How I differ from other professional resume writers

Professional resume writers are not all the same. We all have different backgrounds, experience, skills, and theories about what makes an excellent resume.

Here's what sets me apart from the rest, particularly in terms of working with people who have a background in retail:

I've worked primarily with retail field leaders since 2005

Unlike most resume writers, I don't take on all clients that come along. I'm a specialist, not a generalist, and I work primarily with clients from the retail industry. Not only that, I work exclusively with clients in the United States and Canada. Drilling further still, I focus on assistant store managers, co-managers, store managers, area managers, district managers, and regional managers/directors/VPs.

I have worked with thousands of retail leaders from virtually every chain in the United States and Canada since 2005, and in that time I have accumulated 500+ LinkedIn recommendations.

Does this mean I only work with people who want to continue in retail? Not at all - many of my clients have transitioned to new industries.

To be clear, resume writing is primarily about what you've done in the past. Yes, your job target plays a part, but resumes should be focused on presenting your past experience in the best possible way so recruiters can see what you're capable of going forward. To that end, I use my first-hand knowledge of retail to showcase my clients' past experience in the industry, regardless of whether they plan to stay in retail or move on to something new.

I have extensive work experience in the retail industry

As a resume writer, I didn't fall into retail by accident. Early in my career I worked in retail management for several years, and that gave me a solid understanding of what retail leaders do, what they are responsible for, what type of environment they work in, what pressures they face, and what they're judged on.

I jumped around a lot early in my career - as such, I gained experience in nearly every type of retail environment including department stores, home improvement warehouses, grocery stores, off-price fashion stores, warehouse clubs, specialty stores, convenience stores, and fast food restaurants. I worked for some of the premier retailers in the world - including Costco, Disney, TJX, Home Depot, 7-Eleven, and more - and gained a ton of experience.

Now I leverage that experience to create resumes that speak to the needs of employers.

If a professional resume writer doesn't have advanced knowledge of their client's industry and background, they'll likely ask generic questions like "What were your achievements?" during the information-gathering process. That will provide the writer with decent content for the resume, but not great content. Instead, I ask questions like "How much did you increase your units-per-transaction (UPT) over last year?" or "Where did you rank in the region and country for shrink reduction?" Because I can dig deeper, I uncover those specific, concrete accomplishments that will help portray you as the superstar you are. Much more detailed and far more effective.

I have additional experience as a resume analyst for a retail recruitment firm

As a side gig a number of years ago, I worked for a retail recruitment agency as a resume analyst. I reviewed thousands of resumes from retail leaders over a 5-year period, networked with recruiters, learned what they look for, and gained insight into applicant tracking systems and the resume parsing process. This gave me an even deeper understanding of how to write resumes that speak to their needs.

I have additional experience as an employment counselor

I have worked on all sides of the employment fence. I've written thousands of resumes for people with a background in retail, I've hired hundreds of leaders and associates while working in retail myself, I've worked for a retail recruiter to administer the candidate application process, and I've also trained and coached job-seekers to reach their goals as an employment counselor. This experience proved extremely valuable, enhancing my skills and knowledge in job search strategies, interview preparation, and more.

I have built a large professional network in the retail industry

I've been active on LinkedIn since 2008, and in that time I have built a network consisting of 75,000+ followers and 30,000 first-degree connections (maximum allowed by LinkedIn) - virtually all from the retail industry. I have also built and continue to manage two LinkedIn groups - Retail Careers USA (50,000+ members) and Retail Careers Canada (15,000+ members). I am proud to say that my network is unbelievably giving and generous with their knowledge, and I learn from them every day, which further expands my capabilities as a resume writer.

There are hundreds of professional resume writers out there, many of whom market themselves on LinkedIn and in other places every week. I’m sure they’re all capable and talented writers, but it's important to ask yourself some key questions as you weigh your options:

It's very important that a resume writer understands the industries you've worked in as much as possible. If they don't, how can they create a resume that will show your experience in the best light?

Feel free to check out the rest of my website to learn more about my service, and reach out with any questions.

​Mike Howard
Professional Resume Writer