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In this interview series, we caught up with Wendi Weiner from The Writing Guru who shares the expertise and insights about the job search, career change, etc in today’s marketplace. 

Tell Us a Little Bit About Your Company

My company, The Writing Guru, started as a professional writing and editing company in 2010 and has since grown into a trademarked brand with more than 10 honors and awards in resume writing and content creation.

I create a powerful career and personal brands for attorneys, top-tier executives, and business leaders.
Nearly 70% of my clients are high-level attorneys, and 80% of those attorney clients are general counsels and senior corporate counsels at start-ups, and Fortune 20 through Fortune 500 companies.
A snapshot into my client demographics shows that nearly 65% of my clients earn between $350K to $500K annually, and 25% earn over $500K annually.

How Did You Get Started?

I have always been a writer and the person my friends and family turned to when writing essays and resumes.
Candidly, I have over 15 years of expertise in resume writing, essay writing, and professional editing. My parents nicknamed me “The Writing Guru” and in early 2010, my mom encouraged me to start a writing business because as she said, “You are too talented not to be a professional writer.”
Almost a decade later, here I am! I grew my expertise pretty quickly in the industry, mostly because of my talents in writing, my legal background, and passion for helping others. I have since acquired 6 resume writing, personal branding, and career coaching certifications.
Significantly, I am the country’s only Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) who is also an attorney. There are approximately 50 resume writers in the world who have this certification, which is considered the Ph.D. in resume writing.
I grew my exposure in the industry by really putting myself out there through social media and content marketing efforts and earned the title of #1 Resume Expert by Recruiter.com, a top recommended resume writer from the Heller Search Firm, and countless other accolades.
The most impressive item about me that people say is the number of media outlets I’ve been featured in, which is inching close to 75 currently – some of them include Forbes, HuffPost, ThriveGlobal, Entrepeneur, Inc., Business Insider, CareerBuilder, Monster, TIME, Fortune, Fast Company, etc.

What Is the Best Career Advice You’ve Ever Received?

It would be from my dad who often repeated the infamous Confucius quote, “Choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”. He had this quote in a frame in his office for many years. 

For a long time, I didn’t love my career in law, 10+ years to be exact.

When I left law to be a full-time executive resume writer and personal branding expert, I wanted to impress that philosophy in the work I do.

Being passionate about the work I do for clients helps transcend their confidence, determination, and outlook in their job search and career goals.

What Is the Most Exciting Part of Working in This Industry?

No client is the same even if they are in the same industry or vertical.
I enjoy building up the confidence of my clients and helping them to become better versions of themselves by marketing them in a unique, targeted way.
I love my colleagues and appreciate the professional relationships and friendships I’ve made through the years. I am fortunate that I receive a high level of referrals from former clients, current ones, and my large professional network.

How You Stay Abreast of the Industry as an Expert?

I am committed to this industry in various ways.
I’ve attended and spoken at numerous conferences in the resume industry as well as outside in other verticals (especially the legal industry) and I am continuously growing my expertise through continuing education, new certifications, and professional development opportunities.
I also write a lot of unpaid and paid content for publications and media outlets, and I am continuously interviewed as a career expert from various journalists and media outlets. I also write all of my content (articles, social media, etc) and this keeps my brain consistently flowing with new ideas.

What Are Some of the Things That You See Job Seekers Struggle with the Most?

Employers spend only 5-7 seconds today on a resume.
It must be a strategic marketing document instead of just a summary of your work history. I find that a lot of professionals leave out their important accomplishments in resumes today, and instead focus too much on the job tasks/functions to ensure the keywords are in the resume.
The more effective thing to do is to have a separate core skills section and focus your work experience section on results, major contributions, and key projects you have worked on at various companies/organizations.
It is the number one way to distinguish yourself among the hundreds of applicants applying for jobs.

What Are the Common Mistakes That You See Them Do?

A lot of them do what I call “spray and pray.” You can’t just mass apply to jobs and hope that one sticks.
If you are ONLY applying to job search boards and not actively networking, you are missing out.
Job search boards have a 4%-8% response rate, but networking has an almost 80% chance of getting you a new job.
The idea is to get in front of the right person and market yourself.
Consider attending local business networking events and join professional associations to grow your professional network.
Job Search

How Should Job Seekers Approach Job Search Today?

