Thursday, September 25, 2014

Q&A: Will Jobseekers Be Thrown Off If They See This?

I occasionally share the answers to questions I'm asked. Today's is about BeAResumeWriter Pass-Along Materials.

I do have one minor concern -- I'm not sure if this is something you address in the (Turn Your Content Into Cash) training, but since your (Pass-Along Materials) are used by other resume writers, what if a client finds the same content from two different career websites? I'm just afraid of losing any kind of credibility if a client happens to find my materials that are the same from another resume writers' website or product...

My response:

With millions of jobseekers out there, the chances that they will see the same content on more than one site is low ... HOWEVER, you have control over what you do with the Pass-Along Materials to differentiate them.

At a minimum, I always recommend coming up with a different title for the content. (That's why I purposely name them boring names.)

Second, rewrite the content as much as you feel comfortable -- certainly the first two paragraphs.

Third, change the format! You can break up the PAMs into different formats -- excerpt into a short article or blog post, record as audio or video, make into a checklist/tip guide, or use as social media content.

You'd be amazed -- do ANY ONE of those things and it will become almost unrecognizable. (I'll be reading along a colleague's blog post and think "hmm, that sounds familiar," but it isn't unless I do a search of the PAM that I realize it was actually content I wrote!

There are more than 4,000 resume writers worldwide, and most of the PAM packages have been purchased by fewer than 250 resume writers, so the chances of the same content being seen by the same jobseeker is very low. And I would hate for you to keep from sharing information with jobseekers because you're afraid that they will see the same information somewhere else. The better chance is that they need the information but aren't getting it from anywhere.

If you're still concerned about it, rather than NOT doing something with it, you can feel free to put *my* name on it and a statement that the information is provided by "Resume Writers' Digest, a trade newsletter for professional resume writers" and then put "edited by (Your Name).

But you can really put your own name on it, especially if you use one of the three "transformation" strategies listed above.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

2014 Toast of the Resume Industry Award Nominations Announced

2014 TORI Nominees

In no particular order: 

Best International Resume
Victoria McLean, City CV Ltd.
Rosa Vargas, Career Steering
Ashleyanne Spencer-Smith, Consilium Careers
Sandra Ingemansen, Résumé Strategies
Laura Smith-Proulx, An Expert Resume
Best New Graduate Resume

Tamara Dowling,
Sandra Ingemansen, Résumé Strategies
Adrienne Tom, Career Impressions
Sharon Williams, JobRockit
Rosa Vargas, Career Steering
Best Creative Resume

Ashleyanne Spencer-Smith, Consilium Careers
Laura Gonzalez, Masterwork Resumes
Rosa Vargas, Career Steering
Cheryl L. Simpson, Executive Resume Rescue
Marlene Cole, Pilbara Resumes
Best Accounting & Finance Resume 
Donald Burns, Donald Burns' Career Defense
Kimberly Robb Baker, Movin' On Up Resumes
Freddie Rohner, iHire, LLC
Laura Smith-Proulx, An Expert Resume
Michelle Dumas, Distinctive Career Services, LLC 

Best Information Technology (IT) Resume

Michelle Dumas, Distinctive Career Services, LLC
Adrienne Tom, Career Impressions
Ken Docherty, Docherty Career Management
Kimberly Robb Baker, Movin' On Up Resumes
Donald Burns, Donald Burns' Career Defense 

Best Executive Resume

Ken Docherty, Docherty Career Management
Sandra Ingemansen, Résumé Strategies
Kimberly Robb Baker, Movin' On Up Resumes
Rosa Vargas, Career Steering
Michelle Dumas, Distinctive Career Services, LLC 

Best Sales Resume

Karen D'Anna, Write On Resume Services
Cheryl L. Simpson, Executive Resume Rescue
Rosa Vargas, Career Steering
Leeza Byers, Byers Workforce Solutions
Donald Burns, Donald Burns' Career Defense 
Best Healthcare / Medical Resume

Kristin Johnson, Profession Direction
Sharon Williams, JobRockit
Kimberly Robb Baker, Movin' On Up Resumes
Rosa Vargas, Career Steering
Michelle Dumas, Distinctive Career Services, LLC 

