1. What led you to writing resumes? Do you have a background that made you an ideal fit for the industry?
I started writing resumes for welfare recipients many years ago, and then taught a career perspectives class at Indiana University while I was finishing my master’s degree. After graduating, I started working for Jobfox and then TheLadders as a contractor. I really enjoyed helping clients achieve their goals, and I think this is what makes me an ideal fit for the industry, along with my good writing, marketing and formatting skills.
2. How long have you been in the industry? Would you recommend it to others? Why?
I have a ten year background in career services. I would recommend it to others who want a flexible schedule. At times, it can be hard to be a business owner, but ultimately it’s been worth it for me. I would especially recommend the industry to those with excellent writing and marketing skills who want to make a positive difference in people’s lives.
3. What is the single best tool you recommend for building client relations? Building your business? Improve efficiency?
I think it’s important to have a good presence on the internet via a company website and LinkedIn. I would say that the more you put into building your business, the more you’ll get out. The challenge comes when I have a lot of contract writing work, but not enough time to put into marketing my own business.
4. If you could share one learning experience/great lesson, what would it be?
It takes two sides of the brain to write a good resume. Start off by writing the resume in a creative flow state, but then go back at the end and give it a very critical proofread before sending it out. At the beginning of my time writing professional and executive resumes, I wouldn’t always do a thorough proof prior to submitting the work to the client. I highly recommend taking the time to review your documents by actually speaking the words in the document out loud (or in your head) to ensure all the language flows well. 5. Looking back, what would you have done differently? Done the same? At one point, I worked as a subcontractor for a dishonest individual who didn’t pay me as agreed. If I could do it over again, I would have looked more into his background before I completed weeks worth of work. On the other hand, this experience informed me about payment issues in the industry, and helped formulate my current payment policies.
6. What advice would you give someone just entering the resume-writing industry?
Start work as a contractor to build your experience, and then launch your private practice. Always deliver exceptional service to customers, whether it’s over the phone, in person or through the web.
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?
In the next 12 months, I see the economy continuing to improve slowly, so there will still be layoffs and people in need of new resumes. In five years, I see the possibility of online resumes or landing pages becoming a bigger trend. I think LinkedIn will continue to challenge the traditional resume for some employers and recruiters who prefer it. So, I would tell resume writers that they must offer LinkedIn profile writing as part of their services to stay competitive.