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Before launching my business in 2014, I spent time side-hustling on a freelance website to gain experience working with clients. However, juggling a full-time job and a newborn meant I couldn’t take calls, so I relied heavily on questionnaires.

Admittedly, I also struggled with self-doubt. Hiding behind emails felt like a safe way to buy time to craft perfect responses. Looking back, I realise this was because I targeted clients in my industry, where I had a good understanding of their roles and impact.

While I added value and created better CVs, I knew the service wasn’t ideal. The work became repetitive, and I questioned my business decisions.

The problem? My client relationships were transactional, with little to no interaction. Despite my requests, some clients would simply copy and paste information from their CVs or job descriptions into the questionnaires. I couldn’t fabricate their career history, so I had to pick up the phone and talk to them.

This was a game-changer! These conversations allowed me to understand the people behind the CVs, their challenges, and the people who supported them.

It was then that my business model shifted completely.

While I’m a writer, I’m also a skilled questioner. I still use an initial questionnaire, but it’s just a springboard for in-depth, one-hour consultations. Even when clients copy and paste content, I use open-ended questions to spark dialogue and encourage them to reflect on their contributions, skills, and experiences.

My goal is to create unique CVs tailored to each client. I want them to see themselves and their skills woven into impactful stories that highlight what sets them apart from other candidates.

This shift has brought me immense fulfilment. Witnessing my clients connect with their stories and confidently land their target roles is the most rewarding aspect of my work.

But what truly motivates me is realising that for my clients, it’s not just about the CV; it’s a chance to rediscover what motivated them, what their strengths are and how they evolved over time, how their values impact their work, and their contributions to employer and industry. This journey of self-reflection and conversation equips them to thrive, not just in their job search, but also in other aspects of their lives.