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What Makes a Professional Resume and Cover Letter

When you decide it’s time to move up in your career, or you find yourself unexpectedly unemployed, one of the first things you need to do is revise and update your resume. But how do you do that? What goes into a resume and what belongs in the cover letter? What’s the difference, anyway?

As I explain to my clients, a resume is like a skeleton. It provides structure and hard facts about your experience, skills, and accomplishments. Usually, if you’ve done your resume well, you won’t need to change much when applying to different types of jobs.

The cover letter is like the body and clothes on a skeleton. It shows who you are as a person and sets you apart from the other candidates. You will most likely modify this letter for each job you apply to, because this letter allows you to showcase what makes you the best option for the specific responsibilities of the position.

two managers looking at a resume for a candidate
ID 120055809 © Fizkes |

When I work with a client on their resume and cover letter, I follow a process designed to help me draw out of them their unique experiences and skills that are valuable in a variety of contexts. You don’t have to hold a job titled “manager” to demonstrate that you’ve managed projects and people successfully. I also help you craft a letter that speaks directly to the hiring manager of the position you want.

Here’s what the process looks like:

  1. You send me your existing resume and at least one job description of a role you want.
  2. I review these and then we schedule a phone conversation in which I delve into your experience and draw out what I need to update your resume for the desired role.
  3. I work on your resume and cover letter and send drafts to you.
  4. Either via email or phone, we make any needed adjustments so that you are happy.
  5. I send you final versions in both PDF and text-only formats (some online applications require text-only, others allow you to upload a nicely-designed file, so I give you both).

My fee for this service is $200 for the resume and $100 per cover letter. Each additional cover letter or version of your resume is $75.

Ready to get started? Request a brief get-to-know-you call with me here.

Client Showcase: C-Suite Consulting Partners Group • Branding


The C-Suite Consulting Partners Group (CSC) is a newly-launched agency made up of former Procter & Gamble executives with recent experience leading other Fortune 50 and Fortune 500 corporations. They bring decades of experience and insights earned the hard way – in the trenches. The founder, Dick Bruder, requested our assistance branding this new agency.

Most intriguing about this challenge was capturing the shared P&G background of the consultants while also demonstrating the value of their current divergent and varied experiences. This team of professionals uses a common vocabulary that is unique to Procter & Gamble’s way of tackling problems. However, that vocabulary is unfamiliar to prospective clients outside of the Fortune 50 company. Bruder asked us to develop a visual identity that represents forward progress and depth of experience in a way that stands out from the usual “corporate” branding.


C-Suite Consulting Partners Group logoWe designed a contemporary logo that combines the C from C-Suite with a check mark swooping forward to communicate success and progress. In order to set the logo and color palette apart from other competitors, we selected colors far removed from staid and overused corporate blues and grays.

We worked closely with Dick and his senior partners to marry this visual identity with a carefully crafted agency voice. The results is a style that brings the experience of P&G to the challenges faced by today’s up-and-coming corporations. Together we built banners, icons, logo packs, presentation templates, and marketing collateral to help build the company’s digital reputation. We also worked together to plan a phased approach to building the agency’s website so that the first phase fit his budget while allowing for upgrades as the agency grows.

C-Suite Consulting How We Work

Client Testimonial

I launched a new consulting agency in 2018 and needed a strong brand and website to jumpstart our efforts to acquire new clients. We hired Joy Bennett Consulting to design our logo and build our first simple website. Their design work was very good and their turnaround time was quick. We appreciated how well they served us, providing creative suggestions and actively participating in our kickoff meeting. Our website and branding receive consistently positive reviews.  ~ Dick Bruder, Founder and Principal Partner

In our Client Showcase, we put the spotlight on our clients and how we help get their message out to their audience. Branding is an exciting exercise. It’s the stage of execution in which your ideas take on shapes and colors. But finding the right visuals to represent your vision can be challenging. That’s where we come in.

Client Showcase: Denver Modern • Branding

In our Client Showcase, we put the spotlight on our clients and how we help get their message out to their audience. Branding is an exciting exercise. It’s the stage of execution in which your ideas take on shapes and colors. But finding the right words to support a visual message can be challenging. That’s where we come in.

Messaging Challenge

The founders of Denver Modern were completing the branding for this new furniture and home goods brand. Their look and feel was fairly well defined, but they were struggling to develop the voice. They needed simple and clear words to articulate the brand’s unique aesthetic to the artists and designers they approached about partnering. They also needed to connect with their potential customers on an emotional level and lay out the guidelines needed for marketing Denver Modern.

Messaging Solution

The first step is asking questions about the style, inspiration, and vibe of this brand. We explored resources related to the brand so we could begin to grasp Denver Modern’s essence. Then we reviewed copy ideas drafted by the Denver Modern team, and began to distill them into what was most important. Once we had a sense of the voice, we created a short 2-page branding guide that the team can use for all future writing about Denver Modern.

Denver Modern branding sample

We needed a professional copywriter to help us craft a succinct message about our brand with the goal of connecting on an emotional level. Joy helped us distill our ideas and verbiage into the most important and effective messaging. She homed in on our tagline and created a document our team will use to describe our brand consistently. And, in the process, she did a great job communicating the timeline and deliverables.

~Lindsey Criswell, co-founder Denver Modern

Mistakes To Avoid When Setting Your Rates

One of my favorite entrepreneurs is Amber Andersen, founder of The New MORE. Her blog is full of tips and advice for an integrated life, because she believes (and I agree) that “balance” is a myth. We can live integrated lives, but balance is impossible. Her team invited me to guest post on the New MORE blog on the topic of rates.

“How do you figure out your rates?”

“How much should I charge? Am I really worth that?”

“What if I’m too expensive?”

“What if I’m not charging enough? How do I know? I see others talking smack about people who devalue their profession by competing to be the cheapest, but I need work.”

These are some of the most difficult questions for entrepreneurs and freelancers to answer.

Follow the link to read about the three biggest mistakes I’ve made when setting rates, and what I learned.

How I Fixed One of the Biggest Mistakes I Made as a Work-from-Home Mom

woman working from home on floor with toysMy dream has always been to be a work-from-home mom. When I found out we were expecting our first child, way back in 1999, I asked my employer at the time if I could work a modified schedule and/or work some of the time from home. That didn’t go over well at all, so when we found out that our baby girl, Elli, was seriously ill, I opted to quit that job and care for her full-time.

Eventually, I began working again, and in 2013, I took my first full-time job since Elli’s birth. It was a work-from-home job, and I thought it was the best thing ever. This guest post on The New MORE’s blog talks about the biggest mistake I made during that time.

Three years ago, I was working for a child-focused nonprofit as a full-time remote employee. Initially, it seemed like the best of both worlds — I was making a regular salary, my commute was a few steps from my kitchen to my office, and I was home to see the kids off to school and welcome them home again.

But I made one crucial mistake in the way I looked at my work and family life: I mistook proximity for closeness.

Go here to read the rest!