Resumes for Young People: How Much Should You Charge for Your Services?
Knowing what to charge for your services can be one of the greatest challenges for a new resume writer – and it’s an issue that, quite frankly, never really goes away. I know I still find myself, after years in the business, wondering if I’ve upped my fees enough or if I should be charging more for an extra service I’m offering …
Over the next few months, I’ll revisit this topic several times.
This week, in time for you to start gearing up to serve young clients in their summer-employment push and recent graduates looking for their first jobs, I’ll focus on how to best meet their needs and what to charge these folks.
First of all, understand that this is likely to be your lowest-end market in terms of per-resume price. At the same time, remember that it is also the biggest segment of your market. There are a heck of a lot more people in the low-income brackets that need resume help than there are at the top. The point is … you should be prepared to serve both ends of the spectrum.
Now, that being said, somebody looking to land a $10-an-hour summer job or an entry-level, just-out-of-college position in a corporation is simply not going to pay you as much as an executive searching for a $100,000+ career move would.
How much are we talking here?
Well, say you’re looking at a general resume, one-page long. (And that’s likely a safe assumption. Young people don’t usually have much material to include on their resumes.)
A resume for a young high school or college student looking for a summer job might typically earn you $100-$150.
A resume for a recent college graduate, however, is worth more like $225 – or even up to $300, depending on the complexity and the type of employment being sought.
Keep in mind a couple of things …
- Prices for resume services vary not only according to your client’s level of experience, but also according to your client’s location. A young client in New York City might reasonably expect to pay $300 for a resume ,while a similar client in Duncan, Oklahoma or Scottsbluff, Nebraska would only pay $150-$200 for one.
- Also, remember that you can up your fees by bundling your services. Providing a cover letter (or, more likely, multiple cover letters) for your clients can help them better target the specific jobs they’re going after. And it can help you to earn more on a single project.
How much do you charge for add-on services like cover letters? Again, the short answer is: It depends. Typically, you can charge anywhere from $125 to $175 per cover letter.
Concentrating on the young-person’s market, it’s probably safe to figure that you could charge $50-$75 for a cover letter for a summer job seeker and then a bit more – back to that $125 to $175 range – for a recent graduate seeking a professional job.
What’s it all add up to? Well, do a bit of quick math and I think you’ll find that this market can, in fact, prove quite lucrative.
Let’s say you were to produce 12 resumes for young people in a month. And let’s assume that, in your market, you earn an average of $200 per resume. (Assuming a combination of college grads and summer job seekers.) That nets out to $2,400!
And let’s say that half of those young clients also have you write cover letters for them. You write, on the average, two cover letters per person. That’s 12 cover letters at an average of $100 per letter. (You will likely give a discount for multiple letters.) That earns you an additional $1,200. All told, that’s $3,600 in just a month. And remember, that’s at the lowest end of the market!
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