Are you assuming too much?

Image by Donna Sullivan Thompson

What’s the fastest way to lose good will with people? If you are looking at my title, you might think that it is assuming too much or at least wonder what I mean by that.

A prospective client left a message yesterday. He said he needed a resume right away. And then proceeded to tell me that he was leaving his house and wouldn’t be available until the morning. I called him back and caught him before he left. After I explained who I was, he launched into his reason for calling.

Just a Quick Resume

“Oh, I am glad you called back. I need just a quick resume. Nothing big just a resume. But I need it by the weekend.”

It was Thursday afternoon. No mention of what my schedule was, no question about price. I explained that my projects typically take four hours to create though once in awhile I can do it quicker. I told him that I schedule 2 hour or less sessions because otherwise they are not productive and so if he needed it by the weekend, I would be hard-pressed to get him on the schedule with two appointments but we could compare schedule.

He replied, “oh, this is an easy job. You can probably do it in an hour.”

Now my reputation in the industry is that I am one of the fastest writers partially because I write with the client as part of the process. They are either in my office or on Skype for the majority of the information gathering process and I write the resume live while they watch it develop and provide input. It’s an interactive process that started in office and expanded to Skype when I realized that I could deliver the same process to clients across the globe if I used Skype’s screen share technology. But an hour, even for me, that would be very unlikely and probably yield garbage.

It’s internal so it is NO big deal

This prospective client went on to say, ” it’s for an internal position so it is no big deal.” Even that struck me as funny. I have had many internal clients before, several who have been in the position that they needed the resume for, bidding on a job that they were already doing. I have had police chiefs, vice presidents of colleges, and other professionals who recognized that even though they were already doing the job, it was just as critical to create a dynamic, accomplishment-filled resume that clarified to the employer that they were indeed the best person for the job. You should never assume that it is “no big deal.”

Finally, he asked what this would cost. I explained that my opening rate is $295 and that I let clients select their own packages from that starting point in light of the economy. I also told him I would waive the $100 rush fee this time because I could fit the project into my schedule. (Though I have to admit that at this point, I was thinking I should make the rush fee $500 just for him.)

Quickly he back-peddled. My prices are all listed on my site. But he had not done any research, he just assumed that I would be available and cheap. Since he had sounded so urgent, I had called this “assumer” back before returning a call to one of my favorite former clients who needed an update.

No, I didn’t write the resume for the assumer. Instead, I found the time to spend two hours with my former client, recreating his resume which has always gotten him the Sales Manager and District Manager positions he has wanted. We also started his LinkedIn profile and did some LinkedIn coaching. My afternoon was delightful. My former client has been the source of many referrals and will be again. He has never assumed that we should throw things together or assumed that you don’t need the best and most strategic documents you can create.

What happens when you assume?

In a job search, if you assume you can just give them a piece of paper, you probably will not give them a golden ticket. In a job search, if you assume you can just wander in dressed anyway you want, ripped blue jeans because you are the primo candidate and they should want you, you may be very surprised.

I find that people who play the “assume” game with me are the least prepared to change positions or land a new job. They don’t take it seriously and they think too much of themselves. Surprise, most employers don’t see their Superman emblems and have to be convinced that they are the right candidate for the job. My point, make sure you make the effort all the time and don’t assume.

Julie Walraven can help you achieve results through using a personalized job search and resume writing  strategy to take the mystery out of the process. To find out how, simply click here!

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

Here are ways I can help you land your dream job.

You may be halfway across the country or the world. When you work with me, we share coffee, laughs, and concerns. This turns the scary job search into creative, consultative writing and learning sessions.