Showing posts with label Pass-Along Materials. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pass-Along Materials. Show all posts

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Preparing for an Annual Performance Review

While annual performance reviews are typically conducted in the fourth quarter of the year (October – December), it's smart to get jobseekers thinking about their performance review early in the year. That gives them time to compile accomplishments throughout the year, instead of waiting until the last minute and having to dig through emails, documents, and files on a deadline.

Here are some guidelines for jobseekers preparing for an annual performance review:

If this is your first appraisal at this company, find out how it’s typically handled — and what it involves — either by asking co-workers or your manager.

If this is not your first review, get out your information from last year’s evaluation.

Prepare for this year's performance review by:
• Reviewing the feedback and ratings you received last year
• Looking at the areas where you scored well last year
• Identifying the areas that needed improvement last year
• Reviewing your goals and plans from your last review — have you made progress? Have any of the priorities from the previous year’s review changed?

Next, you’ll want to come up with your list of activities, projects, and accomplishments since your last review. Be sure to quantify your accomplishments. Your manager may not be aware of everything you were working on, so preparing a brief summary is important. What does your manager need to know before he or she meets with you?

Also assemble any relevant documentation to showcase in your review:
• Letters or emails from customers, supervisors, co-workers, and/or vendors
• A list of any trainings you’ve completed
• Copies of any honors, awards, or recognition you’ve received since your last evaluation
• A summary of your professional development activities since your last review

Your manager may also ask you to prepare a self-assessment. Some companies provide a form for you to complete the self-assessment. Others may give you some open-ended questions.

Looking for more tips for jobseekers to prepare for an annual performance review? Check out the Jobseeker's Guide to Preparing for a Performance Review Pass-Along Materials. It includes ideas for questions you should ask, information on how you will be assessed, and what to do if you get a negative performance review.

Pass-Along Materials content is done-for-you careers content that helps educate and inform jobseekers to help them be successful in their job search. For more job search topics, click here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

"You Are Where You Are Because of You"

I posted this graphic to my Facebook profile today.

I excerpted it from the "Positive Encouragement for Jobseekers #4 (Tweetable Tips)" Pass-Along Materials content. (This content package gives you quotes that you can turn into shareable graphics, just like this.)

I like this quote because it has multiple meanings, and how you interpret it is up you.

Positive: I am responsible for my own destiny when it comes to my life and my career. If I don't like where I am, I have the power to change it.

Negative: If I'm unhappy with my life or my career, it's because of the choices I have made. I am a product of my decisions. If I've ended up somewhere I don't want to be, it's because I, and I alone, have made the decisions that have gotten me here.

I'd love to hear what this quote means to YOU. Comment below!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What Does "EVERYTHING" Include?

As you may know, I run a membership site for professional resume writers that provides them with done-for-you content they can use with jobseekers. I offer an "EVERYTHING" membership for new members (or those who may not have been a member since the very beginning). It unlocks the Pass-Along Materials "vault" with more than 50 content packages -- everything your jobseeking clients need to know to help them in their job search. One amazing thing about the EVERYTHING access is that you also get the Pass-Along Materials that aren't available for sale. And, you get access to all the Special Reports too, dating back to 2012.

Here's the full line-up (as of October 2016):
Getting Started With LinkedIn In Your Job Search
Jobseeker's Guide to References
Jobseeker's Guide to Salary Negotiation
Jobseeker's Guide to Online Reputation Management
What To Do Next With Your Resume
LinkedIn Resources Bundle
Jobseeker's Guide to Leaving Your Job
How to Give and Get LinkedIn Recommendations
Position Yourself to Get the Job
Jobseeker's Guide to Applicant Tracking Systems
Brag About It
Jobseeker's Guide to Working With Recruiters
Jobseeker's Guide to Networking Your Way to Your Next Job
Jobseeker's Guide to Virtual Interviews
Jobseeker's Guide to Understanding Employment Law
So, You Got Fired (Or You Think You're About To Get Fired)
Jobseeker's Guide to Developing a Brag Book
LinkedIn Profile Update Delivery Document
Jobseeker's Guide to Getting the Job Offer
Frequently-Asked Questions About Job Offers
Your 2014 Career Roadmap
Jobseeker's Guide to Avoid Getting Ripped Off or Scammed In Your Job Search
How to Answer Six Common Questions Jobseekers Ask Resume Writers
Jobseeker's Guide to Informational Interviews
Jobseeker's Guide to Connecting With a Hiring Manager
Jobseeker's Guide to Creating a 30-60-90 Day Plan
Client Management Forms
Jobseeker's Guide to a Confidential Job Search
What To Do When Your Job Search Isn't Working
What Do Jobseekers Need?
When to Hire a Reference Checking Service
Tweetable Tips
Social Media Audit for Jobseekers
The Social Job Search: Jobseeker's Guide to Developing a Social Media Plan
The Jobseeker's Guide to What To Do After the Job Interview
Jobseeker's Guide to Applicant Tracking Systems
LinkedIn Client Resources Bundle
How to Know When It's Time to Make a Job or Career Change
Developing Your Personal/Professional Development Plan (PDP)
Jobseeker's Guide to a Modern Job Search
Job Search Letters (Letters of Acceptance, Refusal, and Resignation)
Jobseeker's Guide to Cover Letters
Jobseeker's Guide to Comparing Job Offers

