Business ideas
8 min read

How to Start a Profitable Resume Writing Business [11 Steps]

Learn how to start a profitable resume writing business with our 11+ step guide. From branding to marketing, we cover it all. Start your business today! #resumewriting #entrepreneur #smallbusiness
Nick

By Nick Cotter
Updated Feb 02, 2024

image of a resume writing business
This page may feature products from our affiliate partners, which could influence the products we discuss due to potential compensation. Despite this, our evaluations are impartial, based solely on our independent analysis. The content here is intended for informational purposes and should not be seen as legal advice. For professional guidance, consulting with a legal expert is recommended.
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1. Perform market analysis.

When embarking on a resume writing business, conducting a thorough market analysis is crucial. This process involves understanding the industry landscape, identifying potential clients, and analyzing competitors to tailor your services effectively. Here are key points to consider:

  • Examine the current demand for resume writing services, focusing on specific sectors like tech, healthcare, or finance that may have a higher need for specialized services.
  • Identify the target demographic, such as recent graduates, mid-career professionals, or executives, and understand their unique needs and preferences.
  • Analyze competitors in the resume writing space by reviewing their service offerings, pricing structures, and customer reviews to identify gaps and opportunities for differentiation.
  • Investigate market trends, such as the increasing importance of LinkedIn profiles or the use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), to ensure that your services are up-to-date and relevant.
  • Consider the potential for local versus global services, and decide if your business will operate online, offline, or through a combination of both.
image of a resume writing business

Are resume writing businesses profitable?

Yes, resume writing businesses can be profitable. With the increased competition for jobs, many professionals are turning to professional resume writing services to create resumes that help them stand out from the competition. Revenue for these businesses comes from consultations, resume writing fees and commissions for additional services such as cover letters and job search assistance.

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2. Draft a resume writing business plan.

A resume writing business plan should outline your approach to assisting clients in achieving their career goals through professional and effective resumes. Highlighting your expertise in various industries can be a key differentiator. Consider these points:

  • Service Offerings: Detail the range of services, from resume writing to LinkedIn profile optimization and career coaching.
  • Target Market: Identify your ideal clients, such as recent graduates, career changers, or executives.
  • Marketing Strategies: Develop a plan for reaching your target market through online marketing, networking, and partnerships.
  • Pricing and Packages: Outline your pricing structure and any packages or bundled services you offer.
  • Operational Details: Include information on your business structure, processes, and tools you'll use for service delivery.

How does a resume writing business make money?

A resume writing business makes money by charging clients a fee for their services. Clients typically include job seekers, recent graduates and those looking to make a career transition. The business may also offer additional services such as cover letter or LinkedIn profile building. An example of a target audience for an air duct cleaning business could be homeowners or commercial businesses in need of regular maintenance or emergency service. Homeowners may require this service more often due to the dust, pet hair and other allergens that can build up in the vents over time.

3. Develop a resume writing brand.

Building a recognizable and trusted brand is crucial in setting yourself apart in the competitive field of resume writing. Your brand should reflect your professionalism, expertise, and the unique value you offer to clients. Here are key points to consider when developing your resume writing brand:

  • Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Determine what makes your services distinct from competitors. It could be your industry expertise, proprietary writing methodology, or exceptional customer service.
  • Choose a Memorable Name and Logo: Select a business name and design a logo that conveys your brand's essence and is easily recognizable, fostering brand recall.
  • Define Your Brand Voice and Personality: Decide on a consistent tone and personality for all your communications, whether it's professional, approachable, or innovative, to resonate with your target audience.
  • Develop a Professional Website: Create a website that showcases your services, testimonials, and samples of your work. Ensure it's user-friendly and reflects your brand's visual identity.
  • Establish a Social Media Presence: Be active on platforms where your potential clients might spend their time. Use these channels to share valuable content and interact with your audience.
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How to come up with a name for your resume writing business?

Coming up with a name for your resume writing business can be challenging. Consider the services you offer and pick a name that accurately reflects that. Additionally, ensure it is memorable and easy to say. Finally, research to make sure the domain name and social media accounts are available. An ideal name for a resume writing business could be something like “Career Crafting Solutions” or “Writing Your Way Ahead”.

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4. Formalize your business registration.

Once you have a clear plan and strategy for your resume writing business, the next crucial step is to formalize your business registration. This legal step is essential to ensure your business operates within the law, allowing you to reap the benefits of a legitimate enterprise. Consider the following points to guide you through the registration process:

  • Choose a business structure that suits your needs, such as a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, or corporation, and understand the implications of each for taxes and liability.
  • Register your business name with the appropriate state authorities, ensuring it's unique and not already in use.
  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for tax purposes, especially if you plan on hiring employees.
  • Check local and state business licenses and permits that may be required to legally operate a resume writing service in your area.
  • Consider the need for professional liability insurance to protect your business from potential legal action related to the services you provide.

