The Résumé Writers’ Digest Annual Industry Survey is an opportunity for résumé writers to benchmark their progress compared to their peers. The survey was first conducted in 2001.
The 2012 Résumé Writers’ Digest Annual Industry Survey was conducted from February 2013 into March 2013 and the results were first reported in September 2013. One hundred seventy-eight résumé writers contributed to the survey data. They spent an average of 10 minutes answering 20 questions in the survey.
The information in this blog post was excerpted from the "Profile of Professional Resume Writers: Who We Are, What We Charge, How We Work" report published in September 2014, outlining the results of the 2012 survey.
The respondents can be categorized as follows:
Eighty-two percent of survey respondents are self-employed résumé writers. Almost 20 percent of those folks also write as subcontract résumé writers.
The survey respondents are not “newbies.” More than 80 percent of those responding have been writing résumés for more than six years. Almost a fourth of survey respondents have been writing résumés for 11-15 years. Only 10 percent of survey respondents have been in business for fewer than two years.
The pricing data reflects the “veteran” nature of survey respondents. Generally, résumé writers who have been in business the longest charge the most. (Those who don’t charge enough to support themselves in their résumé writing business generally leave the industry.)
The survey revealed that participants write an average of three résumés a week — the same as in 2011. Writer reported spending an average of 24 hours a week on résumé development (including client consultations, research, writing, and finalization).
The busiest month, according to the survey, is January, followed by February and September.
Let’s Talk Pricing
The most common hourly rate cited was $75 in this year’s survey, compared to $50 per hour in 2010 and 2011. The hourly average this year is $90.87, an increase from $83 an hour average in 2011.
The average reported price for a résumé and cover letter in 2012’s survey is $478, down slightly from 2011’s figure of $511. The most frequently cited amount charged for a résumé and cover letter was $300.
Certification and Training
Most résumé writers surveyed are a member of at least one professional association. Memberships included:
• The National Résumé Writer’s Association – 15%
• Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches – 14%
• BeAResumeWriter.com – 13%
• Career Directors International – 11%
• Career Thought Leaders – 8%
• Resume Writing Academy – 6%
• JibberJobber.com – 4%
• The Academies – 4%
Note: No survey was compiled in 2013. The 2014 report details the results of the 2012 Resume Writers' Digest Annual Industry Survey. The survey is a voluntary report from participating resume writers and is not considered statistically valid.