Extra Income Series: I Run a Resume Business

Hey everyone. Today, I am starting a new “Extra Income” series. If you would like to be featured, please send me an e-mail. To kick it off, I have Katie. Katie has a personal blog at More To Life, and she runs Resumes By Katie. Here is a small blurb from her resume business website:…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: June 4, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Extra Income Series: I Run a Resume BusinessHey everyone. Today, I am starting a new “Extra Income” series. If you would like to be featured, please send me an e-mail. To kick it off, I have Katie. Katie has a personal blog at More To Life, and she runs Resumes By Katie.

Here is a small blurb from her resume business website:

“They say finding a job is all about “who you know”. While that is definitely an advantage, I like to think we have more control than that!

My resume templates have even landed multiple jobs directly from mass-resume websites like Careerbuilder.

I take a personal approach with each client to get to know their skills and personality better via phone, e-mail and/or Skype.

Although I have strong professional templates, you will not find cookie-cutter products here! Each person and each job is different and I reflect that with each resume, cover letter and thank you card.”


Extra Income Series: I Run a Resume Business

How did you get started with Resumes By Katie?

I was recently engaged and had a big wedding to pay for, in addition to a mountain of student loan debt.

I used to be a seasonal resume reviewer so I thought combining that experience with my journalism and marketing career would make a resume business a great freelance job.

There was a hole in the market for affordable prices so I jumped right in!


What got you interested in this job?

I was very worried I wouldn’t be able to make ends meet without extra income.

Being able to use the skills from both my schooling and career experience, in addition to being able to really help people seemed like a win-win.

The flexibility to work from anywhere at anytime makes it a great fit for a schedule that already juggles a few jobs.


Tell me more about your services.

I build or revise resumes, cover letters, and professional thank-you notes. Additionally, I can build or revise your LinkedIn profile. Each of these services comes with a 30-minute consultation, done in person, by phone, e-mail, or Skype.

Each client leaves with both a PDF and doc version of the final copies so they are prepared to start applying to jobs right away.


How do you help improve resumes?

I start with the format to make it clear and easy to read. After all, employers only spend 6 seconds per resume!

Then I hold a session with my client to see if there are any additional skills or experience that could be relevant. Lastly, I sculpt the resume to align well with applicable job descriptions.


What sets you apart from other professional resume writers?

My price point. I would never pay an arm and a leg for someone to write my resume and I never expect my customers to either.

I understand that the point of a successful resume is to earn money so Resumes By Katie is a great resource for the frugal or price cautious.

Affordable pricing does not mean poor service though. I keep it very personal and customized. Loving this job makes it easy to provide excellent service.


What has surprised you most about owning a business? 

Being a business owner is a lot more than just offering a service – you also have to be an accountant, marketing specialist, an HTML expert, and HR manager at minimum.

I was surprised and humbled by how much I had to learn outside of the skills needed to make quality resumes and cover letters. If you’re not willing or able to learn, be ready to pay the money for experts to help you!


What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a small business owner?

Don’t run before you can walk. Technology makes starting a business pretty easy and it’s exciting to go viral and become an overnight success.

However, if you bite off more than you can chew, your service will suffer and your business will quickly drown. I was able set up a website and establish my business model in one weekend but I have slowly allowed it to expand in the past year and I’m thankful I haven’t rushed it.

Work hard and let your business develop naturally. Growing a business can be slow so be patient and enjoy the successes as you continue to grow.


What are the start-up costs?

Building a business online can be really inexpensive! Typically, you already have an Internet connection and a phone. Initially I bought my domain name, did my own website design, and got started in less than $20.

Since I am not incredibly savvy in HTML, I eventually hired help to move to self-hosting and create a professional website design that cost just over $300 total.

I have purchased business cards and occasionally I spend money on marketing and advertising. I try to keep these costs low, so I can keep my prices low.

The most useful purchase I’ve made was the Ring It Up app for $30 that allows me to track my expenses and transactions. This certainly comes in handy as I manage the accounting side of the business.


What’s the most positive thing about your side job?

Finding the best accomplishments and skills from each of my clients is so rewarding.

A lot of times people don’t realize how capable they are and they sell themselves short on their resume and cover letter.

Being able to boost their confidence and send them away with strong potential for new and exciting job opportunities is really fun. Hearing that a client was able to get a great new job after using my services is the best part of the whole job!


