Thursday, April 6, 2023
10 Questions With Kara Varner
Tuesday, April 4, 2023
The Riches are in the Niches: Finding the Perfect Niche Using Keywords
While many resume writers are generalists, some of the most successful career industry professionals specialize in working with a specific niche of jobseekers: Women returning to the workplace, for example. Executives. IT professionals. New college graduates. Mid-level sales managers.
Not sure what you want to specialize in?
One way to find the right business niche is to conduct keyword research. Keywords are terms people enter into search engines to find information they need — which helps them solve their problems. Search engines like Google track this information and make it public. You can use this data to refund your niche ideas and discover which niches people are actively searching for.
Start With Your Passions and Interests
Start by brainstorming. What kinds of jobseekers do you like working with? What areas do you have experience in? (Some resume writers specialize in the field they came from — for example, Wendi Weiner works with attorneys.)
Thursday, March 30, 2023
10 Questions with Andrea Adamski
Get to know other resume writers in our community with the latest entry in our “10 Questions” series!
Today’s profile is Andrea Adamski, CPRW. Andrea has been writing resumes for more than a decade. She owns her own business, Write For You Resumes, based in Kansas City, Missouri, and also does contract work as Director of Writing Services, training writers and serving as quality control for Your Next Jump, a career services company based out of Washington, D.C.
1. Why did you decide to become a professional resume writer?
I worked in marketing copywriting in the corporate world for nearly a decade. My coworkers familiar with my writing abilities would ask me to help them with their resumes on the side. They would then refer me to their friends and it snowballed.
I worked in marketing copywriting, mostly in the healthcare and financial industry.
3. What do you typically wear when you’re working?
Jeans or leggings and one of my Dolly Parton or Prince t-shirts, unless I am meeting a client — then I dress accordingly (no Dolly t-shirt).
4. What is your best habit, and what is your worst?
5. What is your favorite object in your office? Why?
A picture of my kids.
I take a break if possible, cook dinner, help my kids with something. My kids and I play a lot of Uno.
I spend time with my family and kids, I love crafts, especially crochet. Sometimes I sew to unwind. I also love to read and watch true crime. If I wasn’t a resume writer, I think I might have liked to be a detective.
9. What ONE thing would you change about your business or the career industry if you could?
The ageism and bias in resumes and the interview process. I am very cognizant of trying to help my clients with this as there aren’t many protections at the resume stage like there are once you walk in for an interview.
Find her company on Facebook:
Follow Andrea on Twitter:
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Naming Your Career School (including School Name Idea Generator)
- Relate to your business name somehow (or your brand)
- Relate to your own name
- Relate to a specific benefit to your audience or relate to the topic you’re going to be offering.
- Make it memorable. How can you help your school stand out from others?
- Incorporate keywords. Are there certain words that people will search for on Google when looking for you, or when looking for courses like the ones you’re going to offer? If you can, use SEO tactics in your school name to help your school be found on Google when someone is looking for help in your area of expertise.
- Keep it short. Less than five words, ideally. And say the school name out loud. Make sure it sounds good when you say it, and when you see it.
Thursday, March 23, 2023
My Top Takeaways from the Teachable “Create The Future” Summit (March 21-22)
Ever since I’ve been a Teachable customer, I’ve attended the twice-a-year online Teachable trainings. (I made my first Teachable sale, for $18.50, in November 2019.)
This past Tuesday and Wednesday, I caught about 75% of the “Create the Future” Summit sessions. (And, as a Pro account member, I can go back and watch the rest of the sessions here.)
Here were some of my top takeaways:
- There are over 50 million people who identify as a “creator.” You’re a professional creator if you’re getting paid to create (including writing), but imposter syndrome is real. (“It’s a belief that you’re not good enough, even though you know that you are.”)
- Prioritize your time when it comes to social media posting. Pick 1-2 platforms that you spend most of your time/energy on — on the rest of them are repurposed content from your main platforms. Figure out where your audience is hanging out and focus there.
