Tuesday, May 31, 2011

CPC Awards of Excellence Deadline is July 1

The Career Professionals of Canada Awards of Excellence Program nomination deadline is July 1, 2011.

Nomination categories include:
  • Outstanding Canadian Career Leader
  • Outstanding Volunteer Contributor to the Organization
  • Outstanding New Canadian Career Professional
  • Outstanding Canadian Online Profile Developer 
  • Outstanding Canadian Resume - New Graduate
  • Outstanding Canadian Resume - Career Change
  • Outstanding Canadian Resume - Technical
  • Outstanding Canadian Resume - Executive
  • Outstanding Canadian Resume - Creative 
Both non-members and members may nominate PROFESSIONAL MEMBERS, and PROFESSIONAL MEMBERS may also nominate themselves for awards. Award recipients will be formally recognized on the CPC Recipients page, CPC News and Views, and in the Career Connections Newsletter, which is received by more than 2800 subscribers. Award plaques will be delivered directly to recipients.

For more information, visit the Awards of Excellence page. And get those nominations in by July 1!

Best of luck to all nominees!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Converting Voice Mails to Voice Files

Okay, so this blog post isn't 100% directly related to resume writing ... but it is something that you might need someday, so I'm sharing it anyway.

I've had my current (nonsmartphone) for about 4 years now, and it's time to upgrade. (Actually, it's long past upgrade time...), but I have about a half-dozen voice mails on the existing phone that I don't want to lose when I transition it over. I've heard enough "horror stories" from friends and colleagues who have lost voicemails, photos, and videos when switching over their phones that I want to be proactive about it.

So I've been investigating services that will preserve the voice mails by turning them into digital files -- either MP3s or CDs. I use Google Voice with my cell phone (which automatically creates recordings of my voice mail messages), but the calls I want to save were ones that came into my regular cell phone line, not my Google Voice number (which also rings my cell phone), so I don't have them as a digital recording ... only as a regular voice mail message.

I'm looking at two services in particular -- each with different costs and different features.

The first is voicemailsaved.com, which charges $34.99 for preserving voice mails (up to 30 minutes of voicemails included). They'll send an audio CD for $12.50 ($5 each for extra CDs), or send a link to download the recordings at no additional charge.

The second -- a much less expensive option, but one that requires more "me work" -- is savethatcall.com. For just $.50 plus $.05 per minute, you can use third party conferencing to record your voice mails (or any calls, for that matter -- which may actually be useful to resume writers conducting phone-based interviews of clients to collect information on their resume development).

You can also try CBW Productions, which charges approximately $5/message. You can receive files via MP3 download or CD or cassette. They also provide notary services, should you have a message that requires legal verification. [This is the service I used; I paid approximately $30 to have six messages saved, including shipping. I am a previous Alltel Communications subscriber, so I used promo code ALLTEL and saved 10% (thru 12/11). I'll let you know how it went when I receive the CD in the mail.]

Anybody have any experience with either of these services -- or another service they can recommend?

Friday, May 27, 2011

BestResumeWriters.net: Legitimate Promotion or Fraud?

I received the following e-mail from a resume writing colleague:

As you have probably already heard, BestResumeWriters.Net is a new online directory that has professional resume writers listed for free.
Our editorial team thought your free profile on BestResumeWriters.net will be a win-win solution to you and your potential customers.
Our data entry team had gathered some information about you, publically available on the Web.
Your profile is ready and live on the website now.
With this mail we invite you to visit www.bestresumewriters.net and type your name / last name into the search field, find your profile and verify you are fine with this listing on BestResumeWriters.NET.
Please see your profile with us, and let us know if you are fine with being listed as the Best Resume Writer on our website, and if your profile composed by us meets your expectations.
If we do not get your permission by May 30th, we will delete your profile until you request to have it recovered.
If you fail locating your profile on our website but you wish to be listed on BestResumeWriters.net please notify us with the email sent to support@bestresumewriters.net
From our side we commit for the online directory transparency and marketing:
* the messages/inquiries sent to you will be routed to your email in a timely manner,
* the information acquired from the messages we receive will not be used for any other purpose but relaying to the resume writer needed,
* the online directory will be marketed in terms of Search Engine Optimization and so called cost-per-click traffic to bring the best resume writers listed on our website more and more clients,
* we will be working next on the website functionality improvement, aiming to provide convenient and effective search tool to the job seekers in need for the resume writing help.
Thank you for being the Best Resume Writer!
BestResumeWriters.net Team

She was asking for feedback about this "opportunity" -- in particular, she was concerned because there is no "name" associated with the website. When I clicked on the contact page, I tried the links for both Twitter and LinkedIn, and neither worked.

