BY KATIE MARSH
It was 2020 when the world seemed to shut down. People were being sent home; many were furloughed from their jobs in the wake of COVID. In the middle of the chaos, Denise Heidel pulled out a skill set she didn’t expect to use again – resume writing.
“I had been a professional resume writer years earlier,” explained Denise Heidel, owner of The Resume Nerd. “Re-visiting my resume-writing skills was one of those unexpected career twists I didn’t see coming…I had previously worked as a resume writer for a company based in another state, but I had not really enjoyed that experience. So, I didn’t expect to write resumes at a professional level. In fact, when I told my closest friends what my plans were, they laughed at me, convinced I was joking.”
Writing resumes may not have been part of the original business plan, but Denise quickly adapted and created a division to her primary business, The Office Nerd. “The irony is that the business eventually shifted. I purposefully downsized The Office Nerd in the fall of 2021 because of my full-time job at the Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber of Commerce. The Resume Nerd is still technically the ‘division,’ but it’s the primary focus of my business now. It’s growing, and best of all – I’m having a great time doing it!
“2020 got many people thinking…. When people were laid off or sent home to work, many began re-evaluating their careers and work environments. I’ve worked with many people over the last two years who decided to make a career change because COVID caused them to re-prioritize their time and where they spend it. Moreover, we’ve seen a side effect of how businesses respond to their employees. After all, it’s an age-old truth – how a business treats its employees in the hard times is far more telling than how they treat them in the good. So, while there are many reasons for ‘The Great Resignation,’ for many – it comes down to wanting to feel valued and purposeful.”
Denise encourages all job seekers to understand the importance of a solid resume. “I tell my clients all the time – hands down, the content is the most important part of the resume, especially as so many employers use Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software to screen resumes. (All of my clients quickly learn how little patience I have with ATS software!). However, my opinions about ATS aside – it’s here, and we must work with it. So having the right words on the page is crucial.
“But just as important, in my opinion, is the formatting. You can write the greatest resume in the world, but if there’s nothing about it that stands out, so what? Your resume is just another piece of paper in the stack. And since the average resume gets a six-second window to make an impression – standing out is just as important as the content.
“A resume is a tool everyone needs, but no one likes to write their own resume,” said Denise. “I write resumes professionally, and I don’t like to write my own resume! It’s too close and too personal! People often underemphasize key details; it’s my job to dig in and present past career experiences in a compelling way.”
Denise is a big believer in transparency, so she has listed all the details about her services on her website, TheResumeNerd.com. “I price my resumes based on employment tenure, and I have two packages from which my clients can choose. I have worked with clients all over the country and at all career stages. Every resume I write is built from a blank Word document – so nothing is canned or templated. It’s all custom-tailored and designed for my client.”
A great resume can make a world of difference, and it’s an investment in yourself and your future career. “Whether a client hires another resume writer or me, I want job seekers to recognize they are a worthwhile investment. Whether they are actively looking for a job or just getting their resume updated in case an opportunity presents itself — everyone should have a great resume.”
The Resume Nerd is a Christian-based business based in Clemmons, NC, and rooted in Colossians 3:23. Contact Denise at Denise@TheResumeNerd.com or call 336.413.7610. Visit the website at TheResumeNerd.com.