The 8 Best Executive Resume Writing Services of 2020

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Executive resume writing services can help professionals land top-salary positions with a resume, cover letter, and personal branding package targeted to their skills and goals. Most are run by former executives or recruiters who know exactly what it takes to compete in the upper echelons of the executive world.    

According to professional resume writer, Mary Elizabeth Bradford, only 10% of executive positions in the $300K+ range are advertised online. A laser-targeted resume and a well-polished executive bio can help an executive get discovered by recruiters and headhunters, giving them a leg up on the competition.

We reviewed over a dozen executive resume writing services and chose the best based on experience, personalized service, career support, cost, and more. Here are our top picks. 

The 8 Best Executive Resume Writing Services of 2020

Career Steering: Best Overall

Career Steering

 Career Steering

Career Steering was founded in the early 2000s by Rosa Elizabeth Vargas, a certified resume writer and career coach with a background as a senior-level executive. For over 15 years, the company has been providing boutique resume writing services for C-suite executives, general counsels, and board-level leaders. We chose it as the best overall because it offers personalized, one-on-one resume consulting and writing as well as career branding.

Career Steering doesn’t outsource its services to resume writers. Instead, every resume is written by Rosa herself with editing, research, and preliminary preparation done by one of her certified, executive resume writing assistants.

Clients start by choosing an executive resume service package, then email their career documents (resume, cover letters, LinkedIn profile, etc.) and fill out an executive career assessment. From there, Career Steering schedules a 60- to 90-minute writing session to map the resume branding strategy by phone, Skype, or Zoom. 

Because clients work directly with Rosa, the turnaround time for a completed resume is three to four weeks with back-and-forth consultation as needed. Career Steering’s most basic package includes a resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile optimized for search.

In addition to the packages listed below, Career Steering also offers à la carte resume writing services that include a one-hour resume branding phone session, resume branding and value proposition, career assessment personal branding questionnaire, and two rounds of edits and edit phone calls, all for $1,595.

180° Career Acceleration Executive Branding Package 

  • $2,195
  • Branded executive resume with custom graphics (3 formats: Word, PDF, and ASCII) 
  • LinkedIn profile and SEO optimization
  • Job-focused cover letter (2 formats: Word and ASCII)
  • Job search handouts

270° Brand Reputation Executive Branding Package 

  • $2,695
  • All 180° Career Acceleration Executive Branding Package features
  • Modern bio with custom graphics (3 formats: Word, PDF, and ASCII)

360° Career Steering Executive Branding Package 

  • $3,995
  • All 270° Brand Reputation Executive Branding Package features
  • LinkedIn development and SEO optimization
  • Customized LinkedIn background
  • 1-hour coaching
  • Distribution to recruiters and venture capital
  • Networking resume or resume re-target (2 formats: Word and PDF)
  • Virtual business cards
  • Thank-you letter template
  • Unlimited email communications

The Writing Guru: Runner-Up, Best Overall

The Writing Guru

 The Writing Guru

The Writing Guru was founded in 2010 by Wendi Weiner, a professional writer with a long career as a college professor and lawyer. Wendi is recognized as a top executive resume writer and has been published in major media outlets including HuffPost, Forbes, and Thrive Global. We chose The Writing Guru as our runner-up because it offers the most one-on-one time with each client.

The Writing Guru focuses its services on high-level professionals, senior managers, executives, and top business leaders. Wendi handles each project from beginning to end and doesn’t outsource any work to a subcontractor or another writer. Projects typically take 15 to 20 hours and include three hours of coaching and consulting.

Using an existing resume review, an extensive questionnaire, and a one-hour interview process, Wendi digs in to craft a resume tailored to the career objectives and experience of each client and a detailed cover letter that emphasizes their credentials and accomplishments. Wendi updates her clients on the progress of their resumes and will ask additional questions and request more information on follow-up calls if needed.    

The Writing Guru offers tiered packages focused on the type of professional served. Due to the focus and attention Wendi gives to each client, the typical turnaround for a resume and cover letter package is 14 to 21 days.

