Does your resume possibly stink or is it totally blah?
Did you just get laid off and now you don't know where to start?
Did you tell yourself "How hard can it be to put a resume together?" and then get lost in the abyss of online templates and throw in the towel?
Did you stare at your LinkedIn profile and suddenly get depressed because you realized the only thing you've gathered on there aside from 12 connections and those two jobs you held straight out of college years ago... is cobwebs? 🙈
You're not alone.
I hear this every week.
Perhaps it's time to inquire about professional resume writing services and magical LinkedIn profile writers!
My name is Stephanie and I'm the owner and head writer within my little company; nice to e-meet you!
For those of you much younger than me, or others of you who just may not know, a watermark is defined as:
noun: watermark; plural noun: watermarks
My story and journey are unique, and while the path leading me here to serve as one of those "mystical professional resume writers" most people never knew existed was a little unconventional, I know I am doing exactly what I should be for a career and couldn't be happier that I've landed here.
I grew up a print shop brat.
My dad was the foreman of Anderson Printing, a large, Hollywood-based company known for their work with the studios, production houses, and celebrities. As a kid, a huge highlight of a weekend for me would be hearing my dad at the other end of the house say "I have to run to the shop for a bit" and having him yell to ask if I wanted to join him. Heck yes!
Hopping into our 1977 "Avocado Metallic" Ford F-150 truck we had affectionately nicknamed "The Green Limo", we'd spend a good 45 minutes to get to the building that ran for a full half block and was just streets away from the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The instant he would unlock and open the back door, the intoxicating smell of the different papers, ink, and type wash would hit us like a brick wall and make me giddy. (Most likely because I was getting high on the toxic cocktail of fumes and had no idea.) As we'd walk through the different rooms, he'd flick on the loud humming lights and remind me "You know the drill - don't get into trouble. Don't press any colorful buttons, don't touch any razor blades, and don't get any ink on you or your mother will kill me."
As dad would walk around checking on complicated print jobs to make sure they were on track, I would sneak around the mammoth 8-color presses and smaller Heidelberg letterpresses grabbing the top sheet out of the feeders to hold the paper up to the light and view their watermarks. I was obsessed with spotting watermarks and got so good at identifying different brands, I made it a game to run around and nail 10 within 5 minutes. Dad would ask on the way home, "Which brands did you find this time?", and I would promptly list them all "Strathmore, Classic Crest, some fancy Speckletone, Crane's Crest..."
You get the idea.
The second I picked those papers up, I KNEW their brand, their weight, and how expensive or "cost-effective" they were.
I didn't quite realize how clever this was back in the day, but now as an adult #GirlBoss who's read a lot of books and taken even more courses on "effective branding", I now realize that a watermark is ingenious. As one of (many) professional resume writers, my goal is to work with you to figure out what your specialties are and then market you in such a way that we not only grab the reader, but also make you memorable.
Flash forward years later: dad decided to open up his own print shop five minutes from our house. He was GOOD at what he did; his reputation preceded him and the graphic designers followed him to get his help creating smaller, unique creations Anderson Printing didn't want to mess with as they had launched into movie posters and jobs running quantities well within the tens of thousands... a little order of 250 fancy A2 cards was no longer profitable for them. It was for us, so we happily took on projects others would reject.
We steadily grew, and at our peak, we filled three buildings with an old school darkroom, a pre-press and plate-making department, 15 presses, folders, gluers, and cutters, a warehouse of paper, and 10 highly talented (and frequently cussing) pressmen who produced amazing work.
I was our first official employee, and as a teenager, I moved through the business trying my hand at different areas to see where I excelled. I served at the counter with dad reviewing orders with customers as they came in, I ran letterpress for many years, managed the shipping department, and processed final billing. What we discovered was my ability to use my attention to detail and mad love for the written word for the benefit of our customers... I quickly became the much-sought-after in-house proofreader as I would catch typos and mistakes that should have been caught in the design stage. This saved them all a $**t ton of embarrassment and a boatload of money in reprinting costs.
Even though I typically worked 40 hours + a week, I somehow managed to attend college during this time and majored in Journalism. The deep research dives I do on each client's order and the in-depth questions I ask come from my studies in this field. I am additionally proud of the fact that I was president of my sorority (Go Sigma Kappa!!) over 80 fabulous women while attending California State University, Northridge.
