Having gone back to work soon after my first child was born I always felt I missed a lot, especially during her first year of life. Although this saddened me, my husband and I felt we needed the two incomes. Following the birth of our second child we decided to bite the financial bullet so that I could stay at home with the children. After I quit my job I decided to look for a way to bring in extra income.
My decision to start a resume service didn't come easy. I researched various home business opportunities I read or heard about. I even tried one out for a period of time, but eventually realized that selling someone else's product was not for me. I wasn't very successful I think mostly because my heart simply wasn't in it. I wanted to offer a product or service that came from me -- something I was responsible for from beginning to end and that was truly beneficial to the customer.
It turns out I love writing, I'm a stickler for details (okay, let's just say I'm a perfectionist) and I enjoy working with people. All good qualities for resume writing, but the idea still didn't dawn on me until I met another lady through the internet who was already in the business. I guess you could say she turned out to be my mentor. It was because of her that I decided to open a resume writing service.
I started the research phase again and was intrigued by what I learned. Resume writing is an art in and of itself. Anyone can type credentials on a piece of paper. But as a professional resume writer my goal is to get my client an interview, and eventually a job. This is an important responsibility and one not to be taken lightly. Nor is it easy. My clients are depending on me to effectively market them, and somehow make them appear more attractive than the other hundreds of resumes being received. To stay focused on this fact, I remind myself each time I prepare a resume that it will only receive about 30 seconds of initial review. It is essential I design a resume that will pass that crucial step by capturing the reader's attention. Then give them a reason to move it to the top of the stack.
To be successful in this business it's best to find a niche. By specializing in a certain area or offering some type of unique or valuable service you will naturally increase sales. For instance, you could prepare resumes specifically for college graduates. You would need to find out the type of challenges faced by students entering the job market and offer them a way to help overcome it.
In addition to resume writing my business offers pre-screening services. This means I will verify the client's employment and education history, perform reference and criminal background checks, and conduct integrity testing. The completed resume is notarized and accompanied by a letter of authenticity. Basically, I am prequalifying the client for employment, thereby giving them a "leg up" on the competition. I also contract out my services to area businesses by performing applicant screening and employee assessment services. These services are most attractive to small or mid-sized companies that don't need a full time Human Resources person.
The nicest thing about this business is that I can work when I want to. I can take on as many, or as few clients as I want. I set my own prices and determine my own income. I pan to continue working on a part time basis until my children are in school, then going full time with it. I may eventually move to an office setting to encourage walk-in business. Right now I can offer an unique type of convenience to my clients by offering evening and weekend hours when I choose.
I designed a web site to help promote my services online (web design is another love of mine), although I find most clients are found through placing local advertisements and through word of mouth.