Best Cover Letter

Barbara Safani, Career Solvers
Sharon Williams, JobRockit
Leeza Byers, Byers Workforce Solutions
Laura Gonzalez, Masterwork Resumes
Rosa Vargas, Career Steering
Special thanks to CDI's Director of Awards for coordinating the TORIs again this year:

Robin Schlinger, Robin's Resumes ®

Special thanks to 2014 tier one and tier two judges for their hard work this year: 

Annemarie Cross - Advanced Employment Concepts
Laurie Berenson - Sterling Career Concepts, LLC
Erin Kennedy - Professional Resume Services
Jeri Hird Dutcher - Workwrite
Audrey Prenzel - Resume Resources
Grant Cooper - CareerPro of New Orleans / Strategic Resumes
Susan Guarneri -
Barb Poole - Hire Imaging, LLC
Laura Labovich - The Career Strategy Group
Marty Weitzman - Gilbert Resumes
Michael Kranes - Resume Slayer
Melissa Cooper - RezBiz, LLC
Jill Kelly - Outplacement Australia / Career Edge 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Have You Heard of the App "Coffee"?

This sounds interesting -- an app called "Coffee" that's designed to help people connect with one another. Like LinkedIn … but only on your iPad or iPhone …

"Coffee Creates Job-Hunting Klatch"

Have you heard of this app? Had any clients try it? What do you think of it?

Friday, September 12, 2014

2012 Resume Writers' Digest Annual Industry Survey

The Résumé Writers’ Digest Annual Industry Survey is an opportunity for résumé writers to benchmark their progress compared to their peers. The survey was first conducted in 2001.

The 2012 Résumé Writers’ Digest Annual Industry Survey was conducted from February 2013 into March 2013 and the results were first reported in September 2013. One hundred seventy-eight résumé writers contributed to the survey data. They spent an average of 10 minutes answering 20 questions in the survey.

The information in this blog post was excerpted from the "Profile of Professional Resume Writers: Who We Are, What We Charge, How We Work" report published in September 2014, outlining the results of the 2012 survey.

The respondents can be categorized as follows:
Eighty-two percent of survey respondents are self-employed résumé writers. Almost 20 percent of those folks also write as subcontract résumé writers.

The survey respondents are not “newbies.” More than 80 percent of those responding have been writing résumés for more than six years. Almost a fourth of survey respondents have been writing résumés for 11-15 years. Only 10 percent of survey respondents have been in business for fewer than two years.

The pricing data reflects the “veteran” nature of survey respondents. Generally, résumé writers who have been in business the longest charge the most. (Those who don’t charge enough to support themselves in their résumé writing business generally leave the industry.)

The survey revealed that participants write an average of three résumés a week — the same as in 2011. Writer reported spending an average of 24 hours a week on résumé development (including client consultations, research, writing, and finalization).

The busiest month, according to the survey, is January, followed by February and September.

Let’s Talk Pricing
The most common hourly rate cited was $75 in this year’s survey, compared to $50 per hour in 2010 and 2011. The hourly average this year is $90.87, an increase from $83 an hour average in 2011.

The average reported price for a résumé and cover letter in 2012’s survey is $478, down slightly from 2011’s figure of $511. The most frequently cited amount charged for a résumé and cover letter was $300.

Certification and Training
Most résumé writers surveyed are a member of at least one professional association. Memberships included:
The National Résumé Writer’s Association – 15%
Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches – 14% – 13%
Career Directors International – 11%
Career Thought Leaders – 8%
Resume Writing Academy – 6% – 4%
The Academies – 4%

Note: No survey was compiled in 2013. The 2014 report details the results of the 2012 Resume Writers' Digest Annual Industry Survey. The survey is a voluntary report from participating resume writers and is not considered statistically valid.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Resume Writers: Are You Promoting International Update Your Resume Month?

Fourteen years ago, Career Directors International (CDI), registered and launched an international event, Update Your Resume Month (UYRM), to take place each year in September. With summer behind us, and children back to school, it continues to make sense that adults should take this time to conduct a career check-up.