My experience as a Recruiter and HR Ninja:
Flash forward even MORE years later: we sold the print shop, and after moving through a few jobs, I landed a gig as a recruiter for a large insurance company. Hundreds of resumes passed over my desk every week... most too mind-numbingly awful to be believed. (Seriously. I was continually stunned at the absolute CRAP people had the nerve to email over with great pride along with this tagline: "I know I'm the perfect fit!!!" … umm … if this piece of paper I'm staring at is an accurate snapshot of YOU as an EMPLOYEE?? I'll pass, thanks.) I additionally spent years working in Human Resources with a school district and guess what? The same issues were rampant there!
Smart friends who knew what I did for a living started approaching me to just take "a quick look" at their resume before they applied to their dream job. They weren't asking a lot of me, just a quick glance and an email outlining what they should fix was the initial request. Because I knew them well and wanted them to succeed, I would sit up late at night and completely overhaul their documents, then send them a profoundly revamped and dialed-in piece the next morning. They would report back "I landed the job! You should really consider doing this for a living!" and then started blabbing about me to their friends and family. Orders started rolling in... and I took a bold leap of faith and quit my recruiting job to run this business full time.
Since I've opened up shop in 2012 (previously as Artisan Custom Resumes until our new rebranding as Watermark Resumes in January 2021), I've invested thousands into my education on resume and cover letter writing, plus crafting LinkedIn profiles... all obtained through conferences, webinars, masterclasses, and extensive training courses.
I am certified as a Professional LinkedIn Profile Writer, which I obtained through a MasterClass taught by Marketing Strategist and Author of "Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies", Joshua Waldman. I am a guest writer on job boards and have been featured on Snag.com (previously Snagajob.com), Monster.com, and CareerBuilder.com among others.
I have also trained and mentored my adult daughter Rebekah on the in's and out's of this industry and she excels in two key areas of the business - she sets me up for writing success by putting the "structure" and templates in place for each order, and she also drives our social media. She is my official Watermark Resumes sidekick and I'm very excited to have her on the team!
In a nutshell:
In this tough job market (made even worse by COVID), you need to stop beating yourself up over why you aren't getting ANY responses from companies you've applied to, and have somebody with "in the trenches" recruiting and human resources experience to help you land the job you want and deserve!
❃ ❃ ❃ ❃
➽ My interaction with you will be via Zoom, phone, or email, which is typical for resume writers. I used to offer to meet in person but COVID = scary town, so virtual is good.
I’ve been through a LOT over the years with hundreds of clients so it's important to me that you believe we would be a good fit before we move forward. That being said, I politely request that you read through all my website pages to get an understanding of how the process would go should you choose to work with us. Once you've done that, should you decide we could possibly be “Job-Fetching-Partners-In-Crime” together, feel free to reach out to me either by filling in the information form at the very bottom of this website or by using the gray button at the bottom of this page that says "Book an appointment!" to access my schedule and set an appointment with me.
However you decide to reach out, I will most definitely need to see your latest resume copy so email that to me for sure… even if it’s older and/or you can’t stand it. If you don’t have one at all, that’s okay. I can create one from scratch for you but I just like to ask.
If you are on LinkedIn, please also send me your "URL" within the email so that I can find you and take a look at your profile. If you are having trouble figuring out what your LinkedIn URL is, feel free to hunt me down and ask to connect. Here is my URL: www.linkedin.com/in/watermarkresumes
Our email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
My phone # is: 805.813.5032
📌 During our Zoom or phone appointment, we will go over your career "backstory" and what your future goals are so that I can get an idea of how I would go about branding you to market you to employers. I will give you personalized pricing and an overview of what I can provide for you. Should you decide to move ahead, I require payment in full up front (industry standard) which can be accomplished through Venmo or I can send you a customized invoice through PayPal.
📌 Once you've made payment, Rebekah and I work together to compile personalized questions for you in what we call an "intake packet" of homework (yes homework- ugh!) within a few days. Once you've been able to hit us back with answers, we get to work on it. We will disappear for a while... don't panic! We haven't run off to Tahiti, we are putting all the puzzle pieces together and formulating the magic. ✨
There's a pretty good chance I will email you during this stage of the game to ask some further questions, just to make sure it's going to be awesome.
