…because black millennial women who balance the personal and professional need the spotlight, too.
In life, our main assignment should be to use our influence to impact. Today’s millennial woman is multidimensional and chooses to define herself by her acts of service in the community, the success driven by her innate tenacity to become and her ability to non-negotiably show up for herself. She is woman, she is Brittany Applegate. Simply put, Brittany is a creative-preneur. As the CEO of The Resume Agency, Brittany Applegate is a brand-builder that continues to create access and equity for people of color.
Brittany, how does your influence impact the world?
My influence is a direct outcome of my purpose, which I define as helping people (especially Black and Brown people) actualize their greatness. This comes to life in the way I help transitioning career professionals through my resume writing company, The Resume Agency; in the way I help developing businesses through my self-named brand strategy consultancy; and through my professional career as a director of cultural strategy at a Chicago-based advertising agency.
As an advertising professional and strategist what gap did you see that led you to create The Resume Agency?
Many people don’t know that my first job out of college was as a professional services recruiter at a staffing agency. While awaiting confirmation for selection into a competitive advertising internship program, I spent my first five months post-graduation as a recruiter. In this role, I was responsible for identifying and recruiting skilled candidates for available jobs across all industries. There were so many talented candidates who were more than qualified for the opportunities available, but most times – their resumes weren’t going to make it to the hiring manager’s desk. They were poorly written, underwhelming in design, and often didn’t communicate the candidates value in an attractive manner. Knowing what was needed to make it to an interview, I’d personally edit their resumes, send them back, and say “send this one instead!” After so many candidates obtained employment with my resume writing support, word on the street spread quickly and I became known as the go-to person for resume writing and editing. Here we are, almost ten years later and we have “The Resume Agency.” Although I continued pursuing a successful career in advertising, resume writing allows me to amplify amazing professionals who may not be recognized for the roles they desire without a well-written resume.
What has been the biggest difficulty or misconception about the services you offer?
I think everyone knows that resume writing can be tedious, even for us writers. But one of the largest challenges for years was my capacity to work full-time, run the business, and execute all the services alone. There was a time that I almost retired from the business because the demand exceeded my capacity. The a-ha moment came after a meeting with my friend and business strategist, Alyssa Humbles, who encouraged me to train and hire other writers to lighten my load. Within a month, our team increased from just me to a team of four and the business has grown quickly from there. I didn’t need to be the only person who knew how to write resumes; I needed to grow my team to sustain my business and make a greater impact.
Brittany, can you share three great tips for a standout resume?
First, have tunnel vision when writing your resume. It doesn’t need to include every single thing you’ve ever done in your career; however, it needs to have the most relevant information that positions you as the best candidate for the job in which you’re applying.
Second, monitor length. Recruiters will only spend six seconds skimming your resume before deciding if they see enough to continue their review. Knowing this, you need to capture their attention quickly, and a multi-page resume won’t be effective. If you have less than ten years of experience, your resume shouldn’t exceed one page. More than ten years of experience? Try to keep it under two.
Third, use a modern resume template to keep your content visually balanced. We offer templates on our website for those who choose to write their own resumes.
As a millennial entrepreneur, partnership and strategy are keys to success. What additional strategies can you share with budding entrepreneurs looking to create growth in their business?
If you’re an employed-entrepreneur like me, create automated systems so your business can run on its own. While I’m tending to my full-time job during work hours, my business doesn’t suffer because I’ve created workflows that allow services to be booked and communication to flow seamlessly without me lifting a finger. My favorite system to use is Dubsado. It allows me to create and design must-have templates, contracts, invoices, canned emails, scheduling, and so much more without all the manual work. I highly recommend it. It’ll save your life and your business.
On a personal note, self-care is a topic of conversation this column lives for. How does Brittany make self-care a priority?
I prioritize balance and rest in my life. I say “no” to people and most things I simply don’t want to do. I get about seven hours of sleep every night. I work hard during the week, but I carve out time to intentionally spend doing absolutely nothing or with friends and loved ones. More importantly, self-care is proactive for me. Therapy is already scheduled on the calendar, and I’m not booking appointments after something has already happened. The dinner meet-ups are already on my calendar. The flights are already booked. The bed is made for me to jump in it! I’m in the gym to prioritize my health and fitness goals and avoid the habit of skipping because of “work”.
I proactively prioritize balance and rest in my life to avoid burnout. And that doesn’t mean that there aren’t seasons while the perfect balance isn’t achieved, but those seasons don’t last very long anymore.
Lastly, finish this sentence. As a millennial mind, it is important for readers to know…
setting the right boundaries in all areas of your life will help you prioritize your needs and happiness so you can better serve others without compromise or guilt.
To Connect with Brittany: