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For the very same reason that there is an apparent re-emergence of the bricks-and-mortar store, I think that A Word’s Worth Résumé Writing and Career Coaching Service has survived — and even thrived — since opening its doors in 1989. Without appearing pompous or even boastful as the owner of A Word’s Worth, I think one of the reasons my company continues to enjoy a loyal client following is that it is like a bricks-and-mortar store. The “A Word’s Worth experience” enables you to meet with me, pick my brain, and learn from experience I have gained since starting the business more than 2 decades ago.

According to an article written by Michael S. Rosenwald in The Washington Post, “Independent book stores were supposed to vanish 25 years ago when Waldenbooks showed up in malls … when Borders and Barnes & Noble came along with endless selection and comfy chairs … when Costco started selling the latest Doris Kearns Goodwin ….when Amazon perfected low prices and fast shipments – meaning nobody would ever have to leave the house again to shop.”

Well, I am here to tell you that I agree with Michael S. Rosenwald of The Washington Post. Bricks-and-mortar stores are making a comeback and I am proud to say that A Word’s Worth has remained steadfastly committed to supporting the “bricks-and-mortar experience.”

“I think what we’re seeing is that the inevitable death of any kind of physical retailing was a gross exaggeration,” said Laura J. Miller, a Brandeis sociology professor. “There are a lot of reasons people like going to bricks-and-mortar stores.”

“We think there’s a desire by many to go back to a very simple time,” says Tom England, co-owner of the Curious Iguana bookstore in  Frederick, Md. “Kids are starting to play Risk again. People want to touch things. They want to be a little low-tech.”

Likewise, Amanda B., Social Media Associate at Brandpoint, posted in an August 4, 2014 blog, “For years, eCommerce companies have had the upper hand with the ability to collect digital data. It’s no secret shopping has changed over the past 10 years. With the increased use of technology such as smart phones and e-mail, you can do simple tasks such as compare pricing between stores and have your receipts e-mailed to you. What many people do not realize is that the in-store shopping experience is about to get much more futuristic with brick and mortar showrooms . . .” simply because consumers see the value of the brick-and-mortar shopping experience.

Just as many of today’s consumers are increasingly rendering monetary decisions following the in-store shopping experience,  A Word’s Worth Résumé Writing and Career Coaching Service provides its clients with a similar feeling of nostalgia . . . along with that warm and fuzzy feeling you so deserve!

 

Question for you: Questionnaires . . . Really?

How many times have you ordered something online, only to have to return it? If you’re anything like me – too many times to count.

That’s why it simply does not make sense to me that you would leave your résumé, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile writing to someone who conducts their business by offering only questionnaires and email correspondence.

Do you have any idea how much critical information I gain from either meeting with your or talking at length with you over the phone?

Do you have any idea why résumé writers use only questionnaires and email correspondence to gain information from you?

The answer to both of the aforementioned questions are provided in the following sentences:

1.  I gain the most significant amount of information from you by meeting with you. An in-person meeting allows you to most adequately “tell your story.” It allows me to most superbly relate your story to prospective employers. This is why meeting with you is my preferred method of working with you.

2. I can also gain an abundance of information by conducting a comprehensive telephone interview with you. Although telephone interviews have their shortcomings when compared to in-person meetings, I have been in this business since 1989 and have developed keen listening skills. To be honest, I did not offer the telephone-interview service until just a few years ago, not until I was completely confident that I could develop excellent résumés, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles without having to meet with you.

3. Generally, résumé writers use questionnaires and email correspondence to elicit information from you because it is more convenient for them to conduct their business in this fashion. Think about it. Do you want to work with a professional résumé writer / career coach who is doing so in a manner that is most convenient for them? Personally, I think not.

I think, instead, you want to work with a Certified Professional Résumé Writer / Career Coach / nationally published author of resume and cover letter samples who is focused FULL TIME on YOU . . . who doesn’t ask you to fill out a questionnaire . . . who takes the time and effort to brand you in support of you getting job interviews. Yes, that’s me. In addition, I’ve been a Military Reward Partner since 2007.

 

 

By building solid business relationships, you will expand potential career opportunities. The single best thing you can do for your career today is build your network for tomorrow. Start by making a list of leaders, experts, and decision makers in your industry. Develop relationships with them at industry meetings and through professional associations.  Connect with them on LinkedIn. Make useful comments on their blog, answer questions on on-line forums, and partake in e-list communications.

 

Realize that it is in your best interest to develop and execute an effective online strategy. Market yourself on the internet, consistently delivering a strong branding message. Start by eliminating “bad press.” Peruse your social networking sites and remove all inappropriate content. That raunchy story you posted on Facebook — take it off! 