📌 After approximately 7 to 10 days goes by from the time we've received all the info we need, I will present you with your finished product(s). I send all of my clients an editing enabled Microsoft Word version and an Adobe PDF format. You will also get a version of your resume that I create for you for use with ATS systems. (More on that below.) If you also order a cover letter, it will be submitted in an editing enabled Word doc, and you will be able to tailor it to any positions you see or know about which interest you.
Now back to that "ATS version" I just mentioned.
While I always encourage my clients to use their *magical networking skill set* to get their foot in the door for an interview, I will additionally send you what I call the "TBK Version" of your resume along with instructions on how to use it.
What the heck is a “TBK” you ask?
(This part is important so pay attention!)
TBK stands for Taleo, Brassring, and Kenexa which are just 3 types of Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software that more and more companies are using to screen their applicants before any human beings even LOOK at a resume. There are 194 (!) different kinds of ATS programs in existence as of this page launch, and they are typically all finicky. I know all the tricks of the trade to get you through their stringent filters and I alter my clients' resumes accordingly for no extra charge. This different version is the TBK version - I also submit instructions on how and when to use it so you are ready to go!
📓 I currently offer a complimentary e-book I wrote on the topic of ATS systems. If you would like one, please let me know by emailing or filing out the info at the bottom of the website. I'll send it off, no strings attached!
Final steps in the process:
📌 You look everything over and ooh and ahh, OR you hit me back and say "Can you please fix XYZ?" Then I promptly do so. I will do up to 2 edits with you- I do not have time to go back and forth with you 14 times because you weren’t really paying attention the other times (ugh!)… my time is valuable.
📌 You submit your resume to various companies you've been targeting and/or you apply to positions you see directly using your LinkedIn profile, (yeah, that's a thing now!) and your inbox gets traction and your phone finally starts ringing with requests to discuss new employment.
Disclaimer/Legal Junk: I am not guaranteeing anyone a job or you will get a refund. Some companies do this, and that’s just downright ridiculous!!
I have no control over you once you leave my phase of your “job hunting journey”, and all of my clients are different with their styles... some use the tools we give them aggressively, and some act like a sloth
Every document we create is customized; our little team dedicates many hours to each order to make sure things are dialed in and that we are offering the most value we can for each client. (We want you to succeed so we take this seriously!) I have established different resume levels (listed below) according to how much time we will invest into a project. See which category you would most likely fall into; I will confirm with you when we chat!
This level is for you if you've recently graduated with a Bachelor's degree and you have a small amount of work history and don't know how to portray yourself to get a job in line with your ACTUAL college major. Let's get you started on the career path you actually studied for, shall we?
This level is for those who may or may not have an Associate's or Bachelor's degree but have been clocking in and out of jobs for ~10-15 years. You consider yourself to be at the middle of the pack but you want to start making your way to the front. Let's help you get there!
You live and breathe KPI's and are a tactical and strategic force to be reckoned with. You either have one degree or multiple under your belt, you've been scratching and clawing your way up for 15-20 years, and you most likely mentor a team. Let's help you move up the ladder to something better or get you ready to jump ship to rock your skill set with a new company!
Are you a prior Artisan Custom Resumes client OR a previous Watermark client and you need an update? Welcome back!
We've served over 1500 clients around the world to date and count you as an important part of our success.
Please email a copy of your resume and cover letter if we did one of those and then schedule a time to chat so we can catch up! Pricing to be determined by how long it's been/how much work needs to be done.
LinkedIn, Cover Letters & Executive or Company Bios
Do you have a LinkedIn profile? If not, despite whatever excuses you can muster (including how much you hate social media), HOLY COW, you need to have one! $65 if ordered with any resume - price includes if creating one from scratch.
You also get: An in-depth e-book I wrote giving you step-by-step, clear instructions on how to get the most traction out of your profile once I'm done.
Other options offered: company profiles or profile work without a resume (priced separately).
Always a hotly debated topic as to whether or not one actually NEEDS a cover letter, the latest stats from my industry report that 70% of hiring managers and recruiters actually read them (gasp!). So while it's not a full "heck yes!" they are FOR SURE going to read them, I still feel they are important.
