Monday, December 27, 2010
Trends in Resumes and Career Marketing Communications
I've been a resume writer since 1996. Certainly, a lot of things have changed in the careers industry during that time -- and things will continue to change in the future. But the need to assist job seekers with clarifying their job search goals and strategies and developing messaging content to fulfill that role will continue to be needed, both now and well into the future.
But even with changes in technology, the job search is still fundamentally about people. Connecting with the people with the authority to hire you. (There's a resurgent interest in networking -- both with and without social media -- which is interesting, because it's always been about connecting with other people.)
Saturday, November 13, 2010
What NOT to Do On Your Facebook (& Twitter) Page
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Seth Godin Says Folks Shouldn't Write Their Own Resumes
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Career Management Alliance Offers Discounted SelectRecruiters Subscription
Careers industry professionals who are members of the Career Management Alliance can receive a significant discount on a subscription to SelectRecruiters, a searchable database of professional recruiters.
Founded in 1999, Career Management Alliance is trusted as the world's leading professional association dedicated to linking all divisions within the careers industry. A distinctive community that values the strength of diverse knowledge, the Alliance attracts members from assorted career backgrounds, such as resume writing, career coaching, career counseling, college and university career development, government and military career transition, outplacement, recruiting, and HR.
SelectRecruiters gives you a powerful tool in your arsenal of professional services — an up-to-the-minute way to connect all of your clients with:
- A comprehensive database of thousands of recruiter profiles that allows you to help your clients quickly identify the recruiters best suited to help meet their career objectives. You can search by geography, industry, function, fee structure, and pay range.
- Tools they will need to create a custom email campaign, allowing your clients to interface with a broad scope of recruiters, instantly — without the added cost of postage.
- Exclusive access to recruiting firms' physical addresses, making it easy to create custom direct (snail) mail campaigns — including mailing label templates and a spreadsheet for creating the merge!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Resume Partnerships: All-Day Coverage
A few years ago, I was at a resume writing conference with a pair of resume writers who lived on opposite ends of the U.S. They operated a joint website and shared projects so they could answer the phones from 7 a.m. Eastern time to 7 p.m. Pacific time (which was really 10 p.m. Eastern). The one on the East Coast worked from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern time and the one on the West Coast worked from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific.
These two writers would have been competitors if they lived in the same town, but by working together, they served more clients and offered more responsive service than a solopreneur could.
I think that's a neat idea.
What's even cooler would be using a service like Grasshopper with it -- so you could seamlessly transfer calls to whichever resume writer was on duty. (Grasshopper was recommended to me by a client and I signed up as an affiliate because I think it's a great way for resume writers to manage incoming calls and information.)
Friday, September 24, 2010
Best of Today: 9/24/10
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Best of Today: 9/22/10
An Argument in Favor of Client Interviews (over Questionnaires)
Monday, September 20, 2010
Best of Today: 9/20/10
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Helping Clients Research Prospective Employers
This video explains how the selection process works:
Many libraries limit the number of records that can be downloaded each day (my local library limits it to 25 per day), but that's plenty for a job seeker to work on a day (if not a week!)
Give your clients a heads-up about this ...
Marketing Your Services in a Down Market: Specialization and Pricing
Last in a series of posts on Marketing Your Resume Writing Services in a Down Market.
One way to ensure your relevance in a downturn is to be a specialist. For example, the federal government is always hiring -- but these jobs require a federal resume. Now is the time to acquire the skills and certification required to serve these clients effectively. Identifying under-served niches and obtaining specialized training or experience will serve you well in a difficult economic market.
It will also enable you to protect your prices at a time when you may need to reduce your regular rates to attract "general" clients. Being a specialist in any area will allow you to continue to charge "premium" prices to clients in that industry.
And don't forget to target your base of existing clients during a downturn. Repeat clients are already "sold" on the value of the services you offer, and can offer a steady stream of income while you work to develop new clients.
Remember: No matter what technique you decide to use, don't wait until you need the business to start marketing. Even if things are going well, it can change in an instant.
