1. What led you to writing resumes? Do you have a background that made you an ideal fit for the industry?
I was writing business plans in the later part of 1986 and included resumes in those plans. One day, a son of a client came to me to do his resume. I did his father’s business plan but he used the resume that I put in the plan (totally unconventional) to land a job. I realized that most resumes (actually all resumes at the time) were the same – boring biographies on white paper that in no way inspired either the job seeker or prospective employers. So I became the first motivational resume writer / career coach – and also co-founded the resume writing industry (PARW) with Frank Fox… that included certifications, annual conventions, etc. This is where most people got their start including Wendy Enelow, Louise Kursmark, Susan Whitcomb, etc.
2. How long have you been in the industry? Would you recommend it to others? Why?
We began the industry in 1990 – as an industry (and expanded it to career coaching in 1995). That puts me in the “industry) 22+ years. I would recommend it ONLY if resume writers have paying jobs or they know how to start / grow a business. Most resume writers are NOT making a good living because they do NOT know how to sell themselves, grow or manage a business, or innovate and incorporate new services and improved levels of quality.
3. What is the single best tool you recommend for building client relations? Building your business? Improve efficiency?
- For building client relations…. Always provide MORE in value than you get paid for.
- For building your business… anticipate the future and adapt today so you can you lead the field instead of always trying to catch up with the field.
- For improving efficiency: Time management!!! Focus on the important things and get them done. Most people “major in minor things” – and spend too much time on insignificant things / projects / social media – that results in little (if any ROI).
4. If you could share one learning experience/great lesson, what would it be?
Take 30 minutes every day to THINK / RE-THINK. It’s impossible to get better at your craft tomorrow with the same thoughts and skills you have today. The one gift human beings have been given over all other species is the gift of being able to think and re-think. The problem is… most people allow other negative people and pessimistic voices of influence (like the media, negative relative, and uninspired friends) to control how they think.
5. Looking back, what would you have done differently? Done the same?
Believe it or not – nothing. I hired the best coaches; read the books I had to read; listened to the audio books and watched the videos that kept me at the leading edge. I was always reinventing myself and seeking multiple streams of income. I work hard and try to always work smart. So as I think back – there is nothing I would do differently. Oh yes – one thing… I took up yoga a year ago (at age 58)… and it has been life-changing. So if I were to do one thing differently – much earlier in my life. (And I am very serious about this!).
6. What advice would you give someone just entering the resume-writing industry?
Get a coach – and invest in avoiding mistakes and growing your business. To me, what has led to 16 books (10 best sellers by McGraw-Hill) industry leadership, and a good, consistent 6-figure income is that I always had – and still have the best coaches money could hire… even when I had to borrow the money to hire them !
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?
Resume writers will have to become career management coaches. From providing motivational techniques to teaching job seekers and others how to adapt to career / job changes — In my opinion, no one will be able to be “just being a resume writer” and earn a decent income or even being content in their profession.