I’ve written dozens of resumes as a side hustle and made okay money doing so. I charged anywhere between $50-65 per resume, another $30-40 for a cover letter. Turn around time was about a week, giving my clients time to review and let me know if there were any changes they wanted to make. It was lovely when I was active, had constant work.
I found out that going at it alone was much better than using any kind of gig service platform to help me find clients. I used Thumbtack for awhile — BIGGEST waste of money, EVER — and had the hardest time securing clients, versus just putting a post on Craig’s List and getting response. Here’s why:
- Thumbtack (the only service I explored in getting clients from) charges the service provider — the hustler — money per pitch and only the first 5 providers are allowed to pitch to one client. You snooze, you lose.
- A client does not have to respond right away. They can go months (I had one prospect keep me waiting for 2 months) before committing to using you
- If you complain as a service provider to the site support or ask for an amicable resolution with a client you found using the site, nothing gets done. The service only favors the client. And it’s free for the client. Ironic.
- You can lose a lot of money trying to get just one client, at which point you just hope to break even
- It’s no where near as effective — time and cost — as Craig’s List
To get started for no cost (literally), ask a couple for friends — two or three — to revamp their resumes for free. Once you have, get their honest feedback and ask if you can use it as samples of your work (this will greatly come in handy in the immediate future). Remove all identifying names, numbers and markers so it can be used as a sample. Create a short Craig’s List describing your resume service. Including that you offer to write cover letters also helps. Make sure to include the types of industries you write resumes for (think of you resume own as well as resource). This is why it helps to have asked friends first to expand your base. In your post, make to include at the least these two items: 1) that you’re local to your city. In my case, I’m local to Los Angeles. And 2) you offer samples. Nothing solidifies work like offering samples. Having that on hand will change the game for your hustle. And as you gain more work, you have more samples. And if you want, you begin to raise your rates.
Listing the price as to what you charge is up to you. I’ve done both and don’t think I saw a big change in responses. I like listing the price so that prospects knew what they were going to pay. And the best part was I never had to leave my house. All work rendered and communications sent were done from the my laptop. And I invoiced everyone via PayPal.
Now, I don’t write resumes anymore as a side hustle. I may do a few one-offs (and I still charge), but nothing consistently as a hustle. I didn’t mind the initial phone conversation getting to know my clients, but the back and forth can be a little much and I just didn’t want to have to do that with every client. So, I changed gears. As it is with every hustle.