Federal Resume

By Kathryn Troutman

Blog archive

Why do resumes cost so much?

The most common reaction we receive when we present our quotes for resume writing services is, without a doubt: sticker shock!

“I didn’t think it would cost so much!”

So, let’s dig a little deeper and answer a few important questions about our fees.

Are the Fees Reasonable or Are We Overcharging?

We calculate our fees by estimating the number of hours it will take to complete your project and applying the appropriate hourly rate. We roughly use the hourly breakdown listed below. You will see that we accomplish quite a bit in the time allotted. I will say from personal experience that these hours are just the ones that we actually charge, and that projects generally take more time than what we bill you.

The hourly breakdown of our fees for federal resume writing projects:

Project review – 30 to 60 min

  • Review submitted documents.
  • Research target job, vacancy announcements, and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) documents.

Client Interview – 60 min

  • Clarify project goals and scope.
  • Discuss problems with current resume draft.
  • Identify occupational series or job announcement to target.
  • Ask questions about previous employment, training, education, and volunteer experience.
  • Find out the client’s top accomplishments.
  • Assign homework for client to provide additional written information.

Development and Writing Process – 3 to 6 hours

  • Continue to work with client on their homework assignments.
  • Research any additional information needed.
  • Identify keywords for the target job announcement or occupational series.
  • Review the questionnaire for additional keywords / requirements.
  • Develop the resume in the outline format and include all required compliance information.
  • Format the resume either for USAJOBS or paper format.
  • Discuss first draft with client and continue to work with client to fill in gaps.
  • Prepare final draft.
  • Proof resume carefully.
  • Advise client on how to answer the questionnaire.

If you multiply these hours times by our very reasonable professional hourly rates (starting at $125 an hour), you can see how we arrive at our prices. Our writers are highly qualified professionals, and many of them have federal experience, even federal HR and legal experience. Our writers have all gone through our certification program and receive months of additional mentoring and coaching to fully develop their writing and coaching skills.

Also keep in mind that we not only wrote the very first book on federal resume writing, the Federal Resume Guidebook, now in its 5th Edition, but we also continue to be the leading federal resume experts in the world as demonstrated by our government agency training and certification programs.

So, our fees are in fact the lowest they can be to provide you the highest quality product you can buy.  We could use shortcuts that perhaps other companies do, but we don’t.

Can We Guarantee That You Will Get the Job if You Pay For Our Services?

This question is essentially the same as asking if we have a magical crystal ball. No, of course we cannot guarantee that you will get the job, because we cannot tell you who ELSE will apply for the job. That key factor is completely out of our control.

However, if your resume is NOT correctly written, your chances of landing a federal job are definitely, absolutely ZERO, even if you are in fact best qualified applicant for the job.

So, what you are paying for is to increase your chances from zero to some higher percentage that will at least give you a shot at the job. Even if you only increased your chances to 10% per application, over time, you are very likely to hit your mark. This strategy is definitely an improvement over the zero percentage plan.

Moreover, the job search advice that we give is absolutely invaluable, such as which jobs to apply for that give you the best chance, and how to answer the questionnaire so that you do not automatically disqualify yourself. We have stories upon stories of how we have helped people, desperate after many months and years of applying, finally land their federal job.

Our success stories attest to the fact that our writing and application methods work.

How Can I Afford This Service?

If you are serious about applying for a federal job, then remember that you are investing in your future, and that you absolutely cannot achieve your goals unless your federal resume allows you to do so.

On the positive side, our fees may qualify for tax deductions (read more), and we offer our clients the option to pay 60% of the project cost to start their project.

If you absolutely cannot afford our services, we still want you to succeed in your federal job search, and we highly recommend our books. We do not keep secrets about our process. All of the successful techniques and methods that we have developed are in our publications, which are updated regularly with the latest federal HR information. Check out the latest editions here.

Ready or Not?

If you still have questions, then feel free to contact us.

Or, if you are ready to get started on your federal resume project, please fill out our Free Estimate form and we’ll be in touch with you to talk about your federal job search goals.


Paulina Chen has a passion for taking the complex and making it simple for people to understand. Paulina has been a graphic designer, developmental editor, and webmaster for The Resume Place for over 10 years. Since receiving her Certified Federal Job Search Trainer certification, she has been eager to show federal applicants that writing your best possible federal resume is within your reach. If you need more writing help with your federal resume, contact us for an absolutely free estimate. If you need expert advice or training, Kathryn Troutman the “Federal Resume Guru” is your best bet on the planet.

Posted by Kathryn Troutman on Nov 05, 2014 at 11:45 AM

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