A Candid Interview with Tiffany Cruz of Power Writers USA

Interview with Senior Editor, Tiffany Cruz: What is Power Writers USA’s Resume Writing Strategy?

As a writer, we need to ask our clients questions in order to determine what is important to them. Their answers will enable us to showcase their skills and achievements most effectively. As we gain experience with writing resumes, we intuitively know what the “hot buttons” are for a range of occupations. Here are some fun questions about Power Writers USA and the driver and passion behind our work.

  • Do you specialize in writing resumes for a certain type of market? If so, which one?

I consider myself a resume generalist. My clients are spread across all ages, industries, sectors, national and global locations, and job titles. My most frequent clients are program and product managers, and then sales directors, but I wouldn’t consider myself to be an expert in these areas, as I often write for CTO/COO/CEOs, nurses, IT managers, analysts, customer success directors, store managers, and entry-level college students. I do however have a niche in the technology field.

  • Why have you chosen that field? Please provide your reasoning (you may have been a former employee in this field for instance, or you may have an affinity with people who are struggling, or enjoy the challenges of the blue collar workers).

I have chosen the generalist strategy as my own work history, prior to resume writing, is very diverse. After having worked in sales, customer service, marketing, quality assurance, operations, and project management, I feel I have the ability to connect with diverse individuals, gain trust, and capture the true essence of their careers. I have considered delving into a specialty, however I made a strategic decision to avoid this route, as this could limit referrals (which are currently 29%+ of my business). I have a real passion to connect, dig deep, and help my clients feel good about their accomplishments, all while creating a marketable product to enrich their professional and personal lives. Nothing drives me more than getting that follow-up email or call from a client who is ecstatic about their new role or even dream job, and thanks me, for my time and efforts.  This call, can come from anyone, and I don’t want to limit my clientele and their potential.

  • If you are a “generalist” who prepares resumes for whoever knocks at your door, why did you choose to follow that path? Please provide your reasoning.

 As a generalist, this path made the most sense to me, personally and professionally. With diverse clients across the US, all with varying needs and goals, I wanted to be able to accommodate as large of an audience as possible. With each and every client, I conduct extensive research on the job market, trends, and opportunities available to them.

As a generalist, I can provide more help to more people, grow my business, and provide economic benefit with job creation. With more and more time spent as a professional resume writer, I learn the “hot buttons” for varying industries and roles based off extensive client interaction. I ask for frequent feedback from clients so that I learn what works well and what does not, and I can constantly evolve my processes.

 To clarify, I certainly do not take on any and all jobs as they come. My business has many opportunities that I have to turn away. For example, if I think a client is not a good fit for me based on skills, personality, or communication style, we will have to thank them for their time and provide them resources to find a resume writer elsewhere. We have turned away business due to being too busy and not being able to meet client deadlines! After speaking with tens of thousands of potential clients, I have a solid intuition as to whether a client and I will “mesh well” or not. About 90% of the time, we can take on a project, but any smart business owner knows that you cannot please everyone, and there are special circumstances in which another writer is better suited for the client.

  • Explain your process in developing a client’s resume strategy. How do you prepare questions? Do you write them out and send them to the client, or do you conduct in-person or telephone interviews? What is your reasoning for conducting your interviews this way?

 After 3 years of communicating with clients strictly via email, my business has evolved into a blend of phone and email communication to develop the resume strategy. I learned that clients have a wide range of writing skills and some people prefer to type out their accomplishments and some/most prefer to speak about them. I make a point to remain flexible and adaptable to my client’s needs and wants, although I prefer a phone call to help understand their tone, persona, and attitude, I give my clients the option of phone, questionnaire, or a combo.

No matter which approach they prefer, I spend extensive time with their resume to identify any obvious gaps or immediate questions I have to dive into during the call. I also research a few sample job postings (the client provides) so I get a good feel for what their potential employers are seeking in a candidate. I have a list of questions ready, most commonly during the call, and talk them out. I have a sales background and understand   the benefit of asking open-ended questions, so that tends to be my focus when fact finding. I customize all the questions to make sense for where they are at professionally.          For example, I would ask a Customer Service Supervisor for the number of staff members on their team, examples of training or developing a long-term team member, and what performance goals they have. With a project manager, I would ask questions around project duration, stakeholders, budgets, reporting, and deadlines.

I have found that clients like the option to choose, and most choose a phone call, so I will continue to run the business this way until customer demand changes. I want to be able to give them the most bang for their buck, while capturing their career and persona on a marketing tool.

 

  • In considering either your specialization area or those resumes you have enjoyed writing the most as a generalist, explain how you go about determining what questions will bring out the “right” answers from a client.

I had a client today who can help answer this question, as I approach all client interactions in a similar manner. My client is a top-performing sales director and had 4 bullets of content for 8 years of experience, even with a #1 global ranking. He was candid, but gave me quite a bit of resistance when I started asking him to tell me about his strategy for new business development, prospecting, and networking. He actually said that he didn’t want to share his strategies as he felt like he was revealing industry secrets.

In any situation, I feel out the client. In this case, I felt I had not educated him enough, so I stopped and shared with him that I am (most importantly) on his team, therefore the more content he can provide, the better for both of us. I reminded him that these are types of questions he could have during an interview and should consider preparing an answer. Once I regained his trust, I rephrased the questions to be more direct, as some clients need this. I came back with “tell me how you determine who you  will approach next for a strategic partnership.” Then the floodgates opened, and the client happily relayed his business strategies, quantitative numbers, key clients, and big wins.

