Nick Corcodilos, in a recent Ask the Headhunter weekly e-mail, wrote an interesting article the other day that most professional resume writers can relate to. He wrote about the concept of "Acute Spousal Interference" -- the tendency of spouses to become overly involved in their spouse's job search.
Most professional resume writer recognize this type of individual. She's the wife that is calling for her husband -- not because he works the overnight shift, but because "he needs to take control of his career. He's underappreciated and underpaid."
While that may be true, you're going to get sucked into a quagmire if you don't nip the spousal interference in the bud up front. Otherwise, you'll likely find yourself working with a reticent husband while the wife tries to be the "client." And unless she's going on the job interviews too, that's a recipe for disaster. Wait a minute -- if she went on the interview too, that's even worse.
So what can you do? Take charge. Tell the wife that you really need to speak with her husband. You can provide general information about how the process works and pricing, but you need to speak with him directly to fully gauge what services are appropriate. Don't be put off by her comments, such as "He's too busy to talk to you, so he asked me to call" or "I can tell you anything you need to know." Just reinforce the need to speak to him directly, at his convenience. You might also make the point that "a job search requires an investment in time to be successful." If he doesn't have time to talk to you, will he make the time to do the things required to find a new job?
We all need clients, but we don't need all clients.
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