Most writers get approached by friends and family members to proofread or create documents. It simply goes with the wordsmith's territory.
John Krampf, a local writer, says that multiple people in his life asked for his help with their resume, and although he was able to provide grammar and punctuation assistance, the organizational and layout aspects of the modern resume was foreign to him. So, Krampf researched resumes, and after learning the ropes and helping his friends with theirs, decided to start his own business.
Four years ago, Krampf launched Cream City Resumes, a small, Bay View-based business offering resume creation, along with covers letters, LinkedIn profile rewrites / compositions and general job search tips.
"Once I really started thinking about different ways to present an individual's information, I decided to offer my services to the general public," he says.
Despite the economy, Krampf says business is remains OK, because although people might not secure jobs, they are still looking and, consequently, in need of a resume. However, to generate more work, Krampf organized a "Worst Job Ever" contest during the month of April. The only rule for submissions was that they had to be written in a humorous way.
"Nothing sad or disturbing," says Krampf.
The contest generated two dozen entries, and Krampf says he randomly choose the winner. The top prize – a new resume and cover letter – went to Mary Helbick, the assistant manager for a travel company. Here is her winning entry:
"My second job was working at a fast food restaurant. (Go ahead, insert laugh here). I was a lowly cashier, but at age 15, it was all I could get. One time, this gentleman (and I'm using that term loosely) came in and ordered a Diet Pepsi with his meal. I asked him if Diet Coke was OK, because that's all we sold. Either this guy had some real issues that he was dealing with or he was just a giant Diet Pepsi fan, but Diet Coke ended up being anything but OK for him. He gave me the biggest eye roll in the history of eye rolls and deeply signed, "fine." When I gave him his beverage, he took one sip of it and yelled, "OHHHH! This is terrible!" and threw the drink on the floor. He then asked how we could sell such "slop" (his word, not mine). He then told me that I had just lost a customer and stormed off. While this entire exchange took less than a minute, it will live forever in my mind."
Krampf says he got the idea for the contest because he himself suffered through some bad jobs in the past.
"The worst job I ever had was selling steaks door to door. Nothing against all of the hard-working steak salespeople out there, but it just wasn't for me," he says.
Krampf lives in Bay View – where he was born and raised – and he plans to get married this fall. He graduated from Thomas Moore High School and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He majored in advertising, and today, works as a freelance copywriter when he's not working on Cream City Resumes. He is also writing a suspense / thriller novel.
He says that, over the years, resume styles have changed a lot. The biggest difference is that the old "keep it to one page" rule doesn't apply any more.
"While I wouldn't suggest having a resume the length of War and Peace, it is important to communicate all relevant information about your career. If that goes onto a second page, so be it," says Krampf.
The key to a good resume, he says. is keeping it very readable. Because human resource people receive so many resumes for open positions, having one that's well organized and features relevant language is important.
Krampf says he gets a lot of personal satisfaction from Cream City Resumes.
"As cheesy as this sounds, this business has been incredibly rewarding. Helping people find work after weeks, months or even years of frustration and anxiety with their job search is a really good feeling," says Krampf.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.