Monday, April 20, 2020

Career Membership Sites: Helping Jobseekers Beyond the Resume

Jobseekers often need more help beyond just writing them an interview-winning resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and job search documents.

Some resume writers are offering additional support for jobseekers using membership sites. These sites can offer specific assistance in one area, like LinkedIn profiles, or a wide range of support for the job search. Some charge a small monthly fee while others are a one-time fee for “lifetime” access to the materials.

Here is a roundup of several career membership sites for jobseekers:

The Classical Career Club
This club offers four membership levels and is hosted on the Patreon platform. Memberships start at $3 for a "virtual tip jar" level that offers members access to a “bi-weekly newsletter featuring original content as well as curated lists of the best jobseeking and career development articles on the web.” The level also includes “good karma” as a membership benefit.

The “Athenian” level, $20 per month, is for those who are "serious about your career development and know you need to play the long game.” It includes the benefits from the three previous membership levels,  plus exclusive patron-only posts and a weekly newsletter, access to The Classicial Career Club community, and the “Classical Career Coaching’s Guide to Networking,” which is “20 pages of info on How to Use Your Network, Networking Cover Letters, Informational Interviewing, and much more.” This level also includes periodic additional long-form jobseeking resources, an ATS-friendly basic resume template, and regular access to VIP office hours and monthly “Ask Me Anything“ sessions.

The membership club owner, Steve Brady, has also upped the value of his memberships by offering members the opportunity to put the total amount of their membership fees towards the resume package of their choice once they reach their one-year anniversary of membership. Great idea!


Job Search Secret Weapon
This membership site is a collaboration between four veteran resume writers: Virginia Franco, Sarah Johnston, Ana Lokotkova, and Adrienne Tom. The membership site “connects jobseekers with everything they need and in one place” and is geared towards early-to-mid career level professionals. Members pay one upfront fee to get access to the membership site resources targeted to a kit that fits their specific needs in the job search.

The membership site offers several different “kits” for the job search: a “Resume/Cover Letter kit,” “LinkedIn kit,” “Interview kit,” “Job Search Planning/Hidden Job Market Strategy kit,” and a “New Grad kit.” Each kit includes a variety of resources, including articles, worksheets, templates, and/or videos. Kits range from $69 to $129 each.

Or, members can get a “Complete Job Search Solution” membership for $199 with more than 60 resources that include job search planning tools, resume templates, interview preparation guides, LinkedIn resources, and more. It includes scripts, worksheets, articles, and videos created by the four career industry professionals.


Leveraging LinkedIn For The Job Search
This fixed-term membership is an inexpensive ($15), yet effective way for jobseekers to start, cultivate, and maintain their LinkedIn profile. This eight-day membership delivers one lesson each day, via email, for eight days. It includes an action checklist to guide specific actions to take to build a LinkedIn profile that attracts interest from recruiters and hiring managers and helps you connect to your next job. The activities in each lesson can be done in just a few minutes.

Lessons include:

  • Lesson 1: Step-By-Step Guide to Setting Up Your LinkedIn profile. This lesson walks you through the process of setting up your LinkedIn account, using screenshots to show you exactly how to do it. (13 pages)
  • Lesson 2: Privacy Settings on LinkedIn. How to make sure the right people see what you want them to see. (5 pages)
  • Lesson 3: Putting Together Your Profile. What to put in your profile so that it’s attractive to recruiters and hiring managers. (13 pages)
  • Lesson 4: Making Connections on LinkedIn. How to connect with the people you already know on LinkedIn, and then leverage those relationships into connections with people you want to know. (10 pages)
  • Lesson 5: How to Give — and Get — LinkedIn Recommendations. Understanding LinkedIn’s online endorsement system, and how to get your network to say nice things about you publicly. Includes an easy formula to write LinkedIn Recommendations. (22 pages)
  • Lesson 6: Using LinkedIn to Find Jobs. Where to find job openings on LinkedIn — both advertised and unadvertised opportunities. Includes a Target Companies List. (20 pages)
  • Lesson 7: Maintaining Your LinkedIn Account. Now that you’ve spent time building your profile, don’t lose it! Step-by-step instructions to back up your profile and secure your data. (9 pages)
  • Lesson 8: LinkedIn: Next Steps. How to use LinkedIn on an ongoing basis and make the most of your LinkedIn profile. (2 pages)