PLUS, these Pass-Along Materials content packages that are not available for purchase:
• Job Search Advice: 365+ Ready-to-Go Tweets and Facebook Posts
• The Jobseeker's Guide to Preparing for the Job Interview
• Career Checklists: 100 Tips for Success In Your Job Search
• Resume Critique Form/LinkedIn Critique Form
• Jobseeker's Guide to Working With Your Resume Writer
• Job Search Jump-Start 30-Day Challenge
• Positive Encouragement for Jobseekers -- Tweetable Tips
• Finding a Job During the Holidays AND 7 Things To Get Ready For Your Job Search
• Client Management Forms -- Prospect and Client Communication
• Why You Need a Resume
• LinkedIn 30-Day Challenge
• Client Frequently-Asked Questions
• 2016 Career Planner
• Managing Your Career Brand Ready-To-Go Workshop
• Career Checklists 2: 100 More Tips for Success In Your Job Search

Special Reports:
Resume Writer's Online Marketing Guidebook
Making Money Writing Ebooks
Introduction to Social Media in Your Resume Writing Business
Resume Writer's Guide to Article Marketing
Resume Writer's Guide to Profiting From Speaking: How to Use Teleseminars, Webinars, Workshops, and Seminars to Attract New Clients and Generate Revenue
Feed the Media: How to Get Free Publicity For Your Resume Writing Business
Capture Clients with Content: Use Information to Attract Resume Clients
Ready, Set, Goal: Business Planning and Goal Setting for Resume Writers
Securing Referrals: How to Get Other Resume Writers to Refer to You
Sell Your First Information Product in 72 Hours
Getting LinkedIn With New Resume Clients
There Is Only One of Me
Earning Six Figures as a Resume Writer
The Passive Income Project
Your Mindset Affects Your Money: How Attitude Can Amplify Your Income
Push Past Procrastination
15 Quick and Easy Ways to Get Resume Clients From Facebook
Do You Have a Book In You?
Brand Your Resume Business
Make Your Resume Business Better
Stand Out From The Crowd
Evernote for Everything: How Evernote Can Help You Manage Resume Client Projects, Remember Stuff, and Just Be More Efficient
Power Through Your Projects: Practical Strategies To Get Things Done
Attract Your Ideal Resume Client
Marketing Your Resume Clients With Stories
Writing Better Headlines for LinkedIn and Client Resumes
Membership Site Ideas for Resume Writers
Pricing Your Resume Services for Maximum Profit
Google Hangouts: Create Relationships, Cultivate Revenue, and Collect Referrals
Stepping Stones to Success: Taking Stock, Finding Your Focus, and Creating Your Action Plan
First Call Questions: Questions for Resume Writers to Ask Prospective Clients
What Should I Write About? Tips for Topics for Blog Posts, Articles, and Social Media Content for Resume Writers
Spring Clean Your Resume Business
Easy Ways to Boost Your Credibility As a Resume Writer
Three Systems for Six-Figure Success in Your Resume Writing Business
Follow Your Passion: Discover Your Purpose
Resume Writer's Guide to Selling Premium Packages
Best Year Ever
Telling The Story Of You
Connect With Clients Through Content
What To Write About On Your Website
So, You Want to Write a Book
Resume Writer's Guide to Getting Unstuck
Productivity Hacks for Resume Writers
Newsjack Your Way to New Clients

It's more than $1,000 in content that will help YOU and YOUR CLIENTS.

If you're interested in getting EVERYTHING, or have questions, email me!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

7 Ways to Get More Clients for Your Resume Writing Business

Clients are the lifeblood of a successful resume writing business. Without clients, there is no business! Here are seven tips for attracting clients. You probably know most of them, but it's a good reminder that if your appointment book isn't full, you can change that!

1. Tell Everyone You Know 
This may seem obvious, but you would be shocked to learn that some people you know probably don't know what you do. You want to get the word out to everyone you know, because they may know someone that needs you and tell them about you. Hand out business cards, share resources with them (the Pass-Along Materials make excellent special reports that you can use as lead generation magnets), and post updates on your social media platforms about the work you're doing (and the people you've helped -- without identifying your clients directly). 

2. Get Involved
Being involved in your local community and online communities, both business and personal, will help you become a known entity. Use the strategy of "Give To Get" -- be helpful to others. Remember, jobseekers are hungry for information that will help them in their job search -- FEED THEM! Remember the Zig Ziglar quote: "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want."

3. Partner Up
A joint venture is a temporary partnership in which you join forces with someone who markets to your audience but who is not direct competition -- for example, a career coach. Partner up to host a free webinar teaching their clients something to solve one of their most burning problems (anything related to the job search is fair game -- LinkedIn is almost always an in-demand topic). They will promote the webinar to their clients and you'll teach it. You can give them a referral fee on any projects that result -- and, you can solidify a stronger referral relationship!

