Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Creative Resumes: Do They (Get) Work?

Every once in a while, I come across an article like this one: "13 Insanely Cool Resumes That Landed Interviews at Google and Other Top Jobs."

The premise is out-of-the box resume designs -- printed on unique paper, designed to look like a movie poster (or Facebook page, or Google search results page), featuring a QR code instead of text, etc. -- that is unconventional and landed the job. We get it -- you need to set yourself apart.

It's cute. But the article glosses over the reminder that these types of resumes work best when the "normal" job search principles apply:

  • Content is still king. Put it in a pretty package, but if you don't have anything to say, you'll get an interview, because they're curious about the person behind the package, but ...
  • You must have the qualifications to get the job. All of the resumes purportedly got an interview -- it doesn't say if any of them actually landed the job. (In fact, the "Google guy" got the interview, but not the job.)
  • Creative resumes work for creative fields. Out-of-the-box formats don't work for all industries. None of the samples listed were for an accounting firm or manufacturing company, for example. Which brings me to...
  • Size matters. That is, the size of the company you're targeting. Creative resumes are more likely to win interviews in smaller, especially entrepreneurial companies ... where risk is rewarded. They're also more likely to get to the desk of the decision-maker in a small company. As the job seeker behind sample number #5 pointed out, "HR people don't always respond well to this."
  • Don't make the employer do more work than necessary. A QR code is trendy, but if the hiring manager or company owner doesn't have the software (mobile phone app, usually) to access the code, the resume will be passed over. (As resume writers, we tell our clients the same thing with regard to boring things like .docx formats, so it's not just cool stuff that can derail your path to an interview ... it can also be boring Microsoft Word software versions...)
  • The federal government still is involved. With more and more recruiters and hiring managers Googling prospective hires, and candidates providing video segments and links to online profiles which feature photos, the lines are getting fuzzier about not using traits such as personal appearance to influence the resume screening process, since factors such as race, color, religion, sex, age, ethnic/national origin, disability, or veteran status cannot influence employment decisions.
  • It's about form and function. Rick Mundon, the man behind Orange Resume, "a website that designs creative resumes, business, and websites for job hunters" (it's the graphic of his sample resumes that's featured above) does make the point that "employers need to pick (the resume) up and know how to find your past work experience." Not all creative resumes "get" this.
  • Graphic design candidates can get away with a lot. See earlier comment about "creative resumes for creative fields." 'Nuff said.
As resume writers, we've probably all developed some creative resumes for our clients at one time or another (I can specifically recall one for a photographer and a couple for elementary school teachers that were out-of-the-norm and landed interviews), but the basic principles of a resume still apply. You must target the reader and demonstrate why this candidate deserves the interview ... and the job. The rest is .... well, window dressing.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Early Registration Deadline Approaching for CDI Summit

Don't forget the early registration deadline is approaching for the Career Directors International Global Career Empowerment Summit 2011 in Savannah, Georgia this October.

The deadline is Friday, July 1. Registration costs as little as $529 (three-pay options are also available).

I really enjoyed Savannah when I was out there for the NRWA conference a few years ago. We (I brought my husband and his parents with me!) flew into Jacksonville, Florida to save money (it was only about an hour or hour-and-a-half drive up) and we spent an afternoon at Hilton Head Island on the beach too.


Don't know if I'll be able to make it yet, but I definitely recommend going if you can!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Selling Ebooks and Workbooks on Clickbank

I've delivered a couple of teleseminars and written some articles on affiliate marketing in the past, but I haven't specifically addressed selling your information products (workbooks, ebooks, job search guides) on Clickbank before. has paid out nearly $2 Billion to those selling information products online in the last 10 years – and that number is growing fast. Yet, for a lot of marketers, Clickbank has a bad rap. I’d like to spend the next two minutes showing you why you absolutely should sell your ebook on Clickbank.

Who does this blog post apply to?
* If you’re currently selling your product with a simple paypal button, consider switching to Clickbank.
* If you have a shopping cart (like that you’re using to sell your products, consider also setting up a separate page or URL where you sell your product on Clickbank.
* If you're using another online sales system (like Payloadz), consider switching to Clickbank, or selling your products on Clickbank in addition to your other online sales system.

