Friday, August 22, 2008

You're Only as Good as Your Samples

I'm reminded of a comment Louise Kursmark once made at a resume writing conference -- it was something about the shoemaker's kids not having shoes — meaning, resume writers are often the worst when it comes to updating their own resumes ... and, in my case, their samples.

I was thinking about this today as I sent off a quote for a prospective new client and pasted in my usual list of sample resume links from the template quote response e-mail I use (samples of which can be found in my Write Great Resumes Faster book). The client loved them, and committed to the project, but my inner voice reminded me that it's been a while since I updated the samples. Another item for the to-do list.

I've written before about resume samples -- including whether you should or should not include them on your web site ... but the fact of the matter is, you'd better have samples of your work because SOMETIME a client is going to ask for them. You may do all of your work from referrals (hey, those are your samples talking too — only they're not fictionalized!), but not everyone is going to believe that you can transform their dull, ordinary resume into something extraordinary.

That's another of my goals — to create a set of before-and-after resumes. I've got plenty of the “befores” (I request the client’s existing resume as part of the quoting process), but I haven’t taken the time to match them up with the “afters” and update my sample portfolio. Yet another item for the to-do list.

Take a look at the samples you're using. Are they from two years ago? Are they out of date? Now may be the time to work on that. That may have to be the subject of a future post for new resume writers — how to fictionalize samples.

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