Ruth Pankratz, the owner of Gabby Communications, helps diverse clients build their image word by word.
Ruth is an award-winning resume writer with a Master Resume Writer (MRW) with Career Thought Leaders, a Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) with The National Résumé Writers Association, a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with Professional Association of Resume Writers, and a Certified Hidden Job Market Coach (CHJMC).
Ruth is based in Colorado assisting hundreds of job seekers with individual consultations, resume writing webinars, and career support presentations.
1. What led you to write resumes? Do you have a background that made you an ideal fit for the industry?
Resume writing was a transition from my corporate leadership role because I was ready to be in business for myself and I was pregnant. I knew I could not sustain my demanding career and care for my family.
My leadership roles included marketing products and services so during this transition I decided the timing was right to start marketing professionals.
I found it easy to fit into the industry because of my marketing background.
My corporate experience and previous roles have been immensely helpful to understand different professions and to connect with clients.
2. Now that you’ve been in the industry for a while, would you recommend it to others? Why?
The resume industry trends evolve and shift, but writing rules stay the same.
If someone is interested in helping people, can continuously learn, and enjoys writing, this can be a great industry.
However, there are no industry regulations, so competition and services vary widely. If you want to own a business offering career services, it can be a great industry.
3. What is the single best tool you recommend for building client relations? Building your business? Improving efficiency?
As a business owner, one of the most empowering tools is creating and implementing processes and procedures that are shared with prospects and clients.
Communicating services, setting expectations, and providing timelines for deliverables builds trust and lasting relationships.
A few helpful business automation tools that help both the business owner and clients are, You Can Book Me or TimeTrade for scheduling meetings, Square Space or Rainmaker Digital for professional websites, and FreshBooks or Quickbooks for invoicing and payments.
I also like to have both a home and business location, so I use Office Evolution to allow workspace diversity and meeting flexibility.
4. If you could share one learning experience/great lesson, what would it be?
One of the best lessons I’ve learned as a business owner is to have clear boundaries and yet remain flexible.
Working with clients there will be unique situations.
Only you can decide if the client needs to be reminded of boundaries or if the client needs some flexibility.
I review clients who push boundaries to see if my processes have a gap or if it’s a situation that can not have success with my structure.
Through analysis and over time, I’ve been able to quickly identify undesirable prospect behaviors and response which allows me to end prospect engagements without hesitation.
5. Looking back, what would you have done differently? Done the same?
I have exceptionally high quality and customer support standards. I would not repeat my previous goal to have a larger business.
I wasted a lot of time and energy selecting and training a team only to create huge frustrations and mediocre client documents.
When I finally got wise, I went back to being a soloprenuer and adjusted my pricing structure, and as a result, I have a respected and trusted business.
I’m sure my clients would thank me for that change as well.
An invaluable start in my career was working as a subcontractor and ghostwriter.
I would still start my business by fulfilling this role because of the knowledge and experience gains.
6. What advice would you give someone just entering the resume-writing industry?
- Start by getting training and writing certifications. Don’t just go for the easy certifications because your writing ability is what you are selling.
- Subcontract, attend training sessions, go to conferences.
- If you are not good at something, find resources and be willing to outsource and accept help. Learn how to “turn off” work.
- Celebrate little wins.
- Pay your taxes.
- Understand that a lasting business is built on daily decisions.
- Continuously learn about owning a business, resume trends, and hiring needs.
- Try something new, often.
- Connect with other business owners who can empathize with your struggles.
- Embrace the fact that your business is your own—make it what you want and have it meet your idea of success.