From the title of this blog, one can easily deduce that I run a business from home where I construct winning resumes for people wishing to make their marks on the labour market. So far, my clients have seen some modicum of success for their (my) efforts. My resumes get them the interview, and my coaching gets them prepared to handle the interview so they have a reasonable chance of getting the job.

I have seen resumeS from other writers, and I can see why, even if I do say so myself, my clients experience success. Other writers split infinitives like cordwood, and dangle participles and modifiers in front of prospective employers like worms in front of a salmon.

Salmon don’t eat worms. They eat expensive flashing spoons and lures.

I am also the most cost-effective resume writer I have seen advertised. That’s why I find it hard to imagine what would give job seekers the idea that I would give them a discount. I find it even harder to imagine why they would ask for a discount even before I tell them what my fee would be for the variety of services I offer.

“Why would I give you a discount?” I ask. I know this sounds snarky, but I really am curious. I anticipate answers like:

“I have a number of friends. I can give you referrals after I get a job.”


“I haven’t been working for a while and I don’t think I can afford your fees.”

The first one, economy of scale, I can relate to. I can also relate to the second one, provided they provide me with more referrals after they get a job.

Instead, I get, “I always try to get the best deal I can.” I wonder what possibe good that could be for me.

“I suppose you’ve never heard of Karma,” I say, thinking there may be a reason the client is unemployed.

“Heard of what?”

“Never mind,” I say. “I can take 10% off, but I’ll only use Canadian spelling (or American if the client is Canadian) and I’ll leave one grammatical error in your cover letter.”

“Sounds good to me.”

“Forewarned is forearmed, “I say.

I suppose the fault is mine. For me, a deal is always the last thing on my mind. I just want to get the job done, and done right. I don’t expect to get a deal from my dentist, for example. He is liable to discount 10% then hand me the drills and tell me to do it myself. I don’t dicker. I the price is right, I’ll pay it. If not, I’ll walk. I don’t have the nerve to do that in-between stuff. That’s why I’m puzzled. Do clients have more nerve than me?

I’m not about to pass my computer over to a client

Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He does some work as a field Archaeologist and is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at or at or at 604-464-4195.  If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates When he is not doing all this he lives in Port Coquitlam with his partner Cecelia.


7 Responses to “DISCOUNT THIS!”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Good job, Mike. I like the line about dangling a worm in front of a salmon. Also like the 10% discount with errors.

    I run into the same thing with my Reiki practice. If I give 10% off do I skip the feet or the left arm?

    I’m just not a haggler. Sometimes people fuss at me for paying full price. I figure they want full price for their services the same as I.

  2. Sir Samuel Zeus Clemons Says:

    everybody likes a bargain. in many cultures full price is simply not acceptable. one barters at the bazaar, the fruit stand, with the cab driver, the slave auction…………

    so they set out with the mind set that prices are overly set so that they can be negotiated downward, this is the only way they do business.

    still others want the satisfaction that they got a deal.

    then there are the numbskulls that want you to work for virtually free.

    i think the answer lies hidden in the truth. that in this economy, ppl are broke. they simply don’t have the money for a professional to do a makeover.

    it’s not personal, it’s just a fact.

    i have to go negotiate with my twin masseuses… see if i can get a bargain. seems the only deal i ever get is a free massage with the purchase of 25… it might be cheaper just to take them shopping.

    editor/author Sarcastic Sam Tweets @Samuel_Clemons

  3. centro benessere Says:

    Cool story it is really. We have been waiting for this tips.

  4. Kevin Gillespie Says:

    Nice Mike!

    I love the way you throw this my way via Twitter!

    I usually love the effective use of understatement but if your clients have seen only “some modicum of success”, I’m wondering why only “some”. Why not a “decent” or “surprising”, or “encouraging” amount of success. I have to guess a modicum of success could be attainable for most of us non-professional resume crafters.

    And, why not a “better” or “improved”, as opposed to a “reasonable” chance of getting the job”? It doesn’t scream “high quality”, or “great value” or “really worthwhile”.

    Then, I also love the bit about intentionally leaving a flaw or error. As any master Moroccan rug maker leaves one flaw, just to show modesty, as only God makes perfect things, a copy editor would find more than a couple grammatical issues with your piece above.

    Finally, I have to assume anyone who asks for a discount does so, not to offend you but, to maximize their opportunities. Can’t blame them there. But the choice to take it personally or to view it as a minimization of the somewhat arbitrary setting of the value of your service, (“I am also the most cost-effective resume writer I have seen advertised. “), has more to do with you than it does to do with them.

    If their offer makes you feel that they’ve under-valued the quality of your service, all you have to do is say “No!”.

    Of course, then they get insulted and grumpy because you’ve just told them their offer, meaning them personally, is inadequate.

    I love the salmon analogy, but I have to admire the fellow who, as he can only afford worms, not flashing spoons and lures, is out there trying to feed his family with the resources he has.

    Who knows, he may run into that one salmon who is happy to take a worm dangling in front of his face.

    Power on,

  5. centri benessere Says:

    Outstanding information indeed. I have been waiting for tips like this.

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