Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Want to Share Your Knowledge With Other Resume Writers?

— Proposals will be accepted through March 6, 2017 — 

Conference date: October 4-6, 2017
Conference location: The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, Lombard, Illinois
Deadline for speaking proposals: March 6, 2017, 10 pm (EST)

The National Résumé Writer’s Association is accepting speaking proposals focusing on best practices and trends in the résumé writing industry for its 20th anniversary conference. Presenting at the conference is a great way to showcase your expertise and your business and generate interest in your services among potential partners and clients. 

You are invited to submit your proposal online:

(You may wish to download this MS Word version of the Call for Speakers form so you can take time and draft your response before filling out the online submission.)  

Please let us know if you have any questions.

About The NRWA
The NRWA is the only nonprofit, member-driven resume writers’ organization in the world. The mission of The NRWA is to increase the visibility of the industry, encourage ethical practices, promote excellence, and raise industry standards through peer marketing and training. The NRWA’s Certification Commission awards the highly sought-after Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) credential to résumé writers who demonstrate basic résumé knowledge, writing, and strategy.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Reach Branding Certification Moves to Career Thought Leaders

Just announced, the Reach Personal Branding certifications will now be under the auspices of Career Thought Leaders.

CTL already offers its own certification, the Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW) and took on the administration of the Master Resume Writer (MRW) and Credentialed Career Manager (CCM) after the dissolution of the Career Management Alliance.

The Reach Personal Branding process was developed by William Arruda. As part of the transition, Arruda -- as well as Reach collaborators Deb Dib and Susan Chritton -- will present a series of webinars to introduce CTL members to the personal branding process.

The first webinar will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 8 with Arruda presenting.

Learn more and register at

In addition, Reach certified professionals will be invited to attend the CTL conference in Baltimore in April. Because of this, CTL has extended the early registration discount until Feb. 15.

Learn more at

Marie Zimenoff, CEO and owner of CTL says, "The CTL Board and I are excited about this transition and the richness personal branding can bring to your practice – from graduating students differentiating themselves in the marketplace to executives building a distinctive leadership brand."

Monday, January 23, 2017

What is a "Fair" Referral Fee for Resume Writers?

I got a couple of questions from a resume writing colleague today about referral fees, and I wanted to share my answers in today's blog post.

Securing Referrals Special Report
* Can you please advise what is the prescribed fee amount/percentage range that one should offer another career professional for a referral (career service) that would be fair? (Is there any minimum and maximum offered?)

Referral fees are negotiable. 15% is the most common referral fee, but I've seen anywhere from 10-25%. 

One thing to consider when you're deciding what percentage to pay as a referral commission for being sent prospects from a colleague is: What is the QUALITY of the referral? If someone sends a client to you who is pre-qualified and pre-sold (meaning they're a good fit for you and they're ready to buy from you based on what the referring person said), that's worth it.

There's a mathematical way to figure this out, for the most part. You can add up what you're spending (in money and time) each month, and divide it by the number of clients you secure yourself. For example, you might spend 1 hour/week on marketing and $100 on your marketing (website, paid ads, etc.). Let's say you value your time at $75/hour. So that's $75 x 4 = $300/month (time) + $100/month (hard costs) = $400. Let's say you secure 6 new clients/month. So divide $400/6 = $66 (cost to acquire one client).

Let's say that referral partner sends you a client that pays $500/project. Your 20% referral fee would be $100. But remember, unlike your own marketing costs, you only incur this "marketing expense" if you secure the client. With your other marketing costs, you spend $400/month and might get 0 clients out of it. (Or, things might go really well, and you get 10 clients out of it!). But the advantage with referral commissions is you only pay them when you're making money (the other 80%). 

* Are referral fees always required or mandatory? For instance, I offered a referral to a resume writer once for a client that I was not able to take due to other deadlines. However, I did not charge a referral fee upon the client retaining her service. 

