If you want to get consulting clients, an independent consultant resume WON’T help you as much as you think.
Does the following scenario sound familiar?
You’re talking to a potential client, and they’re showing some interest in you.
Excitedly, you start telling them about your services.
You KNOW deep down that you can really help them.
But then, they respond with…
“That sounds great. Can you send me your resume? We’ll go from there.”
You send over your resume.
3 days later, no response.
You follow-up — still crickets.
Was your resume the problem?
Here’s the issue…
If you’re thinking “resume”, you’re thinking “career” instead of running a real consulting business.
And if a prospective client asks for your resume, you haven’t done a good enough job of establishing your authority and expertise in your market.
As an independent consultant, you’re no longer an employee. You’re a business owner.
By the end of this post, you’ll understand why you shouldn’t rely on your independent consultant resume to win clients — and what you should be doing instead.
Let’s dive in.
Here’s the truth about why clients ask you for your resume as an independent consultant.
If clients are asking you for your resume, they probably aren’t serious about hiring you.
They don’t feel like you’ve demonstrated enough value yet.
Or, they don’t really see you as an expert.
Buyers shouldn’t be asking to see your independent consultant resume.
Because you should have a compelling LinkedIn profile, a strong consulting website, and authority-building content.
These marketing assets are far more powerful than a resume because they demonstrate your expertise and provide value to your ideal clients.
If you’re looking to get a job, then a resume is sufficient.
But if you’re looking to get consulting clients, then a resume is not enough.
You are a business owner, and your clients want you to carry yourself as one.
If you’re truly an independent consultant — and you are working for yourself — then clients won’t hire you based on your resume.
They’ll hire you based on the results you’ve created for your clients and how much value you demonstrate to them.
Now, that doesn’t mean independent consultant resumes are useless.
Writing one is a great exercise for learning how to communicate about your expertise and the results you’ve created for clients.
Take the copy from your resume and use it in your marketing assets: your LinkedIn profile, consulting website, etc.
In the next section, I’ll give you an independent consultant resume template and an example.
Independent Consultant Resume Example (& Template)
First things first: your independent consultant resume is a marketing asset.
That means its job is to help you start conversations with your consulting clients.
And to do that, it has to speak to them: their problem, their needs, their wants.
A marketing-focused resume positions you as the solution to your client’s problems — and as the “product” that will help them achieve their desired result.
Your resume is not about you.
It’s about your clients.
Feel free to use this template to complete your independent consultant resume — and most importantly, use it as a starting point for your marketing assets.
Start by writing your name and the type of consulting you offer.
Example: Jane Goodman — Marketing Consultant.
Then, include your contact details: your phone number, your LinkedIn profile URL, and your consulting website.
In the “Objective” section, give a high-level overview of the results you can create for your clients.
Example: Digital marketing expert where more than 8 years of client-facing experience will help your business generate more traffic, increase sales, and stand out in the marketplace.
In the “Skills” section, write a list of the different skills you have and your different areas of expertise.
Then, in the “Experience” section, list your corporate roles. Start by writing the company’s name and the dates which you worked there.
Example: Jane Goodman Consulting — Founder (October 2012 – Present)
As an independent consultant, you should list your own company on your resume.
Underneath each job title, write a high-level overview of your role at the company, and the results you’ve created for your company and your clients.
Example: I help law firms get more clients online. My unique methodology has lead to over a dozen guest posts and podcast invitations — helping thousands of professionals improve their digital marketing.
Then, underneath that, write 3-5 bullets that explain the actions, projects, or responsibilities assigned to you at the company — and the RESULT that those assignments generated.
Example: Ran outreach campaigns to 150 influencers to create 4 pieces of first-ranked content
At the bottom, include your education: where and when you went to college.
Notice how this resume is hyper-focused on results.
That’s what consulting clients want: results.
Results are why they will hire you.
Next, we’ll talk about what you should be working on (and promoting) instead of your independent consultant resume — marketing assets that do a better job of communicating your value and results.
Focus Your Attention On These 3 Marketing Assets
Instead of focusing on your independent consultant resume, you should focus on 3 marketing assets:
- Your LinkedIn profile
- Your consulting website
- Your content
Update Your LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile is like a digital version of your resume.
The big mistake that consultants make with their LinkedIn profile is writing it as if they are looking to get a job.
You’re not trying to get a job, you’re trying to start conversations with your ideal clients.
Just like your resume, your LinkedIn profile is not really about you.
It’s about your clients: their problems, desires, and uncertainties.
