You work hard on your resume. Hours of work. Numerous revisions. Finally, you have a completed document. If you’re like most people you seek out a few family member, friends, or colleagues to read it over and let you know what they think. It’s always a good idea to have someone review your resume; a new set of eyes can spot things you may have overlooked. However, you may be setting yourself up for an onslaught of advice, ideas, and suggestions that are incorrect and unhelpful.
When you ask someone to review your resume and give you feedback you will get one of two responses. In the first instance the person you ask to read your resume will tell you that it looks good. They will not have any criticism or suggestions and will not be very helpful to you if you are looking for an honest critique. The second will be the person that has many suggestions and criticisms, although their advