We all want to make an amazing first impression, especially when our capacity to earn and be hired depends on it. Your resume is actual first impression you impart on anybody reading it, and a bad or even average resume can put out of the list of prospective employees. A resume coach can help you design the perfect resume, so you can land that dream job you have been running behind.
Most jobseekers reach out to friends and family so they can get a second opinion about their resume, and if you have helped people get noticed and land jobs, you know what we are talking about.
If you have made a certain number of resumes, you also know that there are A LOT of bad resumes floating about, so much so that if you could, you would personally fix each and every one!
Congrats! You are thinking exactly the way a resume coach needs to. At the heart of it, this job is all about making sure that you can help people get ahead in their careers, and present themselves the best way on paper.
Many job seekers have the necessary job skills and talent that is required for a job, but they still might not actually get hired, because they fail to communicate just how perfect a fit they are for that job, through their resume!
As we discussed, a resume is the first step in the recruitment process. It is the first screening that a job aspirant goes through.
The resume speaks on behalf of the person. If it lacks a professional touch, keywords, formatting, etc., it can lead to a candidate losing his/her dream job.
So, do you see the importance of resume building?
Not everyone has the skills which are needed to build a brilliant resume. Of course, one can develop it but don’t you think trusting an expert during such a critical situation would be better?
This is the reason why people look for the services of a resume writer or resume coach.
In this cut-throat competition not only having great skills but articulating the same is equally important. A resume coach helps job seekers to get their first job. Resume coaches also help people to get their dream jobs and climb up their career ladder.
If you want to become a resume coach then this article is for you! All you need is amazing coaching philosophy.
In the latter part, I will explain to you a step-by-step procedure to become a resume coach. Along with this, we will also discuss key points that play a great role in resume building.
So, let’s start!
Who is a resume coach?
A resume coach is different from a resume writer. There are various freelance and full-time resume writers that you can find on freelancing portals like Upwork. A resume writer understands the requirement of the client and builds the resume for him/her. A resume coach, on the other hand, coaches the client for building an impressive resume by guiding him/her through the best path.
In a nutshell, while the former prepares the recipe for you, the latter teaches you the recipe. This way a person becomes self-sufficient.
The prime responsibilities of a resume coach include the following:
- Analyzing the current skills and capabilities of the client
- Understanding the career goals of the client and the client’s notion of a dream job
- Working with the client to identify his/her strengths and weakness
- Making the client realize the importance of a resume
- Representing the client’s journey from the resume in the best possible way. This will include both professional and personal aspects of their life
- Identifying roadblocks, if any and creating an action plan to overcome them
- Suggesting ways to enhance skills and hence the resume
- Working with the client and revising the resume until the client secures a job
Why do people hire a resume coach?
Resume coaching is relatively a new niche in the coaching industry. Career coaches are more common. Earlier resume coaching was a subset within career coaching. The reason that now it is evolving as an independent coaching niche is because of the upsurge in the need for creative resume building.
Many candidates fail in the very first step of job screening which happens through the resume. Repeated rejections reduce their morals. Sometimes it is really difficult for a person to identify what is going wrong. The person may have great achievements and an impressive professional journey, still, he may not get a job.
There can be various reasons for the same.
- The resume might be too lengthy
- The resume may lack a proper template
- The chronological sequence might be missing etc.
Many times even family and friends may not be able to identify the reasons. This is where a resume coach comes handy. The coach guides the client on minute details that play a big role in the job process.
At the same time, a client may be facing unique conditions. He/she might have taken a gap in the career. A resume coach coaches the client on how to deal with such a situation. The coach ensures that the resume presents everything in a positive way. This increases the candidate’s chance of cracking his/her dream job opportunity.
How to start the resume coaching business
Now that you know what is resume coaching and who is a resume coach, let us move forward.
Does it make you happy to see others getting hired because of you?
Along with this joy, becoming a resume coach can also earn you a livelihood for yourself. Kick-starting a resume coaching business can make you your own boss. You can live a wonderful life helping others and getting paid for your passion too!
Let’s have a look at the steps that one must take to become a resume coach.
Choose a niche
There are various industries in the market that you can choose from. This includes accounting, sales, legal, health, etc.
While some resume coaches and writers work as generalists, I would recommend you to specialize in a niche.
Think from your customer’s perspective. If you were looking for a resume coach for applying to medical positions, wouldn’t you want someone who specializes in this area? One who knows about the industry jargons etc.?
