Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ask Bridget: Should I Charge Less If I Use a Questionnaire?

In today's "Ask Bridget" segment, Milly asks:
"You mentioned during your "Ask Better Questions; Write Better Resumes" teleseminar that you offer a more affordable price if clients are willing to just answer questions by email through a questionnaire. I have been debating on what price structure I should use, since my method of information gathering is mainly through email as well. For a mid-level professional, I've seen resume writers charge over $500, which I assume includes the phone consultation. What is the appropriate price range, in your opinion, for the email method of information gathering -- without phone discussions?"

Here's what I told Milly:
I use questionnaires primarily with my clients -- it's just my preferred workstyle. But I ask prospective clients how they're most comfortable providing their information, and if they want a phone consultation, then I just quote them a higher price than I would if they were agreeable to working via questionnaire. 

So, if I was going to quote them $299 for the resume, I'd quote $375, for example (the extra $76 would be for a 60-to-75-minute phone consultation). Usually, I don't tell the client the two different prices, because I've already asked the question about how they want to do it, so I'm giving them a quote that reflects that. I have, though, on occasion, given them an "Option A" or "Option B" quote -- i.e., "The cost to develop your new resume package will be $299 if we conduct your information gathering via email questionnaire or $375 if you would prefer we schedule a phone consultation to gather your information.

You mentioned that other resume writers charge over $500. You asked, "What is the appropriate price range in your opinion for the email method of information gathering without phone discussions." There are actually some resume writers who charge over $1,000 and work via questionnaire exclusively, so you don't have to do phone consultations to charge more. *smile*

But you're coming at this from the wrong direction. There will be some clients who are unwilling to pay $50 for a resume even if that included a 3-hour phone consultation ... and there are some clients who would gladly pay $2000 for a resume even if you only collected information via questionnaire.

That's not the issue. There are clients out there in all price ranges. How you choose to work -- and what you charge -- are entirely up to you!

The first resource I want to share with you is the "Determining Your Resume Writing Rates Worksheet." This is a step-by-step approach to help you determine the right rates to charge.

But you should also compare that information to the 2011 Resume Writers' Digest Annual Industry Survey results. This will help you see the hourly rate charged by other resume writers, and average prices charged. You can get a copy of the "Profile of Professional Resume Writers: Who We Are, What We Charge, How We Work" here:

GET THE FREE REPORT: "Profile of Professional Resume Writers: Who We Are, What We Charge, How We Work"
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Also, keep in mind some of the factors that might influence you to charge higher rates. These include:
  • A valuable certification (ACRW, federal job search certification, etc.) - note: a CPRW or CRW certification may command more than an uncertified writer, but generally does not command premium pricing.
  • Experience in the industry (those who have been in the industry longer tend to charge more)
  • If you work with a specific niche audience -- specialists tend to charge more than generalist resume writers/career coaches

Do you have a question for "Ask Bridget?"
Send a message on the Resume Writers' Digest Facebook page!

1 comment:

  1. This is really important information one should know. I love the stuff which makes me understand the prices and the different processes of charging for resume writing.