In this interview series, we caught up with Heather Rothbauer-Wanish from Feather Communications who shares her expertise and insights about job search, career change,etc., for today’s marketplace.
Tell us a little bit about your company
As Feather Communications, my goal is to provide resumes that are in-tune to today’s marketplace while highlighting my clients’ strengths, accomplishments, and achievements.
I work with job seekers throughout the United States and beyond to deliver documents that secure job interviews.
How did you get started?
During 2008, I started a freelance writing business while working full-time at a commercial photography studio. Eventually, that translated into resume writing.
Is this a path you decided early on in your career?
I began by offering people feedback on their resumes – telling them what to change and how to be more effective in the job search.
Then, one of these individuals asked how much I charged to revise a resume. I had no idea! So, I provided her with a price-point and she hired me.
Since that time, I’ve joined professional organizations and have started to focus solely on resume writing.
What is the most exciting part of working in this industry?
The most exciting part of working in this industry is discovering someone who doesn’t highlight his or her strengths and sells themselves short.
For me, showing someone how much they have accomplished and giving them confidence during their job search is the most exciting part of my job.
How do to stay abreast of the industry as an expert?
I’m in the National Resume Writers’ Association and the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. These two organizations provide us with opportunities to continually hone our skills.
In addition, I am connected to HR professionals who keep me abreast of what they are looking for in resumes and job candidates.
What are some of the things that you see job seekers struggle with the most?
Job seekers struggle with writing about themselves and providing quantitative information. It’s important to keep an ongoing document that allows them to pull from their job history without struggling to remember information.
What are the common mistakes that you see them do?
Job seekers don’t include accomplishments and achievements on their resume; instead, they provide a list of responsibilities. While that is also important, it’s vital that job seekers show HOW they have positively impacted the workplace.
In addition, if job seekers are using an outdated and old document, it shows that they are not up-to-date with today’s job search.
How should job seekers approach job search today?
Job seekers need to build a network of professionals prior to needing it. They need to continually meet people and keep opportunities open for their future career positioning.
Unemployment is at the lowest levels, why do you think that is?
The economy is doing well and that bodes well for job seekers. However, for long-term success, it’s still important that employers find the RIGHT candidate for open positions.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that job seekers will face in the next 2-3 years?
If the economy stays strong, job seekers will continue to have choices in the market. However, if the economy begins to weaken (which is more likely given the past patterns), job seekers will need to ensure they are aligning their skill-sets with open positions.
What is one advice you would give someone just out of college today?
For someone just graduating from college, I would tell them to observe their workplace and decide how they want to be perceived as a professional moving forward in their career.
In addition, I would encourage them to expand their network of contacts and learn how to cultivate that network for future opportunities.
What is one advice you would give someone who is switching careers?
Identify what you have done in the past that translates into your new path. Transferable skills allow us to use our previous accomplishments while moving into a new role.
Explain to the employer why you are looking to make a switch and highlight that you are proactive, dynamic, learn new things quickly, and are passionate about the new industry.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that hiring managers will face in the next 2-3 years?
Hiring managers will see the challenge of trying to find the right candidates for open positions. In my geographic area, there is a shortage of skilled labor for positions such as welders, electricians, and machine operators.
If these positions aren’t filled, not only does it affect the workplace, it affects our overall economy.
What are the best resources (blogs,books,courses,etc.) you recommend to job seekers?
My blog provides job seeking tips that encompass resumes, cover letters, and interviews.
What is the best way for our audience to reach you?
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Heather Rothbauer-Wanish and Feather Communications have also been featured in our recent compilation of the most resourceful career experts and career blogs – Top Career Advice Websites.