The Organized Career Professional – Tips from Careerpros
By Marian Bernard.
Organization can make the difference between impressing potential clients as a consummate professional or coming across as an amateur. We can inspire utmost confidence or instigate lack of trust. Our organizational skills will ultimately contribute to losing most prospects or landing more clients.
Career Professionals discussed organizational tools, processes, and procedures at this month’s professional member tele-networking session.
By organizing your clients’ details and documents, you can stay on top of multi-faceted or concurrent projects, and save time, earn money, and serve clients well.
CPC member, Stephanie Clark led this month’s tele-networking discussion on the organized career professional. CPC Members can click this link to listen to the full session recording.
Here are our Top Tele-Networking Takeaways:
- If you are having trouble locating vital documentation when you are writing multiple resumes “on the go”, you don’t need to print everything many times. Instead, set up – and keep – files and folders on your computer for easy access. Create a file with each client’s name, and file all of that documentation in this particular area.
- An alternate approach to organizing yourself and keeping all client information handy is to print one hard copy of each document. Organize questionnaires and client-submitted resumes in bulldog clips.
- How long should client info be kept, once their work is finalized? Indefinitely! The benefit of this is that when you conduct a search for a client’s name, their file comes up automatically. More importantly, if you search on a particular job title or type of targeted industry, then the search results produce all of the keyword-specific resumes to jump-start a new resume in that specific industry sector.
- Perform regular back-ups and keep copies of everything on a separate hard drive off-site. If your computer crashes, you’ll be able to recover everything.
- Organize information according to wait list, pending clients, work-in-progress, and completed work. This info can be colour-coded on an Excel spreadsheet.
- Formulate – and tackle – a “to-do” list – an especially useful action to take when business slows down.
- Set clear-cut guidelines and boundaries to alleviate distractions — especially if you are working from home.
- Print email queries originating from prospective clients, make extensive notes regarding attempted contact info, and follow up every second day with the goal of capturing the sale.
- Issue a contract to the client which establishes clearly-defined boundaries as to how the session will proceed.
- Outsource what you can, including – but not limited to – accounting, administrative work, and referrals to fellow career professionals.
- Run everything on Outlook; it can be customized to exploit its features. Use the Categories, Flags, and Quick Parts features. Quick Parts is a time-saver where you can cut-and-paste content into emails to eliminate the prospect of retyping cumbersome, repetitive emails with the same information.
- Assemble – and send out – a regular newsletter to reach clients and share valuable info. Check out the following email management services: aweber.com, www.constantcontact.com, or www.mailchimp.com
- Book appointments through youcanbookme.com – a cloud-based service which allows customers to schedule appointments and make bookings with you via your online calendar.
- Snail mail gift cards (i.e., Amazon.ca, Tim Horton’s, Starbucks, Chapters, Winners, et. al) to reward clients for referrals.
CPC Tele-networking sessions are facilitated phone discussions between members of Career Professionals of Canada. Each session is delivered in a conference call format. If you have a phone, you have everything that you need to join us. CPC members can log-in to access all our session recordings at their convenience. Not a member? Learn more about the CPC Tele-Networking Program.