Resources to help get you started:

Explore key resources designed for resume writing entrepreneurs, featuring comprehensive insights on market trends, operational best practices, and strategic advice for enhancing business growth:

  • The National Resume Writers' Association (NRWA): Offers ongoing education, certification, and networking opportunities for resume professionals. https://thenrwa.com
  • Career Directors International (CDI): Provides resume writing professionals with certifications, training programs, and industry research to stay ahead in the market. https://careerdirectors.com
  • Resume Writing Academy (RWA): Features advanced training and certification for resume writers aiming to enhance their craft and business success. https://resumewritingacademy.com
  • Forbes Coaches Council Articles: Offers strategic business advice and valuable insights into the resume writing industry from leading coaches and consultants. https://www.forbes.com/coaches-council/
  • ProBlogger: Provides content creation and marketing strategies that can be applied to developing engaging content for resume writing businesses. https://problogger.com

5. Acquire necessary licenses and permits for resume writing.

Starting a resume writing business involves not just skill and marketing, but also ensuring that you comply with all legal requirements. Acquiring the necessary licenses and permits is crucial to operate legitimately and avoid any legal complications. Here’s a guide to help you navigate this step:

  • Research local business licensing requirements by contacting your city or county clerk's office or visiting their website. You may need a general business license to operate in your area.
  • Verify if you need any specific permits related to home-based businesses if you plan to work from home. Zoning laws may apply.
  • If your state requires it, register your business name and structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, LLC) with the state's business agency.
  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for tax purposes, especially if you plan to hire employees.
  • Check for any industry-specific certifications or licenses. While not typically required for resume writing, certifications from recognized organizations can enhance credibility.
  • Keep in mind that requirements can vary widely depending on your location and the scope of your services, so it's important to conduct thorough research specific to your business.

What licenses and permits are needed to run a resume writing business?

The exact licenses and permits needed to run a resume writing business will vary depending on where your business is located. Generally, you'll need a business license from your local government, as well as any specific occupational licenses that may apply. Depending on the size and scope of your business, you may also be required to obtain certain state-level permits or certifications.

6. Open a business bank account and secure funding as needed.

Starting a resume writing business requires effective financial management from the beginning. A dedicated business bank account helps keep your finances organized, and securing appropriate funding ensures you have the capital needed for initial expenses. Follow these steps to set up your banking and secure funds:

  • Choose a Bank: Research banks to find one that offers favorable terms for small businesses, such as low fees, online banking, and good customer service.
  • Open an Account: Prepare necessary documents, such as your business license, EIN, and incorporation papers, to open a business checking account.
  • Understand Your Needs: Estimate your startup costs and ongoing expenses to determine how much funding you'll need to operate your business.
  • Explore Funding Options: Consider various funding sources such as personal savings, small business loans, credit lines, or investments from family and friends.
  • Prepare a Pitch: If seeking investors or loans, develop a strong business plan and pitch that outlines the potential of your resume writing business.
  • Manage Cash Flow: Use your business account to track revenues and expenses, ensuring you maintain a positive cash flow for sustainable growth.

7. Set pricing for resume writing services.

Establishing competitive and fair pricing for your resume writing services is crucial to your business success. It ensures you are adequately compensated for your expertise and effort while providing value to your clients. Here are some steps to set your pricing:

  • Research Market Rates: Investigate what other resume writers are charging to get an idea of the going rates. Consider factors such as experience, location, and specialization.
  • Cost-Based Pricing: Calculate your time, effort, and business costs to determine the minimum price you need to charge to make a profit.
  • Value-Based Pricing: Evaluate the value you bring to your clients, such as your unique skills or success rate in helping clients secure interviews, and price accordingly.
  • Package Deals: Offer different service packages (e.g., entry-level, professional, executive) at varied price points to cater to a broader range of clients.
  • Optional Add-Ons: Consider additional services like cover letter writing, LinkedIn profile optimization, or interview coaching, which can be priced separately.
  • Adjust as Needed: Regularly review and adjust your prices based on feedback, demand, and any changes in your service offerings or costs.

What does it cost to start a resume writing business?

Initiating a resume writing business can involve substantial financial commitment, the scale of which is significantly influenced by factors such as geographical location, market dynamics, and operational expenses, among others. Nonetheless, our extensive research and hands-on experience have revealed an estimated starting cost of approximately $4500 for launching such an business. Please note, not all of these costs may be necessary to start up your resume writing business.

