Thursday, July 31, 2014

Best Resumes For $100,000+ Jobs (Book Review)

What is it with our clients and $100,000+ jobs? I ask my almost-senior-level clients how much they want to be making, and inevitably, it's $100K.

Wendy Enelow says the magical figure is "a goal to strive for if you're not already there. Bottom-line, everyone wants to make $100,000 a year. If you're already there, then you want to work with someone who specializes in working with $100,000 folks."

Well, if you don't already know what a $100,000 resume looks like (or even if you've already created a few of them yourself!), Enelow's latest edition of "Best Resumes for $100,000+ Jobs" might still provide some food for thought. (Originally published in 1997, this version -- 2001 -- includes all new text and all new resumes.)

The reason most resume writers will purchase the book, Enelow notes, is "it's a great cheat book — (it) gives you lots of ideas for wording, formatting, style, presentation, etc."

One of the particular strengths of the book builds on another Enelow book, "1500+ Key Words for $100,000+ Jobs." The keywords section in the "Best Resumes" book is a great idea-starter.

While the actual "instructional" section of the book is very short, that is actually a plus for resume writers. Our hope, of course — as it is with any resume guide written for job searchers — is that individuals will buy the book and then fail in their attempt to replicate the superior efforts of our professional colleagues who write and contribute to these books.

Enelow has taken this "wish" one step further, including contact information for resume writers (members of the former Career Masters Institute, which she founded). For those job searcher readers who do get stumped, your name (if you were a CMI member at the time) is close at hand.

"The reason I included member (information) was strictly promotional — to get them business," Enelow says. "This way, they (job searchers) have all the contact information right in their hands."

Second Edition ($24.95)
by Wendy Enelow, CPRW, JCTC, CCM
Impact Publications

Originally reviewed in the July/August 2001 issue of the Resume Writers' Digest newsletter

Friday, July 25, 2014

Creating a Career Membership Site (Part 2)

Yesterday, I mentioned a "Little Monthly Payments"-based membership site as a way to add passive income into your resume writing (or career coaching) business. While monthly recurring income is one of the best benefits of starting a membership site (getting 100, 200 or even 500 members paying you on a monthly basis for information — even at $5 each, that's $500 to $2500 a month), I wanted to share a couple more benefits.

The second benefit is expert awareness. Within the "gates" of your membership site, you can offer a wide variety of content. In addition to articles and short reports, you can do teleseminars, videos, and interviews. The more content you put into your membership site and the more members you have, the more your content and recommendations will be respected. There's no faster way to brand yourself as an expert than by creating a membership site. All your future content, products, and services will have a lot more clout as a result.

Third, membership sites offer backend sales opportunities. The income from a membership site doesn't stop with monthly membership fees. There are plenty of opportunities to make additional income from your site. You can turn members into resume/coaching clients, you can sell group programs and group coaching, and you can also re-package part of the content used in your membership site and sell it as a standalone product.

Fourth, it's never been easier to start a membership site, even if you don't have any technical expertise. If you're already using WordPress on your blog, you can use Wishlist Member to create a password-protected section of your site (they have lots of free training resources to show you how!). Or use a self-contained site like WildApricot (which is what I use for to host your "Little Monthly Payments" membership site.

I've created a comprehensive 10-page checklist to help you get started thinking about how a membership site could work in YOUR resume writing business. Download it here:
Little Monthly Payments Membership Site Checklist

And remember, to learn more about creating your own membership program, check this out:
Little Monthly Payments

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Creating a Career Membership Site (Part 1)

Selling a special report for $5 can make you some decent money. But what if you could sell a special report series, and your subscribers received a new special report each month for $5. What if you had 20 subscribers paying $5, month after month? That's $100 a month. What if you had 200 subscribers paying $5 each month? That's $1,000 a month!

Wouldn't you LOVE to have a recurring income stream where you get hundreds of little monthly payments into your PayPal account each month?

Yes, I thought so! I mean, who wouldn't? Right?

Well, now you can learn EXACTLY how to do just that with Kelly McCausey's course, Little Monthly Payments. This product came about from all the buzz she created after launching a new, low cost monthly membership site ... a site that now has more than 500 subscribers (and costs $9.97 a month)! That's almost $5,000 a month!

When people asked her HOW she did that, she decided to put together this program. And it's a system that is PERFECT for resume writers and coaches. Our clients WANT and NEED information to help them be more effective in their job search!

