Resumes: Should Writers Waive Fees?


resume clipart

Considering the economy and how difficult it is to land a job in this economy, many highly motivated and qualified people are struggling to not only find a job in their field, but find a job at all.

I remember being unemployed for six months after a previous job had to close their doors. I applied for every retail and fast food job along with any other job I came across because I needed a paycheck to provide for my family. I kept getting turned away and rarely got an interview because I was considered overqualified with a college degree. Overqualified meant nothing to my growling stomach and bare cupboards. It was not for lack of trying. I consider myself a hard worker and do not feel I am above doing any job.

Fast forward to present day. Many people have hired me to either create or overhaul their resumes. I have three on my desk at this moment (along with many copyediting and technical writing projects). I had a friend email me this morning about a fourth resume for a friend who was in desperate need of a new job and broke. She asked me to either discount my rate and she would cover any charge. He had been job hunting for awhile now and no one is responding to his resume as it was currently. Of course I took this one on at no charge and already got it back to them both.

I took a look at his current resume and although it was 2.5 pages, it had a terrific look and setup to it. Proper spelling and grammar, along with specific details as to his achievements. Upon closer look, I realize this gentleman had an amazing plethora of talent and anyone should hire him on the spot with his skills. I cut his resume to one page, shortened his work history to only the past ten years, and took off information that was not relevent to general labor (fluent in 7 languages, and vast variety of computer program skills, upon other achievements).

It makes my heart sad to see that people (like myself at one time) have such an enthusiasm to achieve and excellent work ethic who are struggling to provide for their families because a resume cannot get them through the door. What also strikes me is that many charge so much to create a resume that many broke people cannot afford and the cycle continues. I know my resume charge is little compared to much, and I waive the fee on many occasions because I would like anyone succeed at getting a paycheck.

What are your thoughts about charging the unemployed? Do you ever waive fees?


3 thoughts on “Resumes: Should Writers Waive Fees?

  1. I have never charged for them. I have done a lot of hiring and do provide reasonable feedback when asked. What usually happened to me in these cases, is that payment would come back to me later, indirectly, in some form of good karma. You can think of this approach as pay it forward if that helps. It is difficult to price this service, and if/when you do, you leave yourself open to being the “reason” the person can’t find a job. Resume review/feedback alone is not enough. If you’re asked for help, then help. Time is better spent sitting face to face with the job seeker, trying to get a handle on what they’d like to be doing with their next career step AND following up with a short set of specific written suggestions on what to do to get a little closer to the goal -as well as- an introduction by you to a person previously unknown to the jobseeker who might bring them closer to the goal, and a short list of companies to explore.

    • I have gladly helped out many job seekers by introducing them to someone to bring them closer, if I know someone. I admit I have a small fee only because it shows if they are committed to needing a resume because my time is limited with a full time job and freelance career, among other things.
      As a Christian, I do agree with a type of karma and I am happy to know I have an ability with resume writing that will help someone get closer to their goals. One person hired me after being quoted prices in the hundreds. It is almost no wonder why many are without jobs with a less than idea resume. I like the idea of a company putting a sign in their window stating they are hiring and the first person that seems able to work should get the job. It would make employment easier for a lot of people. Submitting resume, hoping, praying, get interview, wait more…..sometimes weeks go by. That entire time, someone is needing a new hire and someone else desperately needs a job. Anyhow, I am off my soap box ;-P

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