LinkedIn is the number one source for creating a powerful digital footprint that effectively brands you for your expertise in your respective industry.
In fact, in October of 2016, LinkedIn became even more influential by changing its algorithm for how job seekers can job search.
I wrote an article about this in the HuffPost entitled, “How To Leverage LinkedIn’s New Algorithm And Power Your Job Search.
In this article, I discuss how LinkedIn has now enabled job seekers to job search in private while also alerting recruiters as to the job search. This new element of LinkedIn has helped various clients of mine obtain jobs much faster than before as this feature also allows users to post a 300-word bio about their current job search needs.

Unemployment Is at the Lowest Levels, Why Do You Think That Is?

More people are becoming freelancers and entrepreneurs today. The digital world has transformed the way people do business and position themselves adequately.
The traditional roles are now being re-targeted for people to be individual contributors and consultants. Social media has made businesses more accessible and given people a new way to market themselves.

What Is the Biggest Trend(s) You See That Job Seekers Will Face in the Next 2-3 Years?

Wendi Weiner doesn’t believe the resume will ever fully disappear, but I believe it will be much more digitally-focused beyond just LinkedIn.
Those who are not tech-savvy and who struggle with the idea of having a digital presence or being on social media will find job searching a struggle.

What Is One Advice You Would Give Someone Just Out of College Today?

The best way to begin building a resume is to have it include your academic credentials, relevant coursework, honors/awards, community involvement, and leadership/memberships. Companies want well-rounded candidates so being involved in your community and serving as a leader is extremely important beyond good grades.
Wendi Weiner always recommends that college students should consider unpaid internships as great resume builders. I also believe highly that every college student should have a LinkedIn profile. Today, with over 600 million users on LinkedIn and more than 94% of recruiters utilizing LinkedIn to research candidates, LinkedIn has become the #1 resource for career professionals and job seekers to advertise and market their skills.
If you think about it, your LinkedIn profile has become your online resume. It’s the place that employers go to before they extend a job offer, and your LinkedIn profile is searchable by Google. If you don’t have a powerful profile today, you are wasting a lot of prospects in terms of business and job opportunities. You want to be engaged and active on LinkedIn as well. That means sharing articles, posting your content, and actively networking with other professionals.
If you think about it, your resume is seen by only a hand-selected number of people you send it to, but your LinkedIn profile can reach millions of users.
For college students, it’s a powerful social network that really can position them well in their careers upon graduation.

What Is One Advice You Would Give Someone Who Is Switching Careers?

Switching careers is great, but always have a plan in mind.
First, talk to people who are in that current industry, and see what the pros and cons are.
Learn from them and don’t be afraid to get a mentor.
See what has made them successful — are there specific certifications that can help advance and propel you? Do you need more professional development? Consider all of the options.
A great article that I wrote about this is in The Muse and it’s titled, “3 Common Reasons People Change Careers (That They Later Regret)

What Is the Biggest Trend(s) You See That Hiring Managers Will Face in the Next 2-3 Years?

Hiring managers will face dealing with employees that want more flexible work opportunities or who seek more remote work roles and independent consultancy roles.
That traditional notion of needing a 9-5 will not necessarily be for everyone, and I believe hiring managers are going to be more open to people expanding their flex time and work opportunities.

Wendi, What Are You Currently Working on?

I am continuing to grow my speaking presence and have several exciting speaking opportunities on the table for 2019 and 2020.
Additionally, Wendi Weiner has been invited to contribute to new publications, and I am excited to announce those soon!

What Are the Best Resources You Recommend to Job Seekers?

Look to the professional organizations in the resume and coaching industry as there are lots of free resources out there.
Continue reading top-rated career blogs (like mine) and other colleagues of mine who put out incredible content and seek to educate the job seeker in a non-pecuniary way.
Don’t be afraid to expand your educational horizons (not just a degree, but certifications, continuing education, and other professional development) and professional horizons.

What Is the Best Way for Our Audience to Reach You?

Wendi Weiner Website

Connect with or Follow Wendi Weiner on Social Media

Wendi Weiner and The Writing Guru have also been featured in our recent compilation of the most resourceful career experts and career blogs –  Top Career Advice Websites.   

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