Resume writing colleague Roleta Fowler Vasquez, CPRW/CEIP, Owner of Wordbusters Resume and Writing Services wrote about BestResumeWriters.net on a "fraud alert" page on her website.

Roleta reported that there is some confusion as to whether the "contact this writer" inquiries are forwarded to the resume writer or not. I will investigate this further.

Do you have any information on this site? I will update this post with new information as I receive it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tips for Starting Your Home-Based Resume Service

I've been writing this blog for a long time -- and I need to review "the basics" every once in a while, because not all of the folks who are tuning into this blog are resume writers...yet! So here's a blog post about getting started ... and, in particular, how to start a home-based resume writing business.

Purchase the book using this link:

Honestly, when I started my resume business 15 years ago, I didn't give a thought to operating my resume writing business from my home. Of course, I was in my early 20s at the time, so I thought a business office gave me more credibility. It did. But after 7-8 years in a business office, my now-husband and I decided to get married -- and, as part of the process, we moved our business into our new home.

If I were starting a resume writing business today, I wouldn't hesitate to start -- and operate -- it from home. Technology has evolved to where you don't need to meet with clients in person. 

The current trend is towards more home-based businesses. They require lower overhead and startup money, making them easier for entrepreneurs with limited funds. If you are thinking about starting a home-based resume writing business, here are a few tips for getting started on the right foot.

Benefits of a home-based resume writing business
There are several benefits to running a home-based resume writing business. First of all, you can run the business from your home. Since you already pay a mortgage, utilities and car payments, the only thing you need spend money on now is the equipment for your business. To start a resume writing business, you basically need a computer with word processing software -- although you could use Google Docs (although I don't recommend it).

Secondly, a home-based resume writing business requires low overhead and startup costs. We alluded to the startup costs above and the low overhead means no employees but you. The key to keeping the overhead low is taking on only as many projects as you can safely and efficiently handle by yourself.

In fact, you could be a subcontract resume writer and never see clients. You could work entirely with a contracting writer and do that from home, working in your pajamas. (Check out the "Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor" Special Report for a step-by-step guide to working as a subcontract writer.)

Getting started tips
There are considerations before beginning any type of business even a home-based one.

1. Check out the local laws for registering and zoning a home business. Most home businesses require no zoning issues unless you will be meeting clients in your home and posting signs in the yard. (As we talked about with today's technology, you can have a home-based resume writing business without ever meeting with clients in person.)

2. Small business tax laws. Now that you are a business, you are subject to different tax exemptions, deductions and payments. Sites like www.irs.gov can give you the information you need.

3. Set up a separate work space at home. This could be as simple as using a spare bedroom or den with a door to keep your work separate. If you rely on the telephone, a separate phone line can be added. (Although you can use VOIP services or your cell phone, to reduce your expenses.)

4. Use on and offline marketing methods to find clients. This includes: viral marketing, newspaper and Yellow Pages ads, flyers and direct mailings, email marketing, article marketing, setting up a website, etc. (I recommend my "Online Business Manifesto" Special Report for details on marketing your home-based resume writing business.)

5. Create a schedule to divide time between work and family. Balancing both is hard. Scheduling time and sticking to it means more gets done and no one is slighted. (People always ask me about working from home -- they say, "Oh, I'd have a hard time working from home. I'd be too distracted by the laundry, or TV." I actually find the opposite is the case -- I'm often still working at midnight ... sometimes while I've got a load of laundry in the dryer and I'm catching up on Tivo!)