As marketing expert Robert Middleton notes, "Many self-employed people think that the success of their business is completely dependent upon outside circumstances -- industry trends, the time of year, or the economy as a whole. But be honest with yourself and ask if you are doing the above activities on a regular basis or not. If you're not, it's no mystery why the phone isn't ringing off the hook!"
Want the whole article? Buy the issue here.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Best of Today: 9/17/10
Guest Blog Post: E-mail Newsletters: Still Relevant?
As social media and blogging have grown more and more popular, there’s been some talk about the demise of the “lowly” email newsletter, or e-zine. Once a staple of business owners using the Internet to market and promote their businesses, it seems that lately the thinking is that they’re not so important anymore. Or, even worse, not as effective.
If you’re not familiar, an e-zine can be as simple as a plain text email with a couple of helpful tips for your readers—to a HTML version with pictures, an article, listings of your upcoming events and more.While it’s true that there is more “stuff” clamoring for our attention in our inboxes than ever before—and blogs and social media seem to be the more of-the-moment methods to reach out to potential customers—I still believe that an e-zine is a key marketing tool. In fact, it’s the perfect vehicle for continuing the relationship you’ve begun with people on social media sites or your blog.
Here are a few reasons why:
1) Keeps you top of mind
As much as we would like to think that our prospects or our audience are always thinking of us (wouldn’t THAT be nice?), it’s unfortunately not the case. Just as a company wouldn’t run a TV commercial just once, repetition is necessary to remind people of you, your offerings and your expertise.
No, not that kind. An e-zine gives you a great opportunity to create a feeling of “intimacy” between yourself and your readers by sharing a bit about what is going on with you outside of your business. (Think about what you’ve been up to lately—got anything to share about your recent vacation, your pets, a great book you’ve just finished?) Often people do this in a section at the beginning of their e-zine under a heading such as “A Note From” or something similar. This helps strengthen the relationship with your subscribers by giving them a glimpse into who you are.
3) Expert status
The more consistently you share information, tips and articles on the subject or niche you are most knowledgeable in, the more credibility you gain in the eyes of your readers. Perceived expertise leads to trust which leads to sales.
A few other tips for your e-zine:
Frequency: How often you send it depends on how often you can commit to doing so, (how’s that for an answer ? ) but I recommend at a minimum twice a month and ideally, once a week. Remember, you want to stay top of mind above all else.
Subject line: Another important part of your e-zine is your subject line. Obviously you want as many people to open your e-zine as possible, so have some fun with this. Think of what would stir up curiosity in your reader—and don’t be afraid to be a little provocative or a teensy bit controversial once in a while.
When to send: A common question is “what day is best to send it out?” There is no set answer to this, except to say that I have heard several different opinions on the matter. Tuesday through Thursday is often said to be the best time—however, I know others who send theirs out on Sunday and have a very good open rate as well. You may want to play around and test a couple of different days and see what your results are. No matter what day you choose, know that an open rate of 25% and above is considered good. Your email marketing service will be able to supply those stats.
If you’ve been hesitant about putting together your e-zine because you think you don’t have enough content or you don’t have a fancy-looking template, remember, simple is fine. Start with one tip. The sooner you make the commitment to communicate with your list on a regular basis, the sooner you can reap the benefits of that strengthened relationship.
No more excuses, ok?
Christine Gallagher, The Online Marketing and Social Media Success Coach, is founder of Communicate Value, where she is dedicated to teaching small business owners and professionals how to conquer the overwhelming aspects of online and social media marketing to increase business and maximize profits. To get your free 5-Part E-Course and receive her weekly marketing & success articles on leveraging technology, building relationships and boosting your profits, visit http://communicatevalue.com.
Marketing in a Down Market: Small-Space Advertising
Fifth in a series of posts on Marketing Your Resume Writing Services in a Down Market.
The Yellow Pages are still a vital source of business for many resume writers, even as more ad budget are being spent online. If your business targets a local clientele, if you are a generalist, and if you work with a wide variety of candidates (from entry-level to executives), the Yellow Pages can be a valuable source of new business.
But while it can be important to have a presence in the Yellow Pages, few resume writers are buying the large ads they once did. Instead, they maximize their space by using the Yellow Pages to drive prospects to their websites.
