How Do I Become a Professional Resume Editor?

Research what it takes to become a professional resume editor. Learn about degree requirements, job outlook and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering English Reading & Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Professional Resume Editor Do?

A professional resume editor reviews the content in a resume; corrects any spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors; and makes other revisions if needed. The resume editor offers comments to improve a resume and suggests what bits of information can be included in the resume.

The table below has some of the important details about the editing field so that you can determine how to proceed toward your goal.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Communications, English, journalism
Key Skills Writing, editing, communication, attention to detail
Certification Certification is voluntary, but can help you stand out
Job Growth (2014-2024) -5% (for all editors)*
Median Salary (2015) $56,010 (for all editors)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Resume Editors Compared to Resume Writers

A resume editor is much the same as a resume writer. Job duties shared by both include assisting clients with drafting and revising their resumes to best present their education, work experience and accomplishments. However, while a resume writer may actually write clients' resumes for them from scratch, a resume professional who is focused on editing is more likely to offer advice on a document which was originally written by the client. An editor's job is more focused on revision instead of creation.

If you want to be a professional resume editor, you will likely begin your career as a writer. As a writer you will gain the experience and knowledge needed to work as an editor. Being an editor requires skills in English grammar, an understanding of proper resume formats and experience creating the proper wording for a professional resume.

As a professional resume editor, you will review clients' resumes, looking for spelling, grammar and formatting errors, and correcting them. You may offer suggestions for rewording phrases, adding more information, trimming long paragraphs and formatting the resume. In addition to editing resumes, you may also edit cover letters.

What Training or Education Do I Need?

Usually employers prefer editors to have at least a bachelor's degree. You may earn a degree in English, journalism or communications. It is typical for an employer to prefer that you have experience as a writer before hiring you as an editor. You may gain experience by writing for a school newspaper, publishing your own blog and working on volunteer or paid writing projects. Internships with local newspapers, radio stations or television stations may be another way to gain experience.

To provide proof of your skills in resume writing, you may consider earning the Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) credential offered by the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (www.parw.com). To earn the designation, you must pass the CPRW test, which consists of four sections. The first section tests your knowledge of resume construction. Section two tests your skills in grammar, proofreading, punctuation and spelling. The third section is an essay test on your strategic thinking skills. The final section is a writing test where you create a cover letter and resume for a fictitious client.

Where Can I Work?

Jobs as professional resume editors are often available through career service departments at colleges and universities. You may also find work at employment agencies and resume writing companies. It is also common in this field to work in your own resume editing business.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

The path to becoming a professional resume editor typically starts with a writing career. Pursuing first a career as a writer/author would be a good starting point. If you are interested in writing content that is more technical in nature, you may specialize in becoming a technical writer. You may also consider writing and editing news-related content as a reporter, correspondent, or news analyst. Any of these choices requires a bachelor's degree as well as good written and oral communication skills.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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