 

In today’s market, it’s perfectly obvious that resume writing has become an art, a very competitive art at that. Rather than presenting a basic resume template, have a professional create a targeted document that distinguishes you from your competitors. Align yourself with a professional who will strategically position your career achievements and highlight your best features. Don’t forget, a customized cover letter is key to every job query.

 

The resume should focus on your personal career brand and provide a value proposition, which is, in essence, a compelling sales pitch. This should personify the branding message delivered in your resume and cover letter. If you create a strong, consistent message, prospective employers will contact you for an interview.

 

Need help building your brand? I’m a phone call or an email away: (609) 758-7799; nina@awordsworth.com

 

By building solid business relationships, you will expand potential career opportunities. The single best thing you can do for your career today is build your network for tomorrow. Start by making a list of leaders, experts, and decision makers in your industry. Develop relationships with them at industry meetings and through professional associations. Connect with them on LinkedIn. Make useful comments on their blog, answer questions on on-line forums, and partake in e-list communications.

Realize that it is in your best interest to develop and execute an effective online strategy. Market yourself on the internet, consistently delivering a strong branding message. Start by eliminating “bad press.” Peruse your social networking sites and remove all inappropriate content. That raunchy story you posted on Facebook — take it off!

In today’s market, it’s perfectly obvious that resume writing has become an art, a very competitive art at that. Rather than presenting a basic resume template, have a professional create a targeted document that distinguishes you from your competitors. Align yourself with a professional who will strategically position your career achievements and highlight your best features. Don’t forget, a customized cover letter is key to every job query.

The resume should focus on your personal career brand and provide a value proposition, which is, in essence, a compelling sales pitch. This should personify the branding message delivered in your resume and cover letter. If you create a strong, consistent message, prospective employers will contact you for an interview.

Need help building your brand? I’m a phone call or an email away: (609) 758-7799; nina@awordsworth.com

No matter how things are going for you in your current place of employment, you should always be prepared with a résumé and a basic job search strategy. Besides the fact that it’s better to look for a job when you are in a job (primarily because employers place more value on candidates who are working), you should be documenting while you are working the challenges you are currently facing in the workplace, the actions you took to meet those challenges, and the results of those actions. This is not as daunting a task as you might imagine. Try to quantify your accomplishments on a daily basis. You will be happy that you did.

Other reasons for planning your job search strategy while you are working include:

1. your financial concerns are fewer when you are working

2. your psyche is in a better place when you are working

3. the structure of work tends to enhance your productivity when you’re not working; most people get more done when they have less free time and must be increasingly focused on managing their time

Another useful bit of advice: build a network of people who might be able to help you get a job when the time comes. Develop relationships with people at industry meetings, professional associations, personal get-togethers, and via the Internet. Connect online by responding to bloggers, answer questions on on-line forums, and participate on e-lists. Your focus should be on forging relationships with people who might one day help you connect with potential career opportunities.

Social networks are an excellent way to optimize your online image. A LinkedIn profile exponentially builds your online professional presence. And, it has been stated that your professional picture on your LinkedIn profile is a necessary component. Of course, your LinkedIn profile must deliver a consistent branding message. And, it must be well written, starting with the branding statement, remaining consistently well written until the very last line of information offered. After all, the LinkedIn profile is all about YOU!

As most of you know, in today’s market, résumé writing has become an art. Rather than presenting a basic resume template, you need a targeted document that distinguishes you from your competitors, one that strategically positions your career challenges, actions, and results. Of course, a targeted cover letter must accompany your résumé. Then, you must create a compelling “sales pitch” that aligns with your résumé and cover letter so that you can demonstrate your professional value to prospective employers and recruiters. As always, remember: optimistic, forward-thinking attitudes are key to your success!

In today’s market, presenting a well-written résumé, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile is a “must.” Although these require a financial investment, you must consider the return-on-investment.

Rather than presenting a basic résumé / cover letter template, have an experienced résumé writer / career coach create targeted branding documents that distinguish you, helping you stand out from the crowd of competitors. More importantly, have that professional résumé writer / career coach develop documents that will get you past the scrutiny of the Applicant Tracking Software so that prospective employers will actually have the opportunity to peruse your documents. The LinkedIn profile will be a natural extension of your résumé and cover letter, so concentrate on first things first.

Okay, so we’ve established that s professional skilled in developing résumés, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles will cleverly position your career successes so that your best features stand out and your potential value to the employer is efficiently accentuated. At the same time, enhance your on-the-job performance. Stay late, work hard, and show that you can do more with less. Rather than asking for more money and / or resources, identify processes you can streamline – then streamline them. Become invested in your work and in helping your employer grow. Your employer will realize how important you are to the future success of the company. And, remember, the best time to look for a job is while you have a job.

