As we grow older and wiser, we generally learn, among other things, that there are many more lessons to learn. As toddlers and adolescents, we learn to explore and expand our surroundings. As teens, we learn the consequences of our actions. As adults, we learn to face the dynamic challenges of life.

At the very essence of these “dynamic life challenges” is the workplace, where, in the past few years, employers have learned to their dismay that the product or service that had kept them at their top of their game for the last 5, 10, or 15 years has been replaced, duplicated, outsourced, or eradicated. Likewise, employees have learned the painful lesson that the job / career they thought they would have for life has run its course.

Throughout my 22-year path as a Certified Professional Resume Writer / Career Coach, I too have learned some valuable lessons. Although I have always “pre-interviewed” prospective clients to ensure we were a good fit – basically, that we were both comfortable and confident that I could create wining branding documents for them – I have adapted to the changing times, actually modifying my business model to optimally meet the needs of my clients.

In the past, at the close of my telephone conversation with prospective clients, we would arrive at a mutually convenient date and time for our in person meeting; then we would part ways until we met to begin the process of professional branding via resume, cover letter, and Linked In profile preparation. Since the economic downturn, however, I have been throwing newly booked clients a curve ball. I ask that they conduct an Internet search for postings that interest them, regardless of timing, compensation, or location and that they email me one to three of those postings. I do this because:

• I need to know where their passion for employment lies — what type of job / career they REALLY want.

• I may need to research a particular area of interest. Just because I have been in the career-support service industry for most of my adult life, I may not know all that I need / want to know about a specific position or industry. (Besides, I’m REALLY into preparation.)

Then, I go a step further, bordering on making a pest of myself. I ask my newly booked clients to email me an existing resume if they have one, regardless of how old or decrepit. I do this because:

• I need to know how much work I have to do to get my clients from Point A (where the prospective client is now) to Point B (where he or she wants to be). Then, and only then, am I able to schedule and conduct a comprehensive interview, learning both quantitative and qualitative information that I can translate into branding statements in the form of a resume, cover letter, and / or LinkedIn profile. I do this because:

• I can estimate (fairly accurately) what the project will cost, and then relay this information to the client.

• It enables me to respond in the affirmative to clients who message me with requests like this recently received email: “After you prepare the resume and cover letter and I get an interview lined up, I was wondering if you could help me practice going on an interview. It is very hard to break those habits you saw me do. I want to make a good impression during the interview. First impressions mean a lot.”

After I respond in the affirmative – stating that I would be happy to help the client who wrote the aforementioned email — I realize that I have learned a valuable lesson: I love my job!

April 8, 2015


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