C-Suite, General Counsel, BOD, International Execs

Standard Resume Package

  • $2,695
  • Executive resume (includes 2 rounds of revisions)
  • Unlimited email support (after the project is complete)
  • Value proposition letter or master cover letter
  • Pre- and post-strategy calls

Premium Branding Package

  • $3,595
  • All Standard Resume Package features
  • Full LinkedIn profile makeover

Ultimate VIP Branding Package

  • $8,495
  • All Premium Branding Package features
  • Thank-you letter 
  • Networking e-note letters
  • One-page networking resume and strategy call
  • Executive bio

Senior Executives, Executive Managers, Business Leaders

Standard Resume Package

  • $2,395
  • Executive resume (includes 2 rounds of revisions)
  • Unlimited email support (after the project is complete)
  • Value proposition letter or master cover letter
  • Pre- and post-strategy calls

Premium Branding Package

  • $3,095
  • All Standard Resume Package features
  • Full LinkedIn profile makeover

Ultimate VIP Branding Package

  • $7,895
  • All Premium Branding Package features
  • Thank-you letter 
  • Networking e-note letters
  • One-page networking resume and strategy call
  • Executive bio

Briefcase Coach: Best for Experienced Executives

Briefcase Coach

 Briefcase Coach

Briefcase Coach is the creation of Sarah Johnston, a corporate recruiter and development professional who has helped Fortune 500 executives move up the ladder with professional resumes and career coaching. We chose Briefcase Coach as the best for experienced executives because it offers tiered resume writing packages based on the needs of each client.

Although Briefcase Coach also offers resume writing services for graduates and non-executive professionals, its experience in the latest trends of the recruitment process and applicant tracking system (ATS) software allow it to offer executives support in branding, networking, and interviewing as well as resume writing.

Briefcase Coach clients start with a 90-minute intake and strategy interview with Sarah where she works to understand each client’s strengths, goals, and achievements. From there, she crafts a custom resume from scratch, typically spending an average of 12 to 20 hours per resume. Turnaround time from consultation to final draft is typically seven business days. 

In addition to resume and cover letter writing, Briefcase Coach also helps executives improve their skills in networking, personal outreach, navigating LinkedIn, and even handling job searches and interviews.        

Beyond the executive resume writing packages offered below, Briefcase Coach also offers à la carte pricing with an executive resume as a standalone product starting at $1,300.

Compact Briefcase Package

  • $1,350
  • 60-90 minute consultation
  • Custom resume
  • Custom cover letter
  • E-mail access to Sarah Johnston for three months

Portfolio Briefcase Package

  • $1,850
  • Two 30-minute job search coaching calls
  • One-hour interview coaching call
  • Executive bio
  • Email and text support

Attache Package

  • $2,500
  • LinkedIn profile branding
  • One-hour mock interview (recorded)
  • Thirty minutes of LinkedIn training
  • Email and text support

Mary Elizabeth Bradford: Best for C-Suite Executives

Mary Elizabeth Bradford

 Mary Elizabeth Bradford

Having built a successful recruiting business in the 1990s, Mary Elizabeth Bradford launched her personal brand in 2008. Today, her team of certified resume writers offers boutique resume writing services to executives across the globe. We chose it as the best for C-suite executives because it helps them make high-level career transitions with professional resumes, personal branding, networking, and more.

Mary Elizabeth Bradford offers directors, VPs, CxOs, and board members both executive resume packages and the option of working directly with Mary Elizabeth herself. In addition to providing its clients with resumes, the company also helps them find a clear focus of direction and lock down some concrete strategies for reaching their career goals.

Clients who choose one of Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s lower-tier executive resume packages won’t be working with Mary Elizabeth herself, but with one of her certified executive resume writers and coaches. All packages include a resume, a value proposition letter, digital storage, an executive thank-you letter, and three of Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s bestselling Career Artisan guidebooks.    

Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s VIP packages are for executives earning over $500,000 looking for private coaching during executive transitions. Many corporations and private equity firms also use these services to outplace their top executives. 

Mary Elizabeth Bradford offers multiple packages ranging from one-on-one consulting with Mary Elizabeth to working with her team of certified executive resume writers. The typical turnaround for a resume is 14 to 30 days, and the company also offers à la carte “resume only” services for $2,797.

