When it comes to resumes, Joe knows.
The job search can be a frustrating process. Luckily, there are experts like Joe, one of our senior resume writers here at TopResume, who are available to help you tell your best version of your career story to land your next gig.
I recently sat down with Joe to learn more about his background, why he loves his work, and how professionals can avoid some all-too-common and costly job-search mistakes.
Joe, tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into the resume-writing business?
I kicked off my writing career in journalism, sports writing, and business copywriting. Out of the corporate marketing work, I made a lot of connections with professionals looking to advance their careers. Their resumes were underwhelming and needed a lot of work. After a few connections turned into clients who paid me actual money, I was hooked!
I’ve been with TopResume since the beginning and am passionate about helping our clients find career success and happiness. We have a great resume-writing service and have influenced major change in the workforce. And we’re just getting started!
When it comes to writing resumes, do you specialize in a particular type of client, function, or industry?
I’ve got a strong grasp on executive positioning across all industries, particularly in technology, healthcare, and manufacturing. I also love a great career-change challenge, which requires a lot of collaboration with clients to understand their transferable skills.
Over the past 10 years, I can confidently say I’ve handled projects across most major industries. This includes astronauts, doctors, professional athletes, music producers, and entrepreneurs. But I also want clients with less-exciting careers to know that they will receive the same white-glove treatment when I take on their resume project.
At TopResume we help professionals write the next chapter of their careers. In addition to being a resume writer, what other ‘chapters’ of your career have you written?
I ghost wrote my first two books last year on entrepreneurship and leadership for some pretty impressive business leaders, and I work with companies across the country on copywriting projects. This type of work keeps me plugged into what business owners are looking for in their employees. It also requires extensive research across corporate concepts and insights — again, helpful in writing powerful professional resumes.
I’m also in the process of launching a scholarship foundation for my old high school that will encourage upcoming writers to follow their aspirations. I grew up thinking that the only kind of writing was in newspapers and magazines. I tell my three young daughters all of the time that every song, commercial, movie, or TV show they love starts with someone sitting down with a pencil and piece of paper (or tablet!). Writing has opened huge doors for me and I want to do the same for others.
What’s the worst mistake you see job seekers make during their job search?
The most egregious mistake clients make is what I call ‘passive indifference’ during their job search. Even the most polished, pristine resume won’t lead to immediate success. It’s not enough to post your resume to a job board, sit back and wait for employment elves to sprinkle magic dust on it.
The most successful professionals I have worked with are active, aggressive networkers always looking for their next opportunity. This means reaching out to friends, peers, and even past colleagues when you’re on the market. It also means keeping your eyes open if you’re content in your current company. Turn ‘passive indifference’ into ‘active engagement’ and see what happens!
What’s the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
“Decide what to be and go be it!” That’s from The Avett Brothers (one of my favorite bands). OK, they didn’t tell me directly, but that lyric is awesome.
I learned great work ethic from my parents and was lucky enough to have some great professors while studying journalism at Southern Illinois University. One professor was so passionate about his career in investigative reporting for the Chicago Tribune that you couldn’t help but be enthusiastic about a career in writing.
Do you have a favorite customer success story?
I have a ton of stories! The ones that mean the most come from people who have tried to break into a specific company or role multiple times with no luck. Many have reached back out to me after receiving their new professional resume saying they immediately landed an interview.
One of my recent TopResume clients shared that her experience with me and the company has been the best thing that happened to her after a long battle with breast cancer. She was exhausted and overwhelmed in the midst of recovering from treatments. She told me the service and documents we provided gave her a renewed confidence in her job search and overall future. That was a pretty humbling interaction.
Anything else you’d like our readers to know?
Just to have faith in themselves. In our business, we are working with clients who are generally dissatisfied in their current career situations. Some feel stuck in their jobs. Others may have been laid off due to a corporate restructuring. This is true across leadership levels, from the mailroom to the boardroom.
I remind clients that they are the ultimate CEO of their careers. Make great connections and display confidence in yourself during the job search. Your dream job awaits!
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