4. Be Social
Make all your profiles on social media compelling and informative. Post a good profile image that shows your face and eyes. It doesn't have to be a professional headshot, but it should be clear and show a good depiction of your personality. Join various groups online, consisting of both your audience and other resume writers (if you focus on a specific niche, colleagues can be a great source of new clients). Get to know people, help people, and let your profile speak for itself. Share information regularly -- become a resource people will depend on for careers content!

5. Build Your Reputation 
If your current client flow is slow, take time now to work on reputation building. The way you do this is participate in webinars, discussions, and even livestreams ( or Facebook Live), showing your professional knowledge about your careers industry niche and how you can help jobseekers. Write a book, blog, or guest blog and/or develop a freebie (lead magnet) to give away so you can build an email list. Content can help you capture new clients!

6. Optimize Your Website
Your website is the hub of all other activity. Ensure that it works on any device, that it loads fast, and that it is pleasing to the eye. Use keyword-rich titles, appropriate anchor text, and publish informative blog posts. Ensure that you have at least a Home page, About us page, Service page and a Contact page, and that there is no mistaking what it is you do when someone visits your website. (Refer to the "What To Write On Your Website" special report for more details.)

7. Be Your Own Client
I talk a lot about resume writers and the shoemaker's kids. (Referring to the old story about the shoemaker's kids being barefoot.) One of the best demonstrations of what you can do involves being a bright, shining light that shows the world what it is that you do. Your LinkedIn profile should be top-notch. Your "About Us" page on your website should tell a compelling story of you. If your personal communications are outstanding, prospective clients will see exactly how you can do the same for them.

If you're looking for a specific program to help fill your appointment book, the Earlybird registration and the 3-pay option for the next session of Get Clients Now end this Friday. (There are only 3 spots left too.)
Details here: Get Clients Now.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Follow-up to Question: What Topic Do You Want to Learn More About in 2015?

One of the questions I ask on the Resume Writers' Digest Annual Industry Survey is: "What topic do you want to learn more about in 2015?"

In reviewing some of the answers, I see some answers that we've created resources for, so I've included some of the answers with links to these resources (training, special reports, and Pass-Along Materials).

Here's the answers:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lessons From the 7-Step Product Creation Challenge Q&A Call

Yesterday, I hosted a Q&A call for participants in the "7-Step Product Creation Challenge" -- a self-guided program to help career industry professionals develop their first -- or NEXT -- information product.

Here are five tips that I shared on the Q&A call that may help you create your information product -- whether that's an ebook, tip sheet, membership program, webinar/teleseminar, live program, or self-study program for jobseekers.

The first tip is START WITH YOUR WHY. What is your motivation for creating an information product? The two biggest "whys" for resume writers and career coaches is usually one -- or both -- of two things. The first reason to create an information product is to generate passive income (and/or recurring revenue) in your business. For most resume writers, they are only making money when they are directly serving clients (1-to-1 work). An information product allows you to make money even while you're sleeping, while you're doing "family things" or even when you're serving clients!

Speaking of serving clients, that's the second reason you may be motivated to create an information product: A well-designed information product solves a problem for a jobseeker. Many resume writers who have developed their products did so because their clients had a need. Here are just a few examples:

The second tip is START EASY AND CREATE OFTEN! Many career services professionals I talk to want to create something big, like a home study training program or a hardcopy book. Instead, if you're creating your first information product, start with something small -- a tip sheet, an ebook, or a teleseminar. Once you've created one, you'll find it easier to do another one!

But DON'T REINVENT THE WHEEL. That's tip number three. Do you already have something done that you can re-use? Look through your email inbox and see what questions you answer over and over again for clients. Then take the content that you've already sent to clients (copy-and-paste from your emails!) and do something with it! And don't forget that Pass-Along Materials are ready-to-go content you can put to work right away!

The fourth tip is to DEVELOP ONCE AND PROMOTE OFTEN! Once you've created your first (or next!) information product, your work isn't done! The next step is to continue to promote it! You can't just "build it and they will come." Make it a point to promote your product -- post about it on social media. Do guest blog posts or be a guest on podcasts where your ideal client for that product hangs out! Excerpt it!

Finally, JUST GET STARTED! One thing I said over and over again on the call was: "Done is better than perfect!" You can always go back and add to the information product. But getting something done and out there is a huge motivator! If you want help creating an information product for your career services business, take the 7-Step Product Creation Challenge! It's just $37 for the self-guided program. It walks you through the process, step-by-step!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Five Things to Do With Tweetable Tips Content

As I've talked about on many occasions, jobseekers are hungry for information that will help them in their careers. One of the best ways to establish your credibility as an expert who can help them is to share information. 

I'm currently giving my tribe of resume writers "30 Days of Gifts," and today's gift was a mini version of the "Tweetable Tips" Pass-Along Materials from May 2015.