Remember, however, that not all prospects will have computer access, so you can't omit essential details by driving them solely to your website. Others will want to make a decision based on the ads they see, and not use the Yellow Pages as a stepping-stone to looking online.
Don't forget a strong headline, a benefit ("interviews guaranteed"), your credentials, and a call to action (including a phone number as well as a website address).
As resume writer Jackie Connelly, CDF, advised in a May/June 2001 article, "Know your market!" In Long Island, NY, where she operates Prestige Resume Services, most of her potential clients are blue-collar workers. So keep the size of your ad in mind. "When they see a large ad," she notes, "they feel the service will be more expensive for them."
Your print advertising opportunities aren't limited to the Yellow Pages, however. You can use small space advertisements in free community newspapers, theatre programs, school newsletters, career-oriented newspapers, daily or weekly news publications, neighborhood association newsletters. church bulletins, city magazines, and university and campus newspapers.
Salome Randall Tripi outlined her approach in the same 2001 article on small space advertising. She advertised in her local church bulletin, reaching 400-500 prospects each week.
"For 52 weeks, we spent $435 and gained $3,925 in new business as a result," she notes.
The key to effective print advertising is tracking your response. If you're not achieving at least a 3:1 return on your investment, you'd be wise to use your ad dollars elsewhere.
Addendum to article: If you do work with a local client base, one great thing you can do is register your business on Google Places. Not only will it help your organic search results, but you can measure your traffic and offer time-limited coupons and special offers.
Last part of the series: Specialization and Pricing
Want the whole article? Buy the issue here.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Best of Today: 9/16/10
Why You Have a Facebook Page But No Friends
Marketing in a Down Market: Expand Your Network
Fourth in a series on Marketing Your Resume Writing Services in a Down Market
Resume writers tell their clients to network, but don't always follow their own advice. Yet there are more opportunities for business-to-business networking than ever before.
Traditional methods include professional associations (especially if you specialize in a niche, making contacts with these associations as well as contacts in academic programs turning out new graduates, is vital), plus business leads groups, alumni groups, and Chambers of Commerce.
Your return on your investment here will depend on the time you are willing to commit. Participating in organizational activities, writing for their publication and website, and volunteering to chair committees (membership recruitment and event planning are two in particular), can pay dividends.
Another growing area is using online social networking sites to cultivate referrals and build your credibility. Having a profile on LinkedIn or Facebook is quickly becoming essential. If you currently don't have a profile, create one!
Next up: Small-Space Advertising.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Best of Today: 9/15/10
My List Building Bank Tip is Online!
I was just notified that my tip is now online! You can read it here.
I highly recommend VerticalResponse for your client newsletters and promotional e-mails. It's what I use for Resume Writers' Digest. Use my affiliate link here and try it for free! (Or click on the ad below.)
100 Free Emails from VerticalResponse
Marketing in a Down Market: Speak and Grow Rich
This is the third installment in a series on Marketing Your Resume Writing Services in a Down Market. Here is the second blog post in the series.
"Speak and Grow Rich!" -- That's the title of a popular book by Dottie and Lilly Walters. But it's also a technique advocated by small business marketing expert Robert Middleton in his "Tips for Surviving a Business Slowdown" column in the July/August 2001 issue.
Middleton writes, "There are many, many organizations looking for speakers, but they won't give you a call if they don't know you exist. Put together a package outlining your talk and contact every business organization you can find. Send your materials and follow up."
What groups are a good fit for a resume writer looking for new business? Any professional organization, for one. Other possibilities are job search networking groups, school and church organizations, and even neighborhood associations.
The Walters outline three keys for success in speaking.
- Target your market(s)
- Pick topics that will help solve problems in this market(s)
- Create title(s) for your topics that will grab the attention of your audience and buyers immediately
Remember, though, that the goal of your talk is to generate business for yourself. So don't give away the store! Many resume writers make the mistake of talking about resumes in free talks like these -- when they should be talking about jobs!
If the service you're selling is resume services (as opposed to career coaching or interview coaching), don't focus on how to create a resume as part of your talk. Instead, focus on the outcome of having a great resume -- generating interviews and getting the job! As part of your talk, you'll showcase some examples of great resumes for the target market you're working with, and even provide a few tips along the way.
