I've been writing resumes since I was 12. A lot has changed in that time. In fact, the resume writing business continues to change all the time. LinkedIn was launched in 2003, but I didn't join until October 2008. Most resume writers will tell you that LinkedIn has really impacted the hiring process — but the reality is, most of that change has come in the last five years. If you're a resume writer and you're not on LinkedIn, you're already behind the times. If you're not also helping clients improve their LinkedIn profiles, you're missing out on a great source of revenue ... and results for your clients.
The next big change in the hiring process — and, consequently, your resume writing business — might be just around the corner, or it might be five years away. But it's coming. That's for sure. Because nothing stays the same forever. There's always something new to learn. If you're planning on still being in business a year from now, you need to be investing in your skills. What you know today will not be all you need to know tomorrow. Get out there and learn all that you can.
Here are five ways to improve your skills as a resume writer:
1. Take a class. One of the great things about the resume writing industry is that there are lots of opportunities to improve your knowledge about the writing process, coaching clients, and new technology. (Check out the Events listing on BeAResumeWriter.com site — I collect information about training opportunities from multiple sources in the industry.)
2. Get involved. Is there a resume writing conference going on near you? Register and attend the meetings to find out what others in the industry are doing to grow their resume writing business. It's also a great opportunity to network with those who can help you succeed.
3. Gain certification as a resume writer. There is a lot of debate whether certification is worthwhile in the resume writing industry, but in business in general, it's all about expertise. When you can show that you are an expert in your field, you gain the trust not only of clients but also of other resume writers. (Some resume writers will only hire certified resume writers as subcontract writers.) There are many choices for certification.
4. Ask questions. If you don't know how to do something, then ask. All of the major professional associations (PARW, NRWA, CDI) offer e-lists. Participate in the discussions and ask other resume writers for advice.
5. Find a mentor. Is there someone in the resume writing field that you look up to? They may be able to impart knowledge that can take you far. If they are willing, learn all you can from them.
If you want your resume writing business to grow, you need to grow along with it. Continually learn new skills that can grow your business!