I was surprised when I turned on my computer the other morning to find a post on a local Facebook Group for a new player in the market offering a very similar service to Strawberry Seed.
Now, there are a number of very well respected and qualified people that work in my area offering a similar service to me and sometimes I even refer my clients their way when I can’t meet their needs. What caused my surprise was that this person was a former client of mine that engaged me to put together their CV and I know what their background is.
A lot of clients that come my way have previously paid a ‘professional’ to put together a CV for them only to find that it was generic and ineffective. They are upset that they wasted their time and money and are now needing to fork out again to get someone to fix it.
When you are looking to engage a professional to provide a service, there are a number of factors I would recommend that you consider before engaging them.
Experience and qualifications
Anybody can claim to be an expert but it is what they back it up with that counts. What expertise are they bringing to the table? How long have they worked in a particular industry? What qualifications do they have?
Just because I once attended a day of sales training, doesn’t mean I now have the expertise to provide that training to others. Experience counts and means you will receive a more meaningful and effective service.
Pricing and availability
How often do we see customers in online forums asking for a referral to a professional and their criteria is that they should be ‘really good, cheap and available now’? I would be concerned that if someone is cheap and available now, they may not necessarily be the best in their field. And I believe you get what you pay for.
Look beyond whether they are the cheapest and ask yourself if their price is reflective of their experience. I would happily pay more for someone who is going to provide me with the best service and advice. Be aware of hidden costs. I have seen providers of CV services that seem cheaper but have a page limit that could provide an unexpected additional cost if you were not expecting it.
Anyone can start a business Facebook page and claim to be an expert so you need to do some research to verify their expertise. Do some further online research and ask yourself these questions:
- Do they have a website that provides you with information on their services and background?
- Can you find any recommendations from former clients?
- Do they publish articles relevant to their industry?
- Is there consistency between what they claim on their business page and other information available online?
- Do they use Facebook and other social media networks to provide interesting content or is it simply a sales tool?
LinkedIn is a great place to start when researching the expertise of a service provider. Firstly, LinkedIn has a policy that enables people to report a profile that is showing inaccurate information regarding experience or qualifications. Second, research has found that because LinkedIn is a tool to connect with former colleagues, people are much less likely to lie on their profile as it will reflect badly on them.
At the end of the day, take the time to ensure that the expertise being offered is the expertise you will receive to make sure you actually do engage a professional.