I have worked in marketing copywriting (mostly healthcare) and business writing for corporations for over a decade. I know a lot of resume writers are former human resource professionals, but I think copywriting professionals are a great fit as well because we sell things for a living and a resume is essentially a sales piece. We are selling an employee’s skill set and potential contributions to an employer. I have always written resumes “on the side” but got to the point where I wanted to do it full time and be my own boss, so that is what I do now. I love it because I am using my talents to help people. I am not just selling a healthcare plan or product; I use my skills to sell good people who deserve a great job.
2. Now that you’ve been in the industry for a while, would you recommend it to others? Why?
Only if they like writing, helping people, and are self-motivated. And only if they are good – a person is trusting you to write a ticket to an interview which will lead them to a great position. It is their livelihood – that is to be taken seriously.
3. What is the single best tool you recommend for building client relations? Building your business? Improve efficiency?
I believe in being honest and upfront about expectations, pricing, etc. I get some calls from clients who want generic resumes. I usually don’t end up writing those because I don’t feel comfortable making money from a resume that I know will not be effective. Often, I will get a call back from the person at a later date for a rewrite because their generic resume that they paid someone to write isn’t working.
4. If you could share one learning experience/great lesson, what would it be?
Communication is key. Keep the client informed at every stage of the process.
5. Looking back, what would you have done differently? Done the same?
I don’t think I would do anything different. Of course, you can’t expect everything to go smoothly when starting a business, but the things that didn’t go smoothly were great learning experiences.
6. What advice would you give someone just entering the resume-writing industry?
Have a business plan. It may sound trite, but it really is true that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Build a support system because there will be bumps in the road. And always have what I call a “second reader” – another set of eyes to read over the resume before you send it to the client. Different eyes see different things.
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?
I see it going even more electronic based. I see more growth and use of social networking and sites like LinkedIn to post your resume and qualifications – storing resumes and other such documents in the “cloud”.