We Explain How Much a CV Writing Service Costs & Why
CV writing services can vary widely in price. Top executive CV writers charge £500-£1,000+ for a CV. You can also find more affordable CV writing services that cost £50-£150+. A service's fee structure tends to reflect the level of quality and client service you are likely to receive.
Given the hundreds of CV writing services available, we know that narrowing down the best option for you can be overwhelming – especially if you have never worked with a CV writer before.
In this article, we answer the following questions to help you understand how the CV writing industry operates and what you can typically expect from given pricing tiers:
- How much does a CV writer cost?
- Should I pay someone to write my CV?
- Why should I be skeptical of “affordable” CV writing services?
- What qualities should I look for in a CV writer?
- What red flags should I watch out for?
How much does a CV writer cost?
You can expect to spend £500+ on a top executive CV writer or £50-£150 on an entry-level CV writing service. The fees a given writer charges are driven by their experience and education level, quality of deliverables and amount of time spent on your document.
• Experience and Education Level
In the CV writing industry, there is a close correlation between price and quality.
If you work with an experienced CV writer who graduated from a top university, you can expect their fees to be in the range that other professional service providers would charge.
To put it in perspective, professionals such as accountants and lawyers charge roughly between £75-300 an hour for their services. You can expect to pay a similar hourly rate for a highly-qualified CV writer.
Depending on where you are in your career and the quality of service you expect, you'll want to carefully consider who will be writing your CV.
• Quality and Results They Deliver for Clients
Professional CV writers add value to their clients, and their documents can cut down the time it takes for you to secure a new role.
By choosing a reputable service, you won't end up with a low-quality document that leaves you frustrated and that you will ultimately have to fix yourself.
For best results, look for an in-depth, personalised writing process that includes a phone consultation and one-on-one communication with your writer.
As Jenny Foss, a US-based resume writer, explained in a LinkedIn post, "there is (quite literally) no barrier to entry [in the CV writing industry]."
"I reviewed quite a few 'expert' [CVs] in recent days -- [CVs] that people paid money they cannot afford to throw away right now…. [they were delivered with] typos, grammatical errors, filled with cliches," she said.
To avoid disappointment, be sure to thoroughly investigate the company you choose to work with.
• Amount of Time Spent on Your Document
You know how much time goes into preparing a CV. It's simply not a quick process – and we wouldn’t recommend working with a writer who turns it into one.
Below, we outline how much time we devote to crafting a single CV: the end-to-end writing process takes the equivalent of a full working day.
By nature, CV writing needs to be high-touch to be effective, which takes time.
Keep in mind that the value-add of working with a CV writer is not only their writing ability but also their ability to ask the right questions.
A service that relies on both written background materials and a phone consultation is more likely to result in a well-written, achievement-based document.
If you are only looking for copy editing or feedback on your CV (not an end-to-end rewrite), you can expect to pay less.
Should I pay someone to write my CV? How much should I spend?
Think of hiring a CV writer as an investment in your career. If you are having a hard time crafting your CV, are in a time crunch or could use the help of a 3rd party to help you identify what is most important to highlight, working with a CV writer can be a great option.
How much you spend on your CV will depend on how much you value quality and your budget.
We'll argue that it's worth spending about 1-2% of your annual salary on a quality CV.
To put this amount into perspective, consider that wealth managers charge (at least) a 1% fee to manage your investment portfolio, which typically provides an 8-10% annual return.
Would it be reasonable to invest 1% of your annual salary into getting a document that could very well open the door to a higher salary?
For either investment, results aren't guaranteed.
However, they are likely based on historical performance.
Why should I be skeptical of “affordable” CV writing services?
Simply put, if a writer charges under £100 for your CV, they would be making under minimum wage after taxes, business expenses and marketing costs are factored into account.
It is just not a feasible pricing model.
If this business model works, it's probably because the company is either cutting corners or outsourcing its writing internationally:
• Cutting corners
Some CV writers reuse significant portions of your existing content and/or do not provide a one-on-one consultation. Instead, all of your communication with your writer will be via email.
If you would like to work with a CV writer but don’t mind putting in additional legwork on your end, a lower-priced service could be an option.
However, if you are looking for a truly bespoke service that will add value by helping you brainstorm content and rewrite your entire document from the ground up, you may be left disappointed.
Given their fee structure, many low-priced CV writing services outsource their writing to non-native English speakers abroad. While we don’t view this to be an ethical practice, it is an unfortunate reality in the industry.
If you come across a company that is quite inexpensive and does not allow a phone consultation, it could potentially be outsourcing its writing abroad.
What qualities should I look for in a CV writer?
When choosing a CV writer, consider whether they have relevant certifications, positive reviews, strong writing samples and have worked with clients of your experience level.
Consider the following questions:
- Is the company or writer a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC)?
- Do they have positive reviews from previous clients on third-party review sites such as Trustpilot and Google? Are there any “red flags” that clients consistently mention?
- Are their writing samples reflective of the type of work you would like to receive? Do their formatting and writing style align with recruiter expectations?
- Have they worked with clients of your experience level? If you are a busy senior executive, for example, will the service have the ability to evaluate your accomplishments to best highlight how you drove results?
- Who will be writing your document? Do they have a strong academic and writing background?
- What does their writing process look like? Will you get to work with your writer one-on-one?
What are red flags I should be aware of?
We strongly advise steering clear of CV writers that charge rates that seem “too good to be true,” utilise tacky formatting or do not have an established online presence with a proven track record.
Before you hire a CV writer, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the amount you pay reflect a reasonable hourly rate given the calibre of writer you want to work with?
- Do the company's writing style and design appear natural so the CV doesn’t look like it was prepared by a CV writer? Do their CV templates utilise excessive colours and formatting features that may put off discerning executive recruiters?
- Does the service have a pattern of negative reviews?
- Are you comfortable only working with your writer over email, if they do not provide a phone consultation?
- Had the company been around for multiple years? Does the service have a consistent track record with a credible website and LinkedIn presence?
- If the service is not a member of a qualifying industry body, what other factors attest to their quality?
We hope that this article helped you understand how much CV writers cost and why.
About CV Pilots
CV Pilots is an award-winning executive CV writing firm and a proud member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. Our previous clients include CEOs and senior executives at the world's leading companies.
As a professional services firm, we take your reputation seriously. We are committed to delivering writing excellence and superior service while operating with integrity and discretion. Recruitment firms we partner with also trust us to consistently deliver quality documents for their clients.
Our writers have studied at top-tier universities and have strong writing backgrounds coupled with industry experience.
Here's how we can help you:
CV, Cover Letter and LinkedIn Writing Services: If you are looking for end-to-end support, hire one of our professional CV writers to rewrite your documents from the ground up.
Executive CV Template Downloads: If you plan to prepare your own CV, consider using one of our classic, ATS-friendly CV templates for Microsoft Word.