If you're a Free or Bronze member of and you're reading this in September 2015, you can log into your account and access today's gift (along with a new gift each day during the month)!

"Top Tips." "10 Ways to..." "3 Simple Strategies for..." These are some of the most popular type of content to publish. Here's five ways to make the most out of this content.

1. Bundle.
You can bundle up tips into an article or a tip sheet. Organize a certain number of tips in a logical order (i.e., 5 tips, 10 tips, etc.), write an intro paragraph, and put a bio paragraph at the bottom with your photo and a link to your website. Don't forget a call to action too! I turn my tips into PDFs instead of sharing them as Word documents.

2. Tweet Them Out.
You can load up your social media accounts with the tweets. You can use a social app like Hootsuite to pre-schedule posts. All of the tweets in the Pass-Along Materials content I gave you will fit in Twitter's 140-character limit. But you can also post them on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest (see tip #3!), or use them as a LinkedIn status update.

3. Make Them Shareable!
Tips are perfect for creating shareable content -- images and infographics. You can get images from a site like Fotolia (do NOT just get your images off of Google!). Add the shortened tip in a nice font and stick a border around the image. Be SURE to put your company name and URL on the graphic too! If you want to put the tips into an infographic, use a tool like

4. Create Slides or a Video.
It's easy to create a shareable, information-packed slide show or video. You can use PowerPoint and put one tip on each slide. Publish the slide deck to SlideShare. You can use one of PowerPoint's built-in themes. Pick a theme, type in the tip, and use Fotolia for an accompanying image. Don't forget to add a title slide and a slide at the end with your name/contact information and call to action. Once you have a slide show, you can record the slideshow with narrations and timing (under the Slide Show menu). Then to go "File" > "Make Movie." You now have a slide show AND a video!

5. Use Them as Inspiration!
Stuck for ideas for articles, blog posts, or emails? Use a few of the tips! You can base an article off just one tip, or use a few at a time. Even better, take a bunch of tips (there are several "themes" in the content I gave you) and divide them up into an autoresponder email series. (I use AWeber for this.) Again, don't forget to include a call to action!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Create an Opt-In Incentive for Resume Prospects On Your Website in Under an Hour

Right now, I'm running a Challenge for Bronze members of -- and one of the projects (As outlined in my Dead Week post) is to create an opt-in incentive for visitors to your website.

It's a great idea to collect the email addresses of resume prospects, because it allows you to develop a relationship with them -- and the best way to get their email address is to provide them with an opt-in incentive (an immediate gift they receive for providing their email address).

Here's my step-by-step for it:

1. Pick one of the PAMs to use.

2. Re-name it. (Here's a free tool-- click on the FREE WIZARDS tab -- to help inspire you!)

3. Order a cover on (it's $5.50) (if you're new to Fiverr, your first Gig is free using my affiliate link: I use Vikiana for my cover designs, but there are others on there. She's currently working 5 days out, so you might pick one that delivers in 2-3 days if you want to get finished faster!

4. Edit and format the PAM content. Insert the cover design (flat image) on page 1. Create a title page with your contact information (you can copy the format in my Special Reports, or just open the nearest book and use that format). Change the font. Add footers. Add design elements, if you'd like. (I recommend graphics from Fotolia.)

5. Save as a PDF.

It takes me about 45 minutes to create one, start to finish (not including waiting time for the Fiverr cover ...)

Then, set up an email list contact form and autoresponder to deliver the report.
This is easy to do in Constant Contact or AWeber.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Are You Ready for "Dead Week"?

If you're friends with me on Facebook, you know that I have many nieces and nephews. So today's blog post references a topic that was discussed quite heavily over the past few weeks among my high school-aged nieces.

If you remember back to high school -- and college -- you'll remember that the week before Finals was referred to as "dead week." That was the week when teachers were supposed to "lighten the load," allowing students to cram in extra studying for the upcoming semester-ending tests, rather than focusing on daily homework assignments or short projects.

Taking the cue from school, then, I want to extend an invitation (challenge?) to resume writers as we approach what is often the busiest month of the year for us. (In the Resume Writers' Digest Annual Industry Survey, January consistently ranked as the top choice for busiest month for resume writers.)

Before January 1 rolls around, why not take the week leading up to the New Year and focus on preparing your business for your best year yet? From Christmas until New Year's Day is often a slow time for resume writers -- either because you've intentionally closed your business, or because prospective clients are focused on their own families and festivities.

Here are three possible projects for you to focus on during this time:

1. Create an irresistible opt-in. 
One of the best ways to attract prospects, turn browsers into buyers, and/or thank clients is to give them valuable content that will help them in their job search. That can be an ebook or special report, video or teleseminar recording or even a short course. Creating your opt-in can take as little as an hour, if you start with Pass-Along Materials content.

Some of my favorites for creating opt-ins:
Jobseeker's Guide to Salary Negotiation
Jobseeker's Guide to Leaving Your Job
Brag About It! Accomplishments Guide (see how this was turned into a Kindle book)
Jobseeker's Guide to Virtual Interviews
Your 2014 Career Roadmap

Watch this video to see how easy it is!