In celebration and support of UYRM, CDI is reaching out to professional resume writers worldwide with the following tips to create a win-win for themselves and job seekers this year through UYRM:

#1 – Decide what to do for the event.

UYRM is rich with opportunities to reach job seekers. Suggested activities for resume writers include:
  • Provide special discounts on resume services during the month.
  • Coordinate with a local school, library, bookstore, women’s center, or church to offer a free seminar.
  • Announce a free teleclass or webinar that is open to the public. (Then, of course, record it to give as a gift via your website in the future).
  • Write informative articles and blog posts to be posted on your website or on third-party sites.
  • Create a free e-book that can later be made available for sale.
  • Provide daily tips during the month via your favorite social media channel(s). (Later this can be made into an e-book).

Whatever choices are made, having something to give provides the professional with leverage to promote and gain publicity.

CDI members will find numerous resources in the member’s section from which to create presentations and information pieces.

#2 – Reach out to the media and the public.
While members of the media don’t want to hear about a story too early, it’s important not to wait too long.
  • Write a press release about the offering, using the time-sensitive link to the upcoming UYRM.
  • Send announcements out to local companies, non-profits, and organizations who might be interested in letting their staff, students, and/or parishioners know.
  • Post signs in community centers.
  • Contact local news agencies — TV producers, radio stations, small local papers, and major newspapers.
  • Add the event to signature file for emails and blog posts.
  • Blog about it.
  • Spread the word across social media.

CDI members have access to a wealth of additional resources such as sample letters to professors, announcement press releases, and strategy ideas.

#3 – Most importantly, don’t wait; get planning now.
The biggest challenge for self-employed resume writers, career coaches, and even academic career counselors have is schedule pressure.

Why wait? With a little effort, rewards can be had for your efforts this September!

CDI members can brainstorm and partner with fellow members on these initiatives through 24/7 mastermind communities to reach more people and get more done.

#4 – Give back, but get back too.
While sharing knowledge is fabulous, UYRM also presents a unique opportunity to shed light on the importance of educating the public about professional resume writing. While making a difference with tips, advice, articles, and workshops, remember that this is a unique opportunity to spread the word about the value of hiring a professional resume writer. To many out there in the world, professional resume writing is still an unknown. Give advice and spread the word for a future win-win for future profits, future client successes, and future industry visibility.

Visit the public job-seeker page for UYRM.

Learn more about CDI member benefits for resume writers and career coaches.

About Career Directors International –

CDI is a global professional association that is committed to ensuring that career and resume professionals can grow and thrive in a rich, vibrant, exciting, safe, and nurturing environment. CDI is focused on championing the industry’s cause for credibility and visibility; fostering exceptional success in every generation of career and resume professionals; and cultivating the career superhero that exists within each one of us.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Be More Creative in Your Resume Writing Business

You might think that you're already pretty creative. After all, you're a resume writer, and creativity is part of your DNA. But the thing is, most of the time the creative process is not really as spontaneous as some people might wish it was. You can't just sit around and wait for creativity to suddenly strike. Creativity takes a little work and planning.

Here are some ideas:

  • Brainstorm on a Regular Basis

It's really easy to get tied down with typical business activities on a day-to-day basis, and that can kill your creativity. After all, it's hard to go from updating your QuickBooks account to coming up with a killer LinkedIn headline without an adjustment period. And it's even harder to go from writing a cover letter to coming up with ideas for an ebook to help your clients in their job search. So it's important to set aside a regular time — each week or each month — to come up with new ideas. The specific timing doesn't matter. The important thing is to take the time out to brainstorm new ideas.

  • No Idea Is Dumb

While you're brainstorming, keep track of the ideas that come to mind, and take the stance that no idea is dumb. Sure, some ideas are wacky and may not work, but even a truly ridiculous idea can become genius if given half a chance. During brainstorming, nothing whatsoever is off limits. If you put blocks in your way and start classifying things as dumb or wrong, you will not be able to let ideas flow freely.

  • Conduct Research

Once you have some ideas, it's time to narrow them down and start doing some research. It's important that you handle this process on your own. Learn about your idea, test your ideas, and get feedback from others before you move forward too far.