Here’s why…

Diversification of Your PaymentsYou may not be aware of this, but has been known to “freeze” accounts while looking into them after they’ve been flagged by one of their employees. While is a trusted company, they do have to watch out for their own interests. So, if this happens to you, your account will not be accessible during that time. That means you can’t withdraw money, you can’t pay affiliates, and you can’t process refunds. You’re stuck. I don’t know about you, but I have bills to pay – which is why I recommend that you also sell products via a secondary payment method like Clickbank. They pay via direct deposit into your checking account every two weeks, like clockwork. If, heaven forbid, your account gets flagged by Paypal, you’ll be able to pay your mortgage while getting it cleared.

Less Book-KeepingWith Clickbank, you get paid weekly or when you reach a certain dollar amount that you’ve set. That means that you can pay less in accounting fees – because you’ll have a maximum of FOUR transactions per month, assuming you’re getting paid weekly. Compare that to using a PayPal button or shopping cart – where every single transaction has to be entered by your bookkeeper – and you can see the advantage.

100,000 + Sales ForceYes, Clickbank has the eye of over 100,000 registered affiliate niche marketers in 145 countries. Many of these affiliate search the Clickbank marketplace first when looking for products to promote. If you’re not listed there, they can’t find you. Having affiliates who will promote your product for you is a great way to increase your sales. And there are tons of folks who are looking for job search-related products to promote on their blogs and websites.

Clickbank’s HopAds ProgramYou may be familiar with Google Adsense, but, did you know that Clickbank also has an advertising program? As a vendor, you can create Ads that automatically show on affiliate websites – based upon keywords. So, if your ebook is about “Finding a Job Faster” and someone with a job board website site puts the HopAd on their site with keywords “job search” or “job interview” – your ad may display in rotation with the other ads – as long as that ad is live on their site.

Hands-Off Affiliate ManagementIf you’re using your own shopping cart like, then you have to manage your affiliates or hire someone to do so. While this is definitely a profitable thing to do, some tasks can be a nuisance, like collecting W-9 forms (if you’re in the United States) for taxes. If you sell through Clickbank, that’s not an issue. They handle it for you.

Affiliate Payment Safety CushionIf you’re selling your products through your own shopping cart, then every month, you have to make sure to keep a “cushion” in your PayPal account so that you have enough money to pay them. That’s not an issue with Clickbank. You ONLY receive your profits after affiliates have been paid. And, Clickbank handles paying them for you. You’re totally out of the loop.

There you have it. Six reasons why you should consider putting your ebook on Clickbank for sale.

If you're interested in learning more about selling your job search-related product on Clickbook, I recommend “15 Quick & Easy Steps to Getting your Ebook on Clickbank” by Nicole Dean.

It’s a special report where Nicole Dean, Internet marketer, affiliate manager and work-at-home Mom, gives you the 15 steps you need to follow to get your product up on Clickbank, ready to take orders!

How to Get Your First Infoproduct on Clickbank” is more than a special report.

You’ll also get:
  • Video demonstrations, so you can watch actual demonstrations of how to do the techie stuff 
  • Templates for sales pages and thank you/download pages, where you just type in the details of your product, add your links, and then upload the pages to your site 
  • Advice on tools you may want to use to make Clickbank work even better for you 
The sooner you get and implement this report, the sooner your product will be out there, making sales for you! Learn more here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Engaging With Facebook Fans: What Is Your EdgeRank Score?

Last weekend, I took some time to learn more about Facebook's EdgeRank algorithm. EdgeRank is a measure of engagement with FB fans. The more a particular person engages with you (either your personal profile or your Facebook Business Page), the more likely you are to show up in their News Feed.

What, you may be saying, I'm not seeing everything from everyone in my News Feed? Nope. Facebook knows you are busy, and is showing you the things that it feels are most relevant to you. This article gives a pretty good explanation of what the EdgeRank algorithm is.

