Thursday, September 11, 2014

Resume Writers: Are You Promoting International Update Your Resume Month?

Fourteen years ago, Career Directors International (CDI), registered and launched an international event, Update Your Resume Month (UYRM), to take place each year in September. With summer behind us, and children back to school, it continues to make sense that adults should take this time to conduct a career check-up.

In celebration and support of UYRM, CDI is reaching out to professional resume writers worldwide with the following tips to create a win-win for themselves and job seekers this year through UYRM:

#1 – Decide what to do for the event.

UYRM is rich with opportunities to reach job seekers. Suggested activities for resume writers include:
  • Provide special discounts on resume services during the month.
  • Coordinate with a local school, library, bookstore, women’s center, or church to offer a free seminar.
  • Announce a free teleclass or webinar that is open to the public. (Then, of course, record it to give as a gift via your website in the future).
  • Write informative articles and blog posts to be posted on your website or on third-party sites.
  • Create a free e-book that can later be made available for sale.
  • Provide daily tips during the month via your favorite social media channel(s). (Later this can be made into an e-book).

Whatever choices are made, having something to give provides the professional with leverage to promote and gain publicity.

CDI members will find numerous resources in the member’s section from which to create presentations and information pieces.

#2 – Reach out to the media and the public.
While members of the media don’t want to hear about a story too early, it’s important not to wait too long.
  • Write a press release about the offering, using the time-sensitive link to the upcoming UYRM.
  • Send announcements out to local companies, non-profits, and organizations who might be interested in letting their staff, students, and/or parishioners know.
  • Post signs in community centers.
  • Contact local news agencies — TV producers, radio stations, small local papers, and major newspapers.
  • Add the event to signature file for emails and blog posts.
  • Blog about it.
  • Spread the word across social media.

CDI members have access to a wealth of additional resources such as sample letters to professors, announcement press releases, and strategy ideas.

#3 – Most importantly, don’t wait; get planning now.
The biggest challenge for self-employed resume writers, career coaches, and even academic career counselors have is schedule pressure.

Why wait? With a little effort, rewards can be had for your efforts this September!

CDI members can brainstorm and partner with fellow members on these initiatives through 24/7 mastermind communities to reach more people and get more done.

#4 – Give back, but get back too.
While sharing knowledge is fabulous, UYRM also presents a unique opportunity to shed light on the importance of educating the public about professional resume writing. While making a difference with tips, advice, articles, and workshops, remember that this is a unique opportunity to spread the word about the value of hiring a professional resume writer. To many out there in the world, professional resume writing is still an unknown. Give advice and spread the word for a future win-win for future profits, future client successes, and future industry visibility.

Visit the public job-seeker page for UYRM.

Learn more about CDI member benefits for resume writers and career coaches.

About Career Directors International –

CDI is a global professional association that is committed to ensuring that career and resume professionals can grow and thrive in a rich, vibrant, exciting, safe, and nurturing environment. CDI is focused on championing the industry’s cause for credibility and visibility; fostering exceptional success in every generation of career and resume professionals; and cultivating the career superhero that exists within each one of us.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Be More Creative in Your Resume Writing Business

You might think that you're already pretty creative. After all, you're a resume writer, and creativity is part of your DNA. But the thing is, most of the time the creative process is not really as spontaneous as some people might wish it was. You can't just sit around and wait for creativity to suddenly strike. Creativity takes a little work and planning.

Here are some ideas:

  • Brainstorm on a Regular Basis

It's really easy to get tied down with typical business activities on a day-to-day basis, and that can kill your creativity. After all, it's hard to go from updating your QuickBooks account to coming up with a killer LinkedIn headline without an adjustment period. And it's even harder to go from writing a cover letter to coming up with ideas for an ebook to help your clients in their job search. So it's important to set aside a regular time — each week or each month — to come up with new ideas. The specific timing doesn't matter. The important thing is to take the time out to brainstorm new ideas.

  • No Idea Is Dumb

While you're brainstorming, keep track of the ideas that come to mind, and take the stance that no idea is dumb. Sure, some ideas are wacky and may not work, but even a truly ridiculous idea can become genius if given half a chance. During brainstorming, nothing whatsoever is off limits. If you put blocks in your way and start classifying things as dumb or wrong, you will not be able to let ideas flow freely.

  • Conduct Research

Once you have some ideas, it's time to narrow them down and start doing some research. It's important that you handle this process on your own. Learn about your idea, test your ideas, and get feedback from others before you move forward too far.

  • Take Time Out to Learn Something New

The exciting fact about learning is that you can learn anything new — and it will help you in all aspects of your life. What you choose to learn about today may have nothing whatsoever to do with resume writing or your clients, but it will open your mind to new possibilities. It's important to always be involved with the learning process, whether it's learning a new software program, or learning how to make a square foot garden.