  • Take Time Out to Learn Something New

The exciting fact about learning is that you can learn anything new — and it will help you in all aspects of your life. What you choose to learn about today may have nothing whatsoever to do with resume writing or your clients, but it will open your mind to new possibilities. It's important to always be involved with the learning process, whether it's learning a new software program, or learning how to make a square foot garden.

  • Get Out of Your Bubble

It's super easy to get caught up in our own bubble. This happens a lot to people who have their own businesses. It can also happen with resume writers, when you only talk to people who agree with you, or who only work with the same clients. I learn new things by interacting with college career center staff, employees of state Department of Labor departments, and new resume writers. Invite new people into the fold on occasion, and get out of your office by going to a conference or something so that you can separate yourself from your inner circle enough to soak in new thoughts about the world and your niche.

  • Allow Yourself to Think Big

Dare to dream the big dreams about yourself and your resume writing business. If your mother did not tell you that you are capable of anything, then that's too bad. Because, the truth is, your success or failure has almost nothing to do with your education, or even your abilities. It has to do with the ability to dream and think big -- outside of the world you currently live -- and see the possibilities that are on the other side.

  • Only Action Gets Results

Brainstorming, researching, learning, and dreaming only go so far without actions. So, someplace in the creative process should be a plan in which to take action. Actual steps that you need to do to see something through to fruition. It's like anything else you do in life -- if you don't take the steps necessary to make it to your destination, you will never get there. That goes with being healthier, working with a different type of client, and being more creative. You have to practice doing to get results.

  • Follow Through

It can be easy to get carried away doing everything and then when things aren't going the way we want them to it's easy to give up. It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. With any idea that you come up with that you want to succeed in accomplishing, you should be willing to spend the 10,000 hours needed to see it through. If you do that, you will not fail.

Creativity isn't a magic thing; it's a thing that you plan to achieve. It's the thing that will get you up every morning working your resume writing business so that you can experience the life of your dreams.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Keys to Meeting Client Project Deadlines

One of the most important parts of being a resume writer is meeting client deadlines. When the major "deliverable" that clients receive is the resume (or LinkedIn profile), their anticipation of receiving the draft is very high.

Here's some ideas:

  • Set Realistic Deadlines. The fastest killer of a deadline is overestimating what you can do and how fast you can do it. Always work in a cushion to your deadlines just in case something happens; that way you can avoid stress when trying to meet deadlines.

  • Set Deadlines in Stone. Once you set a deadline, tell yourself it is set in stone and you must meet it or beat it. Since you put in a cushion before setting the deadline, that means that you should be able to get done before the deadline — if all goes as planned.

  • Plan and Organize Efficiently. Part of setting deadlines is learning to plan and organize efficiently. Set up a system of organization that you do for every resume project. Having systems in place eliminates the problem of forgetting any aspect of your project. (That includes the finalization process — i.e., a checklist where you remind yourself to remove the information in the Properties in Word, for example.)

  • Use a Calendar. No one can do anything online without a calendar. Today online calendars can sync with your smartphones so that there is no reason to forget anything. Train yourself to look at your calendar every evening and every morning so that you avoid forgetting anything. Do not rely on your memory.

  • Communicate Deadlines to Team Members. If you work with subcontract resume writers, it's crucial that you communicate deadlines to them in a way that they understand the importance of the deadlines.

  • Do the Most Productive Thing First. If you are not sure where to start, and you can identify items that aren't order sensitive, then you can start right on them. Sometimes just getting something done can unleash more creativity.

  • Baby Steps. Break up all the work into small, bite-sized pieces that you can do a little at a time that will ensure that you meet your deadlines. Setting smaller deadlines throughout the project will also help. (By noon, I will write the "Work Experience" and "Education" sections. By 3 p.m., I will write the Qualifications Profile.")

  • Start at the End. Sometimes it's easiest to start writing the resume from the bottom-up. This usually means starting with Professional Affiliations, Publications, or Education and then working your way up to the Experience section, with the Qualifications Profile being written last. 

