What to Do When Your Client Asks for a Resume

When a potential copywriting client asks you for your resume, simply put yourself in his shoes. Ask yourself what he or she is looking for in a copywriter. Then, ask yourself what makes you unique and how you can make yourself stand out.

If you have an impressive or extensive background then sending a resume and cover letter along with samples of your work is an excellent way to get your foot in the door. Use your copywriting skills to hone into your employer's core complex – feelings, beliefs, desires. Tell him what you can do for him and why he should hire you over anyone else and chances are – he will.

If you lack experience or you don't think your resume is strong enough to compete with the rest of the stack, consider sending only a cover letter and samples. What your potential employer really wants is someone who's going to bring in the money. If he can find that someone without going through the stack of resumes on his desk then he'll be happy. And when you beat his existing control in the mail…he'll be even happier.

So how do you let him know that you're that someone that deserves a chance if you don't have a resume?

Simple. You put your copywriting skills to work and create the most effective cover letter imaginable. You prove your worth (benefit) to your prospect and urge him to pick up the phone to hire you for the project.

Here are a few tips from AWAI's Resume Writing Program that you can use to help you produce a powerful cover letter:

  1. First, make a connection with your prospect and grab his attention. Use his name in the greeting. Tell him how you heard about the job and compliment him or his company.

    For example …

    "Dear James Smith:

    "I very much enjoyed speaking with you today about writing direct-mail packages for ABC Corporation. I understand your company is a pioneer in the direct marketing industry."

  2. Prove to him that you are the best person for the job. Get as specific as possible, using concrete examples and hard-hitting numbers.

    For example …

    "My writing skills and experience make me a strong candidate for this assignment. I have:

    • "increased Healthy Ways' sales by 43%
    • "authored 4 articles on alternative health in XYZ magazine
    • "boosted contributions for Healthy Charity by 62%
    • "conceptualized Wellness Program for Work, Inc."
  3. Finally, move him to take a specific action – call you for a meeting.

    For example, say …

    "At your convenience, I look forward to speaking with you early next week. I am available for a meeting Monday through Wednesday between 3:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m."

If you don't have samples or a past work history, you might want to consider submitting an assignment on spec. Do your research and find a promo that the company is already mailing and then rewrite it. Or ask them for an assignment that you will do for them for FREE (as long as they agree to pay you for it if they like it and mail it).

And don't forget to follow up. Persistence pays. Don't stalk your client by any means – but a nice follow up letter or email restating the benefit of hiring you for their next assignment is always a good push.

For more information on how to create resumes for yourself or to learn how you can make some extra money writing resumes for others visit: http://www.myresumebiz.com/

The AWAI Method

The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter

The AWAI Method™ combines the most up-to-date strategies, insights, and teaching methods with the tried-and-true copywriting fundamentals so you can take on ANY project — not just sales letters. Learn More »


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Published: September 9, 2002

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