Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mohamed Elmahdi, Founder of Resumade Consulting, located in Chicago, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Resumade is a recruiting help service centered around helping college students and recent graduates secure their first entry-level job opportunities. We provide everything a job search entails, such as resume writing/editing, job search strategy, networking development, interview prep, and even LinkedIn optimization.
Tell us about yourself
I started Resumade Consulting unofficially in 2019 and officially in 2020 during the pandemic. When I was in college, I didn't know what I wanted to do career-wise. I started off as "undeclared" (meaning no official major), switched to cell & molecular biology because my sister was pursuing it, then finally, Professional Accountancy and Management Information Systems because it felt like the business degree with the most "bang for your buck." In the business school of my university, I quickly came to realize that it takes more than simply applying for a job online to really land work and build a career. I recall having to write my first resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn portfolio and build a network. All key competencies that I realized I lacked. It was through much trial and effort and consistent failures that I learned the dos and don'ts of recruiting.
Throughout this struggle, I saw how many of my peers struggled just as much, if not more, than I did with recruiting. From failed interviews to awkwardly worded emails, I realized that as I analyzed the game, I could help others navigate the rough waters of job search and career. I would edit my friend's resumes as a favor to others, and they would tell me about networking events coming up. When the pandemic hit, I got my first set of major offers, a step up from the constant recruiting failures I had during college.
During that time, I realized that I had amassed a good amount of knowledge and could help others find the same success that I did. I remembered how useless and dejected I'd feel after each rejection letter that came my way, how it felt like I was lost in the recruiting sauce and there was no one there to guide me, how each failure made me a little more jaded and less motivated to try again. I don't want students to feel that way. It can be a dismal place and a terrible feeling to begin your post-college life with. This is what motivated me to start Resumade Consulting.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Aside from helping friends and strangers land great offers, as a business owner, there are many flashy achievements that I feel I haven't come into yet. My biggest accomplishment thus far in my business has been overcoming myself and my tendency to do everything myself. In other words, learning how to delegate and approach each client in a "no one size fits all" approach. If we're speaking strictly technical, then my biggest accomplishment thus far would have to be helping a senior manager land a director position during the pandemic. I was very hesitant to take him as a client because my focus and only experience at the time was with entry-level recruiting. I didn't know what to do to help him with his job search at that time. We ended up meeting virtually a few times, and I got to know him, his needs, and his goals well. I ended up doing quite a bit of research and created a template for him to reach out and form connections rather than just applying and waiting. A few weeks later, he called me excited and told me that not only did he land his ideal job, but that the manager was also Vietnamese (he is Vietnamese), and they hit it off very well. She hired him on the spot and gave him more benefits than he was initially expecting! That story alone fueled me for quite a while, and I love to hear success stories from my clients.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner (there are so many), for me specifically, is consistency. For a long time, I was working on clients, reaching out, marketing, and posting, and not seeing any results. At the beginning of any business, assuming net profit and positive cash flow is foolish. However, after a long time of putting in the work and not seeing the results you want to see, it becomes very easy to get dejected. I think that pushing during those downtimes is one of the hardest yet most rewarding parts of business ownership.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start. We hear this one from everyone, but it can't be stressed enough. A lot of us want to spend time thinking it through, making the plan, waiting on someone, waiting on motivation, but we just have to start. We always know where to start. (Anyone who says they don't is just scared of starting).
- Be consistent. There will be long periods of time with no support and no results. This is the time when most people give up. Hell, I dropped Resumade for almost a year because I wasn't seeing results.
- Adapt. Don't stick to the method you have in your head if it clearly isn't working or is outdated. We live in an age where being adaptable and multi-faceted is what keeps you steady.
Where can people find you and your business?