Jerome Imhoff is a professional résumé writer and career coach with more than ten years of experience in the “employment” industry. After moving to California from the Black Hills of South Dakota, Jerome began work as a vocational counselor and job developer for an adult vocational training school. He spent five years working as a recruiter and headhunter for a national staffing agency before starting his own business, The Résumé Shop, “INK.” As a career coach, Jerome helps job seekers and career changers to assess their career goals and acquire a strategic edge to navigate a competitive job market. He is a certified human resources professional (PHR), a certified ARTbundance Coach/Practitioner, and holds a Master of Arts degree in education with an emphasis on language arts.
1) How did you get started working from home?
In 2009, I was laid off from my position as a headhunter/recruiter when the firm I worked for closed their San Francisco office. The economic climate was such that finding another position in staffing wasn’t going to be easy. So, I started writing résumés for job seekers while I was working as a recruiter for a boutique firm and being paid 100% commission only.
2) How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
I selected a career based on my best skills and what I love. I have always been a very good writer, and I had spent many years working with job seekers, reviewing their résumés, and preparing them for interviews. Starting a Career Coaching/Résumé Writing practice made sense because I could do all of the work from my small apartment in San Francisco, and I didn’t have to invest in equipment, office space, etc. There was zero overhead.
3) How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
I reached out to my network to ask for client referrals. I created a presence on Facebook. I hired someone to create a simple website for me. Then, I posted ads on Craigslist to get clients.
4) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
Fortunately, I had a very good network established from my career as a recruiter. My first few clients were referrals. I was very active in a great BNI chapter at the time too.
5) How do you market your business?
I don’t spend any money at all on advertising (or very little). I have excellent Yelp reviews. I use social media as much as possible. I send out a newsletter. I offer free seminars/teleconferences. And, I leverage my network for referrals.
6) What does your usual day look like?
I get up and have coffee while I check emails. Then, I dig into whatever projects are on my desk for the day. I see clients a few times a week, and I love that because it gets me out of my house. My day is very flexible. I try to write one or two résumés a day. The rest of the time is spent doing marketing or engaging with coaching clients.
7) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I have learned so much over the years, but I am not sure there is one thing I wish I had known before I started. Everything unfolded very organically for me. If I wanted to figure out how to do something, I’d look it up online or ask friends. Because I was a member of a BNI (Business Network International) chapter when I started my business, I was already connected to a lot of other entrepreneurs. I had so many resources to ask for help.
8) What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
Go for it! If you have the self-discipline to stay focused, it’s a great way to make a living. I get to hang out with my two Boston terriers (Harvey Milk Bone and Queenie) everyday. I set my own schedule, and I have unlimited earning potential. Entrepreneurship and self-employment are really the future.
Website: The Résumé Shop, “INK”
Facebook: The Résumé Shop, “INK”
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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