  • Plan Ahead. The first thing you should do for any project is to make plans ahead of time to get the things done that need to be done. They say that failing to plan is planning to fail and nothing can be truer than when it comes to project management (and resume writing). So if you need to write a cover letter, resume, LinkedIn profile, and bio, decide what order you're going to write them in BEFORE you start. Believe it or not: Taking time to plan will actually SAVE you time overall.

If you really want to beat client deadlines for the resumes you write, it requires organization, planning, and dedication to be self-disciplined enough to follow the plan you created for yourself to meet your goals. It all starts, of course, with that realistic deadline, and advanced planning. A good project management system doesn't hurt either.

Want more tips on this topic? Check out my special report on how to "Write Great Resumes Faster."

Monday, September 8, 2014

Tips for Getting Caught Up

Self-employed resume writers are ALWAYS looking for ways to get more done -- so check out the tips in this article:
Tips For Getting Caught Up

This is the tip I'm working on most:

What are YOUR productivity tips?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

LinkedIn Offers New Tool for Allowing Clients to Export Their Data

As a resume writer, you should be encouraging your clients to "back up" their LinkedIn profile regularly by having them export their data.

LinkedIn is adding a new data export tool to make this easier.

Read about it here:
LinkedIn Announces New Security and Privacy Control Tools

Do you encourage your clients to back up their LinkedIn profiles? Why or why not?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Have Trouble Tackling -- or Finishing -- Big Projects In Your Resume Writing Business?

Do you have trouble tackling -- or finishing -- big projects in your resume writing business?

Me too.

Check out the strategies offered in this article:
5 Simple Tricks for Tackling That Big Hairy Project You've Been Avoiding

For me, accountability partners are important to helping me finish projects. Whether that's "owing" a project to a resume client (there's nothing like a client deadline to keep you accountable!) or asking someone for help, you don't have to do it alone!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Simple Strategies to Improve Your Productivity

Day 2 of the "28 Gifts for Resume Writers" series featured a special report, "Simple Strategies to Increase Your Productivity." (Want to get ALL the gifts? Log into your Free or Bronze account on and access it here.)

To complement that report, here are some additional productivity boosters:

