By Andrew Misplon
Landing a great job can often be a tough undertaking. Qualifications and experience alone aren’t enough to get hired – you need a well written resume with selling power. Even with the endless list of resume programs, applications and templates available on the market there is still great demand for resume writing services.
If you’re a freelance writer or just a stay at home mom with great writing skills; a resume service could be your next career. This work at home job can be started with very little capital and has endless potential for expansion. Many successful authors started their careers in this field; if you plan on writing for a living there is no better place to begin.
What does this job entail?
Resume services handle every stage of the resume creation process; this includes researching a client’s backgrounds and job history, creating a new resume or re-working an existing one, design, printing and finally delivery. You don’t need any formal qualifications for this job, although a natural writing ability is a must. Organizational skills and an ability to market your services will also come in handy.
What you need to get started
To get your service off the ground you’ll need to create a work space in your home and outfit it with a computer, high quality printer, internet connection, scanner and fax machine. If you’re on a serious shoe string budget then you could start with just a computer and use the local print shop to send emails, faxes and handle printing.
Resumes and cover letters should always be printed on high quality paper with a slightly heavier weight than conventional printer paper – white and ivory are the safest options and most commonly used. Start out with a small stock and buy more as you need it. Buy in bulk once you have a rough idea of how much business you will do each month – it’s usually cheaper.
Getting the ball rolling
Create a brand around your service right from the beginning, pick a name and stick with it. As soon as you can afford it get business stationary with your logo printed on it. Consider getting an all in one business stationary package from Elance.com. At the time of writing this article, the cheapest package cost less than $200 (USD) and included a logo, business card, letterhead, envelope and fax cover sheet design.
Once you’ve created a brand identity carefully construct a few package options. Shop around the internet and enquire at local services to get a feeling for what you should charge. Provide the option for clients to receive their resume on a CD for later printing. Add a personal touch by purchasing a DVD writer with Light Scribe, this allows you to burn you own branded covers onto the disk.
Handling each client effectively
Each job will follow roughly the same path, carefully think about this process and create standard operating procedures to help your business run smoothly. Start all jobs by collecting your client’s last resume; this will give you a good idea of where the job is going. Construct a questionnaire which you can then send to your new client.
Here are a few example questions that you might include in your questionnaire.
- Are you creating your resume with a specific job or position in mind? (Use this information if you are including a career objective section.)
- Describe all responsibilities in the jobs you have held.
- List any relevant work achievements.
- List all relevant training and qualifications related to the job you plan on applying for.
- Provide all necessary personal details including physical and postal address, contact numbers and email address.
- When would you like this resume completed by?
Provide more than just a typewriting service
Many people use a resume service to get an edge over their competition. To be successful you’ll need to offer more than just a typewriting service. Don’t simply list a clients experience and qualifications; include relevant achievements, successes, strengths and awards.
Market your service for success
You’ll mostly rely on word of mouth to market your service. Also consider placing ads at local colleges and universities, unemployment offices and in local newspaper classifieds. Elance.com, the freelance matching service mentioned earlier has great potential to generate new clients from all over the world. Once you have some experience, sign up for an Elance account and start bidding on resume jobs.
Be careful not to spend too much time on one job. Once you have completed a few resumes work out an average time that should be spent on each job and try to always stick to it.
Andrew Misplon is co-owner of The Work Pad - Work at Ideas, Tips and Advice, a feature packed work at home resource site including ideas, tips and advice. The Work Pad offers a free Personality Profiler and free Time Profiler to help work at home entrepreneurs achieve their potential. Every article is written by our in house team of entrepreneurs and work at home business people – unique, timely content is always guaranteed.
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