Do you want to start a resume writing business online? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a resume writing business with NO money and no experience plus a sample resume writing business plan template. Resume writing service is a recession-proof concern that can be the main focus of a business or an offshoot of an existing writing or career-oriented service. The cost to enter the market is relatively low and the business can be operated from a home or office.
If you have a flair for writing and work well with people, then a resume writing business may be lucrative business opportunity. Every job seeker has individualized needs when it comes to their job search journey. From recent college graduates to mid-level executives, job seekers need professional resumes and cover letters to land job interviews.
Many opt to hire skilled resume writers to create resumes that help make them more marketable to potential employers. Help these employees find the jobs of their dreams by starting a resume writing business which will in turn earn you money. If you want to start this business, then you can use this comprehensive guide to do just that.
22 Steps to Starting a Resume Writing Business Online
Table of Content
- 2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- 3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- 4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- 5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- 8. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- 9. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- 10. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- 11. Write a Business Plan
- 12. Prepare a Detailed Cost Analysis
- 13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- 14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- 15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- 16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- 17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
- 18. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
- 19. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
- 20. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
1. Understand the Industry
Resume writing businesses have increased over the last few years as more unemployed people find jobs and others leave temporary part-time jobs for full-time jobs with benefits. Of late, the percentage of U.S. citizens filing for unemployment benefits has been trending down. There are some job analysts, however, who says that hiring has not sped up to the extent that we can positively claim that the economy is in full recovery.
Interesting Statistics About the Industry
The Resume writing industry is slightly concentrated in the Southeast and Western regions of the united states. The industry’s operations are largely focused on levels of economic activity and proximity to complimentary industries, which include the healthcare, finance, insurance, real estate and professional service sectors.
Since the industry in general comprises a large number of small businesses, including a significant number of non-employers that cater to local demand for Resume writing services, there is no state or region of the United States that represents a disproportionate share of business activity. This trend applies even for medical transcription providers, which are necessarily more consolidated than other product segments within the industry.
Although the resume writing industry growth took a hit during the recession, revenue is expected to continue climbing steadily over the current five-year period as healthcare expenditure and technology rise. Advancements in technology and telecommunications may constrain domestic growth, though, since the pervasive nature of the internet allows the industry’s services to be conducted almost anywhere in the world.
Therefore, price-based competition will remain high and industry operators will have to set themselves apart from overseas operations in the next five years. However, sustained developments in healthcare records technology will provide industry operators a chance to continue developing voice-to-text systems.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
Resume writers were once hired to make resumes more visually appealing. They assembled and organized the information provided by the client and presented it better. Unlike people who only use Microsoft Word’s most basic functions, these writers knew the full range of its margins, spacing, and fonts. Today a resume writer does more than just format, but also acts as a career counsellor of sorts.
Your clients can be just anybody who wants a job, whether or not they’re currently employed or in what capacity. College students are a terrific target market–when they near graduation, they have to go to work somewhere–and those at the sophomore and junior level need resumes to land internships. Graduate students also make good sources of business. Beyond the student zone, you can target mid- and upper-level management and professional types as well as empty-nest or suddenly single moms.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
Defining your niche in the resume writing market helps to differentiate your services from other resume writers. If you know a specific industry well, such as health care or finance, concentrate your resume writing business on that industry. Niches in the resume writing business may include:
- working specifically with recent graduates
- Writing for job seekers
- Working for Executives
- Resume writing for stay-at-home moms re-entering the workforce
- Healthcare resume
- Finance sector resume
- Factory resume
- Craft and woodworking resume
- Waste Management industry resume
The Level of Competition in the Industry
A recent article in Forbes stated the average resume gets no more than 6.25 seconds of a hiring manager’s attention. The same Forbes piece revealed that professional resumes are easier to navigate, ranking them 60% higher than resumes created by applicants themselves.
It is believed that 65% of the roughly 80-million-strong American workforce are looking to change their career, go for a raise, or take on a better job. And another 12.7 million people are either unemployed or looking for work, underemployed, or they are looking to break into the workforce for the first time.
