General

There are a lot of reasons!

I listen to people.

I thoroughly understand the hiring process as companies are trying to fill their open jobs.

I am a very strategic writer and coach. I know how to brainstorm, ask good questions, organize information, put together plans of action, and really engage.

I have written more than 3,000 resumes and other career documents. I have reviewed thousands more than that. I am a really good writer!

I have a degree in accounting and an MBA.

I have more than 25 years of work experience in corporate roles, family businesses, and as a consultant in multiple industries.

I have four industry certifications as both a writer and a coach.

People tell me that they have more confidence in themselves after we have worked together.

I love what I do, I am fully committed to helping people!

Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC):

  • Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
  • Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP)
  • Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC)

Career Directors International

  • Certified Professional – Online Job Search and Reputation Management (OJSRM)

 

I have never kept statistics about the jobs people have gotten after we worked together. But I receive ongoing anecdotal information from people on what happened. And a large portion of my business comes from repeat and referral clients. People are happy with our work together because they do get new jobs!

I cannot guarantee that you will get interviews, a promotion, or a new job. The resume and coaching are just part of your process. I don’t have control over how you use the results of our work together.

However, I can guarantee that you will find me to be a very committed, knowledgeable, and responsive writer and coach. I will stay fully engaged as we work together.

Yes. My office is in Fremont in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I like to meet people in person.  I have one room for writing, another for coaching.

I work by phone, email and Skype with international clients. I can write resumes as long as they are in English, and follow standard best practices for writing in the United States. I take payments in U.S. dollars through PayPal or with a cashier’s check.

Yes. I like to work with people who are just starting their careers. A new resume and coaching can help them get off to a good start.

Yes. I typically start with at least one coaching session to create a strategy to re-enter the workforce. Then we can develop a resume and a LinkedIn profile. Coaching for how to do a job search and prepare for an interview is key to helping someone get back to work.

I accept cash, checks, credit/debit cards, cashier’s checks, and PayPal.  Payments are processed through PayPal.  You will receive a receipt through QuickBooks.

Yes, I take privacy and confidentiality very seriously. I never discuss one person with another. I only introduce clients to each other with their permission.  If a company or another individual pays on your behalf, I still will not discuss anything about our work together.

There is more information about privacy policies in the footer of each page on this website.

Yes. Sometimes people say “Work with Irene. I will take care of it.” Other times it is better to split the fees so the person is invested in their own process.

I have received payments from parents, adult children, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors, former bosses, colleagues, estate trust funds, and employers. I even worked with a soon-to-be mother-in-law who wanted to give my services as a wedding gift. She wanted her daughter-in-law to have a job!

You get me!  I plan on keeping my business small and personal, which means I will remain your sole point of contact from initial consultation to final documents. I do work with a professional proofreader.

I use an appointment scheduler and my Google calendar. I use the scheduler to avoid tag, not to delay conversations. I am on Pacific time. If the appointments available on the scheduler are not convenient, you can call me at 510-790-9005.

 

 

Schedule a call so we can discuss how I can help you. We can decide if I am able to provide what you need so there is a good fit. I will ask you for some additional information so I can put together a service agreement with professional fees.

I can start writing once I have your signed agreement and payment. If we decide to start with coaching, we can schedule an appointment after you sign a service agreement. Payment will be due at the time of any appointment. Or, we can set up a retainer for ongoing work.

There is a clear writing process flow chart under the tab named “writing process”.

Writing

All resume writers and coaches develop their own approach, style of working, and processes. We have  different personalities, education, training, certifications, and experience. We all have referral networks because none of us can help everyone.

I do not take on everyone who contacts me to become a client. I want to make sure that I can provide what you need. It is important that you do your own due diligence to make sure I am the best resource.

  • I thoroughly understand the hiring process for all types of jobs. 
  • I can put together a sophisticated writing strategy.
  • I have experience in using a wide variety of formats. I don’t use templates.
  • I receive extensive and ongoing professional training.
  • I have a clear writing process that works for all of my clients. 
  • I have three professional certifications, both as a writer and a coach.
  • I have an MBA, which is not common in my field.
  • I am very responsive for my clients, and know how to develop great partnerships.

 

If you are in the San Francisco area, we can meet in my office.  If you live somewhere else, we can work by phone, email and Skype.

You will find a flow chart under “Writing Process” that clear defines the steps from beginning to end.

 

That is not a problem. I have worked with a lot of people when we have had to start from scratch, particularly those who have been self-employed, owned a business, or been with the same employer for a long time.

I will ask you to provide specific information that will become the backbone of the new resume. Then we will take it from there to develop a master resume. I will teach you how to use it.

My standard turnaround time for first draft writing is 5 – 7 working days after I receive your prep material. I always deliver sooner when I can.Then we need a quick turn-around to finalize the document to keep continuity of thought.

If you need a resume faster than that, let’s talk and decide if that is possible.

If we meet in my office, you will leave with a resume draft. I will review it the next day and send it to you as a master resume. If we work by phone/email, you will get your master resume after you have approved the final version.

If I do not hear back from you within 30 days, I will consider the project to be complete. There might be an additional charge for an extended project. It is best to wait on any work together until you have the time, energy and space in your life to devote to this.

