Thursday, April 6, 2023

10 Questions With Kara Varner

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

Today’s profile is Kara Varner, MAOM, CARW, CPRW, CRS-MTC, CEIC, of A Platinum Resume LLC. Kara has been a resume writer for 10 years and is based in Colorado. She has a 20-year career background in federal government, civilian, and corporate positions. 

Kara has a diversified background that assists her clients with navigating the application processes for civilian, corporate, contract, and federal government employment. 

1. Why did you decide to become a professional resume writer?
At first, I became a professional resume writer to focus on helping transitioning military service members, federal employees, and military spouses. 

2. How did you get into the career industry? What did you do before?
I became interested in the profession when a neighbor asked me to review his resume. Prior to becoming a resume writer, I was an Employee Assistance Program Manager in the Federal Government. 

3. What do you typically wear when you’re working? 

4. What is your best habit, and what is your worst? 
Best Habit: Replying to emails, writing out my to-do list every night. 
Worst Habit: Procrastination. 

5. What is your favorite object in your office? Why? 
Artwork by my daughters, gifts from friends, and two signs that say: You Got This and Do What Makes You Happy. 

6. What is your “go to” technique or secret when you get stuck when you are writing a resume? How do you get unstuck? 
I write out any thoughts I have and step away. I try to focus on something else (project, TV show, kids) and my brain thinks it through in my subconscious. Then I am able to come back “fresh.”

7. What is the best career advice you ever got? 
Be yourself. Be authentic. 

8. How do you unplug? 
I enjoy family time or time with my daughters doing something girlie. I watch “Real Housewives,” “Jack Ryan,” “Reign,” “The Home Edit,” and “The Young and the Restless.” 

9. What ONE thing would you change about your business or the career industry if you could? 
The Career Industry: Educate and improve the perception of the industry and the true value of the services. I continually work to help clients and friends understand the value of a professional resume and the amount of work that goes into crafting resumes. 

10. What are your favorite social medial accounts to follow? 

Connect with Kara on LinkedIn: 

Find her company on Facebook: 

Follow Kara on Twitter: 

Visit the website for A Platinum Resume:

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.)

Once you have some ideas, you can use keyword research to narrow down and refine your niche.

Keep in mind — even if you specialize in a niche, you can still work with jobseekers from all backgrounds and levels of experience. (But having a niche will make it easier for you to be found by prospective clients.)

How to Find Keywords
There are many premium SEO software programs available, but most people find that Google’s free Keyword Planner tool is enough. The purpose of this tool is to help you assess keywords for Google ads, but we can use it for basic keyword research. There are also free alternatives available, like SEO Book and WordStream.

Enter into the tool some keywords related to what you do. You could use a simple phrase like “resumes for executives” or “IT resumes” and you’ll get a list of similar keywords that are related. Skim this list and look for other areas that might be interesting. For example, under “IT resumes,” you might niche even further to “IT project manager resumes.”

How to Assess Keywords
Look for a high volume of monthly searches. A good guideline is over 1,000 searches. This tells you that people are actively looking for this information.

The next step is to check out the competition. You’re looking for keywords that have high search volume and low competition. To assess competition, go off the tool and perform a simple Google search. Put the keyword in quotation marks so you can get the exact phrases. You’ll then see how many sites are targeting the same keyword.

Since you’re not doing actual SEO planning, you don’t need an exact assessment of these keywords. Lookout the sites that come up on the first few pages of the search results, and you can see whether other businesses are covering these niches.

Your niche doesn’t need to be completely uncharted territory – there are only about 4,000-5,000 professional resume writers worldwide, so if there are 15 resume writers who specialize in teacher resumes, there is PLENTY of work for everyone! But by looking at the competition, you may get ideas on how to set yourself apart.

When choosing the right niche for your career services business, you should consider objective data as much as possible to assess whether your niche is popular and profitable. Keyword research is one effective way to do this.