- Teachable shared one of the sessions on YouTube (not sure how long the replay will be up) – How to Use Short-Form Video for Quick Wins. (The presenter had some typos on his slides, but the information was interesting.) "External circumstances were never more in your favor.” That leaves us with internal circumstances keeping us from doing video — “the hating culture,” (especially on Tik Tok), self-doubt, being too shy to be on camera, believing you don’t have enough equipment or money to do videos, the belief you don’t have time, believing you’re “too old” (you never are!), or feeling that the competition is too immense. “Love video even if it won’t love you back as fast as you wanted.”
- Growth is not always linear — it goes up and down. And “experts get paid more than generalists.”
- “No one cares what you’re worth. You have to price based on the results you can get for them. This isn’t about you; it’s about them.”
- On your sales page, you want the reader to feel like — when they get to how much it will cost — that it’s going to be more than what you’re actually charging. You want them to get to the end with a feeling that they got a great deal. (“I thought it was going to cost $1200 … I got a steal at $999.”)
- The better you design the content (bold, italic, underline, color, font size), the better it will be able to be consumed and understood.
- Figure out what your customers want/need through market research — surveys, interviews, monitoring social media and online forums). What are people raving about? What are people complaining about?
As a reminder, Teachable offers these learning opportunities a couple of times a year, so sign up for a free Teachable account so you’ll get the invitations.
(And, if you sign up for a NEW paid Teachable account using my affiliate link by March 31, email me at bb(at)bearesumewriter.com and I’ll schedule a complimentary 30-minute Zoom call with you to talk you through your first course idea and answer any questions you have!)
Check out my courses for career industry professionals here:
Affiliate disclosure: Links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning I may receive an affiliate commission if you take action based on my recommendation. Don’t worry, though, I *only* recommend resources that I either personally use or would unequivocally recommend. As mentioned above, I’ve been a Teachable customer since 2019.
Monday, January 16, 2023
A Resume Writer’s Guide to Printables
What are printables? And how can they benefit YOU and YOUR JOBSEEKING CLIENTS?
Printables are things designed for the purpose of downloading and printing, such as: worksheets, checklists, to-do lists, trackers, planners, journals, guides, and calendars. Outside of the career industry, printables can also include color pages, art projects, patterns or designs.
Printables come in all shapes and sizes and have a wide variety of uses. For jobseekers, they can help them organize their job search, track their job search activities and make quick work of completing tasks, and collect and synthesize information. For resume writers, they can be used to grow your email list, turn prospects into paying customers, help your clients prepare for and execute their job search, and provide passive income revenue.
Printables can be a single page document or contain several pages (like with workbooks and accomplishment trackers). They are detailed and to the point, generally having a very specific purpose. Printables can be anything from a checklist to an instructional guide. They are a great way to help your clients AND you, without a lot of extra effort.
As mentioned, printables can benefit you as a resume writer by:
- Increasing Subscriber Sign-ups. Creating printables to serve as a lead magnet to increase interest and boost subscriber sign-ups.
- Boost Perceived Value. Adding printables to your existing 1:1 career services, courses, and coaching programs can instantly boost the perceived value of the product. People want answers to their questions, but they also want to reach their desired result quickly and easily. If printables help them achieve that goal, they will consider them to be highly valuable, allowing the resume writer to charge more for their services, product, program, or course.
- Gain More Social Proof. When high-quality information is provided, along with the tools to help readers implement what they've learned, it creates loyal customers. These loyal customers share their results with others. They provide high-value testimonials and fodder for future case studies … which, in turn, brings in more new clients.
For list-building, a person looking for interview preparation questions may find a guide with a list of interview question prompts. However, if the seller includes a printable journal to write out key points for answering the question prompts, it adds to the value of the product and provides a bigger benefit for the buyer.
Each printable you crease should have an objective. Some common objectives are to:
- Help a person take action on what they are learning.
- Challenge oneself — for example, when setting goals for the job search.
- Track data or calculate math. Think interview tracking worksheets or salary negotiation spreadsheets.
- Develop a strategy for accomplishing a goal.
- Brainstorm an idea and bring it into existence.
- Plan out something (like a job search or recruiter connection strategy) in more detail.
- Plan quarterly or annually with things like planners and calendars.
- Organize information (such as job applications).
- Organize thoughts and ideas (such as rough drafting interview questions, as mentioned above).
- Compare and evaluate two or more things (like job offers).
- Walk a user through the process of solving a problem. (“Is it time to quit your job?”)