Executive Resume Package

  • $2,597
  • Executive resume
  • Value proposition letter
  • Digital storage
  • Executive thank-you letter template
  • Three Career Artisan guidebooks   

VIP Premium Package

  • $3,797
  • Executive resume
  • Two value proposition letter
  • Digital storage
  • Executive thank-you letter template
  • LinkedIn profile design and optimization
  • Executive recruiter distribution
  • Thirty-minute Power Coaching session
  • The Job Search Success System   

VIP Board of Directors Resume Package

  • $4,297
  • Executive resume written specifically for BOD roles
  • Value proposition letter
  • Digital storage
  • Executive thank-you letter template
  • LinkedIn Profile design and optimization
  • Executive recruiter distribution
  • Board of Directors special report and tip sheet
  • Executive biography   

VIP Executive Package

  • $5,797
  • Executive resume
  • Second one-page networking resume
  • Three customized value proposition letters
  • Digital storage
  • Executive thank-you letter template
  • Reference testimonials
  • LinkedIn profile design and optimization   

VIP Platinum In-Person Coaching Program (by application only)

  • $10,997
  • Private strategy coaching session (two and a half hours, live or via phone)
  • Email access to Mary Elizabeth Bradford for six months
  • One 20-minute phone call every other week

Capstone Resume Services: Best Value

Capstone

 Capstone 

Capstone Resume Services was created by Amy Gies who has written resumes and coached over 7,000 clients worldwide since 2003. The company offers one-on-one consultation to ensure that its clients’ resumes match their target jobs. We chose it as the best value since it offers basic and affordable resume writing with add-on services to suit the needs of any client.

Rather than starting with a questionnaire like many other services do, Capstone offers each client a one-on-one personal consultation to discuss career goals, work experience, and achievements. From there, a certified professional resume writer will work to create a custom, targeted, keyword-optimized resume that will get the attention of ATS, hiring managers, and recruiters.

Rather than offering tiered pricing packages, Capstone keeps things simple and relatively affordable. Clients can choose to start with just a consultation and resume and add cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, resume distribution, and executive bios. The typical turnaround time for an executive resume is two to three business days and includes one revision if necessary.

Executive Resume Writing

  • $299
  • Personal resume consultation
  • Delivery within two to three business days of consultation (one revision included)
  • Deliverable documents in editable Microsoft Word and PDF formats

Addon Services

  • Add cover letter ($59)
  • Add LinkedIn profile ($199)
  • LinkedIn profile and cover letter ($225)
  • Resume distribution service ($175)
  • Executive biography ($199)

TopResume: Best Customer Service

TopResume

 TopResume

Founded in 2014, TopResume boasts a network of over 1,200 writers, certified career coaches, recruiters, and experienced hiring professionals with experience in over 65 industries. We chose it as the best customer service because it offers a free resume review and a free rewrite of resumes it creates that don’t generate twice the number of job interviews.   

TopResume uses a unique approach to the resume writing process, combining the knowledge of its resume writers with feedback from resume-scanning software that filters applicants based on keywords. This dual approach ensures that resumes created by the company satisfy both humans and the machines that sift through resumes before passing them on.

TopResume’s certified resume writers collaborate with each client to deliver the first draft of a resume within about a week. Clients have another week to offer feedback to the writer and receive up to two rounds of revisions. The entire process typically takes one to two weeks.  

In addition to its paid resume writing services, TopResume lets users upload a copy of their resume for a free review that includes feedback on the layout, how the resume communicates skills and expertise, and personalized recommendations for improvement. The company will also rewrite a client’s resume if it doesn’t double the number of interviews within 60 days. 

Professional Growth Package

  • $179
  • Professionally written resume

Career Evolution Package

  • $219
  • Professionally written resume
  • Custom-written, keyword-optimized cover letter
  • Sixty-day interview guarantee

Executive Priority Package

  • $219
  • All Career Evolution Package features
  • LinkedIn makeover

LinkedIn ProFinder: Best Open-Source Platform

LinkedIn ProFinder

 LinkedIn ProFinder

As the largest professional networking site with over 690 million users worldwide, LinkedIn is an essential tool for executives who want to advance their careers. In 2016, the platform launched an online marketplace called ProFinder to allow freelancers to offer their skills to businesses. We chose it as the best open-source platform because it lets users shop around for professional resume writers in their local area or anywhere in the world.

Users start by answering a series of simple questions, such as what kind of resume they want, where they are in their career, if they want to work with a writer in person or online, and so on. Once their request is submitted, they will get up to five proposals from professional resume writers within 24 hours.            

ProFinder is a good choice for executives who want to get their resume written fast at a price that works for them. Because users connect directly to writers rather than a company, they can expect lower rates and a quicker turnaround. Although prices can vary, our research shows that ProFinder freelance resume writing services run between $145 and $545.

