The following is part of a colleague spotlight series. A new colleague spotlight will be published each Monday. To read all colleague spotlights that have been published thus far, simply visit the colleague spotlight category.
1. What led you to writing resumes? Do you have a background that made you an ideal fit for the industry?
When I left college I became an Office Manager for a manufacturer’s representative company and learned a great deal about Human Resources. This led to my next position as an HR Director for a real estate development company. Someone suggested that I would be good at resume writing and career coaching full time (already doing this for free essentially) and that if I ever decided to leave the corporate world that is what I should pursue. I gave it a lot of consideration and took the plunge.
2. Now that you’ve been in the industry for a while, would you recommend it to others? Why?
Yes, for those that have a passion for helping others in their career goals I would recommend this industry.
3. What is the single best tool you recommend for building client relations? Building your business? Improve efficiency?
Building Business: A great website is a must, with a free consultation form for you to call potential clients.
Building Client Relations: Social Networking such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook help me to build continuing client relationships and new one’s as well.
Improve Efficiency: A terrific Virtual Assistant – mine, Janet Barclay or Organized Assistant is a blessing to my business in every way and keeps me on track.
4. If you could share one learning experience/great lesson, what would it be?
If you know a client isn’t right for you and your services, recommend them elsewhere – it will always end up being more work or intensely challenging personality-wise if you don’t listen to your inner voice telling you NO!
5. Looking back, what would you have done differently? Done the same?
Different: I would have started to pursue public speaking in earnest earlier.
Same: I embraced a lot of social media early on and have never looked back.
6. What advice would you give someone just entering the resume-writing industry?
1) Marketing, marketing, marketing – never decrease your marketing, if something isn’t working, change to another venue.
2) Remember, you need to truly know what you are doing in the business as you impact an individual’s ability to get a new job, sometimes a totally new career, pay their mortgage or keep their house, continue sending their children to college or private school, pay for their car, etc. This isn’t a hobby, it is a passion. If all you are looking to do is make money, this isn’t the career for you!
3) Get a coach – if you are going to coach others formally or informally in your business you must be willing to be coached yourself!
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?
Personal Branding will become more important and all resume writers need to take some courework in how to maximize their clients personal brand. This includes resumes, LinkedIn and adjunct social media, teaching their clients to protect their online identity, and coaching the client to market themselves through networking and interviewing.
Interview conducted with … Karen Silins, A+ Career & Resume, LLC: Association of Online Resume and Career Professionals.