Helping People in Their Time of Need – and Making Money at the Same Time
By John Hollister
It seems counterintuitive, but often some of the biggest opportunities to profit are in times of economic crisis.
And there is a business that is absolutely booming in the ongoing Great Recession.
There are more customers than there have ever been in recent memory. Thanks to the Internet it’s easier than ever for individual entrepreneurs to get in on this opportunity – you can be anywhere in the world and work on your schedule. And the best part is that you make money – lots of money – when you help people in time of their greatest need.
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That brings me to the major unemployment problem going on right now. It’s a worldwide phenomenon. But let’s focus on the United States.
According to the U.S Chamber of Commerce, there are currently 23 million Americans who are either out of work, are working part-time jobs unwillingly, or have given up looking for a job altogether.
Slow economic growth in the country forecast for the next year means this situation won’t be getting better any time soon.
That means it’s the perfect storm for a very specialized, very lucrative, and very easy to start business opportunity.
Just imagine all those people looking for jobs right now. You could help them find the ideal position for their unique talents and experience with your own resume consulting business. (And let me tell you, this type of work is very hot even in boom times. In the best of times, an average of 50 million Americans are looking for a better job.)
As a resume consultant, you could get paid several hundred to several thousand dollars for each job, depending on the level of work. It works out to an average of $150 per hour.
It could be a great side business you work on in your spare time. If you like it enough you could take it full time and stand to make six figures a year.
Let me clear something up right up front. You don’t have to be a resume writing expert or have a background in human resources to be a resume consultant. All you have to do is learn the simple tricks and techniques that most job seekers are ignorant of. You can pick these skills up in a few weeks – and be at expert level within a few months.
Making these small changes alone will give them a huge leg up among their competition – and make you an in-demand consultant. More on those in a minute.
But first, let me tell you why the resume is such an important part of the application process and why people are willing to pay so much for your professional help.
What Most Resumes Are Missing
The resume is the real foot in the door when looking for a job these days. It’s not unusual for employers to be flooded by hundreds of resumes for every position they advertise. Most resumes are just okay. In the past they might have rated a second look. But in this employment climate, to catch a hiring executive’s eye, your resume really has to stand out.
I’m not talking about using pink paper or including an 8×10 headshot.
No, your resume has to showcase your unique and specific accomplishments.
Understanding that is the first step to becoming a pro resume consultant.
You see, most job applicants are going about their resume all wrong. They simply list a bunch of “stuff” they did at their last (or current) job. So you get a long boring list like:
* Created marketing reports
* Communicated with senior executives
* Knowledge of Microsoft Office software
You get the idea…
No hiring manager is going to give that resume a serious glance. The applicant could be the most qualified, but they certainly don’t look it on paper.
So what should a job-seeker do instead?
As I said, include accomplishments. These are specific goals they accomplished and solutions they came up with. For example, they should list that they brought in $10,000 in sales in one month. Or that they increased efficiency in the warehouse by 25% by implementing a change to the scheduling system. You see what I mean?
Every one of your clients will have that sort of story to tell, even if they don’t realize it. Your job will be to draw it out of them by interviewing through email or by phone.
Once you have those specific accomplishments, you simply replace the boring stuff on your client’s resume with these accomplishments. Already your client will be ahead of the pack for the next job they apply for.
Add on some other resume writing tips you can pass on – and you’ll have satisfied clients who have their choice of jobs left and right. I’ve included some great resources for crafting great resumes at the end of this article.
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Marketing Your New Business
Once you’ve picked up some of the basic elements of quality resumes, you’re ready to start marketing your business. As with many money-making opportunities, the Internet has made this extremely easy – and cheap!
These days everybody is on social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more. And that includes businesspeople, recent grads, and other out of work folks. So it stands to reason your resume writing business should have a presence on one or more social networks promoting your services.
You could find clients among former colleagues, friends, relatives, old friends… and all the people in their networks. Ask people on your friend list to pass your name to their friends.
At the very least you should set up a Facebook page and a LinkedIn profile. It’s easy to set up
Craigslist is a great way to reach your local market. But you can also go nationwide by posting ads on the Craigslist sections for other cities and states. Include your listing in the “services offered” section. There are also online chat groups on Craigslist you can join. Don’t blatantly market your services. Simply answer questions and be helpful. Soon enough people will start asking you for more advice – that’s when you mention you’re a pro resume writer.
