Ten Tips for a Victorious Client Experience
Victoria Day weekend is here! The holiday began as a celebration to honour Queen Victoria’s birthday of May 24th. It is also considered by many to be the unofficial start to summer. Reflecting on Victoria Day and Queen Victoria’s long and victorious reign reminded me that we all have the opportunity to become more victorious in the work we do with our clients. We have the skills and knowledge to help them achieve their cherished career goals. To that end, I’d like to share my top ten tips for a victorious client experience.
As an employment strategist and résumé writer, I have noticed that success with clients stems from ensuring they understand the process of working with a résumé writer. I was once asked if the coaching session was a necessary part of the process. The client insisted that I reduce the components of my résumé package for the sake of cost! Sound familiar? Nevertheless, I explained that all the components of the résumé package work together to deliver value and ultimately create a positive client experience.
If you don’t emphasize the value and meaning behind what and why you are doing something, then clients may not understand its purpose and appreciate your role in supporting their career goals. Résumé writers are career storytellers, authentic brand marketers, and champions of change!
Some clients fail to see that working with a professional résumé writer is not only about investing time and money. It is about investing in their future, their worth, and their brand. All the brand marketing pieces involved — from the initial phone call to helping them understand and convey their career story in an empowering way — are vital to a victorious outcome. Collaboration is a key factor in creating powerful and successful outcomes.
Ten Tips to ensure a Victorious Client Experience
1. Communicate clearly.
Set clear boundaries and expectations with your clients. Explain the whole process in steps and highlight the benefits. Keep your client informed about what information you need from them and ensure that they respond to your requests. Be honest with your clients from the beginning and expect the same. Integrity is the foundation of a solid résumé writing process.
2. Pinpoint your client’s clear career goal.
The least effective strategy is to create a résumé without a clear focus. I have often been asked, “Can you please create the résumé for any job?” I explain to the client that they are not just looking for any job and they have a specific brand. A specific job target supported by a master-level résumé strategy allows me to write an effective résumé that showcases the client’s skills, experience, and accomplishments. Ensure that your client understands why they cannot use the same résumé to apply for other positions. My motto is: “The client is not generic, so why should their résumé be?”
3. Meet set deadlines.
Honour your word about meeting deadlines and ensure that your client does the same. If the individual is applying for a certain position with a specific due date, do your best to meet that goal. I often make personal sacrifices for clients, and I expect them to honour their commitments to me. If I give clients action items or exercises to work on, I encourage them to complete those activities by the deadline. If your client needs a résumé within two days, then ensure that you charge for the rush service. Respect the effort and investment that goes into each project.
4. Encourage your client to invest in their brand and your brand, too!
The new résumé is just one tool in the job search toolbox. If you want to be the best résumé writer, you need to devote the time to extra training, mentoring, and career development. The more value you can offer, the more return on investment you will add to your process and your clients’ goals.
5. Establish trust.
In the career development profession, the time, cost, and effort that goes into the résumé writing process is often undervalued. Clients sometimes seek opinions about their résumé from friends or family members. Clarify that they hired you for your expertise and encourage them to ask questions. Caution them to use their sound judgment about what they read online. For instance, I often receive questions about résumé length. There is no set rule about résumé length. While there are certainly résumé no-no’s, sometimes traditional résumé “rules” can be broken. It depends on the situation, the client, and the employer’s requirements. Build a trusting relationship with clients.
6. Advise clients that their résumé is a brand marketing document.
A client once submitted at least 50 pages of documents for my review. I created an inviting 2-page résumé that highlighted their brand. Avoid adding every detail about their life and work history, especially if the client has held jobs that aren’t relevant to their career target. Be strategic in choosing the right information. The résumé needs to tell a compelling story.
7. Advise clients not to let anyone copy their résumé.
Coach your clients to understand that their new résumé is a document developed just for them. Allowing someone else to use their résumé is discouraged and will likely dilute its effectiveness for them.
8. Discuss progress.
If your client is not generating results, it may not be due to the quality of the résumé that you have created. After all, you cannot expect the résumé to do all the heavy lifting. There may be other issues affecting their job search. If you dig deeper, you may uncover that it’s the client’s perspective, lack of confidence, or networking strategy that is hampering their efforts. Ask relevant questions, get to the root of the issue, and educate and support your client.
9. Follow up with your client and secure constructive feedback.
I often follow up with clients one-on-one and I send monthly newsletters to those who are interested. I understand that clients get busy and so I don’t always hear from them until they need a résumé update or when it’s time to look for a new job. Encourage your clients to keep the lines of communication open so you can celebrate their milestones with them! Seek constructive feedback from the client through testimonials, LinkedIn recommendations, and referrals. Feedback drives continuous improvement. My clients are often referred to me by satisfied former clients.
10. Remind your client to keep their résumé and LinkedIn profile updated.
Remind your client to always keep their brand marketing documents updated. This includes the résumé, LinkedIn, biography, cover letters, and networking résumé. Keeping an accomplishments journal to track achievements makes it easier to respond to new opportunities that arise.
As you celebrate Victoria Day, be grateful for all the victories that you have achieved and the challenges that you have overcome. Take your personal career goals further this summer with CPC’s courses and certifications! Focus on refining your skills and introducing innovation into your résumé writing.
Lori Jazvac is a passionate, award-winning Master Certified Résumé Strategist and Certified Employment Strategist through Career Professionals of Canada. As a multi-certified Master Résumé Writer and Certified Career Transition Coach, she specializes in helping clients navigate challenging career transitions. In 2013, an empowering vision inspired Lori to launch Creative Horizons Communications, a holistic career services firm where she virtually supports jobseekers around the globe to embrace their next career milestone. In her spare time, Lori enjoys dance, blogging, watching comedies and reality shows, yoga, and taking long walks in nature.