1. What led you to writing resumes? Do you have a background that made you an ideal fit for the industry?
I’ve always been a writer. I used to win essay contests and scholarships that were essay-driven, but my formal background and education was in Electrical Engineering. I served as an engineer in corporate America for 9 years, but I always knew that it wasn’t a perfect fit for me. The thing I loved most was being able to communicate clearly to colleagues all over the world (mostly in China), and I’ve felt a sense of pride being able to convey complex messages to groups where English was not their first language. Articulating thoughts and ideas is something of a natural gift from God, so with that I believe I earned my ideal fitting for this industry.
2. How long have you been in the industry? Would you recommend it to others? Why?
I have been in the resume writing industry formally for 7 years, but I’ve been developing my writing abilities for over 10 years. I would only recommend this industry to those with a thick skin, and those with the ability to patiently pull content from their clients. Everyone that we serve is not as articulate as us, but it’s up to us to deliver a robust, meaningful document. With that said, you must be able to extract crucial information and details from even the most modest client.
3. What is the single best tool you recommend for building client relations? Building your business? Improve efficiency?
For me, it would be social media! Having a forum to showcase my expertise, daily has proven to be very key in earning trust and deepening relationships with my former, present, and future clients. Being able to stay top of mind contributes to the constant flow of referrals and repeat business. However, there is a fine line to maintain with social media, no outright selling – only information sharing that will benefit your client pool. Eventually they will recognize you as the go-to expert and they will contact you!
4. If you could share one learning experience/great lesson, what would it be?
New business will not just fall out of the sky. You have to work for it! Before you start printing business cards, and creating your Facebook business page, etc… make sure you know what kind of client you are best suited to serve and tailor your marketing materials toward that group. Much like you would tell a job seeker to customize their resume, you should customize your communications to them!
5. Looking back, what would you have done differently? Done the same?
I spent my first year in business, being too afraid to network and connect with new people and only after I’ve started to do those things regularly, have I noticed the deep impact that they have on my business. Conversely, what I liked about my approach was to provide friendly and meaningful customer service. Treating people with respect, smiling, and genuinely caring about the person on the other end of the phone is a cornerstone of my business and something that I will continue to do.
6. What advice would you give someone just entering the resume-writing industry?
There is lots of advice out there but at the end of the day you have to do what you’re comfortable with. Plenty of business owners will tell you that you need to increase your prices or offer certain types of services, but that may be what works for them, not you! Follow your own instincts and pursue opportunities that you have peace about and still reflect value to your customers.
Another thing, as my mentor once told me…consider subcontracting at first to get more practical writing experience and to keep some level of consistent income coming in. The extra practice definitely helped me to develop!
7. How do you see our industry transforming over the next 12 months? 5 years? What do think resume writers need to know in order to survive?
We must pay attention to the technology side of things. Resume scanning software is just the beginning! Our future looks to be data driven, so you must stay abreast of changing technical trends that impact us. Using apps to make our work easier, competitor site reviews, and involvement in industry organizations like NRWA or CDI can definitely help keep you on top of the game.