Figuring out your niche can be a challenge. While doing so you must mind-map your passions, interests, knowledge, and skills. This will help you to fix your target audience. Specializing in a particular niche lends credibility to your target audience. They will be able to relate to your previous work.
Still, if you believe that since you are a newbie, targeting multiple sectors will be a good option, go for it. After some time, when you have enough clients, give it a second thought. After all, it’s your business you can experiment at any time!
Build a website
You are running a business. For any business to succeed a solid online presence is a must. A website is the best way to build it. You need not spend dollars on it. A simple website with a customer-friendly website design that speaks about your products/services is enough.
A website gives you the opportunity to attract more clients, showcase expertise and list testimonials. This helps in building a professional brand.
Include informative articles and blogs on your website. Offer free simars and e-books, this will help you to build your email list. Keep checking your website for SEO. Employ powerful tools like Google Analytics to analyze the traffic on your website.
Market your business
There are tons of ways to promote your resume coaching business. Remember that consistency is the key. Choose one or two options on which you are the most confident. Leveraging Linkedin marketing strategies and Facebook ads can be the best for your initial steps.
You can employ one of the following ways to market your business
- Social media marketing
- Cold calling
- In-person networking
- Engaging in groups and forums
- Lead generation through video series, newsletters, and email marketing
- Public speaking
- Ad campaigns
Invest in the growth of your resume coaching business
After you have your website and marketing strategies at the place, its time to focus on the growth of your resume coaching business. Follow-ups and feedback become important here. Take regular feedback from existing clients. Follow up at least twice a weak with your ideal prospects and try to convert them into high-end paying customers.
Another important factor that plays a great in the growth of your business is referrals. Your existing clients are a great source to build your client list. Ask your clients to refer your services to their friends and family members who may be having similar needs.
Do you need training to become a resume coach?
US coaching industry is yet not that well regulated. Thus it is yet not mandatory to go through a training program or earn credentials. Still, you must-have coaching skills and qualities.
As a resume coach, you must be aware of the basics of your niche. You must be fluent with resume building components, tools, and methodology. You can join online training programs like the one which Udemy offers. Remember alone passion is not enough to skyrocket your growth. You must polish your skills to become a professional in your niche. Only then you will be able to attract clients.
Top tips that a resume coach must follow in 2020
Now let’s come to the main part of this article. In this section, I have described what should be the ideal way of building a resume. If you are a resume coach or want to become one, this is going to help you largely.
So let’s begin.
Story of your client- a resume coach must understand thoroughly
Don’t include everything
As a resume coach, you must guide your client to not treat the resume as his/her career history. Instead, the resume should be treated as a marketing document. Through the resume, your client is in a way selling himself/herself.
Your objective should be to include points that must make your client appear fit for the job. It doesn’t matter if you have to sacrifice including certain experiences that don’t match with the job at hand. Tailoring the resume is extremely important.
Put the best stuff on the top
Our first aim should be to design the client’s resume in a way that it gets noticed. This will happen only when you will keep the best accomplishments and experiences of your client at the top. This will build the first impression of your client in front of the hiring manager and will keep him hooked for the later part.
There can be disagreements between you and your client while prioritizing. In such cases, listen patiently to your client. Convey why you feel the other way. If there are enough reasons to substantiate your point, make your client realize them humbly.
Many resumes have an objective statement. Is it necessary in all cases? Actually not! The objective statement makes sense when someone is switching jobs due to certain reasons and wants to make the objectives clear. In other cases, a summary section can replace the same. Even including the summary section isn’t always necessary.
As a resume coach, you have to decide which section is needed and which one can be left. Ideally, a resume must not be longer than 1- 1.5 pages.
Follow reverse chronological order
There are various ways to arrange the content on the resume. This includes a combination resume and function resume, still, reverse chronological order is still the best. Here you list your recent experiences first.
Ideal length- one page
Your client may ask you to include several of his/her experiences. He/she may even get angry about not including the same. At this time, you need to carefully convey to your client the importance of keeping the resume concise.
If your client really has information and experiences to showcase, you may go for the next. But generally, you must avoid it. If you are struggling to sum up the client’s story in one page you may read these tips to cut down your content in the resume. You may also learn designing techniques to organize the client’s resume to fit in place.
Complement the resume with online stuff
As a resume coach, you need to be creative. Your client may not know how to showcase all his/her works. You have to guide your client. Maybe adding the link to the client’s website be a better idea then describing the same. Similarly, you can add the links of your client’s social media platforms- Linkedin profiles, Facebook pages, etc.
