The truth is, out of college I was a major “job-hopper.” When I graduated, I took a sales position that I thought would be the perfect job for the rest of my career. But after only 3 months at work, a lack of due diligence and inflexibility from a supplier meant that my department got all but shut down.
No worries for me! I was great at getting jobs, so I quickly found another one. I didn’t like it. So I got yet another one. Then another. And another. Yes, I still have a hard time believing it myself, but within 8 months of graduating, I was already on my 5th job! (By the way, during that time I turned down a slew of other offers that I didn’t even start to pursue). During this whole time, and even in college, I was already giving out advice on resumes and the job search to all sorts of friends and peers. Not only did I like it, but I also quickly learned that I was good at it!
So, what makes me an ideal fit for the industry? Two key things: 1. An inborn knack for resume writing and job search strategies. 2. A passion for helping others show off their greatest talents, and ultimately helping them get jobs they deserve!
2. How long have you been in the industry? Would you recommend it to others? Why?
I formally started Cold Collar in June of 2013, so compared to many of my peers; I guess you could say I am one of “the new kids on the block.” Personally I think this gives me a huge advantage because I bring a lot of ideas, innovation, and creativity that the “old-timers” just don’t have a clue about.
I have been studying the industry since early 2010, and since then not only have, I had had hundreds of resumes pass over my desk. I am also continuously educating myself and my team with stacks of resume writing books, tons up-to-date of articles, and several relevant courses. I and am constantly asking what seem like a million questions to clients, recruiters, and employers alike.
Would I recommend resume writing to others? Heck yes! For me, it’s not about the money (though it can be quite lucrative), but rather about the stories. Stories like the one of the guy who can finally send his wife to college because I helped him land a better-paying job, or of the gal who had been unemployed and scared, but literally landed a job the next day after she worked with me. This is what you get when you work as a resume writer. Talk about a fulfilling career!
3. What is the single best tool you recommend for building client relations? Building your business? Improve efficiency?
This one is simple: Google, Google, and Google.
Yea, I know, very few Google applications are that great on their own (lots of people complain about Gmail for starters) but from my personal experience, by committing everything to Google the incredible INTEGRATION between platforms makes Google the one thing that I can’t do without.
What specifically am I talking about? Well, I obviously use Google for my email service through Google Apps (by the way, after a while you start to like Gmail) and I use Google Calendar for tracking all meetings and appointments. But I don’t stop there. I use Google Drive to store and back up all client and prospect files, I use Google Docs for much of my collaboration with vendors, I use Google Voice as an office phone line (it’s a totally free app, and you can call from it using your Android phone). I just use Google Hangouts to chat live with non-local customers, and I use Google Forms for my resume questionnaire.
Some other helpful Google integrated apps that you may like include Insightly CRM, a customer relationship tracking system (like Salesforce) that is fully integrated with Google Apps, of course Google-owned Youtube for all marketing videos, and Mailchimp for email marketing, which, again, fully integrates with Google.
4. If you could share one learning experience/great lesson, what would it be?
My biggest learning experience thus far probably came from working with a web designer who sold himself really well, but as it turned out was either not very good or just not a good fit for me.
When I first started my business, I decided that a good website was important, but that I wanted to keep the cost low. So, after calling all sorts of small-town locals, I invested right around $700 in my first website – thinking I had found the perfect guy who was both inexpensive and high-quality.
Well, long story short, I made a bad choice. I did not like what he created at all, and what’s more, it didn’t do a good job of converting site visitors into paying clients. I have since found someone I LOVE working with (happy to share who if you reach out to me), I have gladly invested several thousands of dollars and counting into the site, and most importantly, this is well worth the price because he is an expert at transforming site visitors into paying customers.
What is the lesson? When it comes to your website, trust the experts, find a guy/gal who knows how to convert site visitors into paying customers, and be willing to pay for top quality.
5. Looking back, what would you have done differently? Done the same?
I think this goes hand-in-hand with the answers above, but if I could have done things differently, I would have put more into my website and into highly targeted Google AdWords, social media, Bing and other paid traffic, direct response campaigns.
6. What advice would you give someone just entering the resume-writing industry?
My personal advice is to not get too stuck on what others in the industry are doing. The last decade has already seen huge changes in the way resumes are viewed, and I think that the next decade is going to see a complete turnaround. Don’t get stuck in the past – get ready for the future! … More in the next answer.
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?
Culturally we are seeing a huge shift in the way people view the experts. This is not just applicable to other resume businesses.
See, there is a huge push and widespread access to open education. The internet, like it or not, has changed everything. It used to be that letters behind your name, or a college degree, or years of experience meant everything to employers. Well, those days are numbered. Now you can find almost anything you need, and the answer to any question, at a moment’s notice online, or even with your smart phone.
With such easy access, employers (and resume clients) are looking less and less for credentials, and more and more for your ability to create results. I suggest that as a writer you focus less on formal certifications, and instead get much more creative in your training, and more assertive in your approach. Don’t be afraid to be a bit edgy – after all, if we are trying to help our clients stand out in the emerging crowd, yet we all appear to be stuck in the 90’s, are clients really going to trust us?
So, what is the lesson for other resume writers? Don’t worry about credentials, be edgy, and focus on client career fulfillment.