I have been a resume / cover letter writer / career coach for more than 22 years. Throughout those 22+ years, I can honestly say I have never pissed off a client. The reason for this is because I try my hardest to do the best job I can possibly do.

First, I ensure my clients and I are “good fits” by pre-interviewing them on the phone before I even reach for my appointment book. Then, I review my clients’ existing resumes (if they have one) and I ask my clients to provide me with one to three samples of job postings of interest to them, regardless of timing, compensation, or location. During this pre-interview preparation period, I let my clients know what will be expected of them. Lastly, I research my clients’ industries and study their choice of job postings. I actually do preliminary work on their projects prior to meeting them, prior to conducting my in-person fact-findng interviews, prior to collecting a penny in compensation.

Why do I do this? Because, as stated in my last post, I love my job. This business model was going quite well for me . . . and for my clients . . . until Saturday, April 2. This date will remain embedded in my memory for years to come.

Actually, I retract that statement. April 2, 2011 went just fine. The client I interviewed left here with a smile on his face and a signed contract in his pocket, stipulating that I would have his resume and cover letter drafts emailed to him on April 19, 201l.  I was happy too, having charged his Visa account for the fee he owed me for the completed documents, as is my policy.  All seemed just fine.

Then, on April 14, five days before the documents were due, I received a call from the aforementioned client, demanding that he see a rough draft of the resume and cover letter NOW, not later.

“You see, Mr. So and So,” I said, “I will have the resume and cover letter drafts for your review on April 19, just as you agreed to on the signed contract.”

“I want to see the rough drafts before the 19th,” he replied. “How do I know I will approve them?”

“You don’t have to approve them when I send them to you,” I explained. “You can, at that time, proof the documents carefully and let me know of any and all changes you want implemented and I will gladly make those changes.”

To put it mildy. Mr. So and So did not like my business model and he told me so in no uncertain terms. In fact, he became irritated, agitated, and downright nasty.

I am embarressed to say that instead of standing up to him, I emailed him the rough drafts the following day, stipulating that they were not finalized, and because I was emailing them 4 days earlier than the due date (and I was concurrently meeting other client deadlines), I urged him “to please keep in mind that I will implement any and all changes / corrections to the rough resume and cover letter drafts.” Apparently, Mr. So and So was neither listening to me on the phone nor reading my emails on the computer.

A Better Business Bureau complaint filed and resolved in my favor and awful reviews of A Word’s Worth on two review sites later, and I can see the error of my ways.

Oddly enough, I did not err by compromising on the quality of the resume and cover letter. Even Mr. So and So said he liked what he read. His complaint is that I left the editing of the documents to him and did not want to continue working with him.

This, my dear readers, is simply not true. Even after he published those nasty, untruthful reviews of A Word’s Worth, I would still work with Mr. So and So until he was completely satisfied with the documents I wrote for him. Yes, even after the Better Business Bureau found the discrepancy to be resolved in my favor and confirmed my A+ rating, I would still work with Mr. So and So. Why? Because I love my job . . . even though sometimes, you just can’t win!

April 8, 2015

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