How to Choose an Executive Resume Writer

Now that you’ve decided you need help with your resume, the next challenge will be to choose an executive resume writer. A common concern I hear from my executive-level clients is that searching for career and job search help on the internet is extremely confusing.

The internet is a great place for researching economic and job search trends, but the sheer volume of information can make a professional’s head spin.

How to Find the Best Executive Resume Writer

Use Career Industry Associations

Career services is a largely unregulated industry. That means buyer beware! The person you’re vetting can state they are an executive resume writer, but actually have very little experience. A reputable writer will be part of at least one career industry association. Going through associations will allow you to find people who take their career seriously through industry memberships and association certifications. It will also allow you to compare executive resume writers and other coaching services side-by-side. I recommend Career Directors International, because in my opinion, they are the career services industry’s gold standard. Their certifications are difficult to obtain and are not cheap. Certifications must be renewed and continuing education credits submitted to “hold” the certification.

Check Their Credentials

Here are some initial credentials to look for when reviewing the website of an resume writer:

  • Certified: They are certified as an executive resume writer, preferably thru Career Directors International (yes, there are good writers who are not, but this is like an insurance policy!).
  • Circulated: They have been seen/heard/published in major media like Wall Street Journal, MSN, Forbes, etc. on the topic of executive resume writing.
  • Recognized: They have won awards for their executive-level resume writing.
  • Published: They have authored or been featured in executive career- or executive resume-related books.
  • Established: They have been in business for at least 10 years (if you are a top executive).
  • Experienced: They have expertise writing for your industry/position.

Other Considerations

Here are some other aspects you might consider when vetting an executive resume writer:

  • Writing Samples: Look at the executive resume samples on their site and read the site content. Do you like and resonate with what they are saying? My personal feeling is that a writer who knows how to market themselves will probably be pretty good at marketing you too!
  • Trust Factor: Reach out to them. Do they respond promptly? Do you like them and are you resonating with the feedback they are giving you? This is important because remember, this is a person you are entrusting with a very important project! They will be giving you advice and you must like/trust them enough to take it and implement it.
  • Other Areas of Expertise: If they can help you with other needs you may have in your job search, such as understanding how to use social networking like LinkedIn or helping you with other job search strategies, that’s a big plus!

What’s a Good Price for an Executive Resume Writer?

The truth is that a top executive resume writer will offer resume packages anywhere from $800 to $3000 on average. If you have never worked with an executive writer before, you may feel this is expensive. However, keep in mind that these professionals, when at the top of their game, usually spend thousands investing in industry-related continuing education. Certified resume writers are highly trained and have amassed years of experience. Because of this, they are well-equipped to save you hours of time and frustration This is truly priceless when you are in need of the right help and best information.

It is also important to understand that resume writing is an unusually labor intensive service that requires many hours of concentration and communication for every project they undertake. Most often, executives who invest in themselves via an executive resume writer or coach make that investment back many, many times over. There is no guarantee of course, but that is the expected and most often achieved outcome.

I realize an article about how to choose an executive resume writer, written by a certified resume writer, might appear self-serving, but I am sharing this in the true spirit of helping. I am not everyone’s writer. The most important thing is for you to find the writer who is a great fit for YOU!

Should You Work with A Writer?

If you’re interested in learning how we can create a powerful executive resume, click here to set up a 15-minute introductory call. I offer several executive resume writing services that also include coaching, as well as LinkedIn optimization, resume distribution, and more. Let me help you create a career package and strategy that work for you.

Mary Elizabeth Bradford is the Founder and Executive Director of and and a past executive recruiter. A thought leader in the career services industry for over 20 years, she holds 5 distinct advanced certifications for senior-level resume writing, online branding and executive-level job search coaching (CERM, CMRW, CARW, MCD, NCOPE). She has been seen and heard in major media including Forbes, Time, WSJ, Newsweek and NBC affiliate stations. She holds 2 CDI TORI awards and is a top tier judge for the elite CDI TORI awards for four consecutive years. Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s elite team of award-winning, certified, top executive resume writers, former top executive recruiters, and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier C-suite, board members and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want. She works with clients all over the globe.

If you are a Director, VP, CxO, or Board Member interested in an executive resume package or working directly with Mary Elizabeth, click to schedule a complimentary 15-minute call.