(If you’re ready to work with an international award-winning resume writer who likes to have fun with job searches, you don’t have to read the rest of this. Just email me Jeri@WorkwriteResumes.com to set up a time to talk.
By the time they call me, many job-seekers are so stressed they’re considering keeping their old job, no matter how miserable they are. Others don’t have that option, being unemployed or close to it, so they’re staving off panic too, just for a different reason.
One client had been unemployed for several months since a budget-related staff reduction. Even though losing her job had nothing to do with her competence, her confidence in herself, her talent as a graphic artist, and in her ability to do well in an interview were slipping fast. After only one meeting, she said she felt better. After two, she was ready for the mock interview, and after three, she went out and found a job, in which she is still happily employed.
I have helped her and hundreds of other clients conquer the fear that was keeping them from moving forward. I’m here for you, too, if any of the following situations sound familiar:
• You haven’t started your job search because you haven’t figured out what you want to be when you grow up …
• You’ve written draft after draft of your resume and haven’t sent one out yet …
• You’ve sent out a dozen resumes and haven’t been called for a single interview …
• You’ve had calls for interviews – for the WRONG job …
• You landed the interview for your DREAM job, and you were so nervous you couldn’t remember your name much less the answers you memorized …
• You landed the interview, but the salary you deserve isn’t what they’re offering …
You don’t know what you don’t know
This is the biggest stumbling block of all. You may be having specific trouble in any of a dozen areas, but the worst part is you can’t even trust your instincts to guide you. Let me give you a few examples:
• Most job seekers focus on a job search strategy that fails more than 90% of the time.
• 80% of job seekers fail to do one simple thing that would boost their chances of being hired.
• Most job seekers leave the most important part out of their resumes.
These are not stupid people. They aren’t even inexperience. They are experts in their fields. Some hold advanced degrees. Many have been working for decades. They just aren’t job search experts. They aren’t professional resume writers. They think they’re doing fine until their job search drags on for months (Did you know the national average for job searches is six months?) or they land a job only to find out they hate it, or they take a position much below their level of expertise because they can’t wait any longer.
They just don’t know what they don’t know.
Let’s turn that around.
The people who know me best say I’m an amazing writer who can be counted on 210%, and I inspire them to take action to reach their goal.
And that’s just at lunch!
True story: I took one of those assessments that ask your closest friends, family, and colleagues to tell what they think about you. (Scariest week of my life.) Know what I found out? The breakfast cereal I remind people of is Wheaties because I’m a champion. The car I’m most like is a Volvo because I’m so reliable. Not the glamorous, exotic endorsements I dreamed of, but important to you because I won’t just tell you what you want to hear or take your money and run.
It also means your resume will be created with world-class skill, within the agreed-upon timeframe, and that you will feel better during the process than you do now. (You might even have fun!)
A client who was ready to make a change knew exactly what he wanted to do. His resume wasn’t attracting the right attention, but he wasn’t sure how to fix it. After we worked on his documents, he applied for two positions, landed two interviews, and accepted one offer. “Not a bad investment,” he commented in his thank-you note.
The typical client lands more interviews after we work together than before.
They usually have a shorter job search than the national average of 25 weeks.
Many say they couldn’t have done it without me.
So, knowing all of that, if you’re feeling like working with me might solve the problem you’re looking to solve, and we might be a good fit to work together, email me Jeri@WorkwriteResumes.com to set up a time to talk.
Here are a few more hints to help you decide if I’m the right person to help you with your career transition:
You would fit right into my specialty areas if:
• You work in a technical position such as IT, IS, Web development, construction, or engineering.
• Your work is creative such as photography, film, writing, communications, journalism, social media, art, graphic art, public relations, or Web development.
• You are changing careers.
• You are re-entering the workforce after a time away. Moms re-entering after raising children are my favorites.
You may be a good fit for working with me if you:
• Believe you have a calling, even if you don’t know what it is – especially if you don’t know what it is.
• Want to use your gift to make the world a better place.
• Think the reasons we do things are just as important as how we do them.
• Need encouragement to reach the next level in your career.
• Like to work with an internationally recognized expert.
If you’re ready to make a decision or have questions, email me Jeri@WorkwriteResumes.com to set up a time to talk. (As I write this, I have a two-week waiting list of project starts, so the best thing you can do is not wait.)