  • Get Out of Your Bubble

It's super easy to get caught up in our own bubble. This happens a lot to people who have their own businesses. It can also happen with resume writers, when you only talk to people who agree with you, or who only work with the same clients. I learn new things by interacting with college career center staff, employees of state Department of Labor departments, and new resume writers. Invite new people into the fold on occasion, and get out of your office by going to a conference or something so that you can separate yourself from your inner circle enough to soak in new thoughts about the world and your niche.

  • Allow Yourself to Think Big

Dare to dream the big dreams about yourself and your resume writing business. If your mother did not tell you that you are capable of anything, then that's too bad. Because, the truth is, your success or failure has almost nothing to do with your education, or even your abilities. It has to do with the ability to dream and think big -- outside of the world you currently live -- and see the possibilities that are on the other side.

  • Only Action Gets Results

Brainstorming, researching, learning, and dreaming only go so far without actions. So, someplace in the creative process should be a plan in which to take action. Actual steps that you need to do to see something through to fruition. It's like anything else you do in life -- if you don't take the steps necessary to make it to your destination, you will never get there. That goes with being healthier, working with a different type of client, and being more creative. You have to practice doing to get results.

  • Follow Through

It can be easy to get carried away doing everything and then when things aren't going the way we want them to it's easy to give up. It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. With any idea that you come up with that you want to succeed in accomplishing, you should be willing to spend the 10,000 hours needed to see it through. If you do that, you will not fail.

Creativity isn't a magic thing; it's a thing that you plan to achieve. It's the thing that will get you up every morning working your resume writing business so that you can experience the life of your dreams.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Keys to Meeting Client Project Deadlines

One of the most important parts of being a resume writer is meeting client deadlines. When the major "deliverable" that clients receive is the resume (or LinkedIn profile), their anticipation of receiving the draft is very high.

Here's some ideas:

  • Set Realistic Deadlines. The fastest killer of a deadline is overestimating what you can do and how fast you can do it. Always work in a cushion to your deadlines just in case something happens; that way you can avoid stress when trying to meet deadlines.

  • Set Deadlines in Stone. Once you set a deadline, tell yourself it is set in stone and you must meet it or beat it. Since you put in a cushion before setting the deadline, that means that you should be able to get done before the deadline — if all goes as planned.

  • Plan and Organize Efficiently. Part of setting deadlines is learning to plan and organize efficiently. Set up a system of organization that you do for every resume project. Having systems in place eliminates the problem of forgetting any aspect of your project. (That includes the finalization process — i.e., a checklist where you remind yourself to remove the information in the Properties in Word, for example.)

  • Use a Calendar. No one can do anything online without a calendar. Today online calendars can sync with your smartphones so that there is no reason to forget anything. Train yourself to look at your calendar every evening and every morning so that you avoid forgetting anything. Do not rely on your memory.

  • Communicate Deadlines to Team Members. If you work with subcontract resume writers, it's crucial that you communicate deadlines to them in a way that they understand the importance of the deadlines.

  • Do the Most Productive Thing First. If you are not sure where to start, and you can identify items that aren't order sensitive, then you can start right on them. Sometimes just getting something done can unleash more creativity.

  • Baby Steps. Break up all the work into small, bite-sized pieces that you can do a little at a time that will ensure that you meet your deadlines. Setting smaller deadlines throughout the project will also help. (By noon, I will write the "Work Experience" and "Education" sections. By 3 p.m., I will write the Qualifications Profile.")

  • Start at the End. Sometimes it's easiest to start writing the resume from the bottom-up. This usually means starting with Professional Affiliations, Publications, or Education and then working your way up to the Experience section, with the Qualifications Profile being written last. 

  • Plan Ahead. The first thing you should do for any project is to make plans ahead of time to get the things done that need to be done. They say that failing to plan is planning to fail and nothing can be truer than when it comes to project management (and resume writing). So if you need to write a cover letter, resume, LinkedIn profile, and bio, decide what order you're going to write them in BEFORE you start. Believe it or not: Taking time to plan will actually SAVE you time overall.

If you really want to beat client deadlines for the resumes you write, it requires organization, planning, and dedication to be self-disciplined enough to follow the plan you created for yourself to meet your goals. It all starts, of course, with that realistic deadline, and advanced planning. A good project management system doesn't hurt either.

Want more tips on this topic? Check out my special report on how to "Write Great Resumes Faster."

Monday, September 8, 2014

Tips for Getting Caught Up

Self-employed resume writers are ALWAYS looking for ways to get more done -- so check out the tips in this article:
Tips For Getting Caught Up

This is the tip I'm working on most:

What are YOUR productivity tips?


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