No, referral fees are not always required or mandatory. As the referring person, you can always request a referral fee, but it's not mandatory. HOWEVER, thinking of that resume writer, wouldn't you be MORE likely to send clients their way if they HAD sent you a 15% referral commission (even if you hadn't asked for it?) Or even some kind of thank you?

* Are referral fees based on certain factors, or more on the negotiation or agreement between two career professionals what is suitable?

Just like with subcontractor fees, I believe that the more "work" one party does, the higher the compensation should be. For example, subcontract writers who have direct client contact (including conducting intake interviews) should make more than subcontract writers without client contact (and who work from questionnaires). However, because there is no standard in the industry, this isn't always equivalent.

In an "ideal" world, I think it would be:
10% referral fee -- pass along the name of a colleague
15% referral fee -- "normal" amount of selling -- give name/contact info and some information about the resume writer to convince the client they're a good fit
20% referral fee -- going above and beyond -- information about why this resume writer would be a good fit plus introduction of client directly to resume writer

The reason why I generally think referral fees should be 20% and under is that now you're getting into the "subcontract" rates territory. When you'd pay 20% to another writer to create the actual content for the client (again, subcontract fees are generally 20-35%), I think that's the top level. But I have seen some writers who offer 25% referral fees.

In the affiliate marketing world, referral commissions can be up to 75%, but usually these are for set programs (webinars, courses, group programs), not custom services.

If you're looking for more information about eliciting referrals from colleagues, check out this special report:

If you're interested in learning more about subcontracting as a resume writer, check out:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tools for Offering Free Webinars for Marketing Your Resume Writing Business

I got this question today from a Bronze member:
I’ve decided to go back to hosting webinars as part of my marketing tool box and have been researching various companies. I found one -- Zoom -- that seems to fit my needs for about $55 a month which is about ½ of what I paid for Go To Webinar. 

However, I’ve spoken to the folks at a couple of times and would like to work with them because of price and just because they are so nice. My problem is that, as you know, they don’t offer registration.

I offer both free and paid webinars using I analyzed a lot of different webinar platforms because I'm pretty picky. I wanted something easy for attendees to use (without requiring a download) and no Javascript. has affordable pricing and good technical support. I like that attendees can use a variety of platforms (desktop/laptop, tablets or phones) to access the calls. I also like that recordings take just one click and they can be directly uploaded to YouTube.


  • There is no built-in registration. I use a third-party registration option to handle that (EventBrite is a great option).
  • No built-in toll-free number options (most attendees don't care about this, but if you did want a toll-free call-in option, you can use a third-party service)
  • It doesn't track who attended versus who didn't, so you can't do follow-up marketing based on who actually was on the call or not.

So how do you let people know about your webinars? I use EventBrite -- here's my affiliate link:

I like EventBrite because it's free if you don't charge for your webinar. If you're using your webinar for marketing, you're probably not charging for it, and EventBrite is great for this.

EventBrite gives you a landing page to provide all your event information, full-service registration (including automated reminder emails) and event promotion (you can integrate your EventBrite event with your Facebook page and EventBrite will also promote the event on their "master list" of events). For paid programs, EventBrite also has a built-in affiliate program so you can reward referrals. (It also allows you to do special discount codes for referral source tracking too.)

If you offer a paid program, EventBrite is still a great, affordable option. You can use EventBrite's built-in payment processor or your own PayPal or payment processing. The EventBrite cost for paid events is 2.5% of the ticket cost plus $.99 (up to $19.95/ticket) if you use your own payment processing.

Add 3% if you use EventBrite's payment processing. I find it's about 5-10% effectively. (That is, if you sell a webinar for $59, your takehome would be between $54.76 (EventBrite: 2.5% is $1.48 plus $.99 = $2.47 plus 3% EventBrite fee = $1.77 = $4.24) and $56.63 (EventBrite: 2.5% is $1.48 plus $.99 = $2.47, plus separate PayPal or fees).  With the example given, that's between 4-7% net.