Here is a list of our services, but rather than trying to figure out what you need and what you don’t, just email me to talk about your situation, your deadline, and your challenges. I will recommend a package of services that will meet your needs.
The DISC Behavioral Profile is an online assessment that takes about 20 minutes to complete. The results give you insight into your natural and adapted work styles, showing you how well your current job fits you. It also verifies attributes we can include in your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile.
The presentation resume is the one you print and take to an interview.
We write a resume that defines your achievements, skills, and knowledge so clearly that a hiring authority may hire you on the spot. (One client reported that this actually happened at a hiring committee meeting. The decision maker held the client’s resume in the air and said, “I want this guy!”)
That’s what makes your resume king of the job search documents. Today’s highly competitive and fast-paced job market demands the targeted, professionally-written resume have the focus of a laser yet be comprehensive enough to show your achievements in your chosen field.
The advantage we offer over do-it-yourself resume builders (and even some pros) is that we have more than 25 years of writing, editing, and interviewing experience. You know your industry. We know how to ask the questions that will give us the information your resume needs. Then, we mold your answers into unique and powerful statements that demonstrate your value to your next employer.
The PDF Resume is the one you use when you post your resume to a job board such as Monster.com or Dice or email it to a networking contact. It looks the same no matter what computer is being used (unlike Word documents that morph depending on the vintage of the program and the operating system.)
First, you need to know I don’t recommend applying for jobs online. The percentage of people who actually land a job by applying online is miniscule. There are much more effective strategies. That said, if you want to apply online, the resume you use is the ATS Resume. ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System, the computer software that at least 70% of businesses use to scan your resume to determine if it gets to meet human eyes. An ATS is a huge help to a Human Resources department that receives hundreds and even thousands of applications for a single job. (Remember I said I didn’t recommend applying online. That’s why. Almost everyone gets lost in the shuffle.) The ATS thinks like a computer, not like a human. You’ve probably heard you should have plenty of juicy keywords in your resume, right? Unfortunately, the ATS doesn’t just scout out your list of keywords and tick them off to see if you have the right stuff. It chooses keyword phrases based on algorithms that neither you nor I could outguess, and I’ve been writing resumes professionally for a lot of years. Lucky for us, I have an app, too. It acts like an ATS and helps me determine the keyword phrases important to include in your resume. Each ATS Resume is specific to only one job posting.
In only the past year or two, your LinkedIn profile has been elevated to one of your top two job search tools. Companies have learned that even one job posting or advertisement can result in hundreds or even thousands of resumes and applications. So, many have stopped advertising and posting jobs.
Instead, they search online profiles – especially LinkedIn – for a candidate who appears a good fit for their upcoming job opening. Facebook and Twitter are also becoming important to your job search strategies.
Perhaps the most important function of all, however, is the networking capabilities of online profiles, and LinkedIn in particular. Not only can you be found, but you can find. You can search for companies and people who may help you get closer to your dream job.
With us, you will have an edge above the do-it-yourself profiles. It’s not enough to copy and paste sections of your resume into your online profile. We’ll give your resume content a makeover so that your online profile is even better than what decision-makers expect to see.
LinkedIn allows slide show presentations and video. Any candidate with a portfolio will find LinkedIn profiles especially useful.
Your resume needs a cover letter. Let’s get that out of the way first of all. Unless you are going to hand deliver your resume to the hiring authority and say to him or her all the things that would be in your cover letter, you need a cover letter.
You might have heard that cover letters aren’t read or that they’re read after the resume, so they have no impact. A recent study by Career Directors International indicates that half of hiring managers and recruiters read cover letters. The catch is that you don’t know which half YOUR hiring manager belongs to.
We believe in going the extra mile to demonstrate our commitment to you and to your job search, and we’d like you to have the same determination. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to do things differently. A cover letter is one of those things. On top of that, we write a kick-butt letter that does so much more than preview your resume. We show how you fit the job and the company. Go ahead, take advantage of the opportunity to tell your prospective employer more about your strengths.
A bit ago, we mentioned 80% of job seekers fail to set themselves apart – by sending a thank-you letter. A whopping 80% of applicants don’t send thank-you letters after their job interview. Hiring managers value those little notes. You can be in the top 20% just by writing a thank-you letter.
