If there’s one thing we here at Spring Forward Résumés have learned from our clients, ranging from executives and CIOs to project managers and IT professionals, it’s really hard to talk about yourself! Combine that with trying to do it through a résumé when applying for a job, and it seems almost impossible! Here’s a secret – we find it hard to do, too.
While we’ve shared bits and pieces about how Spring Forward started, we’ve never fully told our origin story. So today, after five years, I will answer that famous – or perhaps infamous – interview question (one you’ve probably heard in every job interview you’ve been on): “Tell me about yourself.”
I’ve been writing since I could pick up a pencil. Growing up in the Providence area, I can remember writing out words at the kitchen table while my Mom read them to me. I was four. I loved seeing how the words went together to form sentences, and it all took off from there. My first story, which has yet to be picked up by an agent, was “Frank and Spock See the Dentist.” (We were serious Star Trek nerds in my house.) I wrote and illustrated it in red crayon. That was 33 years ago, and my Mom has kept it safe through numerous home improvement projects and re-arranging!
Eventually, my teachers began entering me into contests, and I won several awards over the years. But my favorite was the Pet I Won’t Forget contest in the local newspaper. I was chosen as a winner, and the prize was $10! That was a big deal to an eight-year-old! I wrote about my dog, Sampson, a black Labrador retriever that was blind from cataracts. Somewhere I have a picture of myself and the dog in the newspaper. Sampson was drooling and I was wearing a Rainbow Brite shirt with pigtails (the 80s were grand!).
So, it was no wonder that family and friends always asked me to help them with reports, essays, and yes, résumés. Throughout college and my eventual business career (I followed in my Dad’s footsteps), I wrote résumés on the side for those looking for jobs in a variety of fields including information technology, project management, healthcare, and law. As my own personal career evolved, it exposed me to many different industries and allowed me to work with people on all levels, ranging from management up to executives and CFOs. As I gained experience, I began creating executive-level summaries, proposals, contracts, and résumés for senior leaders at the banks I worked for. When I was laid off from my finance job in 2013, after 12 years working my way up to VP, Spring Forward Résumés was born. I wanted more than a corporate paycheck – I wanted to help others in a way only I could.
I trained through IAP Career College on career coaching, focusing on interviewing, dressing for success, targeting a job search, how to network, and more. I also studied résumé writing best practices through the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC). Recently I became a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW)! I earned a 96 out of 100 on the test – a feat that, per PARW/CC president Vicki Fox, is “exceptional!” CPRWs represent the very best in their field – which means that here at Spring Forward, you get the very best, too.
And the very best doesn’t just stop at writing your résumé. I believe in supporting you throughout all stages of your professional life. At Spring Forward, we like to get to know you. Our team will meet with you to discuss your career in detail. We’ll ask not only about your current line of work, but what your passion is. We’ll gently encourage you to truthfully answer one central question: if you take everything else out of the equation (job frustration, family concerns, financial security) – what is your ultimate dream career?
Once we get an idea of your career goals, we design your new documents based on your needs and objectives. This includes the proper sections to a modern résumé: a target job title, your qualifications summary, relevant industry keywords, accomplishment-based experience, and your career development – all arranged in a way that sells your professional self.
It doesn’t stop there, either! Spring Forward holds your hand every step of the way, editing and refining to make sure your cover letter, résumé, and LinkedIn profile are targeted, keyword optimized, and speak for you in your unique professional voice. And we also provide tailored coaching if you need help with interviews, or you just don’t know how to start your job search. Our experts have seen every career situation you can think of, and we have helped thousands of people “dream big” and achieve their goals! When clients come back and tell us how happy they are and what a difference we made, it means everything to us.
We work with all industries, but we’re experts in technology, finance, project management, HR, business, academia, and healthcare. We use a personal approach to everything we do here at Spring Forward. We know what it’s like to be laid off, we know what it’s like to dislike your job, and we know what it’s like to want a change. Sometimes, here in the Northeast, competition for jobs can be fierce, and it can seem like a fruitless effort to apply. In big cities like Boston, Providence, Hartford, or New York, it can often feel intimidating to put yourself out there. We work with all our clients to not only instill confidence, but give them an edge, no matter how many others are interested in that position. We infuse a “from the heart” philosophy into every aspect of Spring Forward, and all of us here believe firmly in using the power of the written word to change lives.
Five years on, I’m so proud of the five-star reviews, awards, and recognition Spring Forward Résumés has received, and the wonderful notes from those whose lives we transformed. Their words have sometimes moved us to tears, and motivate us every single day. We can’t wait to see what the next five years will bring!
Karen Springer, MBA, CPRW, is the owner of Spring Forward Résumés. When she’s not writing or meeting with clients, she enjoys researching anything and everything, reading, and spending time with family and friends. Karen lives in Rhode Island with her husband and two guard cats.