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How to start a resume writing service business

Why start a resume writing service business? Well for starters, as long as there is uncertainty within the U.S. economy, job seekers will need resumes to apply for jobs.

Another reason to start a resume writing business, the corporate grind often times stifles employee’s growth. We hear of the never ending tales of employees “hitting the glass ceiling” where there is no room for growth. Employees want more from their positions and deserve to work for a company that appreciates and values their skills, including hard


Job seekers want more money! Raises seem to be obsolete in certain fields. For those that do receive raise increases, the amount doesn’t equate to the cost of living.

There is a demand for Resume Writers, you just need to know how to capitalize on it! I’m going to walk you through the steps on how you can achieve this.

What is a resume?

A resume is a one to two page document summarizing the background and skills of job seekers, used by applicants seeking employment.

What is the purpose of Resume Writing Services?

A resume is necessary for job seekers to stand out from the competition. A resume writing service, can help illustrate the applicant’s qualifications, unique skill set, and job history. A great resume writer can:

  • Market their client’s strengths, ensuring that they’re a good match for the job they desire.

  • Constructs a resume that grabs the attention of employers

  • Sells the applicants strongest skill set and accomplishments

  • Prepares the applicant for job interviews

Beat the Applicant Tracking System

Back in the day, resumes were pre-screened single handedly by hiring managers. Today’s resumes are sifted through an automated system referred to as an Applicant Tracking System. Applicant Tracking Systems are used to narrow down the time spent screening resumes. The system uses key words, formatting, even font size, to determine if the applicant is qualified to move towards the interview process.

According to 98 percent of resumes are rejected by computerized ATS systems because the resumes fail to follow current practices. That means an employer will never see that resume.

Resume writing services help applicants increase the chances of having their client’s resumes found in Applicant Tracking Systems. Resume writers are expected to understand how Applicant Tracking Systems work to ensure that their client’s resumes are found using the pre-screening system.

What Skills and or certification are required to start a Resume Writing Business?

Most states only require a business license and or permit, however, no formal training is required. You can however, take certification courses that prepare you for reviewing and analyzing resumes, interview preparation for potential candidates, and HR best practices. Here are a few organizations that offer courses

The NRWA prepares industry professionals for a career in Resume writing as well as exam prep. The exam process is comprehensive and covers various aspects of résumé writing, cover letter

composition, proofreading, and electronic résumé preparation. Other organizations to look into:

Skills needed to start a Resume Writing service

  • Good English and writing skills. This is a great business endeavor for English majors, as it requires excellent reading and writing skills

  • Good Interviewing skills

  • Great communication Skills

  • Knowledge of some sales, as you will need to be able to sale your customer along with your business services

  • Resume writing is an easy transition for those who work in corporate recruiting or HR

What is the average fee for resume writing?

Pricing can vary depending on your area of expertise. If you’re focusing on assisting C-Level Executives you can charge roughly around $300.00 up to $1,200.00. Entry level applicants, $100.00 up to $400.00.

Prior to setting your pricing, consider the following:

  • Clearly define your target audience.

  • Who are your clients?

  • What industry does your target audience work in? Tech? Startup? Healthcare?

  • What city do your clients live in?

  • What is the main industry in your area?

  • What is the unemployment rate in your area?

  • What is the average median income of residents? You don’t want to out price yourself out of the market. If you’re in a city that has a high employment rate, your clients may not be able to afford your services.

Supplement your income

You can off-set your earnings by offering services locally, nationally and internationally

Another option for supplementing your income is with career coaching. Career Coaches offers guidance and counsel. A Career Coach essentially helps employees map out their career paths. It’s a great way to build a personal relationship with your clients, in addition to them utilizing your services in various ways.

Sell Courses

Courses are another way to generate revenue within your business, especially when there is down time. When the applicants are not rolling in for resume writing services you can offer career counseling, accelerations programs, or training courses.

If you need help creating courses, I can assist you with content, selling your courses, the best platforms to use for creating and selling courses.

Freelance writing

Freelance Writers can earn on average $500.00 per blog post up to $5,000 depending on the publication. Create job related articles for career sites like Monster and The Muse.

Need ideas on what topics to blog about? Here’s a few to get you started:

  • How to write a resume

  • Industry trends

  • How to write a resume

  • The rules for resume writing

  • What is a cover letter?

  • What should be included in your cover letter?

  • HR hiring trends

How to start your Resume Writing Business?