In the "Little Monthly Payments" program, Kelly shares:

  • The simple rules she used to guide her in creating a "little monthly payment" (LMP) program
  • Interviews with other successful micro-continuity program owners (including ME!!) to give you a variety of perspectives
  • The practical "how to set it up to run smoothly" information you need to get started
  • An abundance of micro-continuity program model ideas
  • Her own "Printable Brainstorming Sheets" to help you collect and organize potential ideas

If you're ready to create a recurring income stream where you can bring in hundreds of little monthly payments every month, check it out:

Don't miss tomorrow's blog post, where I share FOUR REASONS why you should create a membership site (and a 10-page checklist to help make it easy!)

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?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Tools I Use In My Resume Writing Business

I'm often asked what tools and resources I use in my resume writing business. Here's a list of them!

Affordable, easy-to-use domain name registration (starting at $.99/year for domains, and $5.99/month for hosting). You can register multiple domain names and point them all to one website easily, allowing you to promote your different services and products but drive traffic (website visitors) to specific pages of your main website.

Every resume writer needs to build a mailing list with very little technical know-how. AWeber walks you through the process of creating your opt-in form (and will even host it on their site for you, so you don’t even need a website to get started with building your mailing list). AWeber offers both autoresponder messaging (you can pre-schedule a series of emails to go out at designated intervals when people join your list) and broadcast emails (send a message whenever you want). Your first month is just $1, and just $19/month after that (for up to 500 subscribers).

If you host free or paid teleseminars, are interested in podcasting, or want to create audio training programs, check out Audio Acrobat. Offers complete ease in creating and hosting audio clips — no technical skills required! Offer client coaching? Record the calls and offer them as a bonus to your client! And check out “sizzle lines” — record special content and give prospects or clients access. Free 30-day trial, then $19.95/month for the Basic Plan.

An online market to bring buyers and sellers together. If you create an information product, Clickbank is a great way to find affiliates to promote your offer. If you’re looking for affiliate offers to promote, Clickbank is a great way to find relevant products to recommend. It’s also a great way to research what clients will be interested in — find products that are hot sellers!

The most popular solution for building a mailing list. A more “user-friendly” email list management program than AWeber...with social media management tools built in. If you’re looking for a program that will allow you to easily create a client e-mail newsletter and the ability to send broadcast emails easily, check out Constant Contact. Offers a free 60-day trial, and prices start at just $20 after that.

Looking to outsource some things you can’t — or don’t want to — do yourself? Elance is a great place to go to find project-specific vendors, including website designers, copywriters, transcriptionists, researchers, and more.

Need an ebook cover or website banner made? Check out Vikiana on Don’t be put off by the poor grammar on her page — she does excellent work, fast, and starting at just $5.

The easiest way to offer free or paid registration for your next live or virtual event. There’s no cost to you if you don’t charge for the event, so if you want to host your first free teleseminar, consider using EventBrite. If you’re charging for the program (again, in-person or online), you’ll pay a small fee to EventBrite for each ticket sold, plus either a PayPal processing fee (if you want registration funds to go through your PayPal account) or you can use EventBrite’s credit card processing (with associated fees). Total fees add up to about 6% of sales, but you only pay for what you sell, and the registration pages are extremely easy to set up.

If you have a blog, Fotolia is an extremely inexpensive way to acquire photos and illustrations to accompany your posts. It’s also a fabulous choice for photos to use to illustrate your information products (ebook artwork, for example). A stock photography site, it offers a massive amount of choices, starting at about $1 per graphic. Make sure you purchase the correct “rights” for how you want to use the graphic. (For example, you’ll pay a bit more for graphics you want to use on an ebook you’re selling than on a blog post.)

The easiest way to sell digital information products (ebooks, special reports, forms, guides, audio programs, etc.) online. The Payloadz Express option is for low-volume sellers and is a great way to get started. The full Payloadz option offers an affiliate program to help you find folks to promote your products, and their online store will also provide additional visibility for your products.

Some people hate it, some people love it … most just see PayPal as the easiest way to accept credit cards without having a full scale merchant account. I gave up my traditional merchant account so I wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of PCI compliance, and PayPal has been a great solution. It also processes recurring payments for my membership site.

If you’re looking for ways to get free publicity for your résumé writing business, you need to check out Joan Stewart’s offerings. She’ll teach you “tips, tricks, and tools” for free publicity.

I’ve been using Robert Middleton’s marketing ideas for service providers for years — he offers extensive training for how self-employed professionals can attract their ideal clients. His free, 24-page “Marketing Plan Workbook for Attracting Clients to your Professional Service Business” is the best guide to defining your ideal client and creating a client-attracting core marketing message is the best I’ve ever seen.

Blogging and article writing are two of the best ways to attract clients (and generate website traffic) as a résumé writer. This self-paced, 15-week program is a great step-by-step guide to either starting a new blog, or improving your existing blog. Although she emphasizes WordPress as a blogging platform, many of the techniques can be applied to any blog.

