I have been writing resumes for about 7 years for myself, my family and friends in my spare time, at no cost. Due to the tough economy, I endured 3 layoffs due to company closures and relocations, and in between each layoff, I was able to find a new position, be interviewed, and get offered a great position with a start date shortly after the prior layoff. I was, of course, successful in my pursuits due to networking and being proactive on the job front hunt. Of course most layoffs are not expected or communicated in a timely matter, but my personal experiences have prepared me to help others by efficiently learning of new openings and creating resumes that generated call backs for interviews quickly. I began to share my techniques with families and friends that assisted them to become very successful in a short amount of time. After being laid off for the 3rd time and then becoming pregnant shortly thereafter, my husband encouraged me to pursue my passion of resume writing and helping others as a full time career, rather than just as a hobby. Thankfully to him, I feel like I have found my calling. (Thank you honey) <smiles>
2. How long have you been in the industry? Would you recommend it to others? Why?
I have been fully committed to this industry as a resume writer for almost 2 years now. Within my 2 years of dedication, I have created a resume writing business that offers affordable resume writing services that target low income individuals and families and individuals that speak English as a second language. I have learned how to use creativity and techniques to write efficient resumes quickly and have presented workshops to share my success with others. It is so rewarding to know that I have changed the lives of others who have been unemployed for several years by helping them feel more confident through their writing and in receiving multiple interviews after submitting a resume that I had created or assisted them with.
So, long story short, would I recommend the resume writing industry to others? Sure. But, not just to anybody. If you strive to understand others by helping them to succeed to the best of their abilities and enjoy writing, then, yes, I would recommend this industry to you.
3. What is the single best tool you recommend for building client relations? Building your business? Improve efficiency?
Honesty is what truly allows me the ability to create long lasting relationships with my clients. The single best tool to build my business? Well that’s easy…networking, networking, and networking! Networking builds any business, if you think about it. I have found my business to become successful by networking and communicating with other professionals to learn more about them and then indirectly sharing my background and business to engage in building new client relationships. Networking can be done by word of mouth, handing out business cards, contacting local nonprofits, sending texts, or using social media. The single best tool to improve efficiency is research. I have made my business more efficient through research and connecting with other resume writers to learn new resume writing techniques that have proven to be successful.
4. If you could share one learning experience/great lesson, what would it be?
A great lesson that I would like to share with other resume writers, is to create and implement standard writing procedures and agreement for yourself for when you begin the communication and service process with your client. Always back up the communication with the client in writing! I have learned by having structure and procedure (for when I receive an inquiry or payment, communicate with a prospect, etc…), I allow for organization, efficiency, communication, and satisfaction by creating across the board same great service to each and every client. Always make sure to re-iterate in writing what the client is expecting of you (and then keep the email or document where they also agree of what is expected from your services). That way, if the client comes back unhappy with what has been provided in your services to them (either by context, or formatting, etc.), you now can go back into your files and go through the original agreement that was made with your client. Most times, after you re-provide the agreement to the client, they will agree that they may have made the error on their end and failed to iterate what they were expecting to have included in the original service request. My findings were that if I did not create this type of agreement or written communication for myself and the client, I may find the client to not be on the same page with me or unsatisfied with the end result.
5. Looking back, what would you have done differently? Done the same?
Looking back, I remember how I would email the finished resumes and/or cover letters to the client without providing them with an explanation of my thought processes behind the end result. By not providing the client with reasoning behind the approaches I used in developing their resume, I left myself open to unnecessary criticism and questioning, wasting my time and the client’s. By providing an explanation upfront, I diffused much of the client’s anxiousness and questioning. By following this implementation process, I am now able to be more efficient with the client through the sharing of my expertise, thoughts, and input which they always appreciate and which allow for minimal suggestions and questions.
6. What advice would you give someone just entering the resume-writing industry?
Research the resume writing industry and become involved in many resume writing groups/forums before you decide to make resume writing into a business. Beware, the information you may find or receive through research can become very overwhelming, but you can take what you learn to make it as your own and make changes that best fit your ways for your business as you move along.
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’m a strong believer in following up with the hiring manager/HR after I have my clients submit their resume. With technology evolving more and more each day, and with ATS systems being highly used throughout the country, it may prove to be more difficult to reach someone to confirm your resume has been received by an actual human being. (This applies to over the next 12 month and 5 years.) Because of evolving technology, I not only offer resume writing services, but also online resume posting and application services. In order to survive in our type of industry, it’s really all about meeting people (either over the internet, grocery store, or in coffee shops) and following up with them. If you are not hungry to find people who can use your services, you will find it very difficult to maintain a steady income.