Now is also the time to build your network. You can develop relationships via both professional and non-professional clubs and associations. Let everyone know you are seeking employment. You can build your online presence, as well. Research thriving industries and join related networking groups. Respond to prospective employers on their blog, answer questions on on-line forums, and participate on e-lists.

Most importantly, keep track of your career achievements. Documenting your achievements is so simple that many people forget to do it. The exercise itself is crucial for creating the foundation of your branding documents. Likewise, you will find it to be a rewarding practice. Whether you are in a career transition or hope to remain in your position, you need to capture and retell the challenges you have faced in the workplace, the actions you took to meet those challenges, and the results of your actions. This information is critical to the success of your branding documents and it enhances your self worth. I cannot tell you how many clients have said to me once we’ve accumulated and documented their accomplishments, “Gee, I didn’t know I did all that. I am a valued asset.”  

That’s right, you are a valued asset. And, as such, you deserve a wonderful résumé, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. So, go on, invest in yourself! And, remember, Halloween is a time for scary costumes, NOT scary résumés, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles!

Okay, so I’ve said this before, but I believe it is worth repeating. Since there are increasingly more résumé writers / career coaches to choose from these days, I believe it is increasingly essential for those of you who are shopping the market to get the information you need to make informed decisions. It’s not rocket science that I am going to provide to you in today’s blog. It is, rather, common sense.

1. Never hire a résumé writer / career coach who relies solely on providing forms for you to complete. Think about it. If the résumé writer / career coach doesn’t take the time to get to know you personally, of what value is that résumé writer / career coach? Résumé writers / career coaches  are supposed to work for you, not visa versa. 

2. A résumé writer / career coach must be a resource to you. This means that the résumé writer / career coach should learn all that he or she can learn from you regarding your workplace experience, qualifications, and goals. In fact, my favorite way to interview clients is face to face, which is in direct alignment with what Frank Fox, the president and founder of the Professional Association of Résumé Writers / Career Coaches (PARW/CC) says. I quote, “It’s really best to hire a local résumé writer,” says Frank. He claims, quite candidly, that  online-only résumé writing services are  “ripe for scams.” 

Although I agree with Mr. Fox that online relationships can be somewhat “iffy,” I am confident that once a relationship is established via a telephone conversation, client interviews via telephone and / or Skype can and do work.  I have, in fact, produced many successful résumés, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles by conducting comprehensive telephone interviews.

3. Ask résumé writers / career coaches about their experience and understanding of your particular industry. Be nosey; ask such questions as: 

  • What makes you better at writing résumés than your competition? 
  • How much experience do you have at working with people like me and those in my industry?
  • Are there samples of your writing for me to peruse?
  • What did you do before becoming a résumé writer / career coach? What motivated you enter this profession?
  • When did you enter this profession?
  • How do you price your services?

4. Although coming up with a definitive price for writing a résumé, cover letter, and LinkedIn Profile is oftentimes difficult to formulate, you as the consumer, should know the beginning and end ranges of the products you seek.  Some résumé writers / career coaches charge by the hour. I, personally, don’t think charging by the hour is a good idea. After all, if I am a talented writer (as I claim to be), I should be able to write your documents faster than someone who is less talented. Makes sense, right?

Likewise, I strongly believe that a critique of your existing résumé (if you have one) should be free. And, if I were you, I would not believe those résumé critique scam artists (and they are out there, believe me) who send you emails saying your documents are “blasé” or “vanilla.” I always tell my clients the truth. If the résumé has merit, I say so. If it is downright bad, I say that too. Truth and trust are very important to me.

5. Don’t be alarmed that up-front payment is required. A good résumé writer / career coach spends a few hours getting to know his or her client. It then takes countless hours for a résumé writer / career coach to craft a truly unique résumé, cover letter, and LinkedIn Profile. This, in itself, is an excellent reason to avoid next-day delivery services when it comes to résumés, cover letters, and LinkedIn Profiles. Believe me, if you think writing a one-of-a-kind résumé, cover letter, and LinkedIn Profile is easy, let me be the first to tell you, it is not!

The final point of this blog brings me to the following segue: The office will be closed for a few days — September 18th to the 23rd — because, well, I need a vacation. Over the past several months, I have worked very hard to please my clients. I must say, I have been successful in doing so. Now, however, it is time to recharge, spend some time away from my laptop, and kick back. Until we “meet” again . . . be well! 

 

 

 

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