Your resource for inexpensive, high quality marketing materials (business cards, fliers, signage, specialty products, and more) for promoting your résumé writing business.

If you want to create a membership program for your résumé writing business, Wild Apricot is a robust solution that is also extremely easy to get started with. It offers a free, advertising-supported level all the way up to multiple professional levels (depending on the number of subscribers you have).

Some links in this post are affiliate links. Affiliate links mean that if you are led to a site and make a purchase, I may earn a commission from that sale.  Not all links are affiliate links. Some are purely for sharing. You are under no obligation to make any purchases from my link. I only recommend products and services that I use or am personally familiar with.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Resources For Resume Writers

Are you familiar with these resources that can help you as a resume writer?

Start, Operate, Profit! The Ultimate Resource for Building a $100,000 Resume Writing Business
(3rd edition)
Teena Rose’s excellent book to help you start or grow your resume writing business — “the definitive resource for those getting started or who want to be the best they can be.” The book’s contents encompass business structure and naming, business planning, marketing and advertising, pricing, customer relations, resume writing strategies, add-on products, and more. You can also visit the link to receive a free 19-page preview of the book. Available for immediate download as a digital file.

Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor Special Report
Looking to earn extra income as a résumé writer? Subcontracting can be an excellent source of supplemental income. This 45-page special report includes profiles of resume writers who subcontract, information on what subcontractors pay, how to contact them (including a sample cover letter and résumé), results of the Resume Writers’ Digest Subcontracting Survey (average compensation, turnaround time, workstyle, etc.), keys to success (from the contracting writer’s perspective), what to look for in a contract, and more than 30 listings of contracting individuals and firms (including requirements, workstyle, turnaround time, compensation, and more). Available for immediate download as a digital file.

Write Great Resumes Faster
Make more money with less work! Are you ever stumped on where to start when writing a resume? Do you keep track of how long it takes you to write a résumé? Looking for ideas on how to create better resumes to win your clients an interview? How much more money could you make if you could write resumes even just a little bit faster than you do now — without sacrificing quality? This special report contains hundreds of ideas and resources compiled by Bridget (Weide) Brooks, CPRW. Hundreds of copies of this book have been sold to résumé writers — many consider it an “indispensable resource” they use for inspiration when they get stuck. Available for immediate download as a digital file. (Third edition.)

Developing Strategic Alliances and Partnerships With Recruiters
Are you thinking about developing a referral relationship with a recruiter, but are wondering where to start, and how to structure it? This special report has the answers. Topics covered include: How to find recruiting firms to partner with, questions to ask a recruiting firm (or to research) if you are approached for a referral relationship, what operations issues you should consider (like how to track referrals, compensation, and scope of commissionable work), how you should decide what to pay for a referral (and when you might not have to pay for high-quality, new clients at all!), Contains case studies from actual resume writers. Available for immediate download as a digital file.

Find more ebooks and special reports here:
BeAResumeWriter Resources

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How Much Do Resume Writers Charge?

I received this question via email yesterday from a career professional:

"Bridget, do you have any information -- or from your own experience -- about the average price charged by resume writers? I think in one of your programs you mentioned something like $500? I think this is probably high. I have been looking at some websites, and they charge $179-$199 for a professional resume. $500 probably is for a resume writer who is well known in the industry. Can you forward me pricing information? Thanks."

Here's my response:

I do have current statistics on pricing for resume writing services in the U.S. 
The figures for an average resume and cover letter have been pretty steady for the last 3 years -- around $500. The average number of resumes written by professional resume writers is 2-4 per week, according to the 2011 survey data.
  • 29% of resume writers charge $100-$299 for a resume and cover letter
  • 35% charge $300-$499
  • 12% charge $500-$699

"Resume mills" -- with multiple writers -- tend to charge less than a single writer web site. 
Certified writers generally charge more than non-certified writers. Resume writers who charge more than $1,000 per project tend not to put their prices on their website -- they quote client projects individually.

I pulled up five random websites from for illustration:
-- (Alabama) - $199 to $399
-- (Arizona) - $299 to $1199
-- (California) - $200 to $750
-- (Colorado) - $297 (resume re-write)
-- (Connecticut) - $299+

All are substantially above the $179-$199 rate ... but again, none of these are "resume mills."

Here is a profile of the "average" resume writer -- 
excerpted from the "Profile of a Professional Resume Writer" special report, which you can get free here by putting in your name and email address. (Offer is for professional resume writers and career coaches -- not for jobseekers, please!)
Get the Profile of Professional Resume Writers Report Here

Profile of the "Average" Resume Writer
Based on the survey information collected, here is the profile of the "average" resume writer:

She is a female in her mid-50s, a self-employed resume writer who has been writing for 11-15 years. She is certified as a resume writer who belongs to one professional association (either the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC) or Career Directors International (CDI).

