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Don't ask a VA for their resume!

Posted on July 23, 2015 at 1:40 AM

Would you ask a lawyer or a plumber for their resume? I’m guessing your answer is ‘NO WAY; why would I?!?’.

Just like a lawyer or the local plumber, a Virtual Assistant (VA) is a small business owner. Although what a VA does for you in your business is very different … we don’t unclog toilets or keep you out of gaol (usually). What we do provide to you, just like a lawyer or plumber, is a ‘service’.

This can be really difficult for some business owners to get their heads around when looking at engaging a VA to work with them … I think that’s because of the nature of the work VAs are seen to provide. The reality is that VAs provide a multitude of services for business owners – far more than the general secretarial services often imagined.

I bet you wouldn’t dream of asking a Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Copywriter or Bookkeeper, for their resume … yet all of those professionals could very likely be VAs!

Now we VAs totally understand that you wouldn’t feel comfortable unless you found out a bit more about that lawyer or plumber before engaging their services (we wouldn’t either) … and you would likely do that by visiting their website/Facebook page, reading their testimonials/reviews or through a referral from a friend. And you can do the same thing to find about us – ask us for our websites, Facebook pages, and links to testimonials … but please don’t ask us for our resumes!

What you wouldn’t do is to say to your lawyer or plumber “I need to see your resume and I also want contact details for your clients so I can do a ‘reference check’.” I can imagine their reaction right now, and it isn’t pretty!

If that is what you are intending to say to the VA you are considering engaging to provide their services to you … maybe what you are really needing to find is an employee, not a VA. An employee that you would be responsible for paying a set wage, WorkCover, sick leave and other leave entitlements, office space and all the other bits and pieces that come part and parcel with an employee.

VAs are not employees – we are independent contractors and you (our clients) are not responsible for our taxes, insurances, or other employee related expenses (excepting indirect expenses incurred in the course of us completing your work).

We are self-employed business owners who provide professional administrative, technical or creative services to our clients remotely (from our home office) … be that secretarial/administration services, web design, copywriting, technical support, bookkeeping, etc.

We provide all of our clients with a contract and agreement that requires both our signatures … a confidentiality clause included.

Don’t think a VA is hiding something from you when they say they don’t give a resume or contact details for their ‘references’. We aren’t; it is simply that we are business owners who take pride and responsibility in our work and our businesses working on the same engagement of services principle as that lawyer or plumber. We also take our responsibilities to our client’s privacy seriously and won’t divulge or share their contact details with others.

Our good work and reputation is what grows our business and you can be sure that we are working hard on doing just that. We truly love working with our clients to ensure the growth and success of their business … and I’m sure that’s gotta be a bonus for you over an employee any day!

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