8. Acquire resume writing equipment and supplies.

Setting up a resume writing business requires not just skill and experience, but also the right equipment and supplies to deliver professional services. Ensuring you have the necessary tools at your disposal will help you create high-quality resumes that stand out in the job market. Here's what you need to get started:

  • Computer: Invest in a reliable computer with enough processing power to run word processing software smoothly.
  • Word Processing Software: Choose professional software like Microsoft Word or Adobe InDesign for writing and formatting resumes.
  • Printer: A high-quality laser printer for printing hard copies of resumes on premium paper.
  • Premium Paper: Stock up on high-grade, watermarked resume paper to make a good impression.
  • Cloud Storage: Subscribe to cloud services for secure storage and easy access to your files from anywhere.
  • Backup Solutions: External hard drives or a dedicated backup service to safeguard your work against data loss.
  • Grammar and Spell Check Tools: Use tools like Grammarly to ensure error-free writing.
  • Design Software: For creative resumes, software like Canva or Photoshop can be useful for graphic elements.

List of software, tools and supplies needed to start a resume writing business:

  • Computer - $800
  • Printer - $100
  • Internet connection - $50/month
  • Word processing software - $80
  • Grammar and punctuation checker software - $40
  • Resume template software - $80
  • Basic accounting software - $50
  • Photocopier or scanner/printer – $300
  • Business cards – starting at $35 for 250 cards
  • Website (optional) – approximately $500 for setup and hosting for one year.

9. Obtain business insurance for resume writing, if required.

Starting a resume writing business comes with the responsibility of protecting your enterprise against potential risks. Business insurance can provide the necessary coverage for unforeseen circumstances. Consider the following steps to ensure you're adequately covered:

  • Research local and state regulations to determine if business insurance is mandatory for resume writing services in your area.
  • Contact an insurance agent or broker who specializes in small businesses to discuss the types of insurance that would be most beneficial for a resume writing business. Common options include General Liability Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance (Errors & Omissions), and a Business Owner's Policy.
  • Compare quotes from multiple insurance providers to find the best rates and coverage options that fit your business needs and budget.
  • Read policy terms carefully and make an informed decision on the coverage limits and deductibles that will best protect your resume writing business.
  • Once you've selected a policy, ensure that you keep your insurance documents safely filed and easily accessible for future reference or in the event of a claim.
  • Review and update your insurance coverage annually or when your business circumstances change, such as experiencing significant growth or offering new services.

10. Begin marketing your resume writing services.

Launching a successful resume writing business involves more than crafting impressive resumes; it requires effective marketing to attract clients. By utilizing a variety of strategies, you can increase your visibility and establish your brand as a go-to resource for professional resume assistance. Here are some essential marketing steps to get you started:

  • Build an Online Presence: Create a professional website showcasing your services, testimonials, and portfolio. Utilize search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to improve your site's visibility.
  • Utilize Social Media: Engage with potential clients on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Share valuable content, resume tips, and success stories to grow your audience.
  • Network: Join local business groups, attend career fairs, and participate in community events to network with potential clients and other professionals.
  • Referral Program: Encourage satisfied customers to refer others by offering a discount or a complimentary service for each successful referral.
  • Collaborate with Career Services: Partner with colleges, universities, and career centers to offer workshops or services to students and alumni.
  • Content Marketing: Write blogs, create videos, or offer webinars that provide valuable resume advice, establishing your expertise in the field.
  • Online Advertising: Consider using paid advertising on Google or social media platforms to target individuals seeking resume help.
>> MORE:

What licenses and permits are needed to run a resume writing business?

  • Computer - $800
  • Printer - $100
  • Internet connection - $50/month
  • Word processing software - $80
  • Grammar and punctuation checker software - $40
  • Resume template software - $80
  • Basic accounting software - $50
  • Photocopier or scanner/printer – $300
  • Business cards – starting at $35 for 250 cards
  • Website (optional) – approximately $500 for setup and hosting for one year.

11. Expand your resume writing business.

Once you've established the foundation of your resume writing business, it's time to consider expansion. Growth can come through diversifying services, increasing market reach, and enhancing your brand's visibility. Take your business to the next level with these strategic steps:

  • Build a Referral Network: Partner with career coaches, human resource professionals, and educational institutions to gain referrals. Offer incentives for clients who refer new customers.
  • Diversify Your Services: Include cover letter writing, LinkedIn profile optimization, interview coaching, and career consulting to provide a full suite of career services.
  • Invest in Marketing: Increase your online presence with targeted ads on social media and professional platforms. Consider content marketing by blogging on career-related topics to establish authority.
  • Enhance Your Online Platform: Develop a user-friendly website with e-commerce capabilities for clients to purchase services directly. Implement SEO strategies to improve search engine rankings.
  • Train Additional Writers: As demand grows, hire and train additional writers to maintain quality and turn-around time. Consider creating a certification program to standardize service quality.
  • Offer Workshops and Webinars: Host educational events to share resume writing tips and career advice, positioning your brand as a thought leader in the industry.