We have launched an online survey to collect data for the 2007 Resume Writers' Digest 2007 Industry survey. If you are not subscribed to the Resume Writers' Digest newsletter and would like to participate in the survey, please e-mail me at RWDigest@aol.com and I will send you the link.
Here are some results from our previous industry surveys:
2001 Industry Survey
An analysis of the industry in 2001 shows there are approximately 900 to 1300 professional resume writers, with up to 6,000 firms nationwide offering resume writing services (this includes companies such as Kinkos and Copymax, which offer mostly resume typesetting).
The average survey respondent is a self-employed sole proprietor who works full-time (35-50 hours per week) from a home office. She (the respondents were overwhelmingly female) has been in business for nearly nine years. Her top challenges are sales and marketing issues, working with difficult clients, managing her time effectively, handling the "craft" of resume writing, and, of course, wearing the many hats required of r small business owner.
Although there is a perception that resume writing is becoming "less local," just 13 percent of resume writers say they do business only by phone fax, and Internet. That's a lot of resume writers still meeting with clients in person.
There is a good mix of newbies and veterans. The length of time an individual has been a resume writer averages out to 8.9 years, although responses ranged from 8 months to 22 years.
– Home-Based Writers - 72.9%
– Office-Based Writers - 27.1%
– Source: November/December 2001 Resume Writers' Digest
2002 Industry Survey
Who is the typical professional resume writer? According to the survey? She (the majority of survey respondents -- and members of the professional resume writing industry in general -- are female), is a self-employed individual who has been writing resumes for 10 years, on average. Most work from a home office (67%), while another 6.5% have both a home and business office-based practice. She averages 21 hours of resume writing per week (including client consultation, research and writing).
"Virtual" providers remain a rarity in the industry, with only 15 percent of respondents saying they work with clients exclusively by phone or Internet (a small increase from our 2001 survey results). Eighty-five percent of resume writers surveyed say they still work with at least some clients in person. Fifty-four percent of those who responded said they have achieved this credential.
One significant item to note this year is that we have upped our estimates on the number of professional resume writers. While some sources list up to 6,000 resume writing "firms," these numbers include copy shops which provide resume typesetting services. We believe a closer estimate is that there are between 3,500 and 4,400 resume writers in the United States.
What to charge clients is often a hot topic of debate among resume writers. The survey provides some interesting answers. The "average" resume sale among respondents was calculated to be $245.
Certified as a Resume Writer:
Yes – 54%
No – 46%
Type of Resume Writer:
Part-Time Self-Employed 31%
Full-Time Self-Employed – 56%
Source: January/February 2003 Resume Writers' Digest
I'll report on the 2003 and 2004 industry survey results in a future post.