  • Creating a daily to-do list can increase productivity your by 100%. 
  •  If you want to increase your productivity, establish a performance goal that inspires you to take action.
  • One habit that many highly productive people confess to is getting up earlier than others. How could you use an extra hour or two? (Sorry, I can't do this one!)
  • Find the right tools to help you achieve your daily goals. Finding ways to simplify tasks will boost productivity and improve your mindset. 
  • It’s not enough to plan to reach a goal: For maximum productivity, plan how you can maintain your success once you reach it. 
  • Make a list of the “time waster” habits in your everyday life. How can you take steps to reduce these? 
  • Important tasks are worth doing well. (“Hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur” --Evelyn Underhill) 
  • It’s important to keep up with business learning. Listen to podcasts while doing other things, if you don’t have time or to read books. 
  • Combine your personal life action list with your work action list for maximum effectiveness!
  • If you really want to be more productive, learn to say “no”. (What are three things you can start saying “no” to?) 
  • Identify distractions and replace them with new, productive habits. (What is one distraction you can eliminate right now?) 
  • Review your “to do” list at the end of the day. If you consistently don’t achieve your daily action goals, reduce the number of tasks.
  • “You can prepare all you want, but if you never roll the dice you'll never be successful” -- Shia LaBeouf 
  • To eliminate time wasted on meetings, plan them, send everyone an agenda, appoint a chairperson, and stick to your agenda. 
  • To increase productivity, eliminate reactivity. Plan at least a week ahead, using a system that you find easy and pleasant to use. 
  • When it comes to productivity, find out if it works best for you to tackle your hardest task first – or last. (Everyone is different!) 
  • To increase productivity, set time limits on meetings, phone calls, and tasks. Make note of what works and doesn’t and refine these. 
  • If you want to increase productivity, resist the urge to multi-task. Focus on one task at a time – and get each one done. 
  • Get rid of clutter to increase productivity – and this includes ruthlessly dumping negative, energy-sapping people. 
  • Take a leaf from your high school days and work on different tasks in “periods.” This technique can actually increase your productivity. 
  • Recognize that “emails aren’t letters, they’re tasks.” Respond, delete, or file accordingly.
  • If you want to motivate yourself to be more productive,  figure out what you want to "reward" yourself with -- and use it as an incentive to reach your goal!
  • Which apps do you use to boost your productivity? What’s the common denominator in why you like each one? (E.g. easy to use, visuals, etc.) 
  • Create an “Action List” – not a “chore” or “to do” list – and learn to think of it that way. The positive wording can work miracles. 
  • “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work in hand. The Sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus” -- Alexander Graham Bell 
  • To increase productivity, take the initial time to learn programs or apps you use completely. E.g. explore your email capabilities. 
  • Eliminate distractions. Don’t run desktop apps that give alerts about non-productive stuff, such as the latest tweet or email. 
  • Use the power of systems and software you already have: For example, use Excel to create a time-tracking spreadsheet. 
  • If you really want to increase productivity, do small or unpleasant tasks “right now” instead of assigning them to your To-Do list. 
  • To increase productivity, identify your best money-making activities and focus more time and priority to each one. 
  • To increase productivity, work smarter by delegating, discarding, and outsourcing more tasks. 
  • Don’t just identify money-making activities to increase productivity: Pay attention to each one’s ROI. 
  • Ruthlessly eliminate procrastination habits and activities if you want to create more productivity. Do it one habit at a time. 
  • “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work” -- Stephen King, on writing productivity. 
  • “Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all” -- Peter Drucker, originator of “outsourcing.”
  • Follow through and follow up are as important in increasing productivity as planning. Have you found this to be true?
  • Keep a notebook or record your ideas via your smartphone and Evernote as they occur, to make the most of creative bursts. 
  • To increase productivity, cross half the things off your To-Do list every day and highlight no more than three remaining ones as top priority. 
  • “Taking action without thinking is the cause of every failure” -- Peter Drucker, originator of the business “community” concept. 
  • Adopt taking a “power period” every day — a chunk of time in which you work on something, allowing absolutely no distraction. 
  • Schedule your “power period” for the daily time slot you notice you’re usually the most productive within (early morning, mid-morning, mid-day, early afternoon, late afternoon, early evening, late evening, late night!)
  • If "getting started" is your nemesis, schedule your “power period” for first thing in the morning (when you would usually be on Facebook!) 
  • If typing slows you down, either outsource written content or learn/brush up on your touch typing using this free resource:
  • To increase productivity, look for external distractions and remove them. Face your desk away from the window, turn off the radio, etc. 
  • Try playing classical or meditation music softly in the background. Are you one of those whose productivity increases when you do this? (This is a strategy I also recommend when you are STUCK writing a resume in "Write Great Resumes Faster")
  • When trying to streamline family life, create an Action Station in a central place where family can check schedules, post notes, etc. 
  • Answer emails you look at either straight away – or not at all. Don’t promise yourself you’ll do it “later.”
  • Track your time at least twice a year. Seeing where you waste it can help you be more productive. (Try 
  • Create routines – but make sure they work for all family members. If one isn’t working, change it (or change the time). 
  • “Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before” -- Franz Kafka 

What are YOUR productivity strategies?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Writing Well, Writing Brief

Yale writing professor William Zinser said it best:

"Strip every sentence to its cleanest component. Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be a short word, every adverb that carries the same meaning that's already in the verb, every passive construction that leaves the reader unsure of who is doing what — these are the thousand and one adulterants that weaken the strength of a sentence. And they usually occur, ironically, in proportion to education and rank."

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Finding Your Voice as a Resume Writer and Business Owner

As resume writers, we talk a lot about communicating our client's "voice" in their resumes and career communication documents so that it "sounds" like the client, not like us.

But what is YOUR voice as a resume writer and resume business owner? What is the point of view that you use in your client communications and content marketing? It's important to figure out your voice so that you can create a coherent and professional communication strategy. Here's some ideas on how to do just that:

Figure Out Your Core Values
What is it that you want to say to the world? What is it that you feel is important? Do you want your resume writing business to be a beacon of light to your audience, shining down on them, creating joy and happiness? Do you want your business to be a wake-up call and teach lessons for your audience? What do you want your audience to think about when they think of your brand?

