Resume writing was actually something I just stumbled upon. I did not even know about resume writing as a profession, until I was looking for writing jobs online and came across an ad for editing resumes. I figured as a recent graduate with a Master of Arts in Communication and experience writing bios and profiles for executives at Fortune 500 companies, I would be able to edit resumes. Two months later, I was called for an interview and landed a position as a subcontractor with a start-up company, My Improved Resume. It has been nothing but a great for my career ever since.
2. How long have you been in the industry? Would you recommend it to others? Why?
I have been in the industry for 6 months, and have enjoyed every moment of it. The flexibility and the opportunity to work with people of all backgrounds and professional levels is like no other job I have ever had. I would definitely recommend this industry to others because it is a great opportunity to be in control of your own career, become an entrepreneur and make a true mark on society.
3. What is the single best tool you recommend for building client relations? Building your business? Improve efficiency?
Personal connection is the key. It is one thing to develop a resume, but it is another to communicate with the client to bring out their best skills, and market that information in the form of a resume. Clients can tell when you are truly engaged with them, whether it’s by detailing specific changes made to their resume or complementing them on some components in their resume that were in good shape. Going above and beyond to get to know the client leads to strong relationships and even stronger referrals!
4. If you could share one learning experience/great lesson, what would it be?
Network, network, network! There are so many things I learned about this industry from writing techniques to gaining certifications to even developing my own brand, just by simply reaching out to various resume writers. Learning about other resume writers’ experiences broadened my perspective of this industry and the opportunities available to me.
5. Looking back, what would you have done differently? Done the same?
Take your time with resumes, it is truly an art. When I first started subcontracting, I would try to crank out as many as I could and as fast as I could, using a standard template. I realized really quickly that was not a good idea. Resume writing takes time, research and thorough communication to understand the clients’ skill-set and relay that in their resume in a way that will entice an employer. Now I treat every resume like a piece of art, painting the perfect picture of a client to help them land their dream job.
Also, in the beginning of my resume writing career, I was also open to learning about new industries that I was not familiar with to help develop resumes suitable to my clients’ job fields. That is something I am glad I did and I still do to this day.
6. What advice would you give someone just entering the resume-writing industry?
Build your brand. Don’t just look at it as another job, but an opportunity to create a business. Create a website and business cards to promote your business. Attend industry events to collaborate with other resume writers. Seek to gain resume writing certifications through various professional organizations, including NRWA, PARW/CC, Career Directors International, and Resume Writing Academy. This is a great industry for someone with an entrepreneurial spirit who is not afraid to market themselves.
7. How do you see our industry transforming over the next 12 months? 5 years? What do you think resume writers need to know in order to survive?
I would not be surprised if in the future we all used social media profiles, like LinkedIn as our resume. Many employers look at social media profiles before even contacting candidates for an interview.
And since almost all industries are gravitating towards social media it would only make sense that the resume writing industry make the same transition. I know for the company I work for, My Improved Resume, we have received several requests to edit LinkedIn profiles in tandem with clients’ resumes.
With the job market we are in, gone are the days where large amounts of people are working their way up at one company and remaining there for 20 years. People are constantly looking few new job opportunities and the need for resume writers is and will most like continue to grow to meet the demands of the large pool of job candidates.