Business Plan

The best way to achieve your goals is to create a business plan. Your business plan helps you outline your vision. Always include actionable steps that will help you execute your ideas.

Market Analysis

  • Research hiring trends, including industries, salaries, corporations. Who’s hiring and what companies are downsizing?

  • Find a Niche

  • Choose a Niche Market. You can start your resume writing business in an industry specific market like health care, or engineering.

  • Research how hiring managers and recruiters review resumes. You may want to interview a few hiring managers to get an idea on what they do.

  • Understand what an Applicant Tracking System is and how it works.

  • Join organizations to keep abreast of industry changes

The Action plan

Business Structures

Learn about the different types of business structures, and which structure best fits your business needs. The types of structures include:

  • S Corporation

  • Partnership

  • Corporation

  • Sole Proprietorship

  • Limited Liability Company, and Cooperative

Choose a Business Name

Choose and register your business name to establish your brand identity while protecting it as well. Use the trademark database on the United States Patent and Trademark office to ensure that the name of your business isn’t already being used. Register your business name through your state government. There are multiple services you can utilize to assist you with registering your business as well as establishing business structures, such as Rocket lawyer and Legal Zoom. It’s always best to consult with an attorney before starting a business.

Legalize your business based on state specific requirements

Depending on federal and state requirements, you may need a license or a permit to run your business legally. A good source for more information is the Small Business Administration website, as well as your state licensing office websites.

Tax ID

***NOT APPLICABLE FOR SOME STATES-Check with your state and federal agencies to determine if a Tax ID number is required.

Open a Business Checking Account

Opening a business account helps you to separate your business and personal finances. A separate account will help you to track expenses, manage day to day transactions, and most importantly for IRS filing purposes and deductions.

Get a website

Websites are essential for establishing an online presence. It is important in today’s technology driven era to have an online space for customers to reach your business, buy products and services. A few affordable web services to consider

Business Cards

Business cards are always great to have on hand. You never know if and or when you’ll meet your next client.

Email Address

Create an email account for clients to reach you.

Marketing and promoting your resume writing business

Word of mouth

Get the word out about your business! Craft an email to send out to your network. Encourage recipients to forward your email to friends, family and recruiting personnel, including staffing agencies.

Use social media to expand your brand

Marketing is critical to expanding your brand and there’s no other space than the social sphere to advertise your services. Social media allows you access to a number of potential clients where you can instantaneously engage and build relationships with job seekers. Here’s a few tips to help you grow your business using social media:

Hop on Twitter!

Did you know that organizations often post and engage with job seekers on Twitter? Corporations have been known to tweet job postings and even respond to job applicants. Find a list of organizations that are hiring on Twitter. Reply to anyone seeking employment. Introduce yourself to potential applicants. Offer insights, tips, a free “quick resume review” prior to applying to the job.

Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an employment platform that most business owners overlook when it comes to marketing their brand. LinkedIn can be used to highlight your services as well as engage with potential clients, including HR professionals.

Local job fairs

Job Fairs attract both job seekers as well as companies who are looking to hire employees. I’d say that’s the perfect opportunity to network and build your brand with both customers and employers. Setup a booth offering free resume scans on sight. Network with HR personnel to see if there are opportunities to collaborate in the near future.

Local Colleges

Local Colleges have employee resources on campus. Host a one day free training workshop. It’s a great opportunity to market your brand. College graduates will need to seek job opportunities once they graduate and who better to assist them than you?

Staffing agencies

Partner with your local staffing agency to host a resume training work shop. Most staffing agencies are super busy, and don't necessarily have the time, nor manpower to rewrite resumes, let alone coach job seekers regarding their resumes. That's where you come in! A Resume Service can be a unique offering for staffing agencies clients, and a great way to build your own customer base. The staffing agency has a "go-to" source for producing well written resumes to present to their clients and you have a new referral partner giving you business!

Ask for the referral

Always ask your customers for referrals. Word of Mouth is the best marketing tool, as most people buy products and or services from trusted sources, like friends and family.

Customer Testimonies!

Ask your customers to write reviews and or provide Customer Testimonies. It’s another way to market your business without having to spend a dime!

Resume writing services is not only a great side hustle, but also a legitimate business venture. If you’re looking to expand your HR skills, while earning extra cash, Resume Writing may be the perfect opportunity for you! If you need help planning your business, I have a business plan kit that can help you get started with building your Resume Writing Service. I also offer one on one consulting to help business owners strategically, start, launch and grow their brands. Email me for information!

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