But instead of talking about "Resumes for Accounting Careers," you could do a talk about "Networking to Your Next Job in Accounting," or "How to Make the Numbers Work: Salary Negotiation Strategies for Accounting Professions." Or even "Interview Tactics for Accountants: Get the Job and Get Paid What You're Worth!"
What materials do you need to market yourself as a speaker? It's pretty simple, actually. You can create a one-page handout that includes the following:
- The title of your presentation
- A brief description of the talk (2-3 sentences) and a list of the key "outcomes" attendees can expect
- A line or two about your key qualifications on this particular subject 9you will also want to create a standard "bio" with your full affiliations, work experience, and credentials, but you don't need to send that along with your initial materials)
- Your contact information
- Your photo (optional)
- Other groups you've spoken to and testimonials, if you have them
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Career Management Alliance Seeking Conference Speakers
From Liz Sumner, Executive Director of Career Management Alliance:
Speaker Proposal Deadline is September 24th
Best of Today: 9/14/10
Marketing in a Down Market: Write! Publish! Perish! (Part II)
One of the most effective ways to land new business is to write about what you do. In 2001, the emphasis was on print newsletters. This is still an effective marketing tactic, but today's emphasis is online. Publishing a monthly e-newsletter is one thing, but weekly posts to your blog or contributing articles to websites and e-zines can be equally effective.
Writing articles can be used to keep in touch with clients and referral sources, to showcase your expertise, and even subtly promote your services to current and prospective clients.
In 2008, many people have adopted a "green theme" -- and it's applicable here too. You can also "recycle" what you've written, using the articles in your media kit, as handouts when you deliver workshops, and including them with other information you provide to prospective clients (either in person or online).
The key in writing articles is to inform, not sell. You want to establish a long-term relationship with current and potential clients. Your recipients will appreciate the information, and you'll be building credibility at the same time.
What should you write about?
You can provide career-related tips or strategies; introduce new services; provide professional advice (a "Q-and-A" format is particularly effective); and offer inspirational quotes.
Don't get too ambitious. In an article on client newsletters in the July/August 2001 issue of Resume Writers' Digest. Tracy Bumpus, CPRW, JCTC, of RezAMAZE.com, talked about the content of her monthly opt-in electronic newsletter targeted to high-tech professionals and engineers.
"I usually have one primary job search or career-related article that I write myself," she noted.
Her newsletter also features "Humor Byte" and "Nuggets from the Net," a compilation of relevant information culled from various tech sites.
You can also write for professional association newsletters or provide articles for their websites. Consider trading articles with professionals in other industries, such as accountants, attorneys, real estate agents, and even mental health therapists (especially those that provide career testing and coaching, if you don't).
Whether using a print or electronic format, keep your articles short, simple, informative, and helpful. If you're producing an online newsletter, remember that consistency in publishing is critical.
"Getting my name out there plays a significant role in referral rates, marketing standing, and branding," Bumpus adds. "If I only distributed it every six months, I'd be wasting my time."
Next in the series: "SPEAK AND GROW RICH!"
If you'd like to purchase this issue of the newsletter, the cost is $3. Order here.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Best of Today: 9/13/10
BONUS, courtesy of DavidGraziano: Online alarm clock (set it to remind you of appointments & phone consultations!):
Excerpt: Effectively Marketing Your Resume Writing Services in a Down Market
Resume writing is a truly recession-proof industry. In a good economy, job seekers look for "greener pastures," trading in old jobs for new. In a bad economy, worried job seekers update their resumes to prepare for layoffs.
How you market and price your services during a downtown or recession may different, however. Clients who would be willing to pay for "the works" (resume, cover letter, interview coaching), when times are good may be reluctant when times are tough. But in a competitive hiring environment, "pulling out all the stops" may just be what is required to set the jobseeker apart from the crowd.
However, instead of selling a complete package upfront, all at once, you may sell it in stages -- first the resume and cover letter, then the interview and job search coaching, and finally, salary negotiation coaching -- perhaps paid weekly or via installments on a credit card.
In a tough economy, the job search also takes longer, and your clients may need more reassurance along the way. Consider starting a monthly e-mail newsletter, geared towards helping clients with their job search as much as drumming up new business.
