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Why your job search success depends on your resume and your commitment

Confusion sets in for many job seekers when they ask about the resume and the resume writing process. Online applications have made it even more confusing. I was speaking with someone in New York this morning who asked me to explain how my process differs from others out there. This individual will be referring medical residents to me in the future. Though he and an existing client are working together, he needed to feel confident that he can justify those referrals personally. I answered that first we would have to discuss who others are when he asks about other resume options. Is he talking about the $79 specials you see advertised, the rapid speed resumes that you just plug in your information and Voila! you have a new resume? If that is the case, there is no comparison.

On the other hand, if this gentleman is comparing me to the other certified resume writers located around the globe who have invested their time and energy in perfecting the art of resume writing and have built their credibility as resources for job seekers, we now have grounds to compare process.

This individual asked how I differentiate myself. In other words, what is my unique selling point? First you have to understand the similarities. Like many of my colleagues, I have extensive experience writing resumes (30 years). I also am a dual-certified resume writer. I earned the Certified Professional Resume Writer credential from the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches in 2003 and just recently was awarded the Certified Master Resume Writer credential from Career Directors International. This advanced certification positions me with a smaller segment of the professional resume writing world, an elite group, that has been reviewed by their peers on the international certification committee and deemed to meet the standards to earn this designation.

What does differentiate me from other resume writers?

My process. I write live. What does that mean? If you hire me to write your resume, you are committing to an interactive process in which we meet, either in-person in my Wausau, Wisconsin office or online using screen sharing tools found in Skype, WebEx, Adobe Connect, and other technologies. I am not going to conduct an interview with you and then write on my own delivering to you in a week or more. Though I use worksheets in my process, I am not going to email you a worksheet and then write from your completed worksheet. These methods work well for my colleagues. They just don’t work for me.

I built my process on working with people directly and writing while they provided information and explained their story. Years ago, I could write a resume in two hours. But I can’t do that anymore. The resumes are much more complex and need more detail and focus than ever before. I thrive on client interaction throughout the process. It keeps me and the client both accountable and delivers a very customized product that resonates with the clients value and their unique selling point.

I create your resume in an interview-like sessions beginning with my unique Project Roadmap, a spreadsheet completed using a show-and-tell process of looking at both fictionalized and actual client resumes and building an understanding of the strategies behind resume writing. Then we capture the plan in the project roadmap and start designing the resume, adding content after we have the design nailed. The client is an active participant and chooses the formatting based on what they like in the examples I share. No two documents are alike.

Variety of Services – also delivered live. LinkedIn profiles, DISC assessment reviews, Executive Bios, Networking Coaching, Job Search Strategies, and Interview Coaching are all different components that are part of my packages. The client determines the investment based on their career level and the number of services they need. A new graduate or individual returning to the workforce fits in the Bronze package but someone who is more experienced may belong in Silver, Gold, or Platinum. Someone who wants a starter package of mixed services may want the Interview Coaching and LinkedIn Package but the Executive may determine that they want to invest in one of the levels of the Executive Leadership Premium package.

Individuals who work with me have one thing in common. They are dedicated to working together on their project. They recognize that everything worth doing requires commitment and investment of time, money, and resources. This includes job search. I facilitate working together through one hour or 90 minute sessions that are scheduled to correlate with both my availability and the client’s needs. I have accommodated clients in multiple time zones, working clients who need to work around their work schedule, clients with more flexibility in their schedule because they work from home or are high level professionals with more time availability, and those who are unemployed and can schedule more freely. Typical clients invest 5 to 20 hours into their projects depending on the package and services selected.

What are the results?

Yay Stories are what drive me to continue to write resumes and help job seekers. I am thrilled when a client calls or emails with the Yay Story. They did it! They are hired! Their search was successful!

It is July as I write this. Who are 2014′s yay stories – the job-winning resumes?

  • An Investment Advisor Representative whose search included relocating to Seattle from Michigan with no contacts, job, or network and landed.
  • A Senior Project Manager (Information Technology) who is now on contract with one of the largest utility companies in the country.
  • A Therapist who is now working for a premier substance abuse clinic whose clientele is the rich and famous.
  • An Analyst – Department of Surgery with a world leader in health care and is known for innovative medicine, advanced technology and compassionate care.
  • President of her company, though this client was seeking elsewhere, she received a promotion to position of the President just as she was about to accept another offer.
  • Assistant Manager of the Special Investigations Unit (anti-fraud) for a major health insurance company.
  • IT User Support Technician for a targeted non-profit in another state.
  • VP of Training and Field Development in a Direct Sales Company.
  • An Insurance Manager with a local dentist for someone who was tired of her large healthcare experiences and wanted a more personal role.
  • Enterprise Reporter for a national newspaper.

I am sure there are more but you get the idea. Regardless of the level, each of these clients dedicated time to create their resume and think through the process. Those who also purchased LinkedIn services experienced more hits to their profiles and more opportunities. Many of the clients had a version of the DISC assessment included in their packages and the review of those assessments provided insight into their value to the organization, enabled them to recognize their communication style, and analyze their behavior from a hierarchical viewpoint.

Need help? Hire me, a Certified Master Resume Writer. I can take the pain out of writing your resume and even make it fun. We work together to discover those forgotten contributions and position you to win your next role. To find out how, Click Here.

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Are you holding your future hostage?

Too many people throw in the towel early when things don’t go right. If you hold that attitude, I can guarantee you will fail. Every day you can start over and do it over. Today is 6 months from January 1, a day when people traditionally make plans for the future and hope to start anew.Continue Reading

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Is it time to change my job?

Many people mistakenly think that professional resume writers do better in a bad economy with high unemployment. Nothing could be further from the truth. Though I work with people who are unemployed and though I worked with both unemployed and those who want a career change throughout the recession that started in late 2007, itContinue Reading

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Your resume is not a history book

When dealing with clients in their 50s and 60s, it isn’t uncommon for someone to think that they have to put every job in chronological order complete with dates. But your resume isn’t a history book. Resume IS a Strategic and Targeted Marketing Document Your resume MUST be a strategic marketing document that highlights your value, clearlyContinue Reading

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Job seeker, do you struggle with change?

Looking back, the last 50 years has seen astronomical change. Things that younger generations take for granted are fairly new when you look more closely. How do you feel about change? When I met my husband in 1979, I remember the conversation on that first day. We talked about change and how we both feltContinue Reading

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Top 15 Misconceptions about Resumes Writing

During my many resume writing and career marketing presentations to college classes, state job center groups, and AmeriCorps members, inevitably questions come up about resume strategies and assumptions about how resumes should be written. I always begin my presentations by saying that what I tell them will perhaps sound contradictory to what they have read inContinue Reading

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Top 5 LinkedIn Profile Failures

LinkedIn has been proven to help job seekers land faster and gain more opportunities. Many people fail to access the power of LinkedIn. In my work with my Design Resumes clients, I find five things to be the most common issues or errors. Fortunately they are easy to fix. LinkedIn Failure #5 - Sounding Desperate WhenContinue Reading

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