Many people solicit feedback on their resumes from well-intentioned people who nevertheless are unqualified to weigh in. I recognize that I’m being a bit self-serving since I’m clearly suggesting that I am qualified, but stay with me; I am qualified, but so are hundreds of others. But those hundreds of others typically don’t include the following groups:
Career center counselors: Ever go to your college career guidance center, or even worse, your state unemployment office for help? These people mean well, obviously, but this is not the place to go for the best resume advice. These are the folks who still think that it’s acceptable to begin your resume with an objective. It’s not. Why do I think these folks are unqualified to discuss the merits of your resume? Well, how many employees have any one of them ever hired? In other words, what experience do they have with recruitment and hiring? None.
Family & friends: Unless your Aunt Mary is a HR professional or a corporate recruiter, the same objections hold. And how objective can friends or family be about you? The highest percentage of resumes I see that are riddled with typos, spelling and grammatical errors are those that someone’s friend helped them with. Honest. Family and friends usually don’t give the best resume advice because they don’t know anymore about it than you do. In fact, you know more, because you know you best. But your sister is a great writer? Not the point. Resumes are marketing tools, not literature.
Resume evaluation services: As I’ve written before, these services are highly suspect because most of them use software to evaluate your resume; in fact, they all seem to use the same software, which explains why you get identical comments if you try out different services.
So if you’re wondering who gives the best resume advice, how about asking the audience you’re submitting your resume to? Ask a recruiter, headhunter or hiring manager for feedback. What worked, or didn’t work for them?
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