To provide guidance on time-tested strategies that work in a challenging economy, I turned to the Resume Writers' Digest archives -- to issues from 2001 and 2002, when resume writers faced similar economic struggles. I also incorporated in new tips, particularly in regard to online and electronic marketing techniques, since technology has changed quite a bit over the past 6-7 years.
First up is "WRITE! PUBLISH! PROFIT!"
Friday, September 10, 2010
Best of Today: 9/10/10
I Won a Book from Vertical Response!
Last week, I submitted a tip to the VerticalResponse List Building Bank Giveaway. I was one of 10 tips selected to be featured, and I won a book -- "The Referral Engine" by John Jantsch!
As those of you who received the Resume Writers' Digest newsletter know, I use VerticalResponse to manage my RWD mailing list. I like it because I can purchase email credits and use them whenever I want, instead of paying a flat fee per month. If I don't send an email in a particular month, I don't pay anything! When I want to send an email, I just buy some credits (and they have a tiered payment program, where the more credits you buy, the less you pay. I usually pay $.015 per email credit (or $15 per 1000 credits), and since my list is about 800 names, I can do a mailing for about $12. They also have a "standard" option -- as little as $10/month for unlimited e-mailing.
They have great templates, marketing support, and blogs/articles/webinars to help you get the most out of your online marketing efforts. And they track your email campaigns (opens, clicks, bounces, unsubscribes)...
Give it a try -- here's my affiliate link to sign up for an account -- you'll get a 30-day risk free trial.
They also offer survey subscriptions and postcard mailings.
As you can tell, I love VerticalResponse! Give them a try ... and I'll be sure to put up a link to my list-building tip when it gets published.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Best of Today: 9/9/2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Best of Today: 9/8/2010
- Annemarie Cross blog post: Find yourself spying on your competitors? Have you fallen into the competitor comparison trap?
- Melissa Cooley blog post: How to deal with good friends that send you bad job listings.
- Tim's Strategy article: How to promote a conversational job interview.
- Barbara Safani
blog post: Functional Resumes Should Be Renamed Dysfunctional Resumes
- >ResumeBear blog post (good "101" for new resume writers): Optimize Your Resume: Write a Convincing Summary
- BONUS: Blog post by Career Alley: Restarting Your Job Search When All Else Fails – Vol 1
Survey: Affiliate Marketing
I'll be compiling the survey results this weekend, so *do it now!!!*
Take the survey here. (Nine short questions; average response time is just under 4 minutes, according to QuestionPro, the fabulous online survey software program I use to manage my surveys. And no, QuestionPro does not currently offer an affiliate commission.)
Thanks to those who have already responded to my plea (via e-mail, Facebook, and/or Twitter) to take the survey.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Legitimate Work-at-Home Opportunities to Recommend to Clients
Alorica (formerly West)
SYKES (formerly Alpine Access)
As with any other job opportunity, remind your clients to investigate the position thoroughly ...
There is also a discussion board for West folks on the Work-at-Home forum.
The blog on Work at Home Moms has a state-by-state listing. Here's Nebraska's.
Xerox has made a serious commitment to allowing about 10% of its workforce to work from home. Check out available positions here.
Also check out Amazon's work-from-home jobs. Some of them are seasonal.
Also, if you are a resume writer who is looking for work at home (subcontract) opportunities, purchase my "Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor" Special Report. It lists several dozen subcontracting opportunities, including qualifications, type of work performed/specialties, turnaround times -- and, for many contracting firms, pay.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
The second is the Fourth of July holiday. Coming mid-year, this is an ideal opportunity to you to evaluate your progress thus far ... and to take another look at those New Year's resolutions.
The third is the Labor Day holiday. Summer is ending, and you get that last chance to re-evaluate your progress and chart a plan to meet your goals for the year. That's what I'm doing this weekend, and I came across a great list of questions from branding expert William Arruda in the Reach Personal Branding newsletter. (Sign up for your free subscription on their website.)
Here are the three questions he advises you answer:
- What's my next move for my career?
- Which of my greatest strengths is most differentiating for me, and how can I integrate that strength into everything I do every day?
- What one energy-zapping activity can I stop doing when I return to work?