2. Launch that membership site you've been thinking about. 
Whether you've been thinking about a micro-continuity site (small monthly fee with ongoing resources), a fixed-term membership site (defined content that runs for a specific time period), or a recurring membership program, now's the time to get it going.

If you're thinking about a micro-continuity site, I recommend getting Kelly McCausey's "Little Monthly Payments" training program. She teaches you how to create a membership site that can generate several hundred (or thousand) dollars a month from subscriptions as low as $5/member per month. (Buy through my affiliate link and send me an email to get my "Membership Site Ideas for Resume Writers" special report as a bonus!)

It's easy to set up a membership site using Wild Apricot. It's what I use for, and it offers WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) setup, with no programming skills required. Try it for 30 days for free using my affiliate link. (And let me know if you have any questions! I'm happy to help!)

3. Schedule your social media. 
Social media sites -- like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn -- can be a great way to cultivate prospective clients. But it can be tough to find the time to create content to post on social media when you're busy serving clients. I suggest pre-scheduling your content using a site like Hootsuite (free for up to 3 social media accounts) -- with or without the help of a virtual assistant.

Looking for ready-to-go social media content? Purchase my "Tweetable Tips" bundle, which includes "Job Search Advice: 365+ Ready-To-Go Tweets and Facebook Posts," "Career Checklists: 100 Tips for Success In Your Job Search" and "Positive Encouragement for Jobseekers."

Available for a limited time at the sale price of $17 (regularly $27; a $60 value), this bundle offers enough social media content for a full year.

You know what they say: "If you want something done, give it to a busy person." With that in mind, although I know you've got a lot to do holiday-wise in the next nine days, I'd still urge you to see if you can cross one of these three tasks off your list before the new year rolls around. Share a comment below if you'll take the challenge!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Q&A: "I'm Overwhelmed With All The Resources I Got From"

Today's blog post answers a reader question!

Q. I do appreciate all the work you do and the information is awesome, just overwhelming getting so many emails from one membership ( Can you give me some thoughts on how I can manage this? Are all the information you send domiciled on the website?

A. First thing: Don't be overwhelmed! :-)

You don't have to take advantage of all the information! But I can help with the "remembering that it is there when I need it" part of things! I recommend that you create three folders on your hard drive: BARW Special Reports, BARW PAMs, BARW Learning.

Each month, when you get the notification of your special report, save it to the BARW Special Reports folder. If you have time, read the report when you get it (assuming it's a topic you're interested in at the time). Most of the special reports will take you 10-15 minutes to read.  I find that some of my reports are ones that resume writers like to "come back to" when they have a need. For example, if you're not ready to incorporate passive income into your resume writing business (selling information products, affiliate marketing, etc.), just save them to your computer and then when you are ready, you'll have them there. 

When you get each month's Pass-Along Materials content, save it to the BARW PAMs folder. But these are more "actionable" items. These are designed to be something you can put to work for you to help your clients, so I recommend doing something with them right away. Yes, this is done-for-you content that you can put your name on and either give away to clients/prospects/the public or sell!

It can be as simple as writing a blog post using the content, or pulling out 3-7 tips and scheduling them as social media content (I use Hootsuite to do this -- the free level account allows you to connect up to 5 social media profiles and schedule content in advance). OR, if it's a topic guide (like September's PAM on conducting a confidential job search), you can take 10 minutes and turn in into a short report to help your clients, or customize it more and turn it into something you sell (creative passive income for your business!).

Here's a video I made that will show you how:

The PAMs are literally things that I use every day with my clients. They're great for giving stuck/lost/confused clients a little extra boost in an area where they might need help. So if you take 15 minutes to personalize them and get them ready to use when you first get them, they'll be a resource you can use over and over again.

As for the BARW Learning folder, that's where you can download the teleseminar recordings and transcripts, and back issues of the Resume Writers' Digest newsletter to listen to and/or read whenever you have extra time. Some resume writers put the MP3s on their iPods and listen to them when they're in the car, or exercising. Or print out the transcripts or back issues and put them in the bathroom or on your bedside table. Or keep a couple in the car for when you're waiting for someone, or going to an appointment where you'll have to wait.

Like I said, though, don't be overwhelmed! Each month, there are only 2 things you need to do something with -- the Special Report and Pass-Along Materials -- the rest of the stuff will stay in the Bronze membership section for you to access at any time (as long as your Bronze membership is active). And you don't actually have to DO anything with them ... just download them to your computer for later, if that's all you have time for!

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, February 26, 2014

Coming Up With Content For Career Seekers

Content is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your resume writing business website, increase your visibility with targeted prospects, and increase your conversion rate for resume prospects becoming resume clients.

But sometimes it can be a challenge to come up with ideas for what to write about. Here are some ideas for helping you come up with interesting and compelling content ideas.

It might seem like a novel idea, but reading more can help your mind become more creative — even if you're reading fiction. Reading for enjoyment can open creative portions of your mind that you may have had closed for a while. This is especially true if you've been super focused on your resume writing business and not doing much in the way of recreation. Oddly, watching TV doesn't help. Reading uses more energy and more of your brain, while watching TV uses less energy than sleeping.

