Resume Cost: Today’s Resume Prices

Share This

When you start looking around for resume services, you’ll find rates anywhere from $5 ( to more than $5,000 (for superior writers).



Once you uncover the vast array of services and price differences you’re probably left wondering “what’s the difference” and “how do I choose one”?


Great question!


How much you pay is largely determined by who you choose to write your resume and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.


But, the choice is, roughly between;

  • DIY resume (free)
  • Relative, friend
  • Graphic Designers & Freelances (Fiverr, Etsy, Upwork etc)
  • Resume Mill
  • Professional Resume Writing Firm
  • Bespoke resume writing by a well-known credentialed writer

Are you still with me? Good, on we go.


What each “vendor” charges are based the following inclusions;


Service & customisation


Generally, personalised  =  a higher price. Cheaper services usually have little or no direct contact with your writer. If you want everything customised, in-person appointments and unique formatting….then ultra-cheap isn’t for you.


Information gathering


How your information is collected will impact pricing.

  • Low budget  =  answering a couple of standard questions online.
  • Mid-priced =  customised questionnaires.
  • High-end  =  intake interview either via phone or in person.


Expect resume writers who use phone intake or in-person interviews to charge anywhere from 20%-50% more than those who work from questionnaires.



While you don’t need a certification to become a resume writer, expect those who do to charge more. The more experience a writer has, combined with their background (i.e. former recruiters, HR professionals etc.) the higher the price point.

Resume only v’s full solution


Writers who provide full marketing documents, including career assessments, personal brand development and coaching will charge more (usually a package price).




Writers who hold a deeper knowledge of job search process, current trends and who offer information and resources will charge more just for writing a single resume.



Not even close!


Let’s dive a bit deeper into the offerings of each “vendor” by starting at the beginning – the very VERY bottom.

Option #1 DIY Resume

I’ll write my own

$0 (FREE)


Let’s face it, we all start here. 


If you are on a tight (or $zero) budget, no problem! You’re starting in the right place.


Writing your own resume and testing it in the marketplace for 90 days or more will give you an idea of whether your resume/cover letter is hitting the mark and getting you interviews.


If not, you can call me. But for now – just do it 😉


Simply use Microsoft Word to create your resume.


But what about online resume software?


Great question.


Places like LiveCareer or uptowork are usually free to create your resume, but when you want to want to download your finished product there is a fee.


Option #2 Bedroom Writers

Your resume designed by a relative or friend

$0 – $99


Your friend has good word skills or is studying design at school or university. They have offered to write and design your resume. Maybe for a small fee of $50, or possibly for free.


I’ve rewritten countless friend resumes. The friend realises the complexity of the project and wings it or you end up with something “visually appealing” that lacks substance and fails to generate interviews.


The drawback with an inexperienced friend, relative is knowledge.

  • Knowledge of the recruitment process.
  • Knowledge of applicant tracking systems.
  • Knowledge of how to write accomplishment based resumes.

Having said all this – if you are technologically challenged and need someone to format a document for you, it may not be a bad experiment. 

Graphic Designers & Freelancers

Fiverr, Etsy, Upwork etc

$5 – $200


Graphic designers have moved into resume design.



But be wary. There’s a LOT more to a resume than pretty pictures and layout.


Yes, you can build a resume using Photoshop. I wouldn’t. Because they can’t be read by applicant tracking software.


This also goes for those Microsoft Word resume templates you can buy off Etsy. Most use text boxes to format the document. Applicant tracking software cannot read text that lives within text boxes.


When it comes to Freelancers who are writers not Graphic Designers, check the credentials first, read the reviews and view samples of their work. You might find a fantastic Freelancer with stellar writing skills for a bargain on Upwork.

Resume Mills

Your resume designed by a faceless resume factory

$79 – $349


A resume mill is kind of a first toe in the water experience where you invest money into hiring someone that “specialises” in resumes.


They tend to offer the following:

  • Affordable price
  • Zero choice of writer
  • Standard questionnaire
  • Fast turnaround
  • Stock resume design


Not speaking with a human can feel impersonal. 😥


You won’t know the writer’s background, credentials and experience before signing up.


Now, here’s the interesting part. I’ve been a contract writer for a resume mill. 😱


You should know that the pay to writers is very low. In my case, the pay was $24 for a resume, $5 for a cover letter and $20 for a LinkedIn profile. 


Why is this important?   


The average professional level resume takes 8 hours to write, which means your resume writer (based on the above pay grade) is only making $3 p/hr. That doesn’t include all customer service and revisions you are required to do. 


To speed up writing and increase their hourly rate something has to give.


Ways to speed up writing include:

  • Copy text from someone else’s resume.
  • Write as little as possible.
  • Google

Many writers start their career in resume mills to get experience quickly. So, it is possible you can get a great outcome.


If you are looking for a fast turnaround without personalised service then this might work for you.


Just remember — you get what you pay for!

Professional Resume Writer

That’s me and company’s like me 

$300 – $1,000 (max)


Meritude Career Services falls into this category, so here’s what I do.


I have three professional resumes packages plans at varying prices.

  • Resume Only ($597)
  • Resume + Cover Letter ($696)
  • Resume, Cover Letter & LinkedIn Profile ($1,095)

I also offer Resume Coaching for those who want to DIY but need guidance.


The difference with this group is that we offer a personalised service not a one-size fits all approach. We deep dive into your career history. Customise your questionnaire. Provide you ongoing feedback and advice and more.

We usually offer templates and other job search tools as part of the package.

Personally, I usually work with mid-career professionals who want to work virtually (phone/email/zoom). 


Okay – that’s my spiel out of the way.😊


Onward . . .

Expert Credential Resume Writer &/or Career Coach

The big end of town

$1,000 – $5,000


This end of town isn’t about value for money. It’s about working with an expert one-on-one (possibly in person) on all aspects of your job search.


What do we get for the big money?


Career industry professionals at this level are usually highly experienced with 20+ years under their belt and multiple credentials.


Some are published authors, some feature regularly in the media and some have their own unique products and systems.


Many provide career assessments/testing, personal brand development, the full spectrum of writing services (bios, CVs, selection criteria, thank you letters, networking letters, etc.) plus LinkedIn profile development, and into coaching services.


If you are looking for a highly personalised, hand-holding and customised service from an expert, then this is the place to be.

How much should a resume really cost?

Ah, the million-dollar question!

So, if you want the official data here is it. According to research conducted by the Resume Writers’ Digest Annual Industry Survey — the “average” cost for a resume in 2023 is $500.

What I can tell you is that professionally written resumes generate 60% more interview requests than do-it-yourself documents.


The final word

Sometimes the question isn’t “how much does a resume cost?” It’s actually “what is the cost of NOT investing in my job search, and career path.”

Remember, you have 6 seconds to make an impression on paper.

Your time starts NOW!

This post was last updated on the 1/10/2023

Lisa Mahar Close Up In Office

Hi, I'm Lisa.

Known as a resume master and job search accelerator, I’m obsessed with Barefoot investing, English breakfast tea, and my local Buy Nothing group. What motivates me each day is helping YOU land your next role – all through a successful job search.

Hey Lisa! Do you have any advice on...


Search my virtual archives on resumes, job searching, interviews, cover letters, LinkedIn and job offers.

Explore More
Scroll to Top