Online Job Boards
The majority of job searching is done online these days. Many job-seekers even post their resumes on these sites hoping employers will see them. These services will also try to offer other resources to users. That’s where you come in.
Scan any job boards (local or national) you can find online. Check if they have a resume tips section. If not, offer to write it for the site owner – you could even do it for free if you can include your contact information. That will bring in many new clients guaranteed.
Of course, offline marketing can be very handy too.
A low-cost advertising method, useful especially when you’re just starting out, is flyers offering your services. Post them near colleges, community colleges, and tech schools in your town – wherever students hang out, on campus if possible. You can also post them in grocery stores, coffee shops, or other local businesses to reach other members of the community in need of resume help.
Job fairs, Chamber of Commerce mixers, and other events are the ideal places to find prospects for your resume business. They are chock-full of people either looking for jobs or trying to get better ones. Attend as many of these events as you can, chat with people, hand out your card or flyer. Perfect a 3-minute “pitch” in which you briefly outline how you can help someone land a job by helping them with their resume. This will be a huge source of new business for you.
You should also consider creating a simple business card. It should have your name, service, and contact info – phone number AND email. These will come handy as you attend networking events. But you can also take them with you everywhere and hand them out to people you meet in your daily life, drop off a pile at your doctor’s office… anywhere you can think of really.
Remember, anybody you meet in your daily life could be your next client.
As I mentioned the amount you get for each resume consulting gig can vary from several hundred to several thousands dollars. Here’s how it breaks down:
If you help a college grad craft their first resume, you can charge at most $250 – $500 if you throw in some help navigating online job boards and offering advice on acing in-person interviews. They’re just starting out after all.
But when you start helping more folks who’ve been in the workforce longer with their resumes, that’s where you can cash in. Long-time executives and managers have a lot of experience that you’ll have to go through to pick out through to find the best material to include on a resume. You’ll also have to work with them to figure out their accomplishments.
For that level of work, you can reasonably charge $1,000 and up. If you write a strong cover letter – throw in another $500 to $1,000. This is what will catch the hiring manager’s eye, so your clients will be willing to pay this price.
Basically, how much you charge depends on experience level, as well as competition. Not a lot of resume consultants in your area? You can charge more!
Of course, remember that as you’re first starting out you’ll have to charge a bit less per resume. But in a few months you’ll be able to charge full price as you gain experience and start having your first success stories.
There you have it, an ideal business for these challenging economic times. You get to help people find their dream job – and make a bundle yourself too. And you can get started today.
1. Learn the basics of what makes a great resume using the resources below.
2. Start marketing your business online and off using free and cheap advertising methods. Use the resources we discussed today.
3. Find your first clients – start off with simple jobs at first. Then ramp up to higher-paying jobs.
Now go get ’em!
To your success,
Here are some extra resources to get your started with your resume consulting business:
Learn to Craft a Great Resume for Your Clients
Here are some other resume writing tips:
* This interview with a top recruiter gives great overall tips, including about format and look and feel of a professional-looking resume: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryhannon/2011/08/24/want-an-unbeatable-resume-read-these-tips-from-a-top-recruiter/
* Well-known job board CareerBuilder has great advice on resumes and cover letters; http://msn.careerbuilder.com/MSN/Category.aspx?categoryid=CL
* A great series of articles on how to make your resume “pop”: http://www.resumedictionary.com/resume-tips/
* Monster.com offers great examples of quality resumes here: http://career-advice.monster.com/resumes-cover-letters/resume-samples/jobs.aspx
Market Your New Business
The success of your business depends on finding clients. Luckily it’s cheap, easy, and there are huge numbers of people in need of your services. Try using online and offline marketing.
Set up a Facebook page for your business – www.facebook.com
Set up a LinkedIn profile – www.linkedin.com
Use Craigslist to go after the local market – www.craigslist.org
Networking – Meetup.com is a great place to find business group events. Also check your local Chamber of Commerce, and workforce/employment agency for upcoming job fairs.