A home-based resume writing business is an alternative for people who want to work for themselves without spending a lot in upfront costs. If you have the ability to interview clients, write succinctly, and understand personal branding, consider a home-based resume writing business.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Guest Post: Five Tips to Build Your Business & Your Network Using Social Media

  1. Remember it’s about quality, not quantity. The goal of social media is truly about engagement. Creating real and helpful relationships leads to business growth. 
  2. Social media is where the work is going. According to Chris Brogan, social media expert and entrepreneur, “Here’s how to get more leads, to nurture your prospects, to educate your buyers, to service your customers.” 
  3. People buy from people they know, like, and trust. Social media helps people build trust by demonstrating their thought leadership, expertise, and personal brand.
  4. “Remember you are dealing with people. Let your organization's real personality shine… work on creating remarkable experiences for your customers,” said Robbin Phillips, BrainsOnFire.com, in a tweet. Social media enables you to do just that.
  5. Keep in mind “The Mom & Boss Test.” If your mom would be mortified or your boss would fire you, don’t post it! This is especially relevant advice for our job-seeker clients.
© 2011 ● Wendy Terwelp ● All rights reserved. ● Learn how to Rock Your Network® Online is Wendy’s upcoming class, starting June 9th! This class is designed especially for career industry professionals like you. Dubbed “LinkedIn Guru” by The Washington Post, Wendy is a recognized expert on networking both online and off. She is frequently quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Fast Company, The Philadelphia Inquirer, More Magazine, Monster.com, Careerbuilder.com, ABC, NBC, radio shows and more.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Oprah Finale: The Ultimate Job Change

Resume writers Charlotte Weeks, Robyn L. Feldberg, and Kim Mohiuddin developed a project called "SixDegrees2Oprah." Billed as "Three career gurus join forces to demonstrate the power of targeted networking by doing the impossible -- scoring tickets to Oprah's last season (and maybe an appearance)!"

They were able to "do the impossible," landing tickets on three separate occasions to tapings during Oprah's last season. I've been following the progress of this project on Facebook, and that reminded me of the bigger picture -- Oprah is conducting a very public career change. Retiring after 25 years of hosting the nation's top-rated talk show, she is facing some big changes and challenges with her career change.

This is a huge opportunity for resume writers interested in obtaining media attention for their business -- consider a tie-in to the Oprah finale next week (May 25). Send a news release (but do it today or tomorrow). Pitch the producer of the morning show on your local television network that airs "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

Some possible story angles/topics to consider:
  • It's easy to succeed in your job when you love it. When you have passion for the work you do, it makes going to work each day easier. It was apparent that Oprah loved her job -- she covered topics she cared about and interviewed interesting people ... and viewers connected with her because they could sense her passion about the topics.
  • Career changes can be difficult if you're widely identified with your career. Although Oprah is an actress, magazine publisher, and producer, she is most widely associated with her television show. When you have a high-profile career and then you change jobs, it can trigger some identity and self-esteem issues.
  • A very public "good-bye" – career changes can be easier when you can successfully close the door on your old career. Retiring or voluntarily leaving a job makes it easier to move into a new job or a new career than if you are fired.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guest Post: How to Outsource Parts of Your Business

By Nicole Dean

One of my favorite topics to discuss is outsourcing.

You’d be amazed how thinking about outsourcing and where to begin outsourcing flummoxes everyone from the newest newbies to the seasoned gurus and everyone in between.

Buy why? Why is it so very confusing? Most of us manage to outsource quite nicely in our day to day lives.

I oftentimes pose these questions to my coaching clients: When you go to a restaurant, do you head back into the kitchen and cook your own food? (That’s just silly.)

And, if your appendix burst right now, would you go online to find out how to remove it yourself? (Please say “no.”)

Of course not!

So why do we think it’s ok to do everything ourselves in our businesses?

I can’t figure out what it is, but I think I’m starting to narrow it down.

* Fear of losing control.
* Not knowing who to outsource work to. (Needing a recommendation.)
* Not wanting to take the time to outsource. (You think: “It’s quicker to do it myself.”)
* Costs. (Oftentimes, though, you can get help for a lot less than you think it’ll cost.)
* Lack of confidence in ourselves.
* Lack of confidence in the potential of our business.

No matter which of those it is, there comes a point with all of us, where you HAVE to outsource — at least if you ever want to be able to go on a real vacation where you leave the Internet behind and relax with your loved ones.

I know. I know. You’ve heard this song and dance before. BUT! While outsourcing isn’t perfect, it’s a heck of a lot better than putting the chains on your wrists from a job that you’ve created for yourself – one where you can’t escape.

So, my #1 tip for outsourcing is to try it.

Choose something small and work from there.
Submitting some articles that you’ve written to the article directories.
Finding blogs to guest post on and contacting the owners.
Answering some e-mails regarding customer issues.
Creating graphics to promote your products.

