Award-Winning Resume Writing Strategy & TORI ROI from Winners Marie Plett, Deborah L. Schuster & Pam Foster

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Award-winning resume strategy from the best-of-the-best TORI winners is more than just a recognition. It’s the knowledge that your clients will go into the job market with the greatest chance possible of landing MORE job interviews FASTER.

Let’s face it, it’s an uneven playing field and not all resumes, even ones written by professionals, are created equally.

So it’s critical when embracing this as your craft that you strive to be the very best you can.

That might not mean you have interest or desire to enter the 24th annual TORI awards this year, even if it is the lowest cost, highest ROI way to grow a resume writing business.

But you should want to put client success first and help to elevate the true value of our industry!

That’s why this week, and for the following three, we’re interviewing former TORI winners.

This week my guests include:

  • Marie Plett, CERM, CGRA, CPRW, BFA of Aspirations Career Services, Inc. – 50X award winner
  • Deborah L. Schuster, CERM, CGRA, CPRW of The Lettersmith – 6X award winner
  • Pam Foster of Career Stylr – 4X award winner.

During the interview they have answered:

  1. . How many years have you been entering and how many/what categories have you won? (Ex., Classic Executive, High Design Sales). Not looking for whether it was 1st place or 3rd.
  2. Did you enter any years before you started getting nominated/winning? Any lesson there as to why you kept entering and what you did differently?
  3. What software do you use to prepare your resumes?
  4. What’s the least/most categories you have entered each year?
  5. Why have the TORIs been important to you and what have they helped you to accomplish?
  6. What’s one strategy would you recommend to a writer who wanted to improve their writing or design?
  7. What’s one other tip would you give to a resume writer around entering or winning/getting nominated?
  8. Any other resume writing advice?

Guest Introductions

Marie LaneMarie Plett:

Marie Plett is a 38-time TORI Award winner whose passion for résumé writing goes back to her childhood, when she would help her recruiter parents review résumés. A Certified Executive Résumé Master, Marie has won more than 50 industry awards for producing best-in-class résumés featuring high-impact content and visually stunning formats. She is widely known throughout the career services industry for her creative résumés and generosity in sharing her knowledge as a trainer and mentor of some of the best résumé writers in the business.

Pam Foster: 

Pam Foster, founder of Career Stylr, is an award-winning resume writer and career energetics coach who has helped over 500 people land their dream jobs faster. Drawing from over 15 years of experience as a global talent scout and people and culture leader, Pam delivers an engaging and confidence-boosting approach to her clients, uncovering their natural talents. She believes that personalisation, brand capturing and storytelling are the keys to standing out in the job market, leveraging her career marketing expertise to help clients achieve this. Outside of her professional work, Pam is devoted to raising her three children and delivering impactful keynotes on stillbirth and miscarriage.

Deborah SchusterDeborah L. Schuster: 

Deborah Schuster began her resume writing business – The Lettersmith – in the pre-internet days of the mid-1990s. She’s a Certified Executive Resume Master (CERM) and one of a handful of Certified Graphic Resume Architects (CGRA) worldwide. She is the winner of six TORI awards, and her work has been published in over a dozen resume books. The Lettersmith is a career service company based in Southeast Michigan.

Guest Resume Writing & TORI Tips

There is so much great advice provided by my guests in the show today. Here are short highlights of some of their advice: 

Pam Foster: 

“Use Design Hierarchy to Make Your Resumes Pop!

Play with font sizes, bolding, colours and layout to highlight your key information. Our brains naturally focus on bigger, bolder elements first, so this ensures your key information stands out and gets noticed quickly. It’s a fun way to make your resume shine!”

“Set a Side Time Each Week.

Entering and winning the TORI Awards has helped me tap into a global market. In my first year, I submitted entries last minute and bagged two wins, but the last-minute stress could’ve been avoided. If you’re entering for the first time, set aside a day each week for a few weeks to focus solely on your competition entries. This dedicated time lets you refine your work and submit your best, boosting your chances of success.”

Deborah L. Schuster: 

“Study the TORI Resume Winners!

You’ll hear this a lot, but I recommend that you read the winning submissions thoroughly. Notice that they go well beyond “resume speak” and are very deliberate in word choice. It’s only natural that you will first gravitate to the designs that you love. But it is even – and especially – important to read the ones that don’t instantly appeal to you. Ask yourself “why did this one win?” Approach it with curiosity.”

“Schedule time to work on the TORIs.

Put it right on your calendar. If you don’t, it won’t happen.”

Marie Plett: 

“Proofread, Proofread, Proofread.

My résumés lose pretty reliably if there is a major error, especially within the opening summary.”

“Content in Resumes is King.

As much as I truly wish the TORI Awards were a résumé beauty pageant, some of my most stunning samples have lost when the content was weak.”

Replay & Next Livestream

Coming next week:

TORI upcoming live QA - 6-12-2024

We’re going to be continuing this series throughout June, so plan to join us for more of 4-week series: Award-Winning Resume Writing Strategy & Competition ROI from TORI Winners next Wednesday at 3:45 PM Eastern.

My TORI-winning guests, and judges, for that show on 6/12/2024 will be:

  • Tiffany Hardy, CERM of Tiffany Hardy Executive Career Storyteller
  • Amy Watt, CERM, CARW, CRS+ES, CRS+MCT of CareerMarketingCentre & EmergencyServiceCareers
  • Renzo Luis Maúrtua Neumann, MBA, CARW, CRA of Area CV

Again, we’ve streaming on CDI’s LinkedIn pageYouTube channel, and in our Facebook page every Wednesday at 3:45 PM Eastern. And, don’t forget to like, follow, and subscribe so you stay in the know!

Watch the Livestream Recording Here

Ready for some award-winning resume writing strategy and competition ROI from TORI winners? Watch now:

What’s Next? Additional Resources

Resume Writing & TORI Awards:

Grow Your Resume Writing Business with a 2024 TORI Award (Replay) >> Everyone

TORI Award & Resume Writing Tutorials + Lessons >> Members

Q&A Tips and Lessons from TORI Winners & Judges >> Everyone

TORI Registration & Information Page >> Everyone

TORI Winning Resumes Page >> Everyone

Marie Plett’s Graphic Resume Tutorial Course >> Fee

Resume Writing Master Mentor Program >> Fee

Resumes for Dummies, 8th edition >>

General (Everyone):

Join the Membership Waitlist >> 

Quiz – #1 Thing Blocking You From a 6-Figure Income >>

Join CDI’s Facebook Community >>

CDI Free Stuff >>

Livestream Replays >> Everyone

Planning & Goal Setting (Make TORIs Happen):

Business Acceleration & Accountability – Get to Goal On Demand Event >> Members

Easy Steps for Entrepreneurs to Meet Big Goals (Video Tip) >> Everyone

10 Steps to a Competitive Edge in Your Life and Career >> Members

Your Brain is Blocking You from Joy – How to Hit Big Goals (Video Tip) >> Everyone

5 Strategies to Bust Barriers and Bash Imposter Syndrome to Reach Goals (Replay) >> Everyone

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