If you want to relocate or change industries, you need to tell an employer about this and it's very difficult to do this on a resume!
Do you need help coming up with something awesome to say about yourself in the 3rd person voice but you're either too embarrassed or stumped to execute? OR, do you own a company and don't quite know how to talk about it?
We can help with that!
Pricing will be determined after a convo or guideline examples are sent.
Website Write-ups, Job Application Services & E-Books!
Do you have a cool business and you need help with what to say on your website?
Let us help you describe:
So that you can spend your time on the other part of your business you're really good at and won't be bogged down in putting together "fancy words".
Did you find a great job online that you would like to apply to but you're short on time or worried you're going to screw it up? Save the headache for us - here's how it works: Once we have completed work on your documents, you can send us 1+ links to jobs you have found.
✤ We typically apply within 1 day but cannot guarantee this turnaround due to potential emergencies.
✤ We will NOT be held liable for missing a job opportunity.
✤ We will NOT complete any online personality tests for you.
Interested in brushing up on various job search topics?
We currently offer e-books in the form of PDF's emailed straight to you covering these areas:
LinkedIn Tips & Tricks - available ✅
Currently Under Construction & Coming Soon: 🚧 🚧 🚧
Interview Like it Ain't No Thing
Networking for Introverts
Requirements to work with us
⌛ I'm all about effective time management (like I nerd out on it and read books on the topic), so I run a well-oiled machine. That being said, I can't have you getting panicky if you reach out to me and I can't get back to you right away...I will respond as quick as I can, scout's honor.
I am very open to people reaching out to me- did something pop into your head about an achievement that you forgot to put in your answer packet? Tell me about it! Send an email or a text any time, day or night.
😎 Do you have a sense of humor?
I realize that if you’re looking for a job, chances are you’re going to be in an anxiety-ridden or (quite possibly) a catatonic state. I get that and I respect that, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t make our experience together HUMAN… I pledge that I will do my best to lighten up the situation while still creating remarkable products for you and teaching you about job hunting. Can you mark “check!” next to that sense of humor box? ✅ If not, move on.
🚨 You know that sign that says “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”... ummm, yeah. Totally. While I will never go by the mantra “No shirts, no shoes, no service” I WILL stick to the NO JERKS rule.
We refuse to be treated poorly… so if you’ve blown through 3 other resume companies and demanded refunds from each and every one of them before you’ve landed on this page? Move along. We aren’t going to be a good fit.
Are you willing to put some work into this or do you expect us to be psychic about what your career has entailed for the last 15 years PLUS you expect us to know all your career hopes and dreams?
Did your parent/spouse/significant other put you up to this and force you to work with us because they want you OFF THE SOFA and contributing to the household? If so, you're probably ticked off.
The broader perspective is this:
We are here to help , so put some effort into this. Don't be lazy!!
Years ago, I had a long conversation with a potential client who REALLY wanted to work in financial services. With no background in this field, we discussed how to do a transition.
At the end of the convo, he casually mentioned that he was in jail for a long time with a felony strike, which meant he wouldn't be considered for the job.
We know it can be embarrassing but a) it's important we know so we can help you and b) it will go in the #watermarkvault as we have a strict confidentiality clause.
Are you teachable or do you already know everything? Can you embrace the latest trends that we will share with you? Or will you insist it all be the same as before?
Newsflash! 💥 If you are used to running the show at work and just want to argue, you will be wasting your money!
Resume writing is NOT what YOU DO for a living, it’s what WE DO for a living. I promise not to show up at your work and boss you around if you promise to be open-minded, release some control, and trust the process.
Please note: If you can’t get your act together to answer the intake packet we painstakingly sat to compile for you, then, well… that’s a shame. I will nudge you a couple of times like a good professional should as I understand that life happens (and I'm not a jerk if there's been a legit catastrophe), but after 60 days have gone by and there hasn't been a peep out of you about why etc., you are officially forfeiting all of the funds you sent to my company. End of story.
A great resume tells your story. Drop us a line and let us know more about where you would like to go next.
You can either fill in the information on the left and click "Send" or go straight to the "Book an appointment!" button above under Huckleberry's picture to have access to our schedule!
If you choose to fill out the form on the left, we will get back to you as quick as we can as we know your time is valuable.
-Stephanie & Rebekah