And what do these almost 60 million people have in common? They need a persuasive, effective, professional resume. And their need provides a really beneficial opportunity for you and many more willing entrepreneurs. Making the resume industry a highly competitive one yet not anywhere near filled.
Aside from the statistics, with layoffs, downsizing, outsourcing, business closings, offshoring, and similar situations, there has never been a greater need for folks to have a resume that sets them apart from the hundreds of thousands of other job seekers. A professionally-written resume from a person skilled in this area is vital to standing out in today’s market. Even in a good economy, people are moving around job-wise. And, once a resume writer builds a solid book of business, the referrals start coming in.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
There are several well-known resume writing businesses in the United States of America. Here are some of them;
- Resume Planet
- Resume Edge
- Resume Professional Writers
- Resume prime
- Capstone Resume Services
- Resume valley
- Resumes Guaranteed
- Chapman services group, LLC
- Blueprint Resumes & Consulting
- Acclaimed Resumes
- Resume plus
Many established resume writing services in the large metropolitan areas are reporting annual incomes of $250,000 or more. Even the smaller operations, in towns as small as 15,000 are experiencing sales of $50,000 or more. No special knowledge, education or experience is required for total success in this business.
An awareness of the general format of the “modern resume,” and the ability to keep oneself up- to-date on refinements or new approaches to presenting resume material are about the only prerequisites to successfully operate a resume writing service.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
Business franchising is one of the safest and most risk-free ways to start up and run a successful business. However running a franchise isn’t for everyone, so take time to understand what running a franchise entails – especially the selling aspects – before you decide to buy a franchise business.
Business franchises and franchising opportunities are increasing internationally. This is because the business franchising formula and the franchising model is proven and successful. The resume writing industry is filled with small businesses trying to outshine the other and only brand affinity can sour your higher.
6. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
The legal structure of your résumé writing business would be based on the size and scale of the business. Since the resume writing business is all about the income and interest of your clients, the LLC is the best legal entity for your business be it small, medium or large.
The benefits of creating an LLC typically outweigh any perceived disadvantages and are typically unavailable to sole proprietorships and general partnerships.
- Protected assets
- Heightened credibility
- Limited compliance requirements
- Flexible management structure
- Few restrictions
7. Choose a Catchy Business Name
If you want to start a resume writing business and are lost about the type of name to choose, you can choose from this list below;
- New Leaf
- Bright Path
- ReZoom Resumes
- Easy Match Resumes
- Knack Trac
- Get’N Go
- Hot Pages
- It Works
- Snag It Resumes
- Hire Them
- Think Big Resumes
- Rock’N Resumes
8. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your resume writing business, then you should consider going for intellectual property protection to be able to protect your intellectual property. It might not seem important but Filing for intellectual property protection for your resume writing business goes beyond protecting your company’s logo and other documents, but also protecting your investments, ideas, style, and of course the name of your company.
If you want to file for intellectual property protection and also register your trademark in the United States, then you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.
9. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Each resume writing certification has its own set of rules and regulations and is granted by a professional career organization.
- Career Directors International
- Certified Résumé Writers.com
- The National Resume Writer’s Association (NRWA)
- The Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARW/CC)
- Certified Resume Strategist (CRS)
- Career Directors International
- Career Thought Leaders Consortium
10. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
There are various legal documents needed for this business, here are some of them;
- Articles of Organization
- LLC operating agreement
- Business license
- Business plan
Register yourself as a small business, and check with your Secretary of State about any licenses or registrations you need to have. The regulations are different in every state.
11. Write a Business Plan
For most self-employed entrepreneurs, business plans are an essential element to starting and running a successful business. It doesn’t matter if your business is large, small, and online or offline — having a solid business plan is a key indicator of future success.
The part of the business plan that is helpful is that a business owner is forced to study the market, develop products and/or services for that market, and then use the figures discovered to determine in advance whether or not the idea has a chance of success. You can also benchmark your progress against your business plan.
