Should You Try Resume Writing?

For many freelance writers, the key to a consistent income is diversification. Maybe that means authoring articles, blogs, and web copy. Or perhaps you do copyediting, ghost writing, and brochures or newsletters for small businesses. Whatever you do, you probably put the proverbial iron in a couple of different fires at one point or another to keep your writing business thriving.

One often-overlooked area of writing that can net writers a decent income is resume writing. As boring as it sounds, for some writers, a resume is the perfect blend of creative writing, technical writing, and problem solving. And since most people either despise writing their own resume or are simply clueless about how to put one together effectively, paying a good writer to create one is a worthy investment that many people don’t bat an eye at.

I got into resume writing around the same time I started copywriting. It had occurred to me that writing blogs and articles might not be enough to carry me through the slower freelancing periods, so I took two online courses to learn how to write copy and resumes. It was a wise career move; now I enjoy doing both so much that I focus most of my freelance energy in these two areas.

There are simple ways you can add resume writing to your revenue stream, too.

Do some research first.

Before you start offering resume writing as one of your freelance services, make sure you know how to build a great resume. It may seem basic, but there are a number of ways to make a resume stand out… and there are even more ways to send one immediately to the rejection pile. Learn how to do it well and you’ll have clients referring you to everyone they know.

Don’t undervalue yourself.

I wrote a handful of resumes for friends and family for free when I first was building that area of my business. I was able to get some practice and earn some testimonials for my website this way. While it’s fine to work for free occasionally if you’re comfortable doing so, make sure you price your services appropriately. Do some homework and find out what local resume writing services charge. You might be surprised to see how much money people are willing to pay for a well-written and effective resume! From there, price your services according to your level of experience and your income needs. And don’t lowball yourself.

Offer other job-related services, too.

People need cover letters as well as resumes, and they’re likely to get both from you if they’re already paying for one. As with resumes, make sure you understand what makes a cover letter work (it is, after all, a strategic piece of marketing for your client). And you can charge for either one general cover letter, or for a number of letters tailored to the jobs for which your client is applying. It comes down to what your client needs and is willing to pay, but if they understand that it’s an investment in their future (which it is!), they should have no trouble trusting you with the task and paying you for your hard work.

Fitting a new revenue stream in with your current work.

Maybe you freelance part-time after your day job. Or perhaps you’re an established full-time freelancer who needs extra income. Whatever the case may be, it can be tricky adding an extra service to your schedule. The best way to incorporate resume writing into your writing life is to practice, practice, practice. Once you know what you’re doing, you’ll be able to quickly whip up amazing resumes and cover letters, which will earn you more money in less time. It starts with research and practice, though. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be ready to diversify your writing business and increase your earnings. There truly is no shortage of job-seekers in need of a resume revamp, so it’s the perfect addition to any writer’s arsenal!

 Kristin Offiler is a freelance writer in Rhode Island. She has an MFA in Creative Writing, and when she’s not writing copy, resume, or articles, she’s working on her fiction. She can be reached at KristinOffiler.com or follow her on Twitter @KristinOffiler.

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