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.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Social Media for Resume Writers -- Simplified
Last month, in this blog post, I showcased how some resume writing colleagues are using social media effectively to increase their visibility and influence. If you’re frustrated by your efforts to get engagement on social media, I totally get it! I want to tell you about a tool I’ve been using to get the most out of social media without a ton of effort.

Social Media Challenges
You're busy running your resume writing business. You've got resumes to write, emails to answer, prospects to follow up with … all of these are competing for your time and energy.

Social media often ends up low on your priority list. (Which, many times, means it just doesn't get done.) Coming up with ideas for what to post each day is overwhelming. You're not sure what to post on social media, let alone come up with new content to post every single day.

Social Media Solutions
Over the past month, I've been using Angie Gensler’s Social Media Content Calendar as a guideline for my social media posts.

I like having a plan. One thing that I really like about the SMCC is that it gives me a content idea for every day of the year — but even more than that, I also bought the Image Templates, so I have ready-to-go images to go with them. (I also incorporate in the Ready-To-Use Social Media Graphics I provide to Bronze members of — but you can never have too much content!)

I pre-schedule a lot of my posts using the Facebook page scheduler tool (when you're logged into your business page, click “Publisher Tools” at the top of the page). I also use Hootsuite (the free version allows you to manage up to three linked social media accounts.)

The neat thing about the SMCC is that it’s all mapped out for you, month by month.

For example, here’s two weeks’ worth of the calendar:

As you can see, you won't be posting exactly the same things that everyone else is. These are content prompts. (And, like I said, you can incorporate in the BARW Ready-To-Use Social Media Graphics — for example, on Saturday the 11th, for “Uplifting,” I go into my RTU folder for the month and choose a graphic with an inspiring quote.)

If you work with a virtual assistant, you could give him or her the Social Media Content Calendar and they can handle all the content creation and posting for you.

I also purchased the upgrade to the Social Media Images pack. Like I’ve said before, you can never have too much ready-to-go social media content!

I’ve seen my engagement and visibility on Facebook increase with the increase in content I’ve been posting. While I’m spending a little more time posting things, it’s paying off.

Want To Learn More?
Wondering what is included with the Social Media Content Calendar?

Here’s what you get:

  • Daily post ideas planned out for you in a proven-to-work system for social media marketing.
  • 52 questions and 52 quotes — done for you! (You also have the option to purchase 155 more done-for-you image templates that can be customized with your branding.)
  • Three completely editable versions to work from — Google Sheet (this is the one I use), Microsoft Excel, and Google Excel
  • Complete list of holidays for the U.S., Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom
  • Access to comprehensive lists of weird and special national holidays and observances.
  • Ongoing support, resources, and tutorials to help you master social media marketing.
Check out this video:

Another neat thing is that 5% of the proceeds from the purchase of the Social Media Content Calendar are donated to charity. Read about Outreach International here.

The SMCC is designed to be used with Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. The calendar is 100% editable and customizable, so it can be used by resume writers anywhere. (Not in the U.S.? US holidays can easily be removed, and Angie has provided supplemental lists of holidays for Australia, Canada, and the UK.)

If you were inspired by my blog post last month about how other resume writers are using social media effectively, and you want to be an example I draw on in the future, I highly recommend the Social Media Content Calendar. As you can see, it’s an easy way to get more engaged with social media.

Please note this post contains affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you click them and make a purchase. This is, of course, at no cost to you. Please read my disclaimer for more information

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Have You Ever Been to a Resume Writing Conference?

