Thursday, August 27, 2020

10 Questions With Holly Genser


Get to know the other resume writers in our community with our “10 Questions” series!

Today’s profile is Holly Genser of

Holly Genser helps frustrated professionals and leaders with integrity who want to find meaningful work that fits their values. She is a Certified Career Transitions Coach (CCTC), Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW), and Nationally Certified Online Profile Expert (NCOPE).

As an introvert herself, Holly also specializes in helping introverts develop gentle job search and interviewing strategies.

She is a member of the National Resume Writers Association (NRWA), is an NRWA Ask An Expert Blog Contributor, and a member of Career Directors International (CDI).

Prior to becoming a career coach and resume writer, Holly earned a MA in Training and Development from The Ohio State University. She also held several roles in Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and higher education, including project manager, consultant, instructor, instructional designer, success coach, and learning center director.

1. Why did you decide to become a professional resume writer?
I became a career coach because, as a child, I felt sad and frustrated as I saw the pain of my mother’s career mismatch and my father’s discouraging job search during a recession. Then, I also felt drained in my job as a training consultant after graduate school, even though I liked it.

When I taught Career Coaching for Supervisors and Career Development for Employees at AT&T, I felt I’d come home to my career interest. I learned about being an introvert and what I needed in my work environment and applied my knowledge and skills to my own difficult planned and unexpected job and career changes. 

It took me several years to fulfill my desire to ease the way for others — first, part-time, and then full-time.

2. How did you get into the career industry? What did you do before?
I learned about career development when I was a training consultant at AT&T and I was asked to get certified to teach their Career Coaching for Managers and Career Development for Employees workshops.

Then I developed the Selection Interviewing for Supervisors and Interview Skills for Employees workshops at Sprint.

I used the skills for my own job and career changes, but it wasn’t until 2012 that I became a Certified Career Transitions Coach (CCTC) and resume writer.

3. What do you typically wear when you’re working?
A colorful, cotton knit shirt, silver jewelry, and black or navy pants.

4. What is your best habit, and what is your worst?
My best habit is focusing for long periods of time. I get into the flow and get a lot done.

My worst habit is also this deep focusing. I don't get up often enough for good health.

5. What’s your favorite object in your office? Why?I love the big Georgia O’Keeffe print I see when I enter my office. I love the colors. A bit of it shows behind me in my photo.

6. What is your “go to” technique or secret when you get stuck when you’re writing a resume? How do you get unstuck?
What works for me when I get stuck writing is to leave my desk — or, at least the project — and come back a few hours to a few days later. 

I get new ideas when I’m doing something else and a fresh perspective when I return to the project after a hiatus. Even working on a different project helps to gain perspective. 

7. What’s the best career advice you ever got?
Learn about yourself and find work that fits your personality type, interests, and values.

8. How do you unplug?
I mediate, listen to music, exercise, watch good shows or movies, and draw freely with colored markers and artist’s crayons.

9. What ONE thing would you change about your business or the career industry, if you could?
Have industry regulation to eliminate the unqualified resume providers who provide cheap services based on generic job descriptions without any client differentiation.

For resources and information, visit Holly's website at You can also connect with her on LinkedIn at

Did you miss our last 10 Questions profile, featuring Lori Jazvac? You can read it here!

Monday, August 24, 2020

How to Create Your First Client-Attracting Course

This month, I launched my newest course, “Ask Better Questions, Write Better Resumes.” This experience — of launching my fourth course under the Resume Writer’s University school — has given me a solid understanding of what’s needed to create a course.

Whether you’re talking about a text-based course or a video course, jobseekers can benefit from learning strategies to help them with their job search. And you’ll love selling a course, since the high perceived value means you can charge more for a course versus other infoproduct formats (such as ebooks).

So, with that in mind, check out these three steps for creating courses your customers will love…

Step 1: Do Your Market Research

The first thing you need to do is figure out what your audience wants. A good way to do this is to find out what they’re already buying. You can check:
  • to see what sort of video courses they are buying.
  • Marketplaces like Amazon and ClickBank to see what sort of infoproducts they are buying in your niche.
  • Websites in your niche to see what they are selling.
  • Paid advertisements (such as sponsored ads) to see what they are promoting.
Popular topics are: preparing for a job interview, job search using LinkedIn, and salary negotiation/getting a raise. But there are other opportunities too: customizing the professionally written resume to target specific job opportunities, identifying your personal brand, conducting a successful job search, applying for positions online, and more.

Select a topic that looks like it will sell well, and then move to the next step…

Step 2: Decide What to Include

Next, you need to decide what to include in your course and start creating your outline. To do this, take two steps:

1.   Brainstorm. Think up all the sub-topics, steps, tips, examples, mistakes, etc. you’d like to include in your course.

2.   Research. Find out what similar infoproducts. Use this information for inspiration – do NOT copy.

NOTE: While you may choose a topic that others have done before, and you may even look to similar products for inspiration, your goal is to create something fresh. This means:

  • Sharing unique strategies and tips.
  • Including unique information — such as case studies, personal stories, and personal examples.
  • Delivering information in a new way, such as turning a step-by-step formula into an acronym/formula.
Next step…

Step 3: Develop Your Course

Once you know what all information you want to include, then organize it into a step-by-step format. If you’re delivering the course in parts, then create equal-sized modules. (e.g., you might create a 12-module course and deliver one lesson/module per week for three months.)

Keep these tips in mind:
  • Use a light, conversational tone.
  • Add relevant stories to keep people engaged. For example, what problems do most jobseekers have when they are starting out with this topic? What mistakes do they typically make?
  • Add value to your course. Offer worksheets, checklists, templates, swipes, planners, and cheat sheets to help people take action on what they just learned. 
  • Proof and polish. If you have errors in your course, people will judge the information as a whole to be low-quality. If needed, hire someone to proof and fact-check your course.
  • Insert backend offers. Promote related products and services inside your course.

As always, you can outsource this entire task to a freelance writer (or video editor) to produce a polished end result.

We didn't talk about the technology, but I use the Teachable platform for Resume Writer’s University because it makes it easy to set up, market, and sell courses. It also includes an affiliate program, so you can let other people promote your course and share a referral commission with them.

Create a course once and it can provide residual income.