Believe it or not, you can write a one-page business plan that will be effective. Your resume writing business plan should include the following components and cover 3 to 5 years of projections:
- Executive Summary
- Company Overview and Description
- Market Analysis
- Service or Product Descriptions
- Sales and Marketing Strategy
- Financial Review and Projections
- Plan of Action
Taking your time to prepare a business plan will save you a lot of work later down the road. You might even avoid serious problems through analysing the marketplace on paper, creating an environment where your business will be able to overcome serious errors before actually committing them. By doing your due diligence you’ll set yourself up for success.
12. Prepare a Detailed Cost Analysis
The services of resume writers are in demand, especially when the economy rebounds from a slump, and more people begin looking for work. If you have experience writing resumes, or an interest in becoming a certified resume writer, there are opportunities to launch a new career or supplement your existing income.
It is work that can easily be done at home or anywhere and is not capital intensive. Outline below is the detailed cost analysis of starting a home based resume writing business or rather a small scale resume writing business…
- Computer and Printer – $700
- Phone and Fax – $200
- Bank Account – $100
- Marketing – $1000
- Internet Connection- $100
- Licenses and permits – $1000
It will cost $3100 to start a home based resume writing business or even less if you already most of the details mentioned above. It will cost $42,654 to start a medium scale resume writing business and $325,480 to start a large scale resume writing business.
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
It is certain that businesses require outside funding, but many small business owners don’t know where to find it, or how much to ask for. Whether you’re searching for loans, small business grants, angel investors, venture capital, crowd funding, or investments from friends and family, you can greatly step up your chances of securing business capital but writing a well detailed business plan. Ways of financing your Resume writing business may include
- Personal savings
- Angel investor
- Bank overdraft
- Venture Capital
- Loans forms family and friends
- Loans and grants
- Alternative funding source like Crowdfunding
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
As a prospective resume writer, you probably are familiar with the resume writing businesses in your area. They are easy to spot. It is tough to come across a business area that does not have resume writing business already in it, but you should ask yourself: why do they choose these locations? You can rest assured they have done their homework.
The reason most resume writing business choose their locations typically are due to population density, average adjusted gross income (AGI) in that surrounding area, and proximity to their target market. You should use the same factors when considering locations for your resume writing business.
If you are familiar with the specific area you are considering you probably have a pretty good idea how many people have access to that location, what income level they belong to, unemployment rate, and you can do a survey of competitors by driving around. There are specific demographical and socioeconomic reports that provide specific detail relating to these topics. But you should be thinking about all of these factors before signing on lease for your resume writing business.
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
Indeed Experience and adequate training is the key to make a difference in the resume writing business. Without experience, the less you can charge for your services. The only way to build experience is to keep working on resumes. The more jobs you do, the more experience you get.
You should also learn how to build your credibility. People need to trust you before they can part with their money for your services. But the only technical requirements you need to start a Resume Writing Business is adequate computer knowledge, good communication skills, good writing skills and an outstanding knowledge of word processing software.
Use an extra bedroom or office space for your business. If you do not have an entire room to dedicate to your business, find a corner in another room that can accommodate your desk, computer and other professional needs. Most of the items that are needed already exist in your home or office including a computer, quality printer, and phone and fax machine.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
A resume is a marketing tool and is a daunting task when you’re writing yours, talk more about writing for others. But any resume your writing needs to demonstrate:
- That your client is employable
- How your client meet the job and the organisation’s requirements
- That they have the right qualifications and education
- That they have the right experience and skills
- That they have the right level of professionalism for the job
That is the main reasons why you need to get adequate information from your clients to be able not avoid any loophole in the resume. There is no set length for a resume. A resume varies in length depending on the experience and education of your clients. If your client haven’t worked much before, one or two pages is best, but three pages is okay if they’ve got a lot of study and work behind them.