What are your business goals for the upcoming year?

I would love to grow my business enough to create an internship program. That way college kids get wonderful experience and I can learn to delegate!

Do you make extra income? What do you do?

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Stu @ Poor Student

    There sure are a lot of bloggers that have series like this, extra income, side hustle, etc. That’s cool!

    I think the service is really valuable, lots of people have no idea how to do create a resume that will actually be paid attention to.

  2. This Life On Purpose

    That’s a great idea. I used to get help from the career centre at the university but once you are out of school there are no longer free resources to help you with cover letter and resumes.

    I hope you do really well!

  3. I have a question! What exactly is “a seasonal resume reviewer” and how did you get experience doing that?

    It’s interesting that the response for “what got you interested in this job” is money money money money money money money money. Do you enjoy helping others with their resumes? Would you keep up the business if you no longer needed extra money? Would you ever want to do that full time?

    1. Katie

      I worked for a company that aligns students with internships, and during the preparation period, I acted as the resume reviewer. What got me interested in this job was aligning my skills with helping people. I would love to do this full-time but I refuse to sellout and increase my rates so it will take longer, which is completely fine by me. I love this job and would definitely keep it even after my student loans are paid off!

  4. Wow, this is a fantastic idea for a service to offer! Just about everyone could use help building and writing their own resumes, so that’s really smart to capitalize on that need. Good luck in growing your business and picking up more clients (I also love the idea of starting an internship program – it’s a win-win for everyone involved, like you said!)

  5. This is a wonderful idea! Just about everyone needs help building or writing a resume, so that’s awesome that you’ve been able to build a business around providing a solution to that need. And I love the idea of building an internship program – as you said, that’s a win-win for everyone involved. Good luck in continuing to grow your business!

  6. I like the point about business owners having to excel at so much more than just their service. You become ALL aspects of the business- sales, advertising, marketing, tech, etc.

  7. I love this new series. Looking forward to reading about other people’s side gigs.

  8. Kristin

    What a great idea for a series! Also, a lovely first business to start with. All the best to Katie!

  9. Katie

    Thank you for the supportive comments! It is an incredibly rewarding side business and Michelle’s blog has been a great motivator!

  10. This is a nice side gig.. and is perfect for someone who does or used to work in HR… We’ve thought about doing something similar one time or another, but I don’t even know if my own resume is top notch! Perhaps I should reach out to your friend to make sure.

  11. Jessica @AllFrugalLadies

    Great interview – and I love the whole idea of your Extra Income Series! I never heard of the Ring It Up app … but will be checking it out now. Good for Katie and anyone with the guts to move ahead with online business idea!

  12. Travis @debtchronicles

    I can see how this would be a lucrative business….I do a fair amount of resume screening and it amazes me how badly some of them look. Kudos to you for recognizing this need, and for capitalizing on it!

  13. Mr. Mendoza

    I do understand when it does come to building a business of having to think outside the box, striving to doing your best on your next business contact. Never leave alone the idea of becoming frugal with your online or offline of marketing your business, this is where most business owners struggle in the long run by not advertising correctly it’s not how much you have to spend in what you feel you need to get the word out, it’s as little to what you may actually need to let those to utilize your services is cost effective, and not a waste of time or ones hard earn money with no results. When I first realize on how much it meant to me to be my own BOSS I was merely starting a hobby of wanting to get outdoors and getting a little fresh air, because of my Corporate environment kept me from having to experience the outdoors. So I held the POWER in me to say I needed to retire at the ripe old age of 45. My new LIFE began of making money Left and Right, turning a new leaf of meeting new people and making BANK. Extra Income Series: is a great Series to show how one can stimulate the best of what we know BEST and turn the things we touch into GOLD. This is not work at all, this is a PASSION OF BEING THE BEST and loving what you do. I can only express my wisdom to those who wish to listen of growing a business, and one’s risk should not be one’s lively hood to being HOMELESS but being SMART with those who surround you with their INTELLIGENCE in going in the direction we all wish can go is UP! By having the right people in the right positions, and watch you GROW beyond all means with those you care for Creating a SMART BUSINESS!

  14. This is a great interview. It’s not easy distinguishing yourself online at places like careerbuilder or moster. I’m a Career and Life Coach, with over 6 years experience making resumes, working with people on the interview skills, and it always gives me so much pleasure to see the transformation that happens once they land the job.