We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Watkins, NCRW, NCOPE and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
In 2012, I decided to launch a resume writing business following a fundraising campaign at a large-scale healthcare nonprofit. At the time, I was a corporate recruiter and part of my job was to raise $1,200 annually to support the fight against cancer. To meet my goal, I offered to edit resumes for donations. Needless to say, I exceeded that goal because so many people needed my help.

Later, I learned that a great deal of the people I’d helped went on to secure jobs — many landing higher-paying roles in their target industry. A lightbulb of sorts went off, and I knew I could do more.

Since I was a toddler, I was obsessed with shoes. I collected shoe figurines, art, and etc. Without a second thought, I incorporated a shoe into my logo design. My business still needed a name. On the drive home from a long day’s work, Write Step Resumes was born.

With Write Step Resumes, I partner with frustrated job seekers to teach them leading-edge job search strategies for:

+ overcoming networking anxiety.
+ articulately communicating their career stories.
+ confidently showcasing how they add unique value to potential employers.

My end goal is to position career seekers to land more interviews and job offers at the salary they deserve! Whether you’re:

+ A new grad hoping to land the first job in your field,
+ A mid-level manager looking for that 6-figure promotion,
+ An experienced director ready to take on an executive role, OR
+ A seasoned professional wanting to shift gears into a new industry,

We can work together to create eye-catching resumes, LinkedIn profiles, executive bios, and job search letters. Other services include interview coaching, salary negotiation, and personal branding. 

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m different from some cookie-cutter service providers due to my 15-year background in corporate recruiting and knack for infusing fun and excitement into a seemingly boring job search. I also worked for about seven years as a co-host for a radio show and spent some time as a co-host of a TV show. Confidence played a critical part in my success in the media. It’s only natural that I want my clients to walk away feeling empowered and ready to conquer anything too! My journey through entrepreneurship hasn’t been easy, but it’s certainly been rewarding. Making money and working with clients is easy. However, it takes more than that to build a sustainable business. Behind my brand, you’ll find processes, systems, long hours, and a whole lot of wine. LOL!

Have I ever wanted to quit? Absolutely. I keep pushing because I love what I do. Just when I want to throw in the towel, I receive messages from clients saying they’ve landed a better job and sometimes at $20-50K more than they initially expected. This truly keeps me going.

I pride myself on perfecting my craft, so continuing education is very important. When I’m not working with clients, I’m reading a book, learning a new writing style, or building relationships with other like-minded professionals.

Since becoming a full-time entrepreneur, I’ve learned that hard work alone is not enough. The ability to influence others, build their confidence, and positively impact their lives is what separates the hustlers from the powerhouses.

Success is long term, and building a highly recognizable brand is an ongoing challenge. Businesses must evolve with industry shifts. There is no time to sit still. Only the hungry survive. In the words of an old friend, “You either barbeque or mildew.”

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Aside from the civil rights museums and tributes, the Birmingham area has a lot to offer. I love supporting black businesses, talent, and events. Some of the must-visit food destinations include Urban Smoke Bar and Grille, Cajun Bistro, Bham Eat, Drink, and Ride Food Tour, Yo’ Mama’s, Eugene’s Hot Chicken, and Bizarre Coffee Bar.

For entertainment, visit Perfect Note (jazz spot), Plum Bar, Dirty Ash’s (cigar and hookah lounge), and The Vault Bar and Lounge. A few honorable mentions because of history and all-around fun are The StarDome Comedy Club and Top Golf.

If you’re ever in town during the summer and fall, you’ll need to check out Art on the Rocks, Freedom Fest, Funk Fest, Jazz in the Park, and The Magic City Classic. 

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
In business and in life, everyone needs a tribe of support. My success is attributed to the encouragement of my family, a mentor and friend Melanie Denny-Salomon, and my resume writing colleagues across the globe. I’ve learned so much from them and continue to lean on them for strength during my journey of entrepreneurship.

Website: www.WriteStepResumes.com
Instagram: @WriteStepResumes
Linkedin: www.LinkedIn.com/in/ashleyjwatkins
Twitter: @WriteStpResumes
Facebook: @WriteStepResumes

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