Make sure you don’t pad out the resume. If the resume is only one page, as long as it’s well-presented it might get better results than a two-page resume full of unnecessary information. Generally it’s always good to present the information on your clients resume in this order:
- Contact details
- Opening statement
- List of key skills
- List of technical/software skills
- Personal attributes/career overview
- Educational qualifications
- Employment history/volunteering/work placements
Not everything in this list must appear on your clients resume every time, and the order can change from application to application. The most important thing is to get the most useful information across first. For example, if their education history is not specifically related to the job, put it toward the end of the resume, behind the information that is related to the job.
You need to tailor the resume to every job application and applicant so that it responds to the specific requirements of the job they’re applying for. You might not need to change much, but you do need to make sure the opening statement, the key skills and the personal attributes all respond to the needs of the role, based on the job ad (if there was one). You should also tailor the resume to show how their work experience specifically meets the needs of the job you’re applying for. Ways that you can tailor your resume include:
- Using the opening statement to link their experience and education to the organisation and the requirements of the job
- Listing their most relevant key skills first
- Including examples of achievements that meet the advertised requirements of the job
- Including specifically relevant key words and phrases throughout the résumé (
What not to put on a resume
Here are a few things not to include on a resume. Note that there may be circumstances when including some of the following information shows that your clients is a good fit for the job. If that’s the case, including that information would be a good idea.
You don’t have to provide any personal or private information on your resume. There’s no benefit to be gained from providing information that could be used to generalise about you as a potential employee.
Your resume doesn’t have to include: Your birthday, Your gender, Your address, Any ailments or disabilities, or Your health status. A possible exception to this might be when providing this information would give your clients application an advantage (e.g., if the employer is looking for someone young, or a female applicant). In these situations, consider including such information if you think it would strengthen the application.
Typos or factual errors
Submitting a resume or cover letter with spelling mistakes will guarantee that your client doesn’t get an interview which is very bad for business. You should spell-check the resume before your client gets it, but you should also get someone else to read it as well and check for mistakes you might have missed.
Double-check everything that you include in the resume. If you mention the company’s name, make sure you get it right. If you mention the name of places they’ve worked before, make sure you get that right. Mistakes on resumes are worse than typos.
Images and graphics
Don’t include images or photos on the resume. Not only are images disliked by recruiters and HR professionals, they can also create problems with recruitment software.
Content in headers
Many resumes only feature the applicant’s name and contact details in the header of the document. Some recruitment software is unable to read information in headers and footers. If you do include information in the header and footer of your clients resume, make sure you include it in the body of the document too.
Stick to easy-to-read fonts and formats. This makes it easier for recruiters to review your clients resume. It also means any recruitment software that reviews the resume can easily read the information. Good fonts to use include:
- Century gothic
Don’t use large headers to break up the sections of your resume. Use a 10- or 11-point font for your main content and a 12- or 14-point maximum for headers.
Information in tables
Some resume templates present information in tables to help with layout, but some recruitment software is unable to read tables. The resume you write should only be formatted using line breaks and simple formatting (like setting multiple columns across the page).
PDF versions of your resume
Some recruitment software can’t read pdfs. Unless a job ad specifically says to provide the resume as a .pdf, you should always advice your clients to only submit their resume in word format (.doc or .docx).
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
After completing some basic resume writing skills and laying a good business foundation for your resume writing business, you will need to market your business. There are many different ways to do this…
- Create a website. You can explain your services and your rates, and give potential clients information about you and your professional background. You can also share relevant information that job seekers might find interesting and helpful.
- Partner with local staffing agencies. Most of them will have a clientele of people who are seeking jobs. They might be willing to refer people to you if they need help with resumes.
- Create inexpensive marketing materials such as business cards and postcards. Drop these off with colleges and trade schools in your area. Plenty of job-seekers graduate every year and may need help with their resumes.
- Another step in marketing your business is to get referrals from family and friends. They would create the initial buzz for your business and provide the bulk of the testimonials on your website.
- Make sure you collect testimonials from people who have gotten jobs with your services. That way people who visit your site can see that your services work and are motivated to patronize you.
- Once you become an expert, you can expect business to increase while charging decent prices.
