could take several hours to perfect.
  • Professional: Minimal time needed from you; the service handles most of the work. There are also managed services that handle ALL the work.

Customization

  • DIY: Full control over content and layout, but requires a good eye for design. Needs knowledge on ATS formats and layout.
  • Professional: Customized by experts who are familiar with industry trends and keywords. Expert in ATS resume design and layout.

Expertise

  • DIY: Depends on your own ability to market yourself and highlight your strengths.
  • Professional: Professionals with experience in hiring and resume writing enhance your chances. Professionals with deep knowledge of the industry, jargons, and decoding the job description. Presents you to stand out in the competitive job market.

Outcome

  • DIY: Success depends on your writing skills and understanding of what employers look for.
  • Professional: Polished, professional resume that stands out to employers.

Deciding between doing it yourself or using a professional service comes down to what you value more: the control and satisfaction of crafting your resume yourself or the convenience and expertise offered by professional services. 

Your choice will impact the time you spend and the quality of the final product, so choose wisely based on your current situation and goals.

Making the Right Choice

To make the right choice, carefully consider your individual needs and capabilities. Evaluate your career history complexity and time availability before deciding whether to do it yourself or seek professional help.

Factors to consider before deciding

  1. Professional Expertise: Ensure the resume writer possesses certifications from reputable organizations such as the CPRW or NCRW, indicating their commitment to ethical conduct and quality output.
  1. Technology Integration: Verify that the chosen writer is adept in utilizing ATS principles to enhance your resume's visibility and relevance in the digital realm.
  1. Formatting Savvy: Prioritize writers who understand the critical balance between ATS compatibility and human readability, maximizing your resume's impact.
  1. Reputation and Track Record: Research authentic reviews and testimonials to gauge the writer's ability to craft compelling resumes that align with industry standards and expectations.
  1. Adaptability to Market Trends: Choose a writer with a deep understanding of evolving recruitment preferences, demonstrated by a preference for contemporary two-page resumes over traditional one-page formats.
  1. Cost-Value Assessment: Assess the overall value proposition offered by professional services against the potential time investment required for DIY writing, ensuring privacy and user agreement integrity are not compromised.
  1. Long-Term Benefits: Consider how confident you feel with your final product; weigh this against any potential challenges or gaps if opting for a DIY approach
Key takeaway: A strong resume goes beyond listing responsibilities. Quantify achievements and tailor them to the job description to truly stand out to employers.

Conclusion

Choosing between a professional resume writer and doing it yourself depends on what you need. If your job history is complex or you're pressed for time, a pro can make your life easier.

They know how to get past Applicant Tracking Systems. These systems pick resumes based on certain words that match the job's needs.

On the other hand, creating your own resume lets you control every part of it. You'll save money too. But, without knowing how these tracking systems work, you might miss out on a lot of opportunities.

Think about costs too. Hiring someone costs more but could lead to better jobs faster. Writing your own resume is cheaper but takes more time and effort.

Before deciding, consider how fast you need a job, how much money you can spend, and how comfortable you are writing about your resume and presenting your achievements.

Both options have good points and not-so-good ones. The best choice relies on your personal situation and goals, so choose wisely.

FAQs

1. What is the difference between hiring a professional resume writer and writing your resume yourself?

Hiring a professional means you get their expertise in knowing what employers look for, while doing it yourself gives you full control over how you present your reality and confidence.

2. Can artificial intelligence help with DIY resume writing?

Yes, there are tools powered by artificial intelligence that suggest improvements based on certain parameters, making it easier for you to create a strong resume on your own.

3. How do I decide which method is right for me?

Consider how much time and money you can invest, your confidence in writing about your achievements, and whether meeting specific job parameters is something you're comfortable handling alone.

4. Does using a professional writer guarantee I will get the job?

No service can promise you'll get the job since many factors play into hiring decisions. However, professionals can increase your chances by presenting your skills and experiences effectively.

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