You’re Not an Employee So Stop Complying with Resume Requests

Virtual Assistants, I’ve got a secret to share.

Guess what? You are business owners!

I know, I’m being a facetious, but it never ceases to amaze me that as business owners, many Virtual Assistants continue to market and conduct themselves as if they were potential employees.

Professionals don’t submit resumes to prospective clients. Your website and marketing collateral become your “resume” when you are a business owner. These are the things that demonstrate your knowledge, expertise, communication skills and business sensibility. It’s up to clients to decide to talk with you further in a consultation based on these professional representations of your service—not a resume.

Complying with requests for resumes only serves to reinforce the common misconception among clients that Virtual Assistants are some form of offsite employee. And then you wonder why you are constantly treated like an employee? Stop it!

And Virtual Assistants, stop asking your colleagues for their resumes! If you are looking for someone to outsource or subcontract to, or want to hire your own Virtual Assistant to assist you in your practice, please respect each other as professionals.

You should be going about this process like any other client would be expected to. Do you ask your contractor for a resume? Your attorney? Accountant?

Of course not!

As a consumer of professional services (and as a fellow Virtual Assistant, no less!), you should be doing your own homework like you would when looking to hire any professional. By asking around for referrals. By reading the professional’s website and marketing materials. By paying attention to testimonials and talking with past clients. By scheduling a consultation and asking relevant questions.

Of course, if you are looking to hire an employee, then by all means ask for a resume. (And don’t forget your responsibilities as an employer, like paying all the attendant payroll taxes, agency compliances and expense reimbursements).

Just please stop confusing independent professionals with employees.

2 Responses

  1. Amen, Sister! Preach it!

    I just got off a site that was advertising for “virtual assistants” and REQUIRED them to work 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. There were tons of responses.

    If they’re going to require certain hours, they’re employers and you will be employees. You can’t run your own business by letting others decide when you’re going to work.

    Good job, Danielle.

    Vickie Turley

  2. You got that right, Vicky. Those are telecommuters—not Virtual Assistant independent professionals. Sure would be nice if people would stop using our terminology incorrectly, huh?

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