There are ways you can improve your Edgerank ranking -- for example, creating more opportunities for interaction and engagement with your fans. You can also partner with other Page owners (this is also a great way to increase the number of "Likes" on all pages) to increase engagement.

Ready to check out what your EdgeRank score is today? Use EdgeRank Checker (a free service). But be sure to come back and check out your score periodically. Are the things you're doing to increase engagement working?

EdgeRank Checker suggests the following tips to improve your score:

  • Post content that inherently attracts interaction (ask questions, offer polls, ask for feedback)
  • Encourage users to "like" your content (actually saying, "Click 'like' to ___" works!)
  • Use photos and videos as often as possible.
I also recommend linking to your blog posts (if you have a blog) on your Facebook Business Page -- this can elicit comments, which are one of the highest engagement devices measured.

Shameless plug: Are you on Facebook? LIKE Resume Writers' Digest on Facebook!

Friday, June 17, 2011

When Traffic is a Good Thing

Normally, when I think of "traffic," I think "bad!" Like, stuck in a traffic jam or having to navigate through the cars parked on both sides of the street for the neighborhood church's festival to get out of my neighborhood last weekend. Yes, in those cases -- traffic is bad.

But there is "good" traffic too -- as in traffic = visitors to your website.

Website traffic is -- for many business models -- the key to profits. The more traffic you have, the bigger your bottom line. This is particularly true for resume writing businesses that work with a national clientele. Whether you're launching a new product (perhaps a workbook touting "10 Top Interview Secrets") or just want a quick influx of cash (booked appointments!), sometimes you need tons of traffic quickly.

Here are five fast solutions to drive traffic to your resume writing business website.

1. Social media. Social media works quickly -- and if you have a large following on any of the social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn), you can generate a ton of traffic to your website quickly. The key is to create attention-grabbing posts that arouse curiosity, make people laugh, or stir up a controversy. You want to generate click-throughs to your website.

Make the most of your social networking tactics and use technology to get the job done. For example, one StumbleUpon post can be integrated with both Facebook and Twitter profiles so you're making waves on all three social sites at once.

2. Blogging. Post on your own blog or be a guest blogger on a blog with a large number of subscribers. Like social networking, if you offer an informative, controversial, or entertaining post, you'll have people clicking through to your website like mad. Of course, if you also promote this wonderful blog post via social media, you can double your traffic results. (See tip #1.)

3. Article marketing. Article marketing works well when you concentrate your efforts on quality article marketing sites with large audiences. One well-written, informative article -- rewritten a few times, and submitted to a handful of directories -- can generate the traffic you're looking for. Be sure to include a bio box that includes a call to action and a link to your website to motivate click-throughs.

4. Video content. Video is one of the top traffic-driving sources online nowadays. It's amazing how quickly a video can go viral. Like print content, videos that entertain, stir up a bit of controversy, or offer tremendous value cause a buzz. They're forwarded to friends and downloaded on laptops and mobile devices around the globe. A good video can generate all the traffic you need. Again, integrate a bit of social media to promote your video, blog about it too, and you can multiply your traffic results. (The ability to do video is built into lots of tools nowadays. My favorite is the FlipCam -- which is no longer being made -- but I just discovered that my $150 Nikon Coolpix camera has built-in video ... it's not professional quality, but it would work for an online video -- especially one that you post on your blog.)

5. Partnerships. This strategy takes a little bit more work than the first four tips, but can yield significant traffic to your site. Partnering with a relevant or compatible business (career coaches, mental health counselors, real estate agents) can work quite well to generate traffic fast. The key is to come up with a mutually beneficial agreement. Find people in your industry that are willing to work with you and help each other drive traffic. A partnership may include guest blogging on each other's sites, swapping advertisements, or even promoting one another in your ezine. (If you are a generalist resume writer, partner with a resume specialist -- for example, someone who works with federal resumes or finance candidates, or IT specialists -- and swap content and traffic.)

