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Becoming a Resume Writer

Have you ever considered working as a resume writer? A resume (referred to in some countries as a Curriculum Vitae or CV) is a brief summary of someone's abilities, education, experience, and skills. Its main purpose is to convince prospective employers to interview the candidate for a vacant job opportunity.

An effective, professionally written resume lands more interviews, shortens the time it takes to get a good job, and often attracts a higher salary. It gives your client an edge in an increasingly competitive job market.

Some job-seekers are not happy with their resume when they write it themselves. They might have strong skills and career experience in many areas, but perhaps writing resumes is not one of those skills! People who decide to hire a writer to professionally write their resume know that it will pay dividends in advancing their career prospects.

Resumes must get the key information across quickly. Employers receive hundreds of applications for each opportunity. Sometimes they spend only a few seconds reviewing each resume as they decide whether to keep it in the running or reject it.

How Much Can You Earn?

Resume writing firms typically charge $200 to $1000 to prepare a resume. A typical resume is prepared over a week or so. It doesn't take a whole 40-hour week to write it, but it is often written over a week because there is downtime while bouncing questions and answers back and forth with the candidate. According to Terry Vaught of AWAI's resume business course, resume writers can make $150 per hour.

Where Do You Find Clients?

You can find clients for resume writing by:

• placing an advertisement for your resume writing service in local newspapers or magazines.
• identifying candidates at online job sites who need a better resume.

The Process of Writing a Resume

To write a resume you will need to:

1. Collect all the relevant information: that includes details about the candidate's education, job experience, skills, and sometimes extra-curricular activities and hobbies.

2. Match the experience and skills with prospective employers' requirements.

3. Highlight details that demonstrate the candidate's capabilities, i.e. what will he/she do for the company? Why does the company need this candidate?

4. Organize the resume using the format that is most effective.

Resume Formats

Resume formats tend to fall into two main styles: Chronological Resumes and Functional Resumes.

Chronological Resumes: list job experience beginning with the most recent position. This format is ideal for candidates with strong, relevant job experience.

Functional Resumes: categorize experience under headings that highlight skills: e.g. leadership, sales, computers, languages, etc. This format is ideal when a candidate does not have much job experience.

Resume Writing Tips

1. Replace weak titles with strong, skill-related phrases.

2. Check Spelling and Grammar: With freelance article writing, an editor may reject a query because of a spelling mistake. With resume writing, your client could lose the interview because of one.

3. Keep a variety of resume templates ready to use.

Resume Mistakes

Here are a couple of common mistakes people make when writing a resume:

• Focusing on duties and responsibilities instead of achievements and successes.
• Writing too much. Resumes should ideally be just one to two pages. Keep in mind that this might differ from country to country. This may also vary for candidates with extensive or senior experience.

"A professional resume should be long on facts but short on words!"

David Goldsmith is the author of "25 Ways to Write for Money". Check it out at his web site at Writer Income

Webmaster message: A resume is a summary of your education, skills and employment history. A curriculum vitae is a summary of academic and teaching background, and research experience used by people applying for academic, education, scientific or research positions.

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