Friday, February 25, 2011

First Look: 2010 Resume Writers' Digest Industry Survey

The 2010 Resume Writers' Digest Annual Industry Survey was conducted in December 2010/January 2011. To give you an idea of who the respondents are, sixty-eight percent of respondents are self-employed full-time (17 percent are self-employed part-time). Seventy-six percent work from a home office only (12 percent have both a home and business office). Twenty-two percent have been writing resumes for fewer than 5 years; 37 percent for 6-15 years, and 35% for more than 16 years.

January is the busiest month for these writers, followed by February, May, September, and October. 

Money is always an interesting benchmark for writers. Hourly rates charged by writers range from $25-$450 per hour, with the most frequently hourly rate cited as $50/hour. Because of the disparity of hourly rates provided, the average hourly charge was calculated at $105/hour -- although, as mentioned, most rates were under $75/hour.

Another question is how many resumes are written each week, on average. The most common response is three resumes per week, although several respondents write up to 10 per week. The average, however, was 3.68 resumes per week.

The next issue of Resume Writers' Digest will contain the full survey results -- including more statistics about resume writers (we compile a profile of what we call the "average resume writer" based on survey responses), plus number of hours worked each week, least favorite part of being a resume writer, biggest challenges, and average resume sale amounts.

Be sure to subscribe to the newsletter to read the full survey results. Subscriptions are free, and are supported by the sale of our information products (books, special reports, teleseminars, webinars).

What do you think of these survey results? How do you compare?


  1. I don't know anyone who charges by the hour. According to the 100's of resume writing websites I have seen over the years, everyone charges by product, not by time. If I tell you I am going to charge someone $100 an hour, how will you know how much you need to pay? Surely you will want to know whether you are going have to have $300 or $600 before you engage me. This is particularly the case for people out of work.

    I charge up front and so do most professional resume writers. I therefore have to charge according to the rproduct. My fees structure is $215, $350 and $495, ddepending on the seniority of the client.

  2. Tom:

    Most resume writers have an "hourly rate," even if they quote projects on a flat-fee basis.

    There are thousands (millions?) of service providers that charge by the hour, and you don't know up front how much you need to pay. That doesn't mean that they're not getting business. Most resume writers -- even those that charge by the hour -- will provide a quote before starting a project.

    While many resume writers are moving to an "upfront" payment, there are still hundreds (thousands?) who work on a "quote/deposit/delivery & balance" system. This is particularly true for higher-end projects ($>600).

    Interestingly enough, when I ask on the annual survey, "What is your hourly rate?" I get a handful of responses that say, "I only quote by the project" or "I don't have one" -- but all the rest give me a dollar figure.

    Everyone has an hourly rate, whether you publicize it or not. It's the amount of money you make, divided by the hours you work.

    - Bridget

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