 

I have written more than 3,000 resumes and other career documents. There are samples under the “writing” tab on the website. All identifying information has been changed.

Also, if you go to “Who are my clients”, you will find an extensive list of the types of jobs that my clients have had. I always work within standard resume writing best practices, but I don’t use templates. Every resume is different.

I work with a proprietary questionnaire that I have developed over time since 2003. I will need two or three job postings that are good examples of what you want to do next to develop the writing strategy. Sometimes additional information will be helpful from past performance reviews and LinkedIn profiles. The more content I get from you, the easier it will be to do the writing.

I have redundant records on every document I have written since 2003 because I have so many returning clients. Sometimes a revision is straight forward. But sometimes we need to develop a different writing strategy now that you are in a different place in your career, particularly if it has been several years. It is not a matter of “just a touch up!” It is good career management to keep your resume up-to-date.

Your new resume is the foundation of your LinkedIn profile. But I cannot go into your account because it is against T&C for you to give me your password. So I will put together written guidance based on your resume that you can use yourself. These are typically 5 – 10 pages long. LinkedIn can be challenging so I always include one hour of coaching.

 

Executive bios are typically needed to obtain consulting jobs with clients, to interest investors, or to be included on a company website as a member of a leadership team. These can also be part of RPFs and business proposals. They can be used to introduce you  for a speaking engagement or an award ceremony. Sometimes a bio really is more appropriate than a resume. It depends….

 

I don’t write general cover letters because I don’t think they are effective. I will ask you to send me the job posting or other information available for the opportunity. I will also ask for your draft response so I understand what you want to say.  If I think it looks good or just needs a few changes, I will let you know. If I think I can add value with additional writing, we can discuss and decide charges.

You get me!  I don’t engage contract writers or have a team. I have written more than 3,000 resumes and other career documents since 2003.

COACHING

As a career coach, I will be someone who creates a partnership to help you assess where you career is now, decide what is important, and then help you strategically plan your career for the future. My role is not to give you specific opinions about what you should do next. I will be a sounding board for exploration and brainstorming.

I will be a resource for information and ideas, and will support you as you make some decisions about your own career. I don’t have an agenda on what you should do next, so I can be neutral. I just want you to have a job and a career that satisfies you.

There are different types of career coaching.  More information is available on the website.

Exploratory Career Coach  ~  Job Search Coach  ~  LinkedIn Coach

Interview Coach  ~  Career Management Coach

 

Yes. Starting as a recruiter at Robert Half in 1999, I received specific teaching and experience in negotiating salaries and benefits. I have both personally written and reviewed offer letters. I can give you guidance on how to approach this during the interview process. I have also helped to negotiate performance bonuses and severance packages.

Yes. LinkedIn is firmly integrated into the business world around the globe as a tool to help people connect with other. You can use it to find a job, reach out to recruiters, and build your professional network. You can also use it as one way to effectively represent your current employer. It is a place to “see and be seen”.

There is a lot about LinkedIn that is not intuitive or obvious to a new or even an experienced user. And LinkedIn is frustrating as a moving target that changes on a regular basis. It is challenging to keep up with what is current. I use my own profile as a teaching tool. This can be done in my office or through a remote access phone call. It is easier to show things to you rather than just tell you. Coaching can include:

  • Overview about LinkedIn and why it is important.
  • Guidance on developing your own profile.
  • Information on how to build and maintain your professional network.
  • Ideas on how to use LinkedIn as part of your interview preparation.

CORPORATE and ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

Yes, we can put together a program that will help your employees. We will set the goals and  determine a budget for each person. Then that person and I can decide how to make the best use of my time for writing/and or coaching. I have worked with as many as 40 employees who were being laid off from one company, and I could do more. Even though the company is paying, I will maintain confidentiality with the person. If they want additional services beyond what the company has budgeted, I can bill them directly.

I have also participated in a program where a group of writers or coaches have come together as a team to provide outplacement services. For example, in Fremont, California, NUMMI was an automotive manufacturing plant that shut down, laying off more than 4,000 employees. Several days were set aside off-site with a team of writers working with groups of employees at the same time. A lot of people received completed resumes. It was a group program but with individual service.

I can provide a W-9 to be set up as a service provider. Terms are net 10.

I worked with the California State University East Bay as part of the completion of their MBA program. They set up a “career day” with speakers and workshops to help people start a job search. I was engaged to review everyone’s resume – one at a time. Each person received my very specific and individual feedback to give them guidance on re-writing their resumes themselves. It was a busy day!

I also participated in an alumni-funded program with Mills College, a nationally renowned liberal arts women’s college in the San Francisco area. Rather than write for the women, I provided coaching on writing strategies, including a review of their current resumes. They then rewrote their resumes based on my guidance, and submitted them back to the school for approval.

I can collaborate with other schools to develop new programs for both writing and coaching that will benefit their students.

Yes. I was part of a program developed for retiring athletes from the National Football League (NFL) in conjunction with the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Working with another coaching firm, I was one of a small group of coaches who provided both remote and in-person individual coaching before, during and after the event. I also wrote resumes for some of the athletes.

It is well known that many professional athletes have difficulties with alcohol, drugs. bankruptcies and divorces after they retire. This program was part of an effort by the NFL to address that.

I can collaborate with other organizations to develop custom programs to address other specific needs.