The moral of the story is that my approach to get the right answer is to listen to the client. Not just to what they say, but how they say it, and how deeply invested they are in a conversation. After thousands of client consults, I feel it is fairly easy to hear if a client has not prepared for the call, have little interest in it (such as, they already have a job,         just need a resume update for appearances), or if they are also working in the background. All of these circumstances are fairly rare, thankfully, as I make every attempt to prepare my clients for the call in-advance. However, they do happen, and I feel it is my job to realign and refocus my client so that I get out the information I need, ultimately making them a satisfied client.

 

  • What occupation would consider you the most competent to write? Why?

I consider myself most confident in writing for Technical/High-Tech professionals, specifically at a Director level and above. I have a deep-level understanding of what these people need to achieve in order to survive in a rapidly evolving environment. I can talk in a way that engages and challenges them. This brings out their personality, drive, and motivation so I can convey this onto paper.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this and feel like you know us just a little bit more! Cheers.

Local Business Owner Awarded National Writing Certification (CARW)

PRESS RELEASE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

LOCAL BUSINESS OWNER AWARDED NATIONAL WRITING CERTIFICATION

 

Tiffany Cruz, Executive Director of Power Writers USA, has been awarded national certification as a Certified Advanced Résumé Writer (CARW) by Career Directors International (CDI). She has demonstrated her proficiency in résumé writing through an intensive examination and professional writing process to assess her industry knowledge and résumé writing skill. Recognition as a CARW sets Ms. Cruz apart from the competition and positions her to better assist her clientele by providing a standardized level of résumé writing excellence. CDI is an international association that provides proactive resources and assistance to empower its members in the undertaking and application of career development, résumé writing and employment practices.

 

Power Writers USA offers expert resume writing and career coaching services to entry-level through executive clientele in the global marketplace. Their expertise is in empowering clients who wish to transition either within their existing career fields or to another industry. Ms. Cruz is a recognized writing expert with over 10 years of assisting clients to meet their career goals. In addition, she has received seven national awards for résumé writing and job placement. To learn more about Power Writers USA, visit their website at www.powerwritersusa.com.

 

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How Do We Ensure Our Client’s Success?

Client Success and resume

Our business revolves around our clients and we want to ensure our clients experience successful results.  Success to us means that we create a resume for our clients that get them the callbacks for interviews they are after and go on to land the job they want.  Success also means our clients have a great experience working with us.  Here are some of the components that help us, and our clients succeed

Detailed Intake Process

At the onset of a project we engage in a detailed intake process with our clients.  We gather the necessary information from our clients to compile thoughtful questions.  We then interview our clients with these questions to dig out useful information we can use as content for the resume.

Collaborative Process

We approach resume writing as a collaborative process.  We get in touch with the person we are writing for to better understand them, their professional history, and what direction they want to go in.  Our lines of communication are always open for our clients.

ATS Optimization

With the ever-growing use of ATS (applicant tracking systems), it is becoming more and more important to make sure you have the right formatting and keywords.  If your resume doesn’t have these key ingredients, it will not get to a hiring manager.  We make sure that our resumes are optimally formatted to make it through the challenges of the software and algorithms.

Targeting a Resume

What good is your resume if it doesn’t have a focus?  We take the time and effort to understand what specific jobs you are targeting so we can incorporate key details from those jobs into your resume.  This ensures that your resume speaks clearly to the hiring managers reading it.  If a resume is too broad, you will not come across as the right candidate for the job.

Follow up and Customer Engagement

We hate goodbyes!  So, we invest time and effort to stay connected to with our clients to gain their feedback, share our news, answer questions, and remind people that we are ready to handle any updates they need.  We love to hearing the many success stories of our clients.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

Professional Affiliations & Community Relations

Resume Writer

We are active members of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches and the National Resume Writers’ Association, and have been since 2015. Not only does the annual membership help to validate our company and brand as trustworthy and legitimate, but it helps support the industry as a whole. We are always excited to read the monthly updates and columns sent by both organizations. Members and resume writers alike contribute to the stories, which helps drive industry success through continuing education, new trends and research, and open communication. The better we are as resume writers, the better our clients do, which is really, our sole purpose.

 

How does this relate to you? The Regional Territory Manager for a nationwide pharmaceutical sales brand? The nurse who travels every 3 months to a new hospital? The Network Admin who manages Fortune 500 enterprise IT systems? Everyone, regardless of the industry you are in, has an association of some sort. And guess what? They are fantastic to get involved with. You get so much out of it, professionally, and you are supporting those who support what you do. Some associations will include a listing of your business info on their website, some do annual conferences, free webinars, continuing education, email blasts, hiring help, networking, community initiatives, and more!

 

What am I saying here? Get involved. Pay whatever annual fee these guys charge (make sure it’s a legitimate organization first!) but they are typically $75-$250 per year, and come with a long list of benefits.

 

Where do I start? Google search your “profession” and “state” or “professional (nursing) association. You’ll get tons of results right away.

 

Plus, this is yet another credential to add to your resume! See? It all comes back to resumes in the end