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Career and job search help for creative professionals.

Blue Sky Resumes is a small team of professional writers and job search experts. We offer one-of-a-kind resumes, smart career advice and fantastic customer service. This is our blog.


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Why I’m Sharing


We’ve been working on a new site design for blueskyresumes.com for a while. We started by clarifying our brand, we then went on to site strategy – thinking through everything we want the site to do for us and for our visitors – and now we’re in the design phase, where that stuff is coming together page-by-page.

I’m so excited about it I can’t even tell you!

One feature that of the new site will be a really amazing resume samples section that I’m not going to give away just yet, but which will be pretty special.

I’m always surprised when I go to another resume service’s website and find that they don’t have any samples on display. Our samples are our single biggest sales tool – not to mention the source of the vast majority of our search engine traffic. Why would you give that opportunity up?

The answer of course, is that some resume writers are afraid their ideas will be stolen by others. They feel that by sharing, they will have lost something.

I feel the opposite. I feel that sharing brings you more. I think that the more you put out into the world, the more comes back to you. Will somebody copy one of your resume designs if you put it on the web? Probably. So what? They can’t copy the originality and talent behind that one resume. They can’t translate the ideas for themselves. And even if they could … so what again? What have you actually lost?

I always knew this, but it crystallized for me when I took Brian Clark’s Teaching Sells course last year, and then again this year when I read Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. Both approach the subject from a different angle, but both put forth the basic premise that to be trusted, you must give. Both say that you won’t lose money if you share your knowledge – that in fact, you and your business will benefit by sharing freely with others.

I know they’re right. And here’s one way I know … earlier this year I had a fantastic opportunity for another resume writer. I needed to find a relative unknown in the industry, but someone who had great potential. The opportunity paid well and offered fantastic exposure. So I went hunting on the web. The first place I looked was at the websites of resume writers I follow on Twitter. I wanted to see their work and judge whether I should contact them. And yet 90% of them had no samples available.

90% of them lost out on a great opportunity because they were unwilling to share! Now multiply that by every client who comes to their site interested in a new resume, but leaves because she can’t see any examples of work. And every journalist researching a story. And every potential strategic partner.

For me, it’s a no brainer. I’m going to share as much as I can wherever I can. I think that it will all come back to me. And if someone steals a resume design I created, well, good luck with it. I hope it gets you a great job!

What about you … do you share your knowledge or are you a hoarder?

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About the Author

Louise Fletcher

Louise co-founded Blue Sky in 2002 after a career as an HR executive. Her industry experience includes music, video games, fashion and advertising. She lived and worked in the US for many years, but moved back to her native UK in 2012, where she now lives in the Yorkshire countryside. In addition to her full-time role with Blue Sky, she's a professional artist, so you can imagine why she couldn't answer the 'what do you do with your free time' question! Contact Louise by email.

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8 comments on “Why I’m Sharing”

  1. Dawn Bugni says:

    Wow Louise. Great post. I’ve not got samples on my Web site, for reasons of client privacy more than anything. I never looked at it from the perspective you presented. You’ve given me food for thought. Thank you!

  2. Louise says:

    Hey Dawn,
    We disguise ours beyond recognition and also ask for permission. Some people still say no and that’s fine, but many don’t mind once they see that you changed their gender, and changed all identifying information.
    Good luck!

  3. I agree about sharing knowledge.

    However, I feel that if someone just paid $950+ for a resume package, they don’t want their resume and cover letter out on the web to be cloned a million times over. It wouldn’t be fair to the client to use what they have paid for as free advertising for my website.

    Also, I imagine the web traffic that usually comes from people seeking “resume samples” are usually not the ones that convert to paying customers. I don’t want to cast such a wide net just to have more visitors. I’m fine with my little target group that visit my site and it works out well. The people that find me, are looking specifically for me. I used to try to be all things for all people, it just wore me out and it wasn’t profitable.

    I hope that makes sense. I just figured I’d throw out another point of view. πŸ™‚

  4. Forgot to mention…

    When a client approaches me and asks for samples and references, I do offer them.

    The visitors that come to the site and click off and leave because they didn’t see samples are usually not the ones I would like to work with anyway.

    The visitors that do their homework, shop around, and ask me lots of questions are the ones I tend to mesh with. They already understand the value of hiring a resume writer and I don’t have to “sell” them.

    Anyway…back to work for me. I could chat about this all day!

  5. Louise says:

    Thanks for the comments Jennifer. I definitely think we all have to do what’s right for us.

    But to be clear, I would never use a resume if the client wasn’t OK with it and if I hasn’t disguised it first. Often the disguise includes changing the formatting or style completely.

    But as a sales tool, I find the samples really helpful to filter out those who wouldn’t be a good fit for us, and also to show that we do great work. Many people do shop by comparing samples and I actually think that’s a smart strategy. Comparing prices? No way! But samples tell you what you can expect.

    I’m about to recommend several other services on my website, but I can’t do that for services whose work I can’t view. If I can’t tell who’s good, how does a client?

    As for freeloaders, yes the samples attract a lot of those, but I don’t care. They’re not taking up space πŸ˜‰

  6. I do agree that sharing resume layout there are chances of format getting being copied. But rightly said, sharing brings you more. The more you put out into the world, the more comes back to you.

  7. The internet culture is one that promotes sharing. I think that everyone has something to share.

    If you have to put a price tag on every bit of knowledge you have, it means you don’t have an abundance of it and should not be considered and expert in you field.

  8. I think sharing and giving away knowledge is very important. The way I see it, all of us have some areas where we like to “do it ourselves” and other areas where we will hire experts to help us. The more we give away, the more we establish ourselves as the experts people will want to hire.

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