1. What led you to writing resumes? Do you have a background that made you an ideal fit for the industry?
I had made a transition from an advertising account executive to a job developer with a non-profit agency that helped displaced homemakers reenter the workforce. My experience in both sales and marketing easily transferred into helping program participants. During that time friends and family began to ask me for help with their resume. It was at that point I embraced my gift for the writing. I seized the opportunity to generate extra income while doing what I loved and got certified as CEIP (certified employment interview professional) and CPRW (certified professional resume writer).
2. How long have you been in the industry? Would you recommend it to others? Why?
With 14 years in helping others create the career they want, I have gone through a lot of ups and downs. However, I always felt this was purpose. This is a great industry for someone who is self motivated, enjoys using written and verbal communications, and has the desire to help people in a meaningful way. It is tremendously – fulfilling especially in this economy — to help someone get a better position or get an offer after they have been out of work for over a year.
3. What is the single best tool you recommend for building client relations?
Aside from letting clients know I care about them I have like to stay in touch through personal emails and electronic newsletters and blogs. Building your business? I am fortunate to have a gift for make long-lasting connections with people. Last year one of my friends and colleagues recommended me to create a career program for the parents of children attending a local charter school. The referral was the catalyst I needed to restructure my business. I am currently building a full throttle communications agency for the non-profit community that features grant writing, marketing communications, staff training programs as well as career marketing communications. Improve efficiency? I regularly use project management sheets for tracking projects and tasks. However, I recently bought a Samsung Galaxy II, which is like having a computer built into a phone. I keep track of my tasks, appointments, and even email through my phone. It is a great tool for keeping organized, which as you know leads to better client relations.
4. If you could share one learning experience/great lesson, what would it be?
Career coaching and resume writing are helping professionals. I am grateful to be blessed with the gift of helping people. However, on several occasions I allowed some clients become too dependent on me. It wore me out and kept them stuck.
5. Looking back, what would you have done differently? Done the same?
In retrospect, I realize that clients must care about their careers as much if not more then I do. The best help I can anyone after giving them the tools they contact with me for is to hold them accountable for what they agree to.
6. What advice would you give someone just entering the resume-writing industry?
Be a sponge. Learn as much as you can. Attend conventions, take changes, immerse yourself in the field. Rapid changes in technology drive how resumes are written. If you don’t keep up – you can quickly fall behind.
7. How do you see our industry transforming over the next 12 months?
Deb Dib and I were amongst the first to recognize smart phones would transform resume writing. Brief content makes a stronger impact. 5 years? I see technology playing a more prominent roll in the hiring processes. Resume writers will have to get their clients through the online application process. Recently, I used my network to get a CFO into a company for which he was a great fit. One of the questions they asked during the online application process was why he was a good fit for the company. This was one time I wished he had contacted me before he completed the application. I would have either helped him prepare his answer or coached him through the process. What do think resume writers need to know in order to survive? They need to know their sweet spot. I know it has been said before but it is sage advice. Who are the people that energize you, need you, can afford you, and are willing to compensate you for your services.