Wednesday, July 16, 2014

So You Want to Be A Subcontract Resume Writer?

Every day, I get questions from resume writers. On my blog, I'll post the answers to frequently-asked questions!

Here's today's Q&A!

For the past few years, I have been contemplating the idea of working as an independent sub-contractor. I have even purchased a copy of your book on this subject. What kind of rates should I expect? Where do I start? I would appreciate any advice you can give me.

My Answer:
Most new resume writers who start out as subcontractors earn $30-$100 per resume project. There are contracting firms that pay more, but they generally want certified resume writers who have 2-5 years of experience or more. And, of course, what you'd earn as a contracting writer is generally much lower than you could earn working with your own clients directly, since the contracting writer/firm keeps 50-75% of the fee (paying the subcontract writer 25-50% for the writing portion).

To get started, I recommend you have the following:
  • Your own resume and cover letter (as outlined in the "Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor" special report; see the sample resume/cover letter)
  • A completed, updated LinkedIn profile.
  • A portfolio of sample resumes (these should be REAL resumes you've written for REAL clients, but "fictionalized" to remove any personally identifying information from the clients). You didn't have to get PAID for these (they can be volunteer/pro bono projects, but they should be for real people). I recommend a minimum of three samples, each for a different industry/field, UNLESS you are going to specialize in a specific niche as a subcontract writer.
  • Next, identify 3-4 contracting firms to contact. If they have a particular template format they use, I would also format one of your existing "portfolio" resumes in their writing style with the company's name on the sample (so they know you didn't plagiarize their format, but are instead demonstrating you can work within their template style). 

Note: You can find a directory of contracting opportunities in the Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor Special Report.

Make sure there are absolutely NO ERRORS in any of your communications -- your resume/cover letter/LinkedIn profile, your sample resumes, and your emails to the company. The #1 thing that will get you disqualified from consideration is errors! Attention to detail is a MUST as a subcontractor!

This is absolutely a job you can do from anywhere. However, you will need reliable Internet and phone access. (Some contracting firms require client contact for their writers. You must be able to call clients or receive calls from clients and talk to them without interruption or background noise).

The #1 thing that is important once you've been hired on as a contracting writer is MEETING DEADLINES. 
This is crucial. Miss one deadline and you'll likely be let go, so make sure you can meet the deadline when accepting a project. No excuses. 

The second most important thing is RECORDKEEPING. 
It's up to you to keep track of client documents, deadlines, revision requirements, and most important -- what you're owed! As I said: Attention to detail is key!

Colleagues -- did I miss anything? Any other advice you have for this new resume writer?

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