It really doesn’t matter where you start. The big thing is taking that first step so that you can enjoy the FREEDOM that comes with the online lifestyle.

Start small. Don’t go crazy. But, when you find someone who you work well with – build on that relationship so you have access to great people who know your style and who you’re comfortable working with. When I need a project done, I have my own personal rolodex of fabulously skilled people who I turn to on a regular basis. Not only does it save me time – but it also helps me to get great prices because they already know what I like, they know that I’m easy to work with and that I pay on time.

I hope this inspires you to start outsourcing in your business.

-- Nicole Dean can help you to get more done in your business without going crazy in the process. Yes, you can have a business AND a Life! Check out OutsourceWeekly.com and sign up for her free “Outsourcing Mistakes” lessons on the top of the page to get started.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How to Get People To Trust You Online

Yesterday's blog post talked about how to get more traffic to your website. But how do you get them to become clients once they're at your site? One big factor is whether or not they trust you.

I'm a member of Mark Hendricks' Internet Success System. Each month, Mark offers a Q&A call, and last night's was on the topic of building trust with prospects -- but hurry, the recording will only be available until May 25.

Here were some of the areas he discussed:
  • How to build trust and how not to build trust
  • How to make offers without the "snake-oil sales techniques"
  • Do "trust logo graphics" on websites really get people to trust you
  • Slick sales process tactics exposed
  • The power of personal referrals and why you should be careful who you recommend to others
  • Using honest business and trust building strategies for short and long-term success
  • An easy way to build trust and goodwill to your customer
  • Why people keep falling for the next "magic button, silver bullet or shiny object"
  • What kind of offers can you make to build trust and credibility
  • What is risk reversal and how can you use it in your offers
  • The hidden reason why people should pay you for your products and services
  • Why you should narrow your offering down to a few simple choices
  • How to get great profit ideas from outside your niche marketplace
  • A quick example of how just a few additional words can position you as a trusted person to do business with
  • The secret of changing your results by changing the most overlooked thing you can do
  • Should you use free offers or low price offers to attract new prospects and customers
  • The one marketing tactic you must learn to love that gets you more of the results you really want
Click here to listen to the audio. It's free, and you don't need to register for anything, or buy anything.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Five Quick Tips To Get Traffic to Your Resume Website

Online, one of the most significant keys to success is getting website traffic. The more visitors you have, the better your sales and profits. Presumably you have a niche for your resume writing service (executive, financial, IT)  and you know your keywords, and regularly conduct keyword research to stay on top of what's popular. Based on those assumptions here are five quick and easy tips to get website traffic fast!

Tip #1: Make sure you're actually tagging your keywords. Do you spend a lot of time optimizing your content and then neglect to tag them on your webpage? Tags are where search engines look and if there are no tags, they'll pass right by your web pages. Here's a quick brief on tags.

There are a number of tag types, including:
* Title tags. Title tags are quite possibly the most important place to situate your keywords.

Your title tag is where you place your primary keyword or keyword phrase. The sentence will describe your business in less than 90 characters.

* Header Tags. Header tags are next in order of importance to search engines. They're ranked in order of importance.

* Meta Tags. Meta tags provide the small descriptive text found underneath the title tag on the search engine results page. Like title tags these should be kept brief, informative and up to date.

* Alt Tags. Alt tags are used to provide a text description of a graphic. Each graphic on your site should have a description and an alt tag.

Tip #2: Add content to your site daily.Content is essential for traffic and a top search engine ranking. Content is what search engine spiders look for and index -- without it, there's nothing to index or rank. Give visitors and search engines a reason to visit and index your site. Make a commitment to provide daily, optimized content and your traffic will soar.

Tip #3: Procure valuable and relevant incoming links.
The more websites which link to your webpages, the more valuable search engines perceive you to be -- though not all links are created equal. Search engines give more leverage to links from sites which are popular and credible and from sites which are relevant to your website topic.

There are different types of links.
- A direct link looks like a basic website address, for example, www.yourwebsite.com

- A text link occurs when the webpage address is embedded in the text. Readers simply click on the link and are redirected to a new website page.

- If the link is to an internal web page, for example an article published on a website, rather than the home page, it is called a "deep link."

You can encourage linking to your website by:
* Adding content to your site.
* Submitting to article directories.
* Publishing press releases.
* Blogging and participating in social networking forums, chat rooms, and social networking sites.