For example, earlier this month, I partnered with Wendy Terwelp, who was promoting a "Rock Your Network®!" teleseminar training program for careers industry professionals. I contacted Wendy to see if she'd be interested in putting together a free preview call for resume writers. We launched the call about 10 days after I initially contacted her, and the 45-minute call was chock-full of great information about how to use social media in your careers industry business (both for yourself as well as for your clients). Wendy was able to reach 50+ careers industry professionals who listened to the call live (or the recording), and I was able to promote Resume Writers' Digest through her social media channels (her Facebook group and Twitter profile). It was a great partnership.

It is possible to drive a ton of traffic to your website fast. The trick is to have a plan in place, know your audience and your goals, and take action.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Resume Writing Business Without A Website?

Believe it or not, there are some resume writing businesses without a website.

Your website is a 24 hours, seven day a week salesperson. I don't know about you, but I'm not available to answer the phone 24/7. But many folks are working on their job search during the evenings (even at 2 a.m.!) and on the weekends.

A website can "sell" for you, even when you're not awake. But not just any website will do.

It has to look good. You wouldn't send out a salesperson in stained tank top and ripped jeans, would you? By that same token, you shouldn't have a horrible looking website. Like a salesperson, your website will be judged instantly by its appearance. Making sure your site looks good and professional will instantly put people at ease. (And there are a lot of uneasy job seekers out there -- many of them haven't looked for a job in years, and they're scared. A good website can be reassuring -- that there is someone out there who knows what they're doing.)

The site has to be informative. Would you send out a salesperson that couldn't explain what your business was? Would you send out someone one who couldn't answer basic questions about your business? Of course you wouldn't, so why do so many people do that with their website? Your website needs to explain your business properly -- and the more content and information you have the better. Keep the information fresh too. (A blog is a great way to do this.)  If you want your salesperson to be knowledgeable and caught up on the latest news, then you want the same for your website.

If you get into the mindset that your website is a 24 hour, 7 days a week salesperson, you will naturally take better care of it and demand perfection. The best part about the website though? It doesn't ask for a vacation, it doesn't require overtime, and it works for virtually no money. Try finding a salesperson that does that.

Here are some resume writing business websites that I think do a great job:
What makes a great resume writing business website? I'm interested in what you think. Leave me a comment below.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Social Media Time Management Strategy: Search and Save Searches

New vs. Old Twitter - How to Search and Save Searches

This is the second post in a series of Social Media Time Management Strategies for Twitter.

Sometimes you might have a need to do a search and find all tweets related to a certain term. Perhaps you heard about a new product related to your niche (area of expertise) and you want to see what’s being said on twitter. No problem!


Old Twitter:

In the old version of Twitter, the search box is on the right side of the screen. Enter your search terms and click on the magnifying glass.


On the search results page, Click on “Save This Search” to keep a record of your search.


Your saved searches will appear in the right menu whenever you want to view them as shown below:


New Twitter:


In the new version, the search box is at the top of the screen to the right of the Twitter logo. Enter your search terms then click on the magnifying glass to search and click your mouse.



On the search results page, you can click “Save this Search” Just like in the old version, you can click on “Save this Search” to save your search for future use. However, as you can see, the button to “Save this search” is larger than in the old version.


Then your saved searches will appear in your top menu anytime you want to access them. For example:

Twitter is known for being a great source for news so if you hear of something going on in the world, do a search and you will most likely find some tweets about it.


Twitter is also a great tool for doing research. Thinking of writing an ebook on “weight loss for women”? Search Twitter periodically to find out what people are saying about your topic and what questions they are asking. You can do searches for "resume writing," "job interview," "find a job," "job search" and similar terms and see what's being searched!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Guest Post: Clarifying Social Media Strategy with the POST Method

By Christine Gallagher

It sounds simple, but before you implement a new marketing strategy in your business, you need to first know what your objectives are. That is, what is it that you are trying to accomplish? Social media is no different. It's not enough to want to add it to your marketing mix because "everyone else is doing it."

Luckily, Forrester Research came up with a handy little acronym, which my colleague Amy Miyamoto and I also included in our Social Media Made Simple webinar series. It's called the POST Method, and it's a really easy way to frame your social media strategy. Here's how it breaks down:

P: Who are the PEOPLE you would most like to attract via your social media presence on sites such as Twitter and Facebook? For example--mentors, colleagues, strategic alliance partners, raving fans, potential clients, local connections? Or a combination of these?

