I don't like to say no!

When a potential client calls to ask questions and determine if there's a fit between her needs and my service, I really don't like to say no. But that's exactly what I did yesterday.

And it's not the first time I chose to do so.

Here's why. The calller, let's name her Joyce, wasn't sure what she wanted to do. She could return to her role as an Executive Assistant, or she could continue as a General Manager of a small enterprise, but she also was considering something quite different from either of these. Ideally Joyce wanted a "general resume" that would be easy to tweek for all kinds of roles.

I responded to Joyce that the most effective resume is a well-targeted resume. It's one that speaks, from beginning to end, to specific skills or transferable skills; it's one that connects the dots between past experience and how it relates to future success; it's one that clearly (and succinctly) communicates how she would make a positive impact on profits through her productivity and performance. Anything less is a waste of my time and her money! In fact, I simply won't take a client on who is unclear about her next-step-career-goal.

Here's why. My success is based on my client's success. That's how I choose to evalute whether or not I am delivering a good service and a product worth its price.

I sent Joyce away with ideas for determing a goal, and if she returns with two, we will create two resumes, if she would like to proceed with two goals. However, I also counsel potential clients that we begin with either their a) dream job, or b) the job that they can land right away - and this choice is steered by circumstances. If you have the finances to wait for dream job postings great! And if you must find a job pronto, let's do it!

So many choices, yes, and the final choice must be made by my client, but with reason we can work through these. Sometimes all one needs is a 3rd party, objective voice to bring clarity to the situation. I think that that's a role I fulfill well.

- setting the stage for "masterful" resumes, playing the role of objective career advisor, Stephanie