1. What led you to writing resumes? Do you have a background that made you an ideal fit for the industry?
My mother, Darby Deihl, CPRW is definitely who led me to this industry. She started D’Scribe Resumes from the back computer room of our house back in 1994 when I was still in high school. Within 3 years she had an office in Dallas and had been published in Jay Block and Michael Betrus’ Triple Crown bestseller 101 Best… series. She had achieved great success and I knew it was because of how much she truly helped people. I saw those clients when they came in and saw the difference when they left and read the “thank you so much I got the job” cards and letters. I come from a family of writers so it was really just a matter of time. I worked for Mom through high school and into college and then came in full time in 2000 after my son was born. I had the best teacher in the world, so it was a natural fit. In 2009, we decided to update, re-brand, and move the business so I took the reins to spearhead a new concept; pairing coaching and writing in one package for clients. Steering away from a product driven company to a service based search partner.
2. How long have you been in the industry? Would you recommend it to others? Why?
I’ve been around it for 19 years, in it for 14 years. I recommend it very discriminately, in that, this is people’s livelihoods we’re dealing with in this business. We are the beginning of the jumping off point, the jumping up point, or a scary transition. The job market is so crowded right now, some places are reporting up to 200 resumes per position, you have to make sure everything the employers see is perfect, nee, and outstanding. There’s a need for personal involvement on a level that makes you honestly want these clients to obtain these interviews and subsequently jobs. Again, I had the best teacher ever for that, my mom.
You do the best job on things you care about, so if someone genuinely wants a career where you are paid for helping people then absolutely this is a fantastic choice. However, I discourage people from getting into to become a product based business. Those places don’t care, so it’s like what I call a pageant song, it’s technically correct but there’s no feeling.
3. What is the single best tool you recommend for building client relations? Building your business? Improve efficiency?
Be real with clients!!!! One way or the other. If you’re the best, don’t hide your light, but if you’re not the best, don’t oversell yourself at yours and the client’s expense. Clients are usually in some state of fear when they seek our services. I am very specific about what to expect from us, employers, applicant tracking systems, seasonal schedules and market evaluations for their target positions. The specificity really puts people at ease. Even the most difficult client can be easy to work with if you can anticipate need. Building your business I really believe should be done organically, i.e. building locally and then out from there. That’s the only way you’ll be sustainable. We’ve seen flashes in the pan and trends come in and out along with matching businesses but if you establish yourself as a local expert and build out from there then you build a traceable line back to where you started and it “roots” your expertise, lending it more credence. The only way to improve efficiency in this business is to increase your knowledge base, decreasing the amount of time you spend looking things up. So, my advice? READ EVERYTHING!!! Everything affects the job market, politics, economics, holidays, weather, unions, mergers, bailouts, new industries, etc. Everything around us is pertinent to what we do, and if it’s not I guarantee if you’re in this long enough it will be pertinent to what a client does. Read, read, read… read everything.
4. If you could share one learning experience/great lesson, what would it be?
Professional doesn’t mean buttoned-up, it means knowing what you’re doing. I’m southern and we are known for hospitality. It was very difficult for me establish a comfortable rapport (which leads to better information) with clients because I was trying to be professional. When I realized I was professional and had a God given gift to make people comfortable, I stopped being rigid and have been able to fundamentally affect the lives of clients.
5. Looking back, what would you have done differently? Done the same?
I don’t believe in do over’s or long term regrets. I mean, we’ve all had our face-palm moments, but if you learned from that situation then take what you learned and leave all the rest of it behind. I know we help people every day. I know we get positive results for people every day. Everything we’ve done has held us here and I wouldn’t undo any of it.
6. What advice would you give someone just entering the resume-writing industry?
Pay attention. Yes it matters, it always matters. Care. Read! Never turn down a project, even if it’s free. It’s either practice you need or so easy for you and helps them so much so, why not?
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 LinkedIn and professional social media taking a big lead in the future. Between our growing dependence on mobile technology and moving to a greener paperless professional environment, we are pointed and hurdling toward technology based personal marketing for job seekers. We saw this coming over the last couple of years and have studied and positioned ourselves as LinkedIn experts for this very reason. We no longer live in an age where it is okay to say, “I’m not really computer literate”.