17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
Determining the price for resume writing will be one of the most challenging aspects of operating a resume writing business. You want to make sure you charge enough to be profitable and to place value on your time. However, you may feel like you don’t want to charge so much that potential clients cannot afford you.
The first step is to look at your estimated expenses. Start by estimating all the costs that will be involved in your resume writing business. These can be broken down into both fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs are those expenses that you have on a regular basis, whether weekly, monthly, or yearly. This might include your auto-responder, memberships to résumé writing associations, and your domain and hosting services. Consider how many billable hours you can work each week.
Also consider how much non-billable time you need to spend on your business. When you are starting your resume writing business, you may have to guess the non‐billable hours. The more time you spend on your business, the easier it will be to correctly estimate your time. You can make adjustments to your plan as you learn and grow.
While most resume writers bill by the project (flat rate), often that quote is based on your hourly rate times the estimated number of hours the project will require. Your hourly rate can help you price your resume packages. Calculating your hourly rate is easy — you already have all the information you need. Simply divide your total annual revenue (the sum of your desired income and your expenses) by the number of billable hours you have available each year. You can now use your hourly rate to create:
- An hourly rate for phone consultations or coaching
- Your package rates and other services you can create to your resume writing business.
18. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
Starting your own resume business is easy and start up costs is minimal. A good place to start is by taking a resume course and familiarizing yourself with the field. In as much as the resume writing industry is becoming competitive, you as an outstanding entrepreneur should also devise means of outshining your competitors. These means may include:
- Researching and identify your competitors
- Join professional organizations
- Keep your customers happy and satisfied
- Work with a graphic designer to create a website
19. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
In a few aspects, many businesses appear the same, offering similar products or services at comparable prices. So, what really drives customers to one business over another? The customer experience plays a big part in that decision. In fact, 55% of American business owners believe that customer service plays an increasingly important role in differentiating one business from another. So to retain your customers in the resume writing business, you need to:
- Call your customers by name
- Keep your work simple
- Create a customer service culture
- Stay connected after the job
- Be who you are
20. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
Having a brand alone is not enough. To win over customers you need to make sure you shout about your brand and get your name in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
- Choose a resounding name
- Optimize your website
- Take over the Internet
- Win Competition
- Biddable media
21. Create a Suppliers/Distribution Network
Today’s resume writers must be able to promote their businesses across multiple channels and writing resumes can be stressful at varying levels of your business but whatever your reason for being stressed, there are many techniques you can use to work through it and create more enticing market depends and move your business forward.
- Join professional associations and Use all of the resources these associations provide. For example, the National Resume Writers’ Association keeps a database of its members and their information for when people contact them looking for a resume writer.
- Contact friends, family and colleagues and offer them a limited-time, special rate for your resume writing services. Use their resumes as samples for your portfolio.
- Don’t leave yourself in the dark and don’t be afraid to ask your client for clarification on anything he’s told you, or to provide further detail on something you don’t understand.
- Find a way to keep writing and understand that not all writing starts with a keyboard
22. Tips for Running a Resume Writing Business Successfully
To be successful as a resume writer and turn it into a full time business requires a lot of hard work and determination. You need to have a laptop, a printer, a fax machine, internet access and a business telephone line. You must also be ready to develop your skills and talent. Today’s job seeker can write a decent resume with the help of so many free resources available online.
So you must be able to provide a resume and cover letter service that gives them the extra professionalism that they cannot come up with on their own. You must define your business; either you are a general resume writer or you are a niche resume writer, focusing on a particular aspect of resume writing. Do all this, and you are on your way to earning a decent five figure income monthly. Other important factors may include:
- Develop a marketing plan that not only markets your business but markets YOU too
- Show your real self
- Stay up-to-date on trends by subscribing to publications on resume writing.
- Embrace social media and other online tools – because if you don’t, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice
- Understand issues facing your target market by participating in trade organizations
- Get comfortable writing articles, blog posts, and the like
- Consider purchasing available software with customizable resume templates.
- If you are a member of a professional resume organization, list your name in their searchable database.