Writing resumes Archives

Chapter 6: Make Money Writing

When adding this chapter I was conscious of the fact that I earn my own living from writing. Therefore, I considered it an important section of the book to get right! Yet this is my first book, and the first time I have been published – so what do I mean by being a writer? If anybody close to me was asked what I did for a living, they would provide a few different replies I am sure, but none of them would include writing! Yet writing must fill most of my working day.

Because my business involves producing reports for use in legal matters, the writing is the most important skill that I use. I could be writing about anything, but my ability to present clear, concise and most importantly persuasive arguments allows me to market my actual “career” skills profitably.

Therefore writing can be used to create money from anything. You might not like your job and want to escape the rat race, so why not consider writing about what you do? Becoming self employed as a consultant, an expert witness or even an investigative journalist can be a rewarding and exciting business. This is despite your feelings for the job that may act as a springboard to start it.

The problem with dissatisfaction at work is that most people just want escape the boring humdrum they associate with a job that they have done for years. Even if they have moved from post to post, this dissatisfaction remains – until in some cases the unhappy individual makes the break for a completely new career. This can include starting your own business, which is what lots of people yearn for. Unfortunately in many cases this move can be a mistake. The saying about the grass always being greener is very pertinent in such cases, and after the excitement of change, reality can often lead to a miserable working existence, regretting the security you have left behind.

If challenged, I would say that you could turn any trade or profession into such self employment by becoming a consultant of some form. If your reaction now is to click off this page, just bear with me a while and consider the following:

  • What are the real reasons you want to quit your job?
  • Surely it is the job and not the type of work you dislike?
  • A major driver for change must be to earn more money?

Unless you are doing work you really despise – for example you are an undertaker and hate the thought of dealing one more day with dead bodies, or simply feel that you would like to be more creative – you can usually turn what you are doing into a business and leave behind the bits you hate. You can turn the  job into a business where you are your own boss, working in such a way that even the most uninteresting subject can become both profitable and bearable. Taking the job as an undertaker for example, you could write and manage a guide to dealing with bereavement, or even how to choose an undertaker. You could set up a bereavement counseling business, or open a forests that specialises in upmarket wreaths. I could keep on going – what about manufacturing coffins, or a business that imports them? I know nothing about undertakers, but even I can come up with loads of examples for starting a business where you have a massive head start due to your knowledge and experience. In all these business areas, there is scope for informative “how to” books that you could research and write!

Getting started

The first task that you must do is to browse round your local bookstore and have a look at the sort of books that are available surrounding your existing work. Don’t stop at your work, consider your hobbies and interests as well. There could be a whole range of relevant literature including business start up guides (that you could improve upon), technical reviews, product biographies and many more – it will depend on the nature of the area of interest that you start researching.

Ask yourself the question – could you write one of these books – even if it is a book entitled “a guide to the publications within XYZ industry”? If you can pick out a niche within your business and write a book about it – you will have to research enough information that would allow you to move ahead in the field and become a consultant or expert. You could keep writing or even move into that area as a consultant.

Creative Ways of Crafting Your Resume

Take a look at your resume for a moment…is it bland and tasteless like diet soup? Nothing but same-size text stretched out across the page in blocky paragraphs? For most jobs, that’s all an employer really wants to see: the nuts and bolts, and nothing fancy. But if you’re an artist – a self-proclaimed creative – you need to reflect what you can do a little bit in your digest of dexterity. Granted, you don’t need to turn your list of skills into a convoluted work of art, but if you’re a designer you should probably add some actual design. The first thing your client or employer is going to see is your resume, so jazz it up a little bit.

Don’t think incredibly far into this – a little goes a very long way, and if your employer finds themselves having to stare at your resume with a magnifying glass in an effort to locate job competencies, they’re going to throw it out after about two seconds. Clients and bosses are not explorers, so don’t send them on talent safaris. If you have a self-promotional logo, put it at the top of the page. Use some color too – make headlines the same color as your logo, and text beneath them regular solid black; trust me, no one wants to read loads of paragraphs in size-8 hot pink font.

Here’s a neat idea: Assemble your resume like a website profile. Have a funny little face icon at the top (that may or may not look anything like you), and have your name be a “username”. Have each portion of the resume sectioned off like a site biography.

Don’t always feel like you have to have a fully-typed rundown of your abilities– as long as it remains decipherable, you could make an illustrated resume too. Create a map and have each area of land be a different segment of your skill list, such as past experience, objective, and traditional skills. Or if you want to get really nuts, get your resume printed out as vinyl lettering, take a high-resolution photo of it and send said photo to potential employers along with an actual decal.

Okay, those last couple may have been a wee bit extreme, but it’s highly recommended you still make your graphic design resume look a little artsy. Some employers may be expecting this, and some will be pleasantly surprised by it, so it’s beneficial to you either way.

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