Competition or Colleagues? And a History Lesson

Competition strikes fear, the word Colleague, implies working together.

Can the competition be your colleague? In my experience, yes!

I’ve been a career industry professional for over 25 years, writing resumes, cover letters, teaching clients job searching strategies, and listening to job seekers share their stories.

The impact of professional organizations

  • I joined the Professional Association of Resume Writers (now PARWCC) in 1999.
  • In 2000, I became a member of Career Masters Institute, (CMI) now Career Management Alliance (CMA). Wendy Enelow launched CMI as a training resource for the field. If PARW connected the career industry, then CMI taught us lessons and gave us resources. It was the first Internet-based training and development resource for the career industry.
  • Wendy opened the door to publication for me. I still remember when the first book with one of my resumes came in the mail, Expert Resumes for Teachers and Educators by Wendy Enelow and Lousie Kursmark.
  • Although I knew certifications were available, it took personally meeting Susan Guarneri to actually sign up for the test. I passed and earned the Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) credential.
  • If you follow this blog, you know the impact Jason Alba had on my life. I chose to become one of his Career Expert partners because he is always thinking, learning, and I never know what new idea he will come up with next.
  • I joined Career Directors International (CDI) in 2009 and again, this has opened new doors to me. Founded by Laura DeCarlo, CDI is continually offering new resources and educational opportunities. The rave reviews from CDI’s recent convention in Orlando echoed throughout Twitter and 2010’s convention is already being planned and I think this time, I might actually get there.
  • CDI has multiple learning tools, many of which are created by Gayle Howard.
  • I asked Dawn Bugni, a career professional in North Carolina, to help me with Wausau Whitewater 2009. Dawn’s highly visible on Twitter and has made her debut in radio, as a member of the Resume Chicks, interviewed by Recruiting Animal, billed as the number 1 show in Recruiting Radio.

So what’s my point?

You see career professionals all over Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Though we are obviously there to let job seekers know we have resources and solutions for them, we are also there as a group. We talk to each other, retweet each other, and comment on each other’s blogs. Why? Aren’t we all competing for the same market?

The career industry knows who has talents in which area, expertise and tips but many people still told me and others, “Wow, I’m glad I found you! I didn’t know someone like you existed.”

It was the invisibility factor.

Professional resume writers and career coaches are often sole proprietors who lack the marketing budgets of large firms. Lack of marketing individually or as a group left people in the dark about the professional as a whole.

As I have grown to know the career industry professionals, I find them to be the most caring, professional, talented individuals on the planet. Their willingness to share knowledge and problem solve with people who could be their competition is amazing. Throughout this post, I gave you links to what could be called, my competition. Why?

The truth is, we’d like the world to get to know the career industry.

You will find people who care about you, the job seeker. People who strive every day to improve their craft, understand new strategies and technologies, and stay ahead of the learning curve. Do I call them competition? No — I call them colleagues, and I call them friends!

The best thing a job seeker can do is make a smart buying decision based on whose personality, knowledge base, and strategies fit their needs best. All of us care about our clients, you can choose which one of us is right for you.


  1. Dawn Bugni on November 22, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Brilliant post Julie!!

    I explain the collegial environment of our industry to outsiders and they look at me like I’ve lost my mind. But it’s true. The support and generosity of my colleagues is almost impossible to describe.

    I’ve made incredible friends through my affiliations with the three career groups you mentioned and the National Resume Writer’s Association, (NRWA) too.

    I learn from my peers every week. The business, writing and design knowledge I gain from the e-lists is priceless. Plus, if I need assistance on a specific topic, because we so readily share, I know where I can go for help. I got great advice, just last week, from fellow writer Steve Burt about advertising. His response to my request for guidance went above and beyond a quick yes or no answer. He did research, provided stats … all because I asked and he wanted to help.

    During the Resumes Chicks’ last blog radio appearance, Janice Worthington (another member of the career industry) summed it up beautifully: If you hire one of us, the entire industry stands ready to help … much like the team standing ready in a Verizon commercial. I LOVE that visual.

    Great job letting the rest of the world in on the power of working with a pro. Passion for our craft, dedication to colleague support and commitment to client success is integral to our industry. And, dare I say, helping is innate to everyone I’ve met becoming a professional seven years ago.

    I am PROUD to be a part of this industry. Prouder still to count you as a close friend.

  2. Davina on November 22, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Julie, this is excellent. We are so much stronger when we work with each other rather than against. Love the way you think.

  3. Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter on November 23, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Well-put and passionately written article that many of us in the industry relate to! Having put out my business shingle in 1998, the evolution of relationships you describe among a diversity of individuals and professional organizations resonates!

    As you know, I am a BIG Dawn Bugni fan! As well, Wendy, Louise, Laura, Frank and Jason are mentors, colleagues and careers leaders I admire and have enjoyed knowing and learning from and with … among many, MANY others (too many to list in a comment!).

    Twitter has exponentially boosted the opportunity to connect and engage; in fact, getting to know YOU better, Julie, through your eloquent and heartfelt blog posts through tweets and retweets has been a value-add to my daily Twitter stream.

    Well done!


  4. Dawn Bugni on November 23, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    You and Jacqui are too wonderful. There’s proof of the wonderful collaborative spirit of this industry AND a great testament to the power of social. Without Twitter, I wouldn’t have the relationship I have with either of you. I count both you as two of my dearest friends.

    Group hug ladies.

  5. Julie on November 23, 2009 at 8:32 pm


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