By Amanda Brandon, NCOPE, NRWA Newsletter Editor
Editor’s Note: Our current president Sara Timm and I sat down for a Zoom before Thanksgiving to talk about her past year and the upcoming year for the NRWA. Sara also chatted with me about moving from Dallas to Colorado Springs and what that business transition looked like. Fun fact: Sara and I only live about an hour apart! So fun to have NRWA buddies nearby! I hope you enjoy this member spotlight as much as I did. Thanks, Sara, for serving as our fearless leader in 2022.
A Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW), Sara made the move from Dallas to Colorado in 2021. She still owns DFWResume and expanded her business to incorporate Colorado Springs to Denver with Colorado Resume. In addition to moving, she took on the immense role of leading the nation’s only nonprofit resume and career services professional association.
DFW to Colorado
Sara moved to Colorado after completing a seven-state vacation tour. “I had breast cancer and knew I needed a healthier lifestyle,” she says. “We visited Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California, and Colorado. Coming down Interstate 25, I asked my husband, ‘Can we move to Colorado? It feels like home.’”
Getting Started in Resume Writing
After running an employee transition center for a financial services company, Sara got her start in resume writing almost accidentally.
“Someone from the bank asked me to help with his resume, and the rest was history. I secured a contract role with a resume firm and became their head writer. I decided to turn it into a business. This also allowed me to stay home with my young children.”
For many years, Sara worked on building a business with her own sweat and tears. And through Bridget Weide Brooks’ website BeaResumeWriter.com, she discovered the need to expand her education. That’s when she started looking at associations. She chose the NRWA because the nonprofit aspect of our organization appealed to her. She also saw the value in gaining certification as a solopreneur.
Why the NRWA
“I was only working on my strengths and hit a block where I could go no further by myself,” she says. “The minute I put my NRWA membership on my business website, I saw a big difference.”
She says she got involved in 2015 and joined a boot camp with Jean Austin to start working on her NCRW certification. “This is how I got to know the leadership,” she says. “Jean asked me to join the conference committee and gave me a couple of things to do. She said that I followed up and did what I said I would do.”
Then NRWA President, Michelle Dumas, reached out and said, “I hear you’re doing good things,” Sara says. “So, my NRWA board career began. I’ve served as an industry support representative, membership chair, conference chair (for a very short spell), and now president.”
Why Sara Loves Her Job
Sara won a ROAR Award in 2021 for her work on a resume for a breastfeeding expert who was looking to move across states and says this is one of her favorite projects to date. She also recently completed a resume for a fire chief and found it fascinating.
“I learn something every day, a new skill, a new way to do something, and what people do for jobs,” Sara says about helping clients.
“My process involves a personal interview, a DISC profile, and researching the industry by studying job descriptions. I fill in the blanks by taking all that back to the client and asking, ‘Where does this apply? Where did you do this? Research is the key.”
Building Business Value with the 2022 NRWA Conference
When asked how the NRWA has helped her business lately, Sara told me about a new feature she’s writing on LinkedIn called “Sara Says.”
“At this year’s conference, I learned that I don’t need to be afraid to put myself out there,” she says. “I teach my clients to build engagement on LinkedIn and I knew I needed to practice what I preached, so I invented Sara Says.”
“I introduced my avatar and its purpose during Breast Cancer Month. And then, I started offering advice almost daily. I have doubled my connections, and the engagement is incredible.”
What Sara Can Teach the Next Generation
Sara’s tips for newcomers to the resume writing world:
1. Follow the industry leaders and find a mentor so you can get support.
2. Tap into the network of an association. It’s been instrumental in growing my business.
3. Find your niche and write about what you know.
What’s Next for Sara?
As the immediate past president, Sara will still have a role in the NRWA leadership. She’ll be heading the ROAR Awards and a grant program for members to apply for financial assistance, such as free membership and attendance at the annual conference. She’ll be sharing more about these programs in the next few weeks.
We’re so grateful to Sara for leading us this year – through our first in-person conference in two years and so much more. Reach out to her at [email protected]or on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/saractimm.