Here’s how you can turn your LinkedIn profile into a marketing and sales asset that promotes your independent consulting business:
- Use a professional headshot as your photo.
- Write your tagline to speak about who you help and what you do for them instead of your “title.” For example, instead of “independent management consultant”, you would write “I help senior executives run more productive and engaged teams.”
- In your summary, write about what you do, how you do it, what you’re clients are saying, and include a “call to action” that prompts your ideal clients to reach out to you.
- For your experience section, list the companies that you’ve worked for, your responsibilities at those companies, and then the results you helped create for the company.
- Ask your previous clients, employers, and colleagues for recommendations. These serve as your testimonials.
Your LinkedIn profile has the potential to be one of your best tools for generating consulting leads.
Next, we’ll talk about another critical asset — your consulting website.
Build Your Consulting Website
Did you know that four out of five prospective buyers will check out your website before doing business with you?
Your consulting website is a marker for professionalism.
It’s also a way for you to host other marketing assets that educate and provide value to your ideal clients (we’ll talk about that next).
If you don’t have a consulting website, then you’re making it that much harder for clients to find and hire you.
Here are five best practices to help you write, design, and promote your consulting website:
- Write to your prospective clients, not about yourself. “Brochure”-style consulting websites don’t excite your clients into reaching out to contact you. Instead, write about their problems, desires, and uncertainties — just like your independent consultant resume.
- Use lots of social proof. Testimonials. Logos of clients you’ve worked with. Logos of press where you’ve been featured. Case studies. All of these make your consulting website more credible and persuasive.
- Stay away from jargon and stock photos. “Bizspeak” and generic photography add no value. Write like you would talk and include pictures of yourself. Your consulting website should feel like your “digital doppelganger.”
- Include a clear call to action. Don’t have a generic “Contact” page with a standard contact form. Instead, tell your clients exactly what you want them to do to get in touch with you and why that will benefit them. Funnel people towards a “FREE CONSULTATION” page that makes it very easy for them to book a call with you.
- If you’re not a designer, hire a professional. You can even use websites like Upwork or Fiverr to help design your consulting website. It will look much better, and your brand will look and feel much more professional. (Although you may not design the site, you should write the copy — or at least help write it.)
Your consulting website, when used right, is an incredibly valuable marketing asset. Unlike your resume, you can add whatever you want to it — and turn it into a platform that educates your ideal clients and captures leads.
Create Educational Content
If you’re looking to hire an expert to solve a problem for you, what would prove to you that they are an expert?
Clients hire consultants to solve problems.
The onus is one you to prove that you are the expert who can solve their problems.
You can’t expect them to believe you just because you say you can help solve their problems.
You have to prove to them through your content that you have the knowledge and expertise to solve their problems.
Content can come in many forms:
- Writing: articles, white papers, case studies, books, etc
- Speaking on podcasts (or hosting one yourself)
- Recording videos and presentations
The medium for your content doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you produce it — and produce it consistently.
This is where your LinkedIn profile and consulting website will come in handy.
Once you’ve created these marketing assets, use them to HOST and PROMOTE your content.
For example, if you’ve written a new article that helps show your clients how to solve a big problem in their business, share that on LinkedIn.
Then, in the comments, insert a link to your consulting website where you’ve published the article.
Although this is a very simple marketing tactic, it is very effective:
- You are creating awareness about what you are working on
- You are promoting valuable content that helps your prospects get a result
- You are generating traffic to your consulting website, where your prospects can learn more about you, your services, and how to get in touch with you
As a consultant, your content is one of the biggest factors in helping you win consulting clients.
In our Clarity Coaching Program, we call this Authority Building.
Elite consultants find it easy to get new clients because they’ve spent years building up their authority in their industry.
They no longer have to resort to tactics like direct outreach to get new consulting clients — their content markets their business for them.
Whether you are a new consultant or seasoned veteran, spend some time each day on Authority Building: creating content that creates value for your potential clients.
By doing these, you’ll do much more to win consulting clients than by blasting out your resume.
Imperfect Action: Create Your Marketing Assets
Go ahead and use our Independent Consultant Resume (Template & Example) to create your independent consulting resume.
Use it as a starting point to improve your marketing assets.
Instead of relying on your independent consultant resume to win consulting clients, adopt the entrepreneurial consultant mindset.
Start building out marketing assets that market you like the real business that you are: your LinkedIn profile, consulting website, and educational content.
The more you market yourself like a real business — creating assets and content that provide value to your readers — the greater success you’ll have as an independent consultant.
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