As we approach the end of the year, it’s time to start thinking about 2020 careers industry conferences!

I keep referencing this post from August 2011, “When Is the Omaha Conference?”, because it’s where I started tracking my conference attendance.

But since it’s 2019, it’s time to update the conference locations and my attendance!

Here’s the breakdown of where the national resume writing organizations have had their conferences in recent years. (I’ve bolded the ones I attended.)

The National Resume Writers' Association (NRWA):
2020 - New Orleans, LA (scheduled)
2019 - NRWA Conference at Sea (Cruise to the Bahamas)
2018 - Seattle, Washington
2017 - Chicago, Illinois
2016 - Annapolis, Maryland
2015 - Charlotte, North Carolina
2014 - Denver, Colorado
2013 - Chicago, Illinois
2012 - Charleston, South Carolina
2011 - Portland, Maine
2010 - Fort Worth, Texas
2009 - Annapolis, Maryland
2008 - San Diego, California
2007 - Savannah, Georgia
2006 - Phoenix, Arizona
2005 - Stamford, Connecticut
2004 - Nashville, Tennessee
2003 - Seattle, Washington
2002 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2001 - San Antonio, Texas
2000 - Las Vegas, Nevada
1999 - New Orleans, Louisiana
1998 - Chicago

The NRWA is planning its 2020 conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, which I’m excited about, since the NRWA conference in New Orleans was my first industry conference 20 years ago! It’s scheduled for Sept. 13-15, 2020. Details here.

Career Directors International:
2016 - Present: N/A
2015 - Entrepreneurial Success Secrets Live for Career Professionals: Orlando, Florida
2014 - Global Career Empowerment Summit: SOAR — Orlando, Florida
2013 - Global Career Empowerment Summit: Your Big Breakthrough — Orlando, Florida
2012 - Global Career Empowerment Summit: Blaze Your Trail — San Diego, California
2011 - Global Career Empowerment Summit: Jump On Board the Success Express — Savannah, Georgia
2010 - Global Career Empowerment Summit: You Selected & We Delivered: The Most Outrageously Power-Packed Career Conference Yet — San Diego, California
2009 - Global Career Empowerment Summit: Take Your Career to New Heights — Orlando, Florida
2008 - Annual Conference: Get Super with CDI — Seattle, Washington
2007 - Annual Conference: The Future is You! — San Antonio, Texas
2006 - Annual Conference: Live the Dream — Orlando, Florida (PRWRA)
2005 - Annual Conference: Play to Win — Las Vegas, Nevada (PRWRA)
2004 - Indianapolis, Indiana (PRWRA)
2003 - New Orleans (PRWRA)
2002 - Atlanta, Georgia (when the organization was still PRWRA)

(Thank you to Laura DeCarlo for help assembling the conference titles and locations!) I was never able to make a CDI conference (they were often in October and conflicted with my UNO Hockey obsession).

Career Management Alliance (no longer in business as of August 2011):
2011 - Las Vegas, Nevada
2010 - New Orleans, Louisiana
2009 - San Antonio, Texas
2008 - Minneapolis, Minnesota
2007 - Louisville, Kentucky
2006 - ??
2005 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (when it was still Career Masters Institute)
2004 - Atlanta, Georgia (CMI)
2003 - Kansas City, Missouri (CMI)
2002 - San Diego, California (CMI)

Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches
2019 - St. Pete Beach, Florida
2005-2018: N/A
2004 - St. Pete Beach, Florida
2003 - Las Vegas, Nevada
2002 - Dallas, Texas
2001 - Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida
2000 - Toronto, Canada
1999 - Colorado Springs, Colorado

PARW/CC held conferences from 1999-2004 but then discontinued conferences in 2004. The organization held a conference from April 28-May 1, 2019 in St. Pete Beach but it’s unclear as to whether there will be a 2020 conference.

Want to read articles from previous career industry conferences? Join