Part of the benefits of this blog is to learn about other people; and with Rosa, I was particularly happy with her agreement to do the interview because she has been writing resumes only a short time. In fact, she agreed to the interview while living in Orlando, FL, and fulfilled her commitment once reaching her new home, Denver, CO. I’m honored she found the time to answer my questions, even amongst a big move. It says great things about her character. Thank you, Rosa!
What’s particularly interesting about Rosa [as I mentioned above], she’s somewhat new to the industry, but she also started in a part-time role in 2003 and transitioned to full-time status less than 3 years ago. Transitioning this way is actually something I recommend … because businesses take off differently for different people. For me, I was ignorant about all-things-business so it took me longer to learn about and adapt to business ownership. I officially started in 1999, but I really didn’t start operating to capacity or to the seriousness I should have until about 2001.
Rosa’s business evolved, too, initially providing resumes and job-search materials (B2C focus) and progressing into other business projects (B2B focus). Starting out one way and transitioning into something else happens to many of us.
Interview 10 industry professionals and you’ll learn they each started differently, molding the initial business into something that fit their professional strengths against client needs and the changing market. For example, an increasing number of resume writers now write executive bios, online personal portfolios/websites, and social networking bios, but didn’t start out offering these services.
If you take only one lesson away from Rosa, let it be that businesses change. Identify and leverage your own professional strengths to fulfill the needs of your clients.
What led you to resume writing? When did you start?
During my years as a senior manager in NYC, I was very involved in staff development, team building, and training, which were secondary aspect of my job. My official accountabilities were sales and operations. However, I learned that the success of any company is in its people and I began to develop strong teams; in the process getting involved with resume screening, interviewing, and hiring. Years later, I decided to merge my writing fascination with my skills as a manager and help talented job seekers sell themselves by opening my own resume writing and consulting business [check out Rosa’s business @ CreatingPrints].
How has your business grown?
Business has grown slowly but it has been progressive. My focus has been internet-based and referral-based. Growth has been slow but progressive. I credit the pace to my lack of understanding of business marketing and promotion. I originally began off-line. Once I focused online – business took off.
Give an overview of your company’s services. Did you morph/expand services as time passed? Why?
Originally, I was writing resumes, now I am consulting, writing bios, website copy and helping clients with myriad of marketing documents. There was a demand for these services and I enjoyed the growth and the variety of projects.
If you could share one learning experience, bit of business wisdom, what would it be?
Nothing will go as you have planned it – so be prepared to think at the spur of the moment, reassess your business, implement new ideas and creatively propel your success. Be open to change! It is a great idea to have a business plan – but know that life has a way of surprising you and sometimes things turn out even better than you had originally planned.
How has your marketing and advertising strategies changed? It is very important that you are online.
For me, traditional advertising (yellow pages, newspaper, flyers, etc.) did not work! All of my business, leads, referrals, have come from internet sources. Everyone is online and you have to speak to that audience quickly and with relevant information.
What advice would you give new resume writers and career professionals?
Not to pay attention to competition or compare your business to others. Don’t talk down your competition in order to win a client. It is a good idea to analyze and study competitors to learn what practices are out there, but focus on what your style is; on how you enjoy doing business, and see what works for you and your clients! Stay focused, determined, and don’t give up.