If you feel stuck, get out of the house and do some exercise. If it's a nice day, take a brisk walk around your neighborhood; if it's not a nice day, go to an indoor mall or gym to walk around and don't think about your business or that resume you haven't started writing yet. Just think about breathing, and how your arms and legs feel while moving. A 10-minute brisk walk focusing only on your breathing and movement can open your creative mind faster than almost any other activity.

Reuse, Repurpose, and Repeat
If you've been blogging for a long time, it's likely that you feel like you've said it before. Well, if you posted about something five years ago, it's likely out of date. Take a little time once a week or so, or if you're stuck for ideas, and go back to an old blog post. Rewrite it and update it, especially if the advice is now old or irrelevant. In addition, you can take a bunch of old blog posts, move them to a Word document, edit and create an ebook. Any way that you can make the old new again is a good way to create fresh content.

Finally, remember to keep a note pad, or use your smartphone to write down ideas as they come to you. Don't believe for one moment you'll remember it later. Even if you're in the shower and come up with an idea, get out and write it down before it goes away. By tracking all your ideas, you'll easily be able to sit down anytime you have the time, look at your list of ideas and create fresh content on demand. (I use Evernote to keep track of blog post ideas.)

Jumpstart Your Writing With Pass-Along Materials
After describing Pass-Along Materials to one resume writer, she told me that she prefers to create her own content. Hey, I have no problem with that. But if you don't want to reinvent the wheel — or you just want a jumpstart on your writing, consider Pass-Along Materials. Here are just some of the topics you can access:

Brag About It! (Accomplishments Guide)
Jobseeker's Guide to Working with Recruiters
Jobseeker's Guide to Networking Your Way to Your Next Job
Jobseeker's Guide to Virtual Interviews
Jobseeker's Guide to Understanding Employment Law
So You Got Fired (Or You Think You're About To Get Fired)
Jobseeker's Guide to Developing a Brag Book
Jobseeker's Guide to Getting The Job Offer/Frequently-Asked Questions About Job Offers
Your 2014 Career Roadmap ($20)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nine Ways to Show Your Resume Clients That You Care

Is customer service dead? It sometimes seems that way, doesn't it? Some businesses don't seem to appreciate that they wouldn't exist without their customers. But for most resume writers, I find that customer service comes first. If this is your mindset, here are nine ways to show your customers that you care.

1. Loyalty Discounts. You often see new customer discounts, but what about giving your long-term customers a loyalty discount? It drives me crazy when my cable company offers new customers an introductory rate that is 1/5 of what I'm paying, and I've been a loyal customer for YEARS! So consider offering existing customers a special offer when you roll out a new service or information product. And make sure you position it as a loyalty discount. ("Because you are a valued customer of ABC Resumes, I'm giving you my best discount on my new LinkedIn Check-up. New customers will pay $99 for this comprehensive profile analysis and development of a targeted Headline, but because you're already a customer, you get it for just $59.")

2. Thank You Notes. Writing thank you notes seems to have gone out of vogue, but you'd be shocked at how much a nice handwritten note will mean to your customers. You will stand out to them and next time they need their resume updated, they'll think of that note.

3. Remembering Special Days. If you've collected information on your customers such as birthdays, anniversaries or other special days, drop them a card in the mail. It's also a good time to give them a birthday discount. You can also give them an anniversary discount each year (on the anniversary of the day they started working with you!) This ties into tip #1 too.

4. Referral Rewards. Your happy customers will likely tell others about you anyway, but why not encourage the process by offering referral rewards. You can offer a percent off future services or a free gift; it's up to you. Some resume writers offer a Starbucks gift card or Amazon gift certificate. Or you could gift them a free copy of one of your ebooks. All will be appreciated.

5. Prompt Service. Another way to make your customers feel cared for is to offer very prompt service. Treat their work as if it's your sole priority and get it done on time or early. They will notice how you treat them.

6. Going the Extra Mile. You've heard the saying to "under promise and over deliver" before, but it cannot be said enough. If you can go the extra mile for your loyal customers, they will notice. Even if it's just something really small, they'll notice and feel cared for.

7. Ask for Feedback. People love giving their opinions about things. But, often they will not do it if they're not asked. At least quarterly, send your customers a survey to ask them how you're doing and how you can do better. But don't ask for feedback about things you're not able to implement. (Don't ask them if they want access to workshops or teleseminars if you hate to speak, for example!)

8. Be a Resource. Sometimes we can't be all things to all our clients. Perhaps they need something we cannot deliver. Therefore instead of just saying no, say yes by recommending someone who can give your client what they need. When you become a resource to your clients, they'll become loyal to you because they know you care about more than the almighty dollar.

9. Give Extra Value. Speaking of resources, jobseekers crave information. Be an information resource for your clients. Provide them with ebooks, special reports, teleseminars/webinars and other content. (This is easy to do using Pass-Along Materials that you can publish "as-is" with your name on it!)

