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Twelve Days of Progress

October 25, 2011

Wow!  This has been a fast and busy twelve days.  Yep, just twelve little days have passed since I started my resume writing business.  Below is a list of what I have accomplished so far.  It may seem like a lot, but I am a new business owner looking for referrals.  If you are a job seeker, your To-Do List should be just as full.  Looking for work is not unlike starting a business – you need referrals, recommendations, an online presence and networking – and it is a full-time job!  Keep reading for more ideas.

1. PAPERWORK: Business license / fictitious business name filing / checking account.

2. DEVELOPED A NEW RESUME FOR A CLIENT.  Yay!  This was due to a referral I got before I officially opened the business.  My very first day I opened, I had a phone interview with the client.


3. LOGO:  You can’t be branded without a logo.  I created my own to get started with, but this will soon be replaced by one designed by a professional.

4.  MARKET RESEARCH.  I looked for industry certifications, evaluated options, surveyed industry pricing, correlated pricing trends by type of certification (can you tell I am a trained statistical analyst?)

5. WROTE A COVER LETTER FOR THE CLIENT.  Job seekers need to pay just as much attention to the cover letter as to the resume.  It could be seen before the resume and if it is word soup, it won’t get read.

6. WEBSITE: Attended a class and developed and published a webpage for the business  www.resume-smith.com.  Right now it’s a simple  brochure page, eventually it will be SEO and e-commerce enabled.

7. CREATED A TESTIMONIAL PAGE FOR THE CLIENT.  A few years ago, it was common to send a “reference page” with a resume, or state “Professional References Available Upon Request” at the bottom.  Basically, this was a list of names and phone numbers so the company could check references before making a job offer.  It is now assumed that these will pe provided and even including that information on the resume is a waste of space that could be used for more valuable information.  Reference letters are also ineffective because it takes too much time for the Recruiter to read.  Instead, I recommend a “Testimonial Page.”  This includes short, relevant, actual quotes from your references (which can usually be pulled from your LinkedIn page).  This adds value to the package you are sending a prospective employer.

8. TWITTER: I’ve never been a big Twitter user, but since it’s part of my new job description, I’m jumping in.  I changed my Twitter ID from my name to @TheResumeSmith.  Searched for Careers industry Tweeps and Followed, Re-Tweeted, Replied,@Mentioned and #Hashtagged. Learned so much about Twitter and the Careers industry from these people already.   I’ve gained more than 50 new followers, including Ken Blanchard, whose book The One Minute Manager was one of the very first professional development books I read almost 20 years ago (OK so it could be one of his underlings at his company, but still – yay me!).

LinkedIn Profile

9. LINKEDIN: Wrote an updated LinkedIn profile to reflect my new role as a business owner and resume writer.  Joined several groups related to resume writing, recruiting, and the careers industry.  Discovered what a LION is (LinkedIn Open Networker) and decided to become one.  Answered several resume questions on LI Answers.   I have already begun connecting with new people from these groups by learning and sharing ideas and information.  If you are a job seeker, this is how you should be using LinkedIn.  Do not be a passive non-participant.  Get out there and be seen.

10. WORDPRESS: I’m now a blogger.  This will be only my second post, but many, many more will follow.  I am really looking forward to this part of my new job.  But I need to learn to do this faster.
11.  GOT MY FIRST RESUME CLIENT TESTIMONIAL!  This was really excellent because it came in through LinkedIn, which I don’t expect to happen every time.  While public, transparent recommendations are great for ME, if my clients are currently working and don’t want their current employer to know, it could be bad for THEM.  This client had recently relocated so didn’t have a current employer to be concerned with.

12. FACEBOOK: Developed three Facebook pages.  First, the standard “Info” page that Facebook gives you.  Then a Flash page, which was beautiful but ran too slowly and kept freezing, so I replaced it with a simpler html page that is less “flashy” (pardon the pun) but more functional.  As of this writing,  I have gained 98 “Likes” for my page.  How did I do this?  A friend (Adele McIntosh of Legendary World Travel) invited me to play a game called Pre-Holiday Facebook Game of LIKE.  This game was organized by two Social Media marketing consultants Idea Girl Media and More In Media.  Basically, participants join the game to promote their own Facebook business page, learn about some other pages, participate in challenges that not only earn us points, but also teach us about leveraging social media to build our business.  We are all having fun, learning, and meeting people (this blog post was also a Game of Like achievement).

13.  READ TWO BOOKS.  Yes, I still had time to read!  The first was a book about resume writing, and I posted a review on my Amazon app on LinkedIn.  The second, which is still in progress, is Launch, which was another Game of Like achievement.  I’ll be posting a review as soon as I finish.

If you’ve read this far, then I hope you found some value in this action list.  Almost all of these activities are things that could propel a job seeker forward, especially the social media activity.  Each contact you make could be the one that gets you the referral to your next Great Opportunity.

Thanks for reading!  Please leave me a message and let me know what you think.  Do YOU think starting a business and job hunting are alike?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2011 7:12 PM

    Karleen,

    Wow, you’ve been busy! But it looks like you’ve taken all the right steps.

    Please lets connect on LinkedIn – While I’ve been a bit more focused on Facebook the past handful of days, I’m active on LinkedIn and would love to keep in touch, and collaborate if possible. If I don’t tag you first…please tag me.

    Your enthusiasm is contagious, and I know you’ll do well in your business.

    Thank you for playing the Game Of Like, and for dedicating a portion of your page to the game. I’m glad to have met you through this activity, and only look forward to more!

    Genuinely,

    ~Keri

  2. October 25, 2011 11:42 PM

    Hi Karleen,

    much like Keri I am impressed by your enthusiasm and focus on your new business.

    Congrats on your accomplishments so far and I am glad we’ve connected through the Pre-Holiday Game of Like.

    Let’s stay in touch.

  3. October 26, 2011 1:16 AM

    Thanks for the mention!

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