Another resume writer and I got to talking about resume updates yesterday. She mentioned that there was a thread on the NRWA E-List about some resume writers not wanting to do updates for clients, preferring instead to focus on developing resumes from scratch. Since I'm very behind on my e-mails, I don't know if the thread she's referring to is a recent one or not, but I've seen this discussion online before.
There are certain resume writers out there that just don't do updates for the resumes they write. I can certainly understand. Updates can be a pain in the butt. They don't pay as well as new projects, and a lot of times -- especially for older projects -- you can spend more time revising what you did the first time around than simply adding in a new position or two (perhaps that's the perfectionist in me).
But providing resume updates as a service can pay off -- even if it's not from the money you make on the update itself. I find that I get the most referrals from clients who come back from updates. I've had two examples of that just this week.
Most service providers consider the "lifetime value" of a customer when deciding how much to spend on marketing their services. If you only work with a client one time over his/her lifetime, you're missing out. I have a few clients that I've worked with for over 10 years ... some of whom have referred more than a dozen other clients. I'm going to be doing an update/retarget for one of them later this week in fact.
I've had several posts in the past about "retention marketing" -- that is, keep-in-touch marketing designed to spur repeat business from existing clients. If things are slow for you right now with new clients, now would be a great time to reach out to your client base and see if there's interest in updating their resume. I'm putting an e-mail script into the May/June 2008 issue of the Resume Writers' Digest newsletter that will help you do just that.