O: What are your primary OBJECTIVES for your Social Media presence? For example, is it to get found by those who are looking for your services or products, finding and interacting with current and potential clients and customers, building a community around your business, creating awareness of your content and offerings, building relationships with potential strategic alliance and referral partners, learning from mentors?

S: What Social Media STRATEGIES do you plan to implement? Will you have a Twitter profile, a Facebook Fan Page, a LinkedIn profile, join a Facebook Group, start a blog? Which ones have priority over others?

T: What TECHNOLOGIES will you use? For example--Hootsuite, Twellow,, Twitpic, YouTube, for link shortening? (The ones you determine to be of highest priority to you will influence the kinds of actions you take on the social media sites you have a presence on.)

Finally, for bonus points, you could also include "M" as in "how will you MEASURE your results?" Understandably, businesspeople still want to know the ROI of their activities--and although this is not as cut and dry to measure in social media, there are still certain numbers that you can look to: your number of newsletter or blog subscribers, number of followers and fans, your website traffic, the amount of comments on your blog, how many purchases made, etc.

The POST method is a good basic structure for starting to define your social media plan, objectives, and priorities. By identifying all the relevant parts of the structure you are creating a clearer vision and purpose--as well as implementing goals, strategies, and tools that will best enable you to effectively reach the ideal people you are looking to connect with through social media.

Christine Gallagher is founder of, a company dedicated to teaching women entrepreneurs all over the world how to use authentic relationship marketing and online strategies to attract raving fans, enroll more clients, and enjoy more income and freedom in their business, all while sharing their gifts and their message in a much bigger way.

Christine created The 6 Simple Steps to Kick Start Your Social Media Success System(TM), a real-world, step-by-step "roadmap" that teaches entrepreneurs how to consistently bring in new clients and customers using the Internet.

Through her coaching and training business, Christine helps entrepreneurs maximize their profits using an integrated social media and online marketing strategy, and teaches them how to stop trading dollars for hours by using online information marketing techniques.

Christine was recently featured as a social media marketing expert in the book Get Scrappy: A Small Business Owner's Guide to Marketing On Less, as well as profiled as one of "16 Brilliant Business Minds on Twitter" by The Huffington Post. Her blog was also recently chosen as one of the top 50 small business blogs by, and her newsletters, products, and online reach now educate and inspire over 18,000 people every month.

Learn more about Christine, her products, programs and courses at

Sign up for Christine's "Get Out There" Ezine. Click here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Social Media Time Management Strategy: Make a Twitter List

In the newest issue of Resume Writers' Digest, the cover story is on "Social Media Time Management Strategies for Resume Writers." In the spirit of that article is this blog post, which addresses a time-saving tip for Twitter.

One helpful Twitter feature is the ability to make a List. You can add those you follow to a list so that you can see all related tweets at once. Think of it as a customized timeline.


Ideas for lists to create would be Recruiters, Colleagues, Family, Celebrities, etc.


Old Twitter:

To create a list in the old version of Twitter, you would click on “New List“ in the Lists section on the right side. Once you have created one or more lists, they will appear above where you create a new one so you can easily access them.



New Twitter:


In the new version, click on the dropdown arrow beside “Lists” and then click on “Create a list.”




The process of actually creating your list is essentially the same in Old and New Twitter. Assign your list a Name and Description then choose whether you want it to be “Public” or “Private”. When finished completing this screen, click on Save List.


Once you’ve created your list, you can add people by searching for them:



Or just go to your follower list and find the people you want to add. Just click the icon on the far right and you can select to add the person to any of your lists.



Once your list is complete, you can click on it to see the tweets of those on your list only.

Want more social media time management tips? Subscribe to Resume Writers' Digest -- it's free! When you've confirmed your e-mail address, you'll also get a link to download the Spring 2011 issue which features Social Media Time Management Strategies for Resume Writers.