1. What led you to writing resumes? Do you have a background that made you an ideal fit for the industry?
I was an executive recruiter and college recruiter for a few years before starting in the resume business in 1992. Plus I was a freelance writer who needed a “day job.” Since then I have written resumes for job seekers at all levels in all industries in countries around the world. My skills in writing, editing, career counseling, clear communications and strategic thinking have all added up to making me good at my work.
2. How long have you been in the industry? Would you recommend it to others? Why?
I have been writing resumes for over 20 years. It is a very peculiar job that most people would not be good at, so I would not recommend it to everyone. Indeed, everyone would not be equally good at any job – we are fitted for particular employment.
3. What is the single best tool you recommend for building client relations? Building your business? Improve efficiency?
Writers must always focus on high-torch, high-contact interaction with clients – there is always a real need to get clients up to speed with the fundamentals of the job search process. Building business must be based on SEO/SEM investment, constant referral contacts and persistent connecting with HR entities, outplacement firms, career coaches and recruiters of all types. No such thing as too much exposure for resume writing.
There are any number of software apps to help keep the office streamlined and efficient – no secret formula. Most writers will hammer out the processes that work for them.
4. If you could share one learning experience/great lesson, what would it be?
All interconnected – Always focus on clear, concise resumes; optimal customer satisfaction; and an excellent listening ear.
5. Looking back, what would you have done differently? Done the same?
I would have started what I’m doing now 10 years earlier – on my own, networking and educating clients on job search dynamics and common sense strategies. I would focus on building as deep and wide a referral base as possible. Basically it takes time to acquire the skills, track record and industry reputation.
6. What advice would you give someone just entering the resume-writing industry?
Focus on concise writing, clear communications, customer interaction, prioritizing information and simply listening to people’s stories. Achieve and maintain a positive reputation for customer satisfaction, while learning to help clients manage their expectations and understand what they can or cannot control in the process.
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 don’t see major industry changes in terms of the standard online or printed resume format or styles of Functional, Chronological and Combination. There have been initial moves toward QR and Video resumes, and this may track with leading-edge technologies, but it is not widespread or easy for the average job seeker to use. Always critical will be conciseness, clarity and flexibility in the resume writing world. And my firm conviction is that people ought to get a professional to produce such a important document, rather than trying to do it themselves. The “forest and trees” issue prevents people from being able to have enough perspective to create resumes themselves.