Get to Know Your Jobseeking Clients and Prospects
Marketing is all about what's in it for them, not what's in it for you. If you can remember that, for every piece of content you create, you;ll be halfway there. Every story you tell — through the articles you write, videos you create, or press releases you send out — should all be focused with your target jobseeker in mind. The best way to do that is truly understand who your ideal client is by studying them and immersing yourself in everything there is to know about them. How you speak to your audience will be directly related to how well you know them. You'd speak to a stay-at-home mom returning to the workforce differently than you'd speak to a senior executive. So your voice has to be appropriate for the prospects and clients you want to work with.

Identify the Value You Offer Your Audience
You're not just writing resumes. You're helping clients identify what sets them apart from other jobseekers, and then creating interview-winning career communication documents that clearly communicate their value. Keep your value in mind as you work to identify your voice.

Differentiate Your Resume Writing Business From Your Colleagues
No two resume writers are alike, but for jobseeker prospects, it may be hard to tell us apart, unless you communicate your value clearly. How do you express your values to prospective clients? How will you deliver your resume services? What sets you apart? How can you deliver more value to clients while also sticking to — and expressing — your core values?

Decide If Your Voice Is Casual or Formal
Once you combine all of the above, you will need to decide if your target audience will respond better to a casual or formal voice (or someplace in between). How you speak to your audience is a very important factor in determining if they will understand your message.

Determine Acceptable Lingo and Terms
Once you've decided whether your voice is casual or formal or someplace in the middle, you can come up with the type of terms and lingo youíll use throughout your content marketing, regardless of format.

Create Documentation as a Guide
Whether you will be creating your marketing content yourself, or getting help, creating documentation to guide you through the process will help. Be specific about which font to use. Write down the type of words you want to use, too. The terminology, lingo, and jargon is important because it will mean something to your audience and help you get your message across in a way that will produce the results you desire.

Don't Try to Be Someone You're Not (Be Authentic!)
Resume writers who provide personal branding services know that it is important for the client's voice to be authentic. The worst thing you can do as you're creating and developing your voice is to try to be someone you're not. If you are not generally formal, don't even try to be formal. If you'd feel fake being casual, don't do it. Be yourself. If you've chosen your target audience well, it will be easy for you to be who you are and market to them in a successful way using content.

Content marketing is the most effective form of marketing today, bar none. Finding your voice will help make everything easier. You'll be able to not only create content easier, you'll also have a guide to help keep it consistent across all marketing channels.

What are your thoughts about finding your voice as a resume writer and resume business owner?

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Resume Is a Lifetime in the Making

A resume writing colleague is donating a resume for a fundraiser and wondered if I had anything she could use to explain to the silent auction bidders the value of the resume package. 

This is what I sent her:

Picasso was in a park when a woman asked him to draw her portrait. He sketched her and handed her the drawing. When asked how much she owed him, he replied, "$5,000." The woman was outraged. "But it only took you five minutes!" she protested. "No, madam, it took me all my life," replied Picasso.

When you have your resume created by a professional resume writer, the time invested in crafting a custom document is not limited to the effort required to gather information about your job target, previous experience and accomplishments, education, and value to your next employer — although this is significant. It's not limited to the several hours of time (and gallons of blood, sweat, and tears!) it takes your writer to carefully choose each word and phrase for maximum impact.

While there is significant time spent gathering and synthesizing the details of your career and designing a wholly unique and customized resume, the value of your professionally written resume originates in the skill of the writer — talent developed through study of effective resumes, training in modern communication techniques, and thousands of hours of writing experience.

You are also benefiting from what Picasso recognized as his biggest asset — a lifetime of knowledge and experiences. Your professional resume writer knows how to paint a custom word portrait for you that is a snapshot of your career progression and ambition, designed to attract job interviews. More than a few jobseekers have turned a single sheet of paper — their professionally written resume — into the job of their dreams. Will you be next?

How do you explain to your clients why an investment of $500 or $1000 — or more — is worth it?