Most of our clients make almost no changes to the resumes we write. They may correct a fact here or tweak a word there, but almost always they love the resume and are eager to get started on a search.
But every now and then we have a client who needs to make more changes.
The reasons vary - some clients just have a very strong idea of what a resume should be and need the resume to look or sound the way they imagined when they purchased it. Others can't stop tinkering - they go through 7,8,9 rounds of revisions, changing different things each time until the resume bears no relation to the one I originally wrote. (Let me just stress, the clients I am describing are not unhappy with our service or angry in any way - they just feel the process is a team effort and they want to be intimately involved with every word).
And that's the problem ... when this many changes are made, I wonder what to do. The resume is no longer the one I wrote and, in my professional opinion, it's nowhere near as good as the one I wrote.
The clients who insist on these changes have usually shown their resume to friends and colleagues who have made numerous suggestions - many of which contradict each other and none of which are based on anything other than personal preference. With all due respect to your friends, dear readers, unless they have written hundreds of successful resumes, unless they follow recruitment trends, unless they have taken training in the field, they don't know what they're talking about!
As an example, I have a couple of doctor's appointments planned for next week. If the doctor recommends a test or medication, should I ask my friends whether they think it's a good idea before going ahead with it? Probably not ;-)
So do I let these changes stand? Or do I walk away from the project because I can't stand behind the product anymore?
I usually try to determine if I think the changes have destroyed the product to the point where it's no longer going to be at all effective. In these cases, I offer a refund and explain that I just can't accept money for something I can't stand behind. Surprisingly this sometimes angers the client, although I can't imagine what could be more ethical.
But if I think the resume will still be generally effective, if a little less so than when I originally wrote it, then I polish it up and send the client on his or her way. It seems churlish to refuse to work on the project just because I don't like some of the choices the client has made.
What do you think? If you pay a professional for a service, how would you want them to handle this situation?