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How To Handle Potential Clients When They Ask You For A CV or Resume

Michelle Dale - Wednesday, April 27, 2011

There was a great question recently on my forums from a VA, she had just relaunched her business and had an enquiry from someone asking her for her CV (or resume). This may come up from potential clients who perhaps have had employees in the past or are not familiar in any way with hiring independent contractors or virtual assistant service providers.

Being an independent contractor is all about providing a service that other people need. They may hire you on a regular retainer, for a project or something else, but whatever it is, it’s just like any other service provider and a CV is not required, because you are not applying for a job…

Why We Don’t Give Out CV’s

First, we need to get our heads around the reason why we don’t produce CV’s. Let’s look at a few scenarios:

Would you walk into a hairdresser to purchase a haircut, and ask to see the hairdressers CV before you allowed them to cut your hair?

Would you go to the dentist for a tooth extraction, but before sitting in the dentist chair ask him or her for a CV before they took your tooth out?

Would you book a personal trainer at the local gym, and on the induction ask them to produce a CV before they started helping you get fit?

Umm seriously, I don’t think you would… And hiring a virtual assistant is pretty much the same.

How To Handle The Situation

So here is the response I would send to anyone asking for my CV before they hired me:

Hi [Name],

Thank you so much for your interest in our services at ( your company name).

All general information regarding my company and the services I provide can be found on my website (enter link here).

I would be delighted to explore assisting you further, and the best way that we can do this is through a complimentary consultation which you can book at a time which is convenient for you here (enter link to your appointment booking system), during this time I would be happy to explain further how you can hire my services, and also answer any specific questions you have regarding how  I can assist you with your individual requirements.

I hope this helps, and if there is anything else I can assist you with, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Best regards,

This will basically give them the benefit of the doubt, and allow them to become aware of any misunderstanding in terms of working with you — if the clients follows the steps and books the consultation, it may simply be a misconception, and it could still work out. However, if the client comes back again asking for a CV, you need to seriously ask yourself whether you want to work with that person, for me it would be a definite “no” because they have already demonstrated that they have ignored your requirements, and your hiring process, and are unwilling to cooperate. They want what they want, okay that’s fine, but for me, that would mean that they are most certainly someone who would not be a good fit for my online business. At this point, this is what I would send:

Hi [Name],

Thanks so much for getting back to me.

I do appreciate the reasons why you have requested a CV, and I would be happy to explain our hiring process a little further. We work as an independent contractor, which means you would hire our services rather than employ us. Therefore a CV is not necessary under any circumstances when working with our clients, instead we provide a consultation to discover whether we would be a good fit to work with each other.

In all honesty it’s unlikely, but in some cases there may well be a service provider out there willing to furnish you with a CV, however I would recommend perhaps visiting a recruitment agency or online recruitment consultancy for further assistance if it is essential for you to obtain a CV before hiring their services.

I hope this helps, and I am sorry we couldn’t be of service to you on this occasion.

Best regards,

It’s highly unlikely you will hear from them again, you may get a nasty email, or you may get an apology, it depends entirely on the individual. If it’s nasty, I think you should put it to bed, if it’s nice or apologetic with someone explaining they understand the situation and would like a consultation, then it may well be worth pursuing, let’s leave that one to your gut instincts.

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Hi I'm Michelle, an entrepreneur specialising in virtual assistance, a digital and real world nomad, and a down-to-earth mother of three.

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