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Writing Resumes For Self-Promotion
by Elsie Walker

If you like to interview people, are able to learn quickly, and know how to sell with your words here's a money making idea - add resume writing to your freelance repertoire. Today more and more workers are finding themselves being downsized or starting a new career. However, the resumes they wrote ten years ago are not only outdated timewise but stylewise as well. They need help. They need a writer.

You might be thinking that you don't know what "today's resume" should look like. There are many resources you can study to get an idea of the format and slant you need to follow. Among them are: 101 Best Resumes by Jay A. Block and Michael Betrus and the website http://www.getinterviews.com (website of a professional resume writing firm with a variety of articles on the subject of resume writing). In addition, you could go into http://www.askjeeves.com on the web and search there for information on resume writing.

You'll find that the purpose of today's resume is to sell employers on interviewing certain applicants (not just give an applicant's employment history). That's where your selling skills come into play. The same skills you utilize in a query to interest an editor in an article can be used to market a person and their skills/education through a resume.

Your interviewing skills are important in resume writing, too. You have to get your clients to not only tell you about their work history and educational background, but also to focus on their major work accomplishments and skills they possess. You need to share those with the resume's readers.

To establish yourself as a resume writer, you should have samples to show. You might begin by updating/rewriting your own writer's resume. Not only will this help you to share your credentials but in some cases will finally get you to update it. To get other samples (and practice) you might offer to do friends' resumes for free and use them as samples with their name, address and phone number replaced by the words NAME , ADDRESS and PHONE NUMBER. If you can't find anyone willing to be a sample case put your creative juices in gear and "create" a person and resume for him/her. NOTE: Some firms hiring freelance resume writers will take clippings as writing samples and then provide you with information about their resume writing style and format. Also, as part of their interviewing process, they may ask you to write a resume for free as a writing test.

So, once you're ready, where are the opportunities? Working for either outplacement firms (career counseling companies dealing with people who have been downsized) or consulting firms (who need people to update prospective consultant resumes) is one avenue for the freelancer. Over the past few months, I've seen these firms advertise for writers in the Sunday want ads (under categories such as "Human Resources" or "Writer"). Also, you might just approach such firms in your area with samples of your work. Another option is to advertise your services in the local newspapers or at career offices at colleges. How much does a resume writer make/charge? According to the latest Writer's Market listing, the range is $30 - $100. (I know of firms paying $50 per resume.)

Writing a resume for someone else requires good interviewing skills, excellent writing and selling skills, and the ability to adapt to a format. Besides being a possible revenue boost for your freelance business, adding resume writing to your writer's repertoire may finally make you look at your own resume and see how you can sell yourself better and gain more $$$$$.

© Copyright 1999, Elsie Walker

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