People have so many other options available to them today that they really don't have to patronize your resume writing business. Remember that customers can and will go elsewhere if they are not happy. It costs a lot more money to find a new customer than to keep one. Therefore, you should go out of your way to keep good customers happy by showing them that you care.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Eight Ways to Personalize Pass-Along Materials

One of the benefits of a Bronze membership in is that each month, you get new, brandable careers content that you can use with your clients. But since each member gets the same content to start with, one of the biggest questions I get about Pass-Along Materials is how to make them unique.

A couple of resume writers have expressed concern about if a prospective client is looking for information to help them with their career, and they come across the same report on multiple resume writer websites. You can't control what anyone ELSE does with their content, but the easiest way to solve this for YOUR resume writing business is personalization.

Here are eight ways to personalize your Pass-Along Materials in just a few minutes.

1. Niche It!
The first way to personalize your content is to focus your content — if you can — on the specific audience you serve (or that you want to target with the guide). For example, "Jobseeker's Guide to Salary Negotiation" can become "The Graduate's Guide to Making The Most At Your First Job."

Identify the ideal client to read the content, and then target the content to that reader.

2. Name It!
The easiest way way to personalize your Pass-Along Materials is to come up with a unique name. I intentionally name the Pass-Along Content with very boring, pedestrian names, in hopes of forcing you to come up with something more exciting.

To come up with a unique, attention-getting title, use Jim Edwards' FREE "Profitable Title & Smokin' Hot Domain Name Wizard V2.1" Input four key items: topic, keyword phrase, main result/benefit, and target audience and it will generate dozens of ideas for you.

3. "Newspaper" It
Newspapers are written by different people but edited to sound like one "voice." Your Pass-Along Materials need to sound like they are written by you and are consistent with the other materials you share with clients. Read through the content and make sure it matches your voice and style (and that it agrees with advice you give your clients). Although I focus on "generally accepted" principles with the content, you may occasionally find something you don't necessarily agree with. Feel free to edit or remove that content, and add in your own advice! (And it's still easier than starting completely from scratch!)

And feel free to change the subheadings too. For example, something like "Conducting a Job Search While You're Still Employed" can be changed to "Four Tips for Looking For a Job When You've Already Got One."

You can often take the first sentence of the first paragraph of a section and make a subheading right from that by asking a question.

4. "Novel" It
One way to personalize the content to YOU specifically is to share a client story. You can also create a fictional story to lead into the purpose of the article. Sharing a personal example can also be a way to personalize the material. Stories help the reader relate to your content.

5. Give Readers "Navigation"
Consider adding a photo, graph, or chart to the Pass-Along Materials content to add visual interest,  personalize it, and make it easier to navigate the materials. You can find inexpensive photos on a site like Fotolia. (Make sure you purchase the correct rights for what you want to use your guide for. If you want to sell your content, choose a "Medium" size graphic or larger and that will give you the rights to use the graphic in a product you sell.)

6. Nationalize It.
If you're not in the U.S., adapt the advice to your country. Some resume advice is nation-specific, so make sure you've checked the content to make sure it applies to your readers.

7. Narrate it!
One of the most unique ways to change the Pass-Along Materials is to change the format to audio or video. Use the content as a script for a teleseminar or webinar, as the format for a live program, or an outline for a video or podcast.

8. Don't Neglect It!
The most important thing is to USE your Pass-Along Materials! They're not doing you any good on your computer hard drive — and, as you've seen in this article, it's so easy to personalize them!

Personalizing Pass-Along Materials takes only a couple minutes of your time — and it's also something a virtual assistant can do. It's a great way to receive maximum benefit from your Pass-Along Materials while also providing your readers with unique and valuable content. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What To Tell Clients About References

My lovely colleague Sharon Williams of JobRockIt put out a late night request on Facebook last night for a client who needed information about reference letter formats. 

Although “letters of reference” have fallen out of favor in recent years, there is something to be said for our clients getting a reference letter from your manager or supervisor when they leave a company (especially if they leave on good terms). Having the reference letter provides the jobseeker with something to use in the event they're not able to find their former manager in the future. It can also help the manager refresh his or her memory if the client asks them to provide a phone reference in the future. And, as a resume writer, you can take excerpts of that reference letter and incorporate them into the resume and cover letter (this was the "original" use of the term "Endorsements" before LinkedIn co-opted it!). If the client's supervisor isn't on LinkedIn, the jobseeker can also excerpt or reprint the reference letter in his or her Summary, providing a powerful testimonial when a formal LinkedIn Recommendation isn't possible.

What are some elements of a great reference letter? Reference letters should be professional in tone and format. Effective letters of recommendation verify experience, confirm competence, and build credibility. The letters can be written by former employers, supervisors, and managers with first-hand knowledge of the employee’s work.

