Angela Ashurst-McGee, CPRW is the President & Founder of RedRocketResume. In the last ten years, she has written thousands of resumes for professionals across the globe and at every career level—from high school students to Fortune 50 VPs.
She created RedRocketResume.com to offer premier resume writing with personalized service.
Her passion is to make the world a happier place by helping people win their dream jobs.
1. What led you to write resumes? Do you have a background that made you an ideal fit for the industry?
Angela: I stumbled upon resume writing while searching for a new freelance writing gig.
I was hired on by a big-box resume writing service and underwent their internal training and QA process to get started.
This was a great way to break into the field and gave me exposure to a wide variety of resume clients.
Ten years ago, I realized I could offer better service at a better price point while pocketing a bigger profit by breaking out on my own. I came up with the concepts behind RedRocketResume sitting around with my brothers at a family reunion!
Resume writing is a great fit for me because it uses my editing and writing skills and allows for a flexible work schedule. But the thing I love most about resume writing is talking with people to learn about their backgrounds and finding ways to help them shine and find success.
2. How long have you been in the industry? Would you recommend it to others?
Angela: I have now been in the resume writing industry for 15 years.
I love being able to make a dramatic, positive difference in people’s lives by opening new career doors for them. That said, online resume writing is a surprisingly competitive business space.
It’s hard to differentiate high-quality services from DIY, lower-service versions.
People often come to resume writing with a lot of skepticism and fear about hiring a worthwhile service.
I recommend resume writing to you if you are a great writer and communicator who loves advocating for others and gets excited about tackling business challenges.
3. What is the single best tool you recommend for building client relations? Building your business? Improve efficiency?
Angela: My business has seen the most growth based on referral partnerships.
I connect with career coaches, recruiters, alumni groups, outplacement specialists–anyone who has a related interest.
This allows us to grow our businesses by referring clients to each other and to offer our clients a broader spectrum of services.
It also keeps me connected with emerging trends.
For example, by working with recruiters, I get great feedback on how my resumes are being received and what’s working/not working.
I also use tools like Monday (project management) and Stripe (payment processing) to keep my business organized.
4. If you could share one learning experience/great lesson, what would it be?
Angela: One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a business owner and resume writer is courage. I work with many clients who are skeptical of their own value.
They are intimidated by tight job markets or competitive industries.
They worry that they don’t have what it takes.
In the vast majority of cases, once I’ve worked with the client, I uncover plenty of evidence that they are in fact highly skilled and valuable. They could have gotten better jobs months or even years ago if they had mustered their courage, silenced their inner critics, and just plunged in. I try to manifest that same attitude as a business owner.
Whenever I’m feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, or insecure, I remind myself that my business provides a valuable service to people who need it.
Owning a business has asked me to do things I had never done before, but I’ve learned that in fact, I can record podcasts, file business taxes, design a website, make executive presentations, and stand up to pushy clients.
If resume writing is the business for you, then go for it!
Don’t let anyone—including yourself—sell you short.
5. Looking back, what would you have done differently? Done the same?
Angela: In my business’s infancy, I tried several marketing strategies that didn’t seem to pan out, so I abandoned them.
Since then, I’ve come to realize that many of those strategies were solid—I just needed to refine them and persist!
If your first few cold calls don’t yield results, examine your approach, make some tweaks, and keep trying.
If your first pay-per-click ads don’t bring a good return-on-investment, analyze your keywords and ad copy, and then try again.
Think of failure as a call to re-examine and re-think, not as a death knell.
Most good things take time and work to develop.
6. What advice would you give someone just entering the resume-writing industry?
Angela: Running a successful resume writing service requires three separate skill sets.
The first is, of course, resume writing expertise. But just as important are customer service and business acumen.
Your fantastic resume writing skills won’t ensure a successful business unless you also have the ability to listen and talk to your clients and give them a sense of genuine, personal attention.
And your business will flop unless you also know how to leverage online marketing, accounting, web design, networking, and a thousand logistical issues totally unrelated to writing.
Before you start a resume writing business, make sure you’re prepared to work in all three areas.
7. How do you see our industry transforming over the next 12 months? 5 years?
Angela: Over the years, I’ve had several recruiters, hiring managers, and career coaches tell me that resumes are going the way of the dinosaur.
Of course, resumes are still around and are still an essential tool for job seekers and employers alike. I don’t foresee a world where resumes aren’t a critical component to career development.
The biggest change is the growing importance of LinkedIn profiles.
Resume writers should think of a resume not as a stand-alone, static document, but as the foundational content for personal branding, an elevator pitch, and a strong online presence.