One of the questions I get most often from my resume writing colleagues is how to manage multiple clients/projects simultaneously.
The Resume Writers' Digest Annual Industry Survey reveals that most resume writers take on two new projects each week -- but that doesn't take into account the projects from previous weeks that are in various stages of being finalized, or resume or LinkedIn updates from previous clients -- not to mention the marketing and business development projects you're likely working on.
The best way to manage anything is to create a system. When you systemize all the processes that need to be completed, you’ll feel yourself up to be even more creative. Some people balk at the idea of systemizing anything creative but the truth is, it’ll make a huge impact on your work if you do.
- Use a Project Management System. While most resume writers use a simple Excel spreadsheet, you can also consider using a specialized system like Asana.com or Basecamp.com to help you get and keep everything organized. Or use a system like Honor Services. Once you set up a system, you’ll find that you can get far more done in less time.
- Put It in Your Calendar. Most project management systems can do this for you, but if you want to, you can use Google Calendar as your project management system. Organize everything you need to do and then make it into a to-do list for each workday.
- One Thing at a Time. It’s important to set up your schedule so that you’re doing one thing at a time in the right order. For example, if you're working on writing a career services book, you can order a graphic from your graphic designer for your book cover before you’ve finished the book, so that it’s done when you need it.
- Manage Your Resources. Resources involve human, financial, and technical assets that you have and can use to help you create amazing content for your audience. The better you use what you have at your fingertips, the more successful your creative process will become.
- Remember Your Goals. Everything you do starts with a goal. If not, then you need to go back to the beginning and create goals for each thing you want to create. Whether it’s a video or a text blog post, you need to have a goal in mind for it.
- Be Prepared. Everything starts with preparation. You can’t be creative if you have distractions. When it’s time to sit down and get work done, turn off distractions. Shut off your TV and social media. If you work from home -- and most resume writers do!! -- talk to your family and tell them how much time you need uninterrupted.
- Analyze the Results. Like most things, just doing it doesn’t let you know if you’ve been successful. You need to look at the metrics to find out if you need to make changes or adjust anything within your process to ensure better results. Some things to track: How many new clients you are working with each week (and the revenue from each). How long it takes you to write each resume. How long the "client management" part of the resume process takes.
You can’t sit around and wait for inspiration to hit you. Each day when you get started working, it will help to know what you need to do that day. When you work on things this way, you’ll experience far more success than you would if you had no plan of action to follow.