Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Associations for Professional Resume Writers (updated 2018)

I had previously written a blog post about professional resume writing associations, but that was several years ago, and it's out of date now!

Consequently, here's an update!

If you're looking for networking opportunities, certifications, industry research, information, and more, there are several associations devoted to the professional resume writing and careers industry.

These include:
  • Career Directors International (CDI). Originally founded as the Professional Resume Writing and Research Association (PRWRA), this association is run by Laura DeCarlo. Dues are $267/year or $25/month (first month is $97, then $25 thereafter). The organization offers several certifications, including the Certified Advanced Resume Writer (CARW), Certified Expert Resume Writer (CERW), Certified Resume Specialist (CRS), and Master Career Director (MCD) designations. It also offers an annual resume writing awards contest: the Toast of the Resume Industry (TORI) awards. There used to be an annual conference in Florida, but it's apparently on hiatus at the moment.
  • Career Professionals of Canada. The pre-eminent organization for Canadian career professionals (including resume writers), CPC offers four credentials (Certified Resume Strategist, Certified Interview Strategist, Certified Employment Strategist, and Certified Career Strategist), a rigorous training program, and outstanding networking opportunities (including tele-networking as well as in-person meetups in Canada). Also offers CPC Award of Excellence, recognizing the accomplishments of professionals in the industry. One unique benefit for Canadian members is the opportunity to purchase group-rated liability insurance. Dues are $180/year (CAD).
  • Career Thought Leaders (CTL). This organization, now owned by Marie Zimenoff, traces its roots to the Career Management Alliance (originally founded as the Career Masters Institute, or CMI). CMA was purchased by Kennedy Information (which became BNA Subsidiaries LLC), but they decided to close the organization. Wendy Enelow, the original owner of CMI, created CTL and the organization has regained the certifying authority for the Master Resume Writer (MRW) and Credentialed Career Manager (CCM) designations. The organization also offers certifications in personal branding, career transitions, resume and profile writing, the hidden job market, and social branding. The dues are different than most other professional organizations – a one-time fee of $399 earns you the title of "CTL Associate" with inclusion in a membership directory and discounts on CTL programs. The organization hosts an annual conference (symposium) -- the most recent one was in Spain in 2018. 
  • (part of The Career Experts). Not really an "association," this is an online directory for resume writers that has morphed into an "information resource site" for resume writers as well. Maria Hebda puts together an impressive line-up of teleseminars -- some geared towards member education and others designed to help members get exposure to jobseekers. There is also an active private Facebook group (membership in CRW not required to participate).  There is a one-time (lifetime) membership fee of $427.
  • The National Resume Writers' Association (NRWA). This is a member-driven organization, with a volunteer board of directors. The association offers an annual conference (the 2018 conference is in Seattle) and rigorous certification -- the Nationally Certified Resume Writer credential. It also offers one of the best resume writing training programs -- Writing Excellence -- available as both a live training and on-demand. Writers can receive recognition for their work with the annual ROAR awards (Recognizing Outstanding Achievement in Resumes). Dues are $175/year.
  • Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC). Founded and owned by Frank Fox, PARW was the "original" resume writing association, from which many other associations branched off. PARW offers the most common resume writing certification, the Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) credential. It also certifies individuals as Certified Employment Interview Professionals (CEIP) and Certified Professional Career Coaches (CPCC). The organization's newsletter, the PARW Spotlight, is the longest-running publication in the industry and its E-List is among the most comprehensive sources of information to get your questions about resume writing answered. The organization used to offer an annual conference, and it looks like it is coming back in 2019! Membership is $150/year (and has been since at least 2011).
  • Resume Writing Academy (RWA). Not an association, really, the Academy is a training program originally developed by Louise Kursmark and Wendy Enelow, and now owned by Marie Zimenoff. Programs offered include E-Summits (webcasts) and a three-month resume writing training curriculum. Resume writers can earn the prestigious Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW) credential, which is a preferred certification for many resume contracting firms as well as a certification in federal resume writing (with a self-paced training program) and social media (including LinkedIn) profile development.
  • Resume Writer's Council of Arizona (formerly the Arizona Resume Writers' Association). This small group maintains a website to market members' services collectively to prospects in its geographic area. Membership is open to resume writers in Arizona. Dues are $125 for new members (including website listing) and $75/year to renew.
And, of course, there is, my membership site for professional resume writers, offering resources to help you be more effective in your work and in your work with clients. Bronze members receive access to done-for-you content you can use with jobseekers, a new special report each month, and a new Career Worksheet each month (part of Evelyn Salvador's Career Worksheets for All Professions), plus access to Expert Interviews (live and recorded teleseminars and webinars on resume writing and business development topics) and the entire archive of back issues of Resume Writers' Digest. Bronze membership is $13/month (recurring payment) or $144/year.  Join here.