Move even higher with a professionally written thank-you letter that gives you another opportunity to emphasize the perfect fit between you and your prospective employer.
Follow-up letters are more important than ever now, when bosses and HR departments are overwhelmed with applications. The follow-up letter puts your qualifications in front of the decision-makers one more time. It could be the time that counts.
Why would you need an acceptance letter? You agreed on the salary, health insurance, PTO, and you’re starting two weeks from Monday. It’s done, right?
Hiring Managers have buyers’ remorse, too. They worry if they made the right decision. Impress them all over again and renew their confidence about hiring you with an acceptance letter that seals the deal.
Just in case you do not have a written contract with your employer, this is also one way to protect yourself from potential confrontation over informal work agreements. (I know of one case in which a written contract kept an employee from losing a salary and vacation time already negotiated when the boss was looking for something to cut from the budget.)
What people notice about me are three gifts that work together for the benefit of my clients.
Writing: By the time people get to me, the chaos is getting to them. It’s my job to bring order to their experience and give them a process to follow so they can focus on networking and interviewing. One of the ways I do that is to organize information. I write. In fact, I write like I breathe, constantly and effortlessly. It’s a gift I received along with the responsibility to develop it, and I’ve been doing that my whole life.
I developed the discipline of writing when I studied poetry on my own and in college. Writing poetry and writing resumes are a lot alike. Both require a minimalist sensibility, strict word choice, and a good deal of organization. Both are as much fun as I can stand.
I’m one of those lucky people who has been able to work at my dream job of writing my whole life. My background in journalism helped me understand design, style, and standardized usage. Associated Press style still forms the basis of my resume style today.
When a client calls, they often have lost control of their information. I help them get it back.
“Martha” had such a varied background she had no idea how to write her resume.
Encouragement: Some call me inspiring. It’s my default channel. People around me feel encouraged. When we talk, they feel lighter. Their circumstances may not have changed, but they’ve been able to change the way they feel about them.
“Stephanie” had managed a successful business for 10 years. Her company liked her, her staff liked her, their clients liked her. It was all good. Then, a new district supervisor took over, and suddenly she could do nothing right. The pressure to produce increased monthly, and when she hit the ceiling, she was asked to resign. She had had enough of management and wanted to return to her first love, sales, but her confidence had taken such a hit during the death throes of her last job, she wasn’t sure she could interview well. On top of that, her resume was entirely aimed at management, and she didn’t know how to change it when her last sales job was more than a decade ago.What Stephanie had forgotten was that she had kept on selling throughout her management position. She just needed some encouragement to remember. We gathered the great numbers she had – record-setting years, production awards, sales awards – and put them on paper.
Just seeing her own great results went a long way to restore her confidence. With some well-placed job search strategies, she soon landed a sales job she still enjoys.
Reliability: Remember I told you about the assessment I took that asked my friends, family, and colleagues to tell me what they thought about me? When the results of that came back, my profile turned out to be “The Rock.”
Now, if you could see me, you’d laugh, because I’m about five feet tall, I have red hair, don’t sit still much, and I don’t look a thing like Dwayne Johnson, aka “The Rock.”
The thing is, you can count on me until there are no tomorrows. That’s what the profile really means.
People who know me best say they can rely on my integrity and honesty. When I commit to doing something, I do it. I am the Volvo of resume writers, they tell me, because of my reliability (if not my classic, elegant lines, bahahahaha).
For several years, I was vice president of a local referral group. The president and founder of the group is one of the best networkers I’ve ever met, but she’s the first to admit she’s not a detail person. That became my job. I showed up, kept records, acted as a sounding board, and did the things she didn’t want to do. She came to count on my organizational skills, my memory, and my judgment. I wasn’t surprised; I was just doing my job. When I moved to another city, she said she didn’t know how she was going to replace me. So I found and trained someone just like me.
That’s what I do for you, too. I organize, I remind, I support, I encourage, I analyze, I do a virtual song and dance to lighten up a tense situation. Then, I call you up to see if you’re doing what you said you were going to do. Uh-huh, it’s going to be like that.
So, if you were to sum up my role in your job search, it would be to organize your information, encourage your best, and help you keep your commitments.