Tip #4: Be Social!
Now more than ever before, Internet marketing is about building a community. Whether you offer a forum on your website or you participate in social networking sites, social networking is a valuable traffic generating tactic. Sites like Facebook and Twitter can be powerful tools for generating links and traffic to your site -- create a profile and then post comments, links to your site, and ideas which generate conversation.

Get involved -- many chat rooms and forums are industry specific (including those for job seekers), find those which cater to your industry, and begin participating. Speak to and connect with a highly targeted audience.

This is where most resume writers and career coaches stop. 

Tip #5: Advertise for more exposure and traffic.Advertising, when handled strategically, can be used to promote your content and products or services. PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising is often the tool of choice because you control the advertising budget on a daily basis and have the tools to test and track your advertising efforts. Once you've honed your PPC ads, the return on investment can be phenomenal in terms of traffic and purchases.

For maximum results, create a traffic and SEO strategy. Outline your plan and your goals and then take the necessary action. Take advantage of these five traffic and search engine tips to boost your business.

Monday, May 9, 2011

"Recalculating" -- Mapping Your Course to Success

I have that Allstate car insurance commercial in my head. You know the one (it's called "Mayhem is Everywhere") -- the guy is driving in his car and his GPS voice gives him wrong directions (including a quick "Turn right,") and he crashes into another car. At the end of the commercial, the guy playing the GPS says, "Recalculating." 

Isn't that what life is all about? Recalculating your path after you make a wrong turn -- or worse, crash? If I steer my vessel in the wrong direction, I can find a map and chart out a new course. Stopping is not an option. I will find my way as long as I keep my eyes on the prize.

Success is a journey, not a destination. Strive to make each step count. A positive attitude helps you move forward and, even when you are unsure of where you are, you are not lost. Instead, choose to become a trailblazer. The generation coming behind us will have access to another route thanks to our resolve to stay the course and forge a new path.

When you come to a fork in the road, trust your intuition to guide you. Being spontaneous in this way helps release your inner self and experience success in a new way. Spontaneity gives you freedom.

Missing a turn causes me no panic because I know that I have countless options; I am not limited to only one way. A wrong turn may lead me to find a new way. The opportunity to explore the unknown excites me.

Although it feels daring to get off the fast-paced highway of life and take the scenic route, detours can be worthwhile because they lead us to discover the beautiful things in life that we otherwise may have missed. The road less traveled is filled with the most stunning sights.

Flexibility allows us to prosper despite failure. Being flexible gives us the strength to keep going when we would rather stop.

Self-Reflection Questions: 
1. What do I do when I reach a dead end?

2. How might I become less rigid and more flexible?

3. What changes can I make to ensure that I enjoy the journey just as much as the end reward?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Reduce Your Stress: Get Organized!

Julie Walraven, of Design Resumes, had an inspiring blog post yesterday ("Why I Spent Saturday Shredding.") That's Julie on the left there, and her office does look pretty good (from what I can see of it in the photo...) I asked her for a before-and-after photo of her office, but she didn't take one, unfortunately.

I find disorganization to be stressful. Like many resume writers, I'm surrounded by paper. I like to be able to work from paper documents instead of computer files, so I print out lots of stuff -- the client's old resume, their questionnaire, research materials (from which I cull keywords), work authorization files, drafts. Ugh. I am surrounded by paper. (I'm surrounded by more of it than usual at the moment because my shredder died, and the plastic tote box that contains my current pile of shredding is actually too large/heavy for me to "tote" to my favorite office supply store to have it shredded!)

Seeing the piles of shredding -- along with all my normal paper -- is stressful!

When I'm not organized, I'm stressed. When stuff is piled everywhere, I lose or misplace notes. I would forget about meetings and I was notorious for losing receipts. All of this made my stress rise through the roof.

When you buy something and it doesn't work, you stress. THEN when you can't find the receipt....it isn't a good scene. That's happened to me a few times, I admit!

I've heard of a program called Evernote (works for the Mac!) that I'm thinking of trying. Currently, I'm doing a little better with my "overall" notes and thoughts by using an online website called "Workflowy." I'm still searching for a better way to handle the volume of paper that I seem to accumulate, but at least I know that I perform better when I take the time to organize. As the old public service ad says, "Knowing is half the battle!"

Is organization (or lack of) is one of your stress triggers? How do you handle it? What tools help you stay organized? (Are you one of those resume writers who prints everything out too?)