Did I miss any organizations? Let me know!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Q&A: I Think Subcontractors Aren't Getting Paid Enough

I sent out an email last week to promote a subcontracting opportunity for one of my listings in the "Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor" membership program and received the following response.

I think the 20% to the writer is the wrong way around. Especially for only a couple of assignments per month.

A fairer business model would see the writer getting 80%+ and the originator getting a 10% - 20% “finder’s fee”, based on the premise that the writer is doing the majority of the work. Also, I think the client gets a better result when the writer interacts with them directly, rather than adding links into the chain of communication.

Having said that I am definitely interested in subcontract work and will check out your site and the YouTube.

Just my two cents!

– G.S.

Compensation for subcontract writing projects generates a lot of controversy.

Ask a subcontract writer, and they will tell you the pay is too low. Compensation is generally ranges from 20-35% of the project fee. Factors affecting the percentage include: the amount of client contact (and whether writing from worksheets vs. conducting the phone intake session) and whether the subcontractor or the contracting writer handles revisions. In general, the more client contact and the more of the project the subcontractor handles, the higher the percentage the subcontract writer receives.

Ask a contracting writer about compensation, and they'd remind you how much more goes into the project than the actual writing of the resume. There is marketing and client acquisition time and costs, selling the client on the project and fee (including determining project scope), getting payment and onboarding the client, conducting the information-gathering process, and managing the project through completion, including project finalization. There's also the risk of chargebacks, which is almost always fully realized by the contracting writer, with the subcontact writer paid regardless.

The author of the question above raises several excellent points. Skilled writing should be compensated well. How much better? I would argue that 30 percent should be the mininum amount, and that should be writing from worksheets with no client contact and no revisions. A project with direct client contact (including conducting the intake session) should be compensated at a higher rate than a ghostwriting opportunity.

But it's never going to be an 85/15 or 80/20 split in favor of the writer. The industry standard for compensating referrals is 15%. That's the "finder's fee" model the original email referred to. But that's very different from subcontracting.

It can be tough to find a qualified (especially a certified) writer who will work on a project for less than $200 (their percentage). At current rates, that means the contracting writer would have to charge $600 (at 35%) to $1000 (at 20%). With the industry average for resumes currently at $500-$600, that doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room.

One more point: The author mentioned "especially for only a couple of assignments per month." Many subcontractors only take on a few assignments per week or month. (The industry average for most writers, according to the Resume Writers' Digest Annual Industry Survey  is 1-2 projects per week, or 4-8 projects a month.) Many resume writers pursue subcontract opportunities while they build their own client base, to smooth out the peaks and valleys. Most subcontractors are looking for extra income, experience, and the opportunity to learn how other writers run their businesses and interact with clients. Some subcontract full-time (or as their only work), but that's not the majority of subcontract writers.

Interested in subcontract resume writing? Check out the Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor membership site. Your annual membership includes the "Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor" special report (with information for subcontract writers about compensation, project management, and more -- and profiles of other subcontract writers), plus access to the Directory of Subcontract Opportunities, with more than 25 full listings for subcontract writing (with more being added and updated all the time).