The following is part of a weekly colleague spotlight series that started several weeks ago. Each week, I’m publishing a Q&A I conducted with a colleague. At this point, nearly a dozen colleague spotlights have been published. To read all colleague spotlights that have been published thus far, simply visit the colleague spotlight category. Here is the latest interview with Sharon Jones, a resume writer who spreads her time between a university, relocation service, and private practice.
1. What led you to writing resumes? Do you have a background that made you an ideal fit for the industry?
I improved a resume done by the career services office at my cousin’s
university. He was an engineering student with several co-op experiences. I was able to add quantifiable accomplishments, streamline the format, and increase the type size. While a corporate recruiter, I also revised the resume of a community college intern who worked in my department, Human Resources. By reviewing resumes and conducting interviews on the job, I understood what differentiated the best resumes from the others.
2. Now that you’ve been in the industry for a while, would you recommend it to others? Why?
I haven’t done it full-time.
3. What is the single best tool you recommend for building client relations? Building your business? Improve efficiency?
It’s not as easy as some books make it appear. A human resources,
staffing firm or hiring manager background is helpful. These skills are important: writing, interviewing, and knowledge of keywords in various occupations and industries. Curiosity and listening skills are useful to ask probing questions of the client.
4. If you could share one learning experience/great lesson, what would it be?
I had a private client in an industry in which I was not familiar. He
used many abbreviations about manufacturing and distribution, so I had to ask a lot of questions. I wish I had referred him to someone else.
5. What advice would you give someone just entering the resume-writing industry?
Join related professional associations and pursue certifications. Louise Kursmark conducts excellent webinars.
6. 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?
Career fields are rapidly changing and new occupations are emerging. I
think it’s important to know about different options to suggest to clients, how to research them, skills that are most marketable and in short supply in their field, etc.