Though acing a job interview is a crucial step toward landing an offer, you'll need a killer resume to snag that interview in the first place. If you're struggling to summarize your work experience on a single document, you may be considering outsourcing the task by hiring a resume writer to do it for you. The question is, are these services worth the money?

Benefits of a resume-writing service

Let's face it, not everyone is a strong writer by nature. If you have a hard time putting words down on paper, it might make sense to pay someone else to do it for you.

The benefit of using a resume service is that you'll get high-quality writing that you can't pull off yourself. Just as importantly, hiring a professional means you'll most likely avoid errors on your resume -- mistakes that could otherwise make you look sloppy and derail your chances of getting called in for interviews.

Person sitting at a laptop reading a resume


Another reason to consider a resume service is that these writers understand what hiring managers are looking for. As such, they might portray your experience in a certain light and increase your likelihood of getting to the next phase of your search.

Finally, hiring a resume-writing service might save you a chunk of time. Not only will you avoid having to sit there for hours attempting to draft that document yourself, but having that professionally crafted resume might get you in the door for interviews sooner, thus expediting your search. And if you're desperate to be working, that's reason enough to pay that fee.

But do you need a resume service?

Of course, if resume services were free, we'd all use them. But you might spend several hundred dollars to buy yourself that stellar resume. So the question is, is the money worth it?

In certain cases, it may not be. For example, if you're a decent writer yourself, you may not want to pay a premium for a resume that's only slightly better. Along these lines, if you happen to have a friend who's a grammar whiz, you don't need to pay a professional to do what your buddy will probably do for free.

Then again, there are some scenarios in which you might want to spring for that fee. For example, if you're switching careers, a professional might help you highlight the skills that best translate into the industry you're hoping to break into. Similarly, if you have a complicated work history -- say, you've jumped around a lot or have dabbled in multiple unrelated fields -- a resume writer might help you come off as more grounded and less flighty. Finally, if you're fresh out of school with little experience, a professional might play up your skills in such a manner that you stand out among the entry-level candidates you're competing with.

Ultimately, there's no right or wrong answer. If you haven't had much luck landing interviews to date and can afford a resume service, it certainly won't hurt to use one. But it pays to at least attempt to write your own resume before paying for outside help.