A reference letter may cover:
      Previous positions held in the company
      Summary of job responsibilities
      Strengths, skills, and talents
      Ability to work independently as well as with a team

With both letters of reference and LinkedIn Recommendations, advise your jobseeker clients to choose someone who can write well, who knows them well, and who thinks highly of them. Make the process as easy as possible for the manager/supervisor by providing information needed to develop a positive, accurate reference. (At a minimum, the client should provide a copy of their resume to the individual; if you think it would be helpful, also consider having the jobseeker provide a short list of their accomplishments in the role, or bullet points of key points related to their position.)

When advising clients about references and LinkedIn Recommendations, the following two Pass-Along Materials make excellent resources:

Remember, with Pass-Along Materials, you can put your own contact information on these materials and provide them to clients as a bonus or you can sell them.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Helping Clients With How to Write LinkedIn Recommendations

LinkedIn is increasingly important in our clients' job searches -- and the role of Recommendations is growing too. September's Pass-Along Materials content on focuses on how to give -- and get -- LinkedIn Recommendations.

You must either be connected to the individual you wish to Recommend or know his or her email address. Also, the individual must have a valid LinkedIn account. You may find it easiest to use the "select from your connections list" in the "Make a Recommendation" section.

You can also make a Recommendation from the individual's profile page directly:

(Note: In the Pass-Along Materials, the screen shots are of a fictionalized profile. You can also replace the screen shots with your own profile, like I did above with my own LinkedIn profile)

Some things to consider before writing a Recommendation are:

  • What are they good at?
  • What did they do better than anyone else?
  • What impact did they have on me? (How did they make my life better/easier?)
  • What surprised you about the individual?

Within the Recommendation, you want to include four things (this is an excerpt of the full "Formula for a LinkedIn Profile"):

  • How you know the person
  • Why you recommend them
  • A story that backs up your Recommendation (providing "social proof")
  • A call to action

Your finished Recommendation might look like this (this is an example of the type of notification email you'll receive when someone Recommends you):

Resume writers -- learn more about the "How to Give -- and Get -- LinkedIn Recommendations" Pass-Along Materials package. It's brandable content you can use in your own resume writing business.

Here's what you can do with this content (you can edit the report or use it "as is"):
  • Use it as a free giveaway to build your prospect mailing list or sell it.
  • Tweet excerpts or post updates to Facebook and/or LinkedIn using the tips in the content.
  • Break it into sections and use it as a series of blog posts or articles on your website. 
  • Turn it into a video and use it to drive traffic to your website.
  • Use it as a a script or an outline for a webinar.
  • Make it a handout for a LinkedIn training class.
  • Add it as a bonus for a LinkedIn membership program or training.
Because it's provided in Microsoft Word format, you can change out the screen shots to feature your own profile, and you can add to -- or edit -- any of the content.

If you are a Bronze member of (just $10/month), you can access this content in the Paid Member Resources section from now until Oct. 9, 2012. Or, you can purchase the package at this link: How to Give -- and Get -- LinkedIn Recommendations.

Friday, September 9, 2011

What's New, What's Next

For the past two months, I've been working on a new project for Resume Writers' Digest -- a membership site. Because Resume Writers' Digest has been around for more than 10 years now (I started it in 1999), I have a lot of content (in various formats) that I think can be useful for my fellow career industry professionals.

I've got more than 40 back issues of the Resume Writers' Digest newsletter. I've got recordings of teleseminars I've done. I've got about a dozen special reports -- some that I sell and some that I give away. I've got articles, blog posts, and pages and pages of handwritten notes and ideas. All looking for readers/listeners/viewers. But I didn't have a good way to package the information ... until now. (Some of these are incorporated into the site; others will be added over time.)

I'm not starting an "association" -- there are already plenty of those in the industry! This is a portal to help you gain access to information that will make you a more effective resume writer and better businessperson. It ties in with the mission that I've had for Resume Writers' Digest since the beginning -- when I identify something I'd like to know more about as a resume writer, I seek out the information and share it with you.

There are currently two levels of membership:
  • Free. Get access to the current issue of Resume Writers' Digest, selected free special reports, the general discussion forum, and a free listing in the public directory of resume writers. (Register for a free membership; applications are manually approved to keep out spammers.)
  • Bronze. For $10/month, you also get access to the entire archive of Resume Writers' Digest issues, additional member-only discussion forums, access to an enhanced Membership Directory (for networking!), several special reports (currently: Write Great Resumes Faster -- which normally sells for $14; Best of the Conferences -- which normally sells for $8; and Getting Started on Google+), business templates and forms (currently: Resume Critique Form, Company Profile Sheet, My Websites, and Backup Resources) and the first of the Pass-Along Materials (PAMs) content packs.*

* What are PAMs? Pass-Along Materials are content packs that you can re-brand, re-write, and/or re-package for use with your clients. The first PAM package is a guide that your client can use to ask questions in an interview. One new PAM content pack will be released each month for Bronze members. The previous month's content pack will be removed from the site when the new one is added.

The more members we get, the more resources that will be made available!

The membership site will be launched on Sept. 30 -- but I'm doing pre-launch testing this week (and a special Charter member offer next week). If you are interested in being a beta tester, email me at editor(at)