- Repurpose or reuse something, such as content, graphics, audio, and video. (For example, a guide to accompany your LinkedIn training course.)
- Manage processes or projects.
- To document your day, week, or month through journaling (i.e., an accomplishments tracker)
- Do something relaxing to take your mind off something (like a coloring sheet to relieve the stress of a job search)
You can certainly create your own printables. One of the best ways to get started is to look at the existing Pass-Along Materials you have access to. But there’s a NEW way to get started with printables — Tools For Resume Writers.
A new addition to the existing Bronze member benefits of BeAResumeWriter, Tools For Resume Writers gives you access to customizable Canva templates that you can brand with your own fonts, colors, logo, etc.
There are currently three printables available to customize:
- S.T.A.R. Worksheet (How to Create Compelling Career Stories)
- Invest In Your Career
- LinkedIn Industry List
The Tools For Resume Writers customizable Canva templates are included with Bronze membership in BeAResumeWriter.com.
How to Deliver Printables
Printables can be delivered in one of two formats — digital downloads and print documents. For digital downloads, use PDFs whenever possible to make delivery easy. You can sell your downloads on your own website using a digital download service (like Payloadz.com or SendOwl). These services will allow you to create seller links you can post on your website and use to deliver the download after the sale. You can also use third-party marketplaces, like Etsy or Amazon to sell your print products.
Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Resume Templates — Yes or No?
I’ve been a resume writer long enough to have seen many generations of resume templates over the years. In the 1990s, there were the “resume-in-a-box" software programs. In the 2000s, you had Microsoft Word resume templates — which were either super boring or overly designed (with multiple columns). More recently, you've been able to purchase resume templates on Etsy or use the resume designs in Canva.
The problem is, many of these documents LOOK good, but aren’t GOOD to use in an actual job search because, especially in recent years, they have not been compatible with applicant tracking system (ATS) software, putting applicants at a disadvantage with their online resume submissions.
But the world of resume templates changed when career industry pioneer Michelle Dumas introduced “Distinctive Resume Templates.” As a longtime professional resume writer herself, Michelle recognized the need for modern, ATS-friendly professional resume templates that could be used by career industry professionals to enhance their interview-winning content with visually attractive designs.
Michelle and I started in the resume writing industry in the same year (1996) and we’ve both seen lots of changes through the years. But one thing hasn’t changed: The need to create compelling, attractive, and interview-winning career documents.
In 2020, she created a series of resume templates to use with her company’s own clients. They were designed to be easily customized, right down to the color schemes. Her first goal was to streamline the resume development process, creating templates that were useful but also easy to customize. In using the templates with clients, she realized how useful they would be to career industry colleagues. So she started selling them to other resume writers.
“Our work is tremendously time-consuming and we trade our precious time for money. Writing a great resume for a client is a very time-consuming process,” Dumas says. “Our income is limited by how much we are able to produce, which makes it hard to grow/scale a business.”
By introducing resume templates into your resume writing business, you can focus more on the content creation and let the design enhance the content, instead of having to struggle with formatting the resume and associated career documents.
“Writing and graphic design are two different skill sets,” Dumas says. “We are professional resume writers, not graphic designers. While both of these — the writing skill and the design skill — require talent, they are completely different skill sets. Graphically-enhanced resumes that incorporate color and shapes became the norm and the expectation.”
Simple Microsoft Word design enhancements can make a big difference.
For example, take this Key Qualifications section:
In the Amplify template, it becomes this:
Tuesday, January 3, 2023
Profile of Professional Resume Writers 2022
As a resume writer, do you ever wonder how you compare to other career industry professionals? The Resume Writers’ Digest Industry Survey is the tool I use to provide this kind of information to the industry. The results are published in the “Profile of Professional Resume Writers: Who We Are, What We Charge, How We Work.”
The survey was conducted in February 2022, asking respondents to reflect back on 2021. The results were compiled in March 2022 and analyzed and turned into a report written by Kristin S. Johnson in April 2022.
If you are a career industry professional, you can receive the report here.
Here are some of the key findings from the 2022 report:
Profile of the “Average” Resume Writer
While no resume writer is “average,” this graphic illustrates the characteristics of the profile of the typical survey respondent.