Below is a guest post from Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, one of only 50 master resume writers, who has crafted more than 1,500 career stories. I first met her on Twitter, and subsequently, hired her to rewrite my bio. I documented my experience here and here. I’m excited for you to hear her own story of how she came to write resumes.
I’ve always loved the blank page, awaiting expression.
Labeled shy in kindergarten, I remember swirling my imagination into watercolor. In high school, I won several essay and poetry contests for conveying pictures with words. My mother, an avid reader, was my greatest source of encouragement.
In elementary school, I was fortunate to view the world from an airplane. My father’s TWA passes took us on family trips to England, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Hawaii. Each new place provided fuel for my written musings.
In college, I earned a bachelor’s in Writing-Journalism emphasis, wrote and edited for the daily campus news and was the features editor for a local Retirement & Leisure News publication.
An aging college professor, his face engraved with a road map of journeys, who loved the architecture of words, taught my favorite exposition class. My ideas, spilled onto the blank page, were met with equal amounts of correction and encouragement.
And my passion for words grew.
From Corporate Career to Bootstrapped Startup
After graduating college in 1986, I honed my writing, marketing, communications, public relations and project management abilities via a number of office jobs, before exiting to bootstrap my start-up in 1997.
Initially, I sold services as a corporate writer, including marketing / copywriting for individuals and small businesses–and resumes. In response to one of my ads, the owners of CareerTrend hired me to manage their resume clientele. The people I met and the stories I got to tell were invigorating, the original owner a wonderful mentor. One of my early clients was a former CIA agent turned private-sector lawyer. His stories were cloaked in mystery and intrigue, my ability to convert his past into a future goal, fulfilling.
I loved the entrepreneurial lifestyle, the freedom of being my own boss, and the quiet act of writing, daily.
In 1998, I had the opportunity to purchase the CareerTrend portion of the business. I rented a brick-and-mortar space in Greater Kansas City, and began to build the business through intense resume industry study and conference participation, including public speaking, volunteering and committee leadership, learning resume writing vocabulary and strategy, and hours of in-person networking.
In recent years, while I’ve remained active as both a professional industry member and volunteer, I’ve evolved the business of writing resumes into a 100% virtual entity. I have also dived into the deep-end of blogging. As I empty my own soul onto the page. I’m better learning to tell the multi-faceted stories of my clients. Through a collaborative process, we pry open the doors to the dusty archives of their souls, decompress their stored files, crafting resumes that bring their past and present work into the future.
Photo Credit: lifehack.org via google
Glorious Solitary Writing
I know a resume has a job to do, including, and especially, helping my clients land their dream jobs; I love their glee when they first read what I’ve written about them. But I do this because I love the writing, the rhythm of people’s stories, and spending time alone in my office on the banks of Lake Texoma, Texas: the comfort of a breeze, fishing boat engines that hum along and my dog at my feet, the conversations that beckon. Perhaps with the CEO of a multinational or the start-up executive who is off to their next adventure. With each client connection, I am transported from my little cabin on the lake to experience worldwide adventures, taking flight across the waves, across the globe.
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