Mary Elizabeth Bradford – The Career Artisan.
She’s a triple certified, award-winning executive resume writer. Her clients are corporations and C-Level executives who reside worldwide.
She creates CXO resumes, biographies, LinkedIn profiles and provides recruiter and private equity distributions and client advisory services.
1. What led you to write resumes? Do you have a background that made you an ideal fit for the industry?
Mary Elizabeth: I started out in marketing and that evolved into being recruited by a recruiter to become a recruiter.
That was back in the 1990’s.
Eventually, I bought out the branch I ran for him and grew up a very successful recruitment firm in Nashville.
During that time, I was also a professional songwriter (my second job) and I pitched songs for a very famous writer through a contract I had with Universal Music Publishing.
Interestingly, there is no better training for writing resumes than understanding how to write and pitch a country song!
After that adventure ended, I was a top executive career coach for a big outplacement agency out of Boston, MA for 7 years.
Strong marketing skills and a solid understanding of the careers industry from a recruiter viewpoint helped tremendously.
I enjoy writing and making things look visually beautiful.
2. How long have you been in the industry? Would you recommend it to others? Why?
Mary Elizabeth: 16 years.
Yes, I would definitely recommend our industry to others.
It has a strong, long-term economic outlook.
It is flexible and rewarding.
3. What is the single best tool you recommend for building client relations? Building your business? Improve efficiency?
Mary Elizabeth: I think the quickest way to success is to niche your expertise. Based on your background, try to write for a niche.
Think Hospitality Resumes, The College Grad Writer or the General Council Resume Writer.
Be someone others can trust and do what you say you are going to do.
Use free or low-cost technology to design a system for yourself that makes things turnkey.
You don’t want to work too hard in this business. It is too draining.
Take care of yourself so you can take care of others.
Get a good business coach who can help you.
4. If you could share one learning experience/great lesson, what would it be?
Mary Elizabeth: I would not be where I am today if I had not hired people who knew more than me to help me.
You have to invest money in yourself and your business.
After all, that is what you are telling job seekers to do.
We are no different.
5. Looking back, what would you have done differently? Done the same?
Mary Elizabeth: I would have put more money behind my advertising earlier in the game.
I am a very aggressive marketer, but there is only so much one can do alone.
6. What advice would you give someone just entering the resume-writing industry?
Mary Elizabeth: Keep it simple: get advice from others who are seasoned; pay for it; get it any way you can.
You will end up saving time and money in the end if you do.
Start at the top and work down if you have to.
Look at the resume writers who have won awards on CDI and have those be your quality goal.
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?
Mary Elizabeth: Good marketing will always survive.
More things are being conveyed digitally and we are all expected to show more vulnerability.
Other than that, I don’t know if execs and the writers who help them will see all that much change.
Less is more – things are being said much more simply and elegantly, which I think is smart.
Just strive to understand what a good marketing message is and maybe learn how to optimize LinkedIn profiles.
Looking for ways you can make passive streams of income with other products is smart too.