Formatting – A good Resume coach knows its importance
Simplicity is the key
As a resume coach, you must know the importance of a simple resume. Creativity is important but the first thing that you should concentrate upon is readability. Basic modern fonts like Arial are not a bad choice. Enhance visibility by keeping the font size between 10-12.
You can suggest your clients to use different font or typeface for his/her names, resume headers and companies. Always confirm once with your client before finalizing it. Make sure that both of you are on the same terms.
You must always tell your clients the reason behind your choice. Remember your coaching the client for building an ideal resume. Teach him/her rather than yourself doing everything.
As a resue coach, you must have many ideas to propose to your client. Your client may not want a traditional resume. He may ask you to coach him for building a resume that stands apart from the rest. What will you do in such a case?
There are various ways in which you can build creative resumes. This includes incorporating vides, presentations, infographics, colors, etc. But what matters it to check whether there is a need for these.
Not every time your client will be right. If you feel that going by the wishes of your client will not serve the purpose say a clear NO.
For instance, if your client’s resume is going through an ATS, it should adhere to standard formatting so that the computer can read it effectively.
Adding addresses in the resume has become obsolete nowadays. But yes, including the client’s phone number and email address is important. As a resume coach, you must be aware of the standard ways to order different information in a resume. Training courses and online templates may help you with this.
Work experience- Resume coach knows how to define priority
When your client doesn’t have any relevant experience
You may have clients with no past experience. This is one of the biggest hurdles for the maximum of the candidates. In such cases, ask your clients to include projects and internships done during education. Pair that with a strong cover letter to fill the holes. Give more concentration on the skills learned owing to college experience (organizing fest etc.).
Include bullet points
There should be a maximum of five to six bullets in this section. No matter how good the bullets are, the recruiter is just going to have a glance at all of them.
Show soft skills rather than telling
Rather than explicitly mentioning words like “effective communicator” and “good leader”, think of ways in which you can represent the same for your client in the bullet points.
Use keywords and avoid empty words
Scan the job descriptions and make sure that you include keywords that are mentioned there. This shows that you are targeting your client’s resume for the job. Also, this will help the resume to get noticed by the applicant tracking systems.
Empty words such as “hard worker”, “team player” etc. should be avoided. These are overused by the job aspirants and recruiters tend to neglect them. A resume coach must be able to come up with creative titles for his/her clients.
Include non-traditional work
The resume of your client may include freelancing, volunteering and other kinds of work. There is no rule which says that a resume should only have paid or full-time work listed. Leave no opportunity to depict how versatile your client is.
Education- Resume coach focuses on important points
Keep experience first and education second
Unless your client is a fresh graduate, include the experiences first and education on the second.
Skip the dates
Including the dates of the degrees is a bad practice. Recruiters are more interested in the degrees rather than the dates on which your client earned them.
Highlight honors, not GPA
If your client has graduated from a university with high honors, this must be included in the resume. However, including GPA will not be that effective. Still, if your client insists, you can.
Include online education
If your client is perusing some sort of online training or professional development that must be included in the resume. Online education is an accepted norm nowadays which reflects the determination of your client towards his/her career.
Skills, awards, and interest
Divide the skills properly
You must include different skills that your client has- technical skills, industry-related skills, etc. Avoid using common skills like MS Excel. This may reduce your client’s chances to appear tech-savvy.
At the same time, divide the skills properly. Within the “Skills” section, add other sections- “Language skills” or “Software skills” and detail about the relevant skills within these subsections.
Assert your client’s unique personality
Include the interests of your client. This should be genuine. Even if your client is applying for a health-related job and has “playing guitar” as his hobby, do include it.
Gone are the days when recruiters were looking for nerds. Today smart and happy employees that are ahead in other areas, catch the eyes of the hiring managers.
Take care before including controversial interests
Suppose your client may have worked for a political party’s interest. Now, this is a good work to show but this can be discriminated by someone who disagrees with the cause. There is no harm in including such activities but then make sure that your client is ready to answer the questions.
Dealing with unique situations and skill gaps
Remove short-term jobs– If your client worked in a company for a month or two, you can consider eliminating this for the resume.
Gaps– If your client has a few months’ gaps in the work history, considering including only the years (2010-2012).
Job hopping- If your client has switched jobs many times, consider mentioning the reason in brackets beside- “relocated to a new city”.