I Don't Owe You Anything

Normally I tend to write blog posts that attempt to be positive and informative. This is not one of those posts so if that is what you are looking for you should probably skip this one because it’s a bit of a rant.

Do you remember that line in the movie, Pretty Woman, when Richard Gere, driving his friend’s Lotus, gets lost in Hollywood and asks a prostitute, played by Julia Roberts, for directions? She told him it would cost $20 for directions. He was shocked and outraged by the high price for directions and asked Julia Roberts how she could charge him just to point him in the right direction. Her response was, “Well, I ain’t the one who is lost now am I?” Sometimes that is what I feel like saying to potential clients who try to negotiate a lower resume writing fee, question what I charge to write a resume, or just plain lie about the amount of experience they have. I feel like many people just don’t understand the skill and time it takes to create a great resume and, therefore, undervalue the price of a really good writer.

I have had it with clients and/or potential clients who misrepresent the amount of experience they have in order to qualify for a lower resume rewriting fee. It’s ridiculous, disrespectful, and rude. Don’t they realize that I am going to figure it out once I start interviewing them?

I have a current client who initially told me that he had less than 20 years of work experience and since his old resume had his work experience beginning in 1994, I believed him. The fee I currently charge for someone with less than 20 years of work experience is $375. I found out, once he had paid me and I began work on his resume, that he graduated college in 1982 but he just doesn’t list his work experience prior to 1994 on his resume. Had this client been honest with me he would have paid between $500 and $650 for the resume because that is what I charge for someone with that much experience.

The problem with this particular client is that he is taking up a lot of my time as do most clients with a lot of experience. Whether a new client believes it or not at the outset of the process, the more experience you have the more there is to discuss. It doesn’t matter if you include all of your work experience on your resume or not — inevitably the past comes up in conversation and takes up more of my time. Furthermore, clients with more experience also have more revisions than clients with fewer years of work experience. I would imagine this is because the longer you have been in the workplace the more opinions you have which is why I charge more to write resumes for people with more experience.

I have many terrific clients but there are also those like the one I mention in this post who seem to think that I owe them work at no charge. Or maybe they think my time isn’t valuable. I really don’t know what they think but I am getting fed up with folks who attempt to take advantage of my generosity. Once I agree to work with a client I give 110% to make sure that he/she looks like a rockstar on the resume no matter how long it takes or how many conversations we need to have to clarify information. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that clients pay for the time I spend working on their behalf.

I go out of my way to give free advice to people whom I know cannot afford to pay for a resume and/or who are connected to individuals in my network simply because I have always felt that if you are kind to others it will come back to you in a positive way. Sometimes that is true but there are some people really seem to go out of their way to take advantage of those who are kind to them and it leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

Writing is a skill and resume writing is a particular niche within the writing field. Just because you are a good technical writer or journalist doesn’t mean you are a good resume writer. There are a lot of resume writing services in the world but very few are particularly good at it. I have a lot of respect for a very few resume writers like Barbara Safani, Louise Fletcher, and Susan Ireland.

Anyone who really knows how to write a resume knows that it takes more than a pretty format and a list of key words to create a compelling document that will be noticed by recruiters and hiring managers.

If you hire a resume writer just remember that it’s hard work and nothing is for free. I don’t owe you anything just because you don’t feel like paying the full fee. If you want a discount or a cheap product please take your business someplace else. If you want a great resume and you are willing to pay for it I am happy to help you but please don’t lie to me or take advantage of my good nature.

To paraphrase Julia Roberts: just remember, I am not the one who lost.

View original here: Liz Handlin