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Call For Proposals - CMA Conference 2011 (Las Vegas)
Theme: Serving Clients - Solving Challenges
* New Ideas for Challenging Times
* Preparing for Continuous Change
* Focus on Compelling Storytelling
The annual gathering of the Career Management Alliance brings together career
practitioners from all sectors of the industry -- private practice resume writers
and coaches, college and university career counselors, government and military
career specialists, and more. All of us are facing the challenges of today's
economic climate and tomorrow's uncertain outlook.
They are looking for sessions that face these issues squarely and provide tangible
resources and inspiring ideas for everyone who serves the jobseeker of today and
tomorrow. What tools and techniques do we need to navigate the future? What
systems and strategies will lead to success? And how do we tell our stories so
that we stand out from the crowd and get noticed.
The proposal deadline for the April Conference is September 24th, 2010
All proposals must include the following information:
- Suggested title of presentation
- Short description of presentation
- Five to seven "take-away" bullet points illustrating what the attendees will
- take away from your session and possibly implement to better enhance their
- Speaker Biography (both short and long formats saved in a word file)
- Speaker picture (resolution must be 300dpi or better and saved as a TIFF or
- high res JPEG file - Needed after the proposal has been accepted)
Presentation Structure Guideline:
With the attendee in mind, your presentation should be educational, as
"hands-on" as possible and include real-world examples and ideas that will help
attendees to implement new and proven procedures, solve problems, make their
clients successful, grow their businesses, and feel excited and inspired. We are
fortunate to have a strong representation of military transition specialists in
the audience who work with retiring and separating service members and their
spouses. Please include examples that are relevant to them as well as other
To maintain high value for attendees, please refrain from promoting yourself,
your company and/or product. (Case studies are acceptable if they are focused on
the work, not the provider.)
Each session runs between 50-60 minutes. Please allow plenty of time for
Major Topics Include:
--Technology/Trends & Innovations
Please submit all proposals to:
Career Management Alliance
603-924-0900 ext 640
Friday, September 3, 2010
Resources for the Resume Writer
How to Give a Good Interview
Instant Media Training
Radio-TV Interview Report
Radio Interview Performance Tips
Tips for Being Interviewed on the Radio
Public Relations and Publicity Articles
How to Be a Well-Dressed Guest on TV
Publicity Tips from the Experts (transcripts of expert teleclasses)
PR News & Tips
Marketing & Public Relations Resources:
Marcia Yudkin's Handpicked Resources for Marketing & PR
Marketing Using Tips Booklets
Book Marketing Articles
Niche Sites to Go
37 Ways to Promote Your Website
Affiliate and Web Marketing
Promoting Your Writing (Book Promotion)
Articles on Public Speaking
Tips for Speakers
Associations & Societies
National Council of Nonprofits
Librarians' Internet Index
Collaborative Writing Software
Blogging and Podcasting:
Executive Blogger's Guide
Workshops & Seminars:
Preparing and Delivering a Seminar
What Makes a Good Workshop?
Using Teleseminars to Boost Business
Selling Informational Products
Exit Strategies for Your Business (Entrepreneur Magazine)
4D's of a Business Exit Strategy
Resource Information for Entrepreneurs
SCORE Counselors to Small Business
Small Business Resources
High Growth Industries
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
The Importance of Writing Error-Free Resumes
Are You Digitally Distinct?
The results of the calculator matched the results of my assessment when reading Career Distinction: I'm digitally distinct!
Digital distinction is a measure of your online profile at any given point in time. As Kirsten and William define it, "The online identity calculator measures the effectiveness of your online identity and places you on our digital scale. Knowing where you stand today will help you determine exactly how much work you have to do and your next steps."
They go on to say that, "Where you fall on the digital scale is based on a combination of volume and relevance. How many results do you get? How many of those webpages actually pertain to you? Do the references to you on the Web communicate a positive, negative or neutral image of you? How consistently do those results communicate what you want to be known for?"
Here are my results:
The majority of results that come up for me are aligned with my personal brand -- primarily my work with Resume Writers' Digest. This is the area of my business that I want to continue to focus on growing, so it's encouraging to me to see how my online brand profile appears.