I will be the first to admit that I dislike filling out forms. They’re tedious, boring, lengthy, and in general, not my cup of tea. So why, in heaven’s name, would I ask my cherished clients to fill out forms as part of the resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile writing process? The answer to this question is, “I wouldn’t and I don’t.”
I decided to conduct some resume-writing / career-coaching service investigation, perusing the websites of my peers. I was shocked to learn that some resume writers / career coaches ask their clients to fill out questionnaires to begin the process of working together. How absurd.
Equally absurd is the fact that some of my colleagues price a resume without a cover letter. Let me be perfectly clear about this: YOUR RESUME MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A COVER LETTER (unless you already have a job interview scheduled). Equate not sending a cover letter with your resume to leaving the house wearing a left shoe while the right foot remains shoeless. Besides looking outlandish, it makes for a difficult trek. Thank you notes following the interview are equally important, but that is a subject for another day.
Job seekers must claim their greatest career triumphs within the context of their resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles. I translate those greatest career triumphs into branding documents (in the form of resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles).
Please note — a branding document is not a legal document. A branding document entitles you to share the information you wish to share and not share the information you don’t wish to share. In other words, your former employers are not looking over your shoulder. At the same time, however, you should be documenting your “claims to fame” on the job as you accomplish them.
So, I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: jot down things you have accomplished on the job that are worthy of note, celebrate them, and communicate them to me so that I can document them within the context of your branding statements. With me writing your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile, you will stand out from the crowd of anonymous job seekers. It’s my privilege and my honor to do so.