Our average resume writer works from a home office primarily, but occasionally meets with clients in person -- usually in a public place, like a coffee shop (not a separate business office). She spends 24 hours a week writing, and another 15-20 hours a week on administrative and marketing activities. She writes 2-4 resumes each week, and her average package - for which she charges $350 - includes a resume, cover letter, and references document. She collects the full payment upfront for her work and uses a combination of a questionnaire and phone interview/phone consultation to gather information from the client.

As for income, she brings in gross revenues of $3,600-$5,600 each month, and she nets around $55,200 per year after taxes.

Although she has her own profile on LinkedIn, she's not actively soliciting clients on LinkedIn, nor does she do very many LinkedIn profile development/overhaul projects -- primarily because she's unsure of how to market this service and what to charge. She gets most of her clients from her website or referrals. She has a personal Facebook account, but not a Facebook Business Page (if she does have a Facebook page for her business, it has fewer than 100 "Likes" or "fans.") She doesn't have a Twitter account, or if she does, she's not using it very often.

When it comes to keeping up with trends and information in the industry, she relies on her professional association, resume books, and teleseminars (mostly free, but 1-2 paid ones a year) for information. She doesn't attend professional conferences (either in-person, or virtual ones).

Her biggest frustrations revolve around getting new clients (especially educating them about the value of a professionally written resume), and the hassles of being self-employed (recordkeeping and taxes, managing the processes and paperwork associated with client management, and having to wear "all the hats, all the time"). She's not in this just for the paycheck -- she'll often spend an average of an hour of her time with her clients to help them with other aspects of their job search (answering their questions about job searching or preparing for the interview), and won't charge them extra for this assistance. She loves the work that she does, especially when clients let her know her work has helped them land their dream job.

Notice that the "average" resume writer charges $350 for a resume and cover letter, but the survey data found that $500 is the "average" across all survey respondents. In profiling the "typical" resume writer, I used the most commonly provided answers, not the "average" calculated. Note too that the survey is based on self-reported responses. 

Want to learn more about who resume writers are, and what we charge? If you're a resume writer, career coach --  or are interested in becoming one -- enter your name and email address in this form and you'll immediately receive access to the "Profile of Professional Resume Writers" special report, and emails with resources that will help you become more effective in your work and in your work with clients.

GET THE FREE REPORT: "Profile of Professional Resume Writers: Who We Are, What We Charge, How We Work"
* required

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Monday, July 7, 2014

10 Headline Hacks for Client Resumes and LinkedIn Profiles

The most important part of the client resume and LinkedIn profile is usually the first thing readers see: the headline.

The headline immediately alerts readers if the rest of the content is what they’re looking for. The first line the reader sees should tell them instantly if what your jobseeking client has to offer is exactly what they are looking for in a candidate for the opening they have. You can accomplish this by using a strong headline and then following it with informational sub-headlines (in the LinkedIn Summary) or a qualifications summary or bullet points (on the resume).

The headline has to convince the reader to continue reading. You only have a few seconds to capture the reader’s interest and attention. And, on LinkedIn, you have limited space — your client’s headline can be a maximum of 120 characters. On the resume, you can use more space, but the best resume headlines are generally 5-10 words.

Stuck for how to get started writing the headline? Try these headline hacks (formulas) excerpted from this special report, "Writing Better Headlines For LinkedIn and Client Resumes":
  • [Job title] for [industry] at [company name] 
  • [Job title] specializing in [skills/keywords] 
  • [Job title] focusing on [job functions] 
  • [Job title] that gets [these results] 
  • [Adjective] [job title] With a Track Record of Success in [results] 
  • [Job title/keyword] who does [what] for [target audience] [+ PROOF] 
  • [Job title] + [differentiator] 
  • [Job title] + [target audience] + [industry/field] + [achievement/results] 
  • {This client} helps [target audience] [do or make what?] 
  • {Client’s biggest achievement} 

Want more strategies for creating reader- and SEO-friendly headlines? Check out the special report.

Writing Better Headlines For LinkedIn and Client Resumes

When you only have seconds to capture a reader's attention, the headline is especially important. This short report gives you the tools you need to write attention-getting, powerful headlines for client resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

The report covers:
• The one question every headline must answer
• Questions to ask before you start writing the headline
• Three specific strategies to write the headline
• More than a dozen headline formulas (a cheat sheet!)
• Tips for formatting your headlines
• The role of keywords and SEO strategies in headline writing
• A 10-point "Checklist for Assessing The Headline" 

Buy "Writing Better Headlines For LinkedIn and Client Resumes."