Asking Everyone for Resume Advice


I’m not going to tell you not to seek out resume advice. People feel very exposed when asking someone to critique their personal resume. Naturally they turn to people who love them to give the advice. Unless the people who love you work in the same line of work as you, they CANNOT comment on the content of your resume. You CAN use friends and relative to give you input on the look and writing style of your resume.

What friends and relatives CAN do:

1. Hopefully you know someone who is great with grammar. Checking for how you say it versus what you are saying makes your resume far more readable. Insuring an active voice is also very desirable.

2. Have one of your loved ones circle in red everything on your resume they don’t understand or that they stumble on when reading it over. There should be some things you do that they won’t understand otherwise what are they paying you the big bucks for? But expressing your experiences in clear, simple terms is always best and having someone who doesn’t know your business is a great check of this.

3. Have one of your loved ones circle in green everything on your resume they find impressive. Try to make other parts of your resume speak to the reader in the same way.

4. Get feedback on the font, the bolding, the layout, the headines, the length…all with regard to the feel and look of the resume, not the content.

What friends and relatives CANNOT do:

1. Dictate the order of information on your resume. There are no fixed rules regarding resumes, just what is standard practice in your particular career area. A nurse’s resume can have a completely different order of information than a data scientist. Early in career resumes will look completely different than an experienced candidate.

2. Prioritize the key word use in your resume. This is critical to get picked up for the right positions at the right time. Only someone in your particular career area knows what the “hot” topics are.

3. Decide what items to highlight so that in the 8 seconds a HR or hiring manager glances at your resume their interest is piqued.

4. The content of the job descriptions and personal summary. Only someone who has experience in your career path can offer you advice in this area.

5. Make your resume your own not a reflection of your advisor’s choices.

So from whom should you ask resume content advice?

Trusted associates at your current or former jobs, human resources contacts who recruit in your specialty area, senior mentors in your career area or niche recruiters. Niche recruiters like Smith Hanley Associates. Contact one of our recruiters today and we will give you informed advice on your resume and your job search.

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