ZipJob: Best for ATS Software

ZipJob

ZipJob

After learning that his wife’s resume was being filtered out by automated resume screeners, Michael Krikheli created ZipJob in 2016 to help job seekers build resumes that make it through the filters to real recruiters. We chose it as the best for ATS software because it focuses on creating keyword-optimized resumes that will land more interviews.

ZipJob asks users to either upload an existing resume or fill out a questionnaire to create one from scratch. From there, a dedicated writer works with each client to build a properly formatted resume that highlights their skills and goals. Writers communicate with their clients through the entire process, asking questions and getting clarification along the way.          

All of ZipJob’s resume writers are experienced in resume keyword optimization to ensure that every resume has the best chance of being scanned and accepted by automated screeners. Once a resume is written, the writer will scan it through ATS software and adjust it as needed. 

ZipJob claims that its optimized resumes get their clients two to three times more interviews. It backs this up with a 60-day interview guarantee and will offer a free rewrite of a client’s resume if it doesn't generate more interviews after 60 days.    

Executive Resume Service

  • $799
  • ATS-optimized executive resume
  • Cover letter
  • LinkedIn profile optimization
  • Recruiter distribution service
  • Phone consultation
  • Unlimited resume revisions
  • Free future update (no expiration)
  • Turnaround of five to seven business days

What Are Resume Writing Services?

Resume writing services help job seekers craft a resume, cover letter, and sometimes LinkedIn profile that showcases their skills and helps them stand out above the competition. Since most resumes are filtered by automated resume screeners, known as applicant tracking systems (ATS), good resume writers also ensure the documents they create make it through to an actual person.     

Ideally, resume writing services should be run and staffed by certified resume writers who understand exactly what employers and recruiters are looking for with any given profession or job title. This in-depth knowledge allows resume writers to help an executive climb the ranks of the C-suite.   

How Do Resume Writing Services Work for Executives?

Executive resume writers start with a detailed interview process and questionnaire to understand every skill, accomplishment, and goal of an executive looking for a new position. From there, they build a professional resume targeted to the client’s career goals to help them rise above the competition and land more interviews.  

Because most resumes are pre-screened by ATS software, the best executive resume services know how to create resumes that are liked by both machines and humans, giving them the best chance of being received and read. Many extend their services by offering to optimize their clients’ LinkedIn profiles and create professional executive bios. Additionally, some services go further, offering career coaching and interview training.

How Much Do Executive Resume Writing Services Cost?

Due to the level of expertise required, executive resume writing services can be considerably more expensive than other resume writing services. Competition at the top can be fierce, so writers who get results often work one-on-one with a limited number of clients to create truly customized and targeted resumes that will catch the eye of key decision-makers. 

All of the services we reviewed offered specialized, executive-level resume writing packages for a one-time fee between $1,350 and $10,997. These packages include a one-on-one interview with either the company owner or a certified resume writer, a cover letter, some level of career consultation, and email support for three to six months. Higher-tier packages tend to offer a LinkedIn profile rewrite, a professional bio, and even resume distribution to executive recruiters.  

Is Using a Resume Writing Service Worth It?

Although many top executive positions aren’t advertised or only advertised internally within a company, a professionally crafted resume can help executives apply to their dream companies and possibly edge-out the internal competition. What’s more, a keyword-optimized resume and LinkedIn profile can help executives get discovered by headhunters and hiring managers.    

How We Chose the Best Executive Resume Writing Services

We looked at over a dozen executive resume writing services for this review. At the top of our list were firms with extensive experience and a long track record of success. Services that offered one-on-one consultation with the business owner also caught our eye since that kind of personalized relationship can result in the most targeted and customized resume.

We also looked at providers that offered additional services, including optimizing LinkedIn profiles, writing executive bios, distributing resumes to recruiters, and career counseling. Finally, we made sure to look at executive resume writing services that paired best practices with technology to ensure every resume makes it through ATS software to a real decision-maker.

The success of an executive staying in their current role or climbing through the ranks of the C-suite can rest on the quality of their resume and online profile. Since a new executive position can result in a $5,000 to $100,000 salary increase, paying a professional resume writer who knows the ins and outs of executive hiring can be the best investment of an executive’s career.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. LinkedIn. "10 Top Executive Resume Writing Services Share Expert Resume And Job Search Tips For 2020." Accessed September 21, 2020.