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Top tags: Freelancers  Rebekah Frank 

Exclusivity Be Damned

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Guest Contribution from Rebekah Frank - Owner of Rebel Writing


Establishing yourself as a professional résumé writer means successfully earning certification(s) from one of the five industry-leading, credential-awarding résumé writing associations. (The more credentials you have, the more money you can make.)

The process of applying for résumé writer certifications is reminiscent of applying for your first job. You’re ready to work and eager to make money, but you’ve never had a job before. No one will hire you without experience, but you can’t get experience without first having had a job, right?

Eventually, we figure it out; someone hires us despite being inexperienced. You find an employer willing to take a chance on you (because they can pay you minimum wage). No expertise, no experience, and nothing to lose are the key ingredients to being worked to death for minimum wage.

Part of me wants to boast “You couldn’t pay me to do that again . . . “ and then I remember writing résumés for $40 on Thumbtack to try to make rent two years ago. Due to my limited experience and lack of credentials, I was shoehorned into working for a below-minimum wage to provide a service that generally goes for a minimum of $100.

Why? Necessity. Without money for credentials, you have to take what you can get. Most Millienals and Gen- Zers barely have spare change, much less $317 to throw toward credentials. Not that it matters, because you need experience before you’re qualified to apply for the required exams. Sound familiar?

Forced to get creative in order to make ends meet, Millenials and Gen-Zers freelance. What they lack in experience they make up for ingenuity. If they’re anything like me, they’re self-educated and super determined. We have access to databases of research on industry trends

JUNE 2020 | PAGE 22

through our universities. We can go straight to the source to read about industry best practices (for free). Remind me why I need a certification from your association?

Experts claim there’s no substitute for professional experience, but the gig-economy suggests otherwise. Every résumé writer knows it’s about impact - how did you save your employer time and money? “Delivered project milestones within budget and on schedule at 50% below average competitor rate” sounds like an impact statement.

Here’s my suggestion:

To prevent the inevitable dilution of professional standards of quality that Résumé Writers and their Associations pride themselves on - the pros need to embrace Millenials/whoever is trying to enter the market rather than holding on to the barriers to entry. Scholarships, internships, apprenticeships - bring youth into the fold and capitalize on their willingness to work hard, learn fast, and innovate (other industries already do this; adapt or perish.)

Steep start-up costs are the primary barrier to entry (other than experience) facing Millenials interested in writing résumés professionally, but that is clearly not going to hold them back for long - the gig/freelance/online market-based economy presents cheaper alternatives on a global scale.

How do professional résumé writers plan to distinguish themselves as professionals in an era of virtual spectacle?

Does the traditional currency of reputation/credibility speak louder than an Instagram influencer 1M followers worldwide who posts résumé
writing infographics?

For now.

It’s easy to learn, doesn’t really cost much to sustain, and and the general population has no barometer for quality due to the proliferation of misguided, outdated, or incorrect advice that is on the internet for free. You can go online and make a generic résumé that says nothing of consequence but looks halfway decent for less than $100 and it does 95% of the work for you.

While résumé builders make a mockery of the artistry and skill that go into crafting a quality résumé, there’s a lot of well-marketed bad advice going around that pollutes the industry and dilutes the potency of the “you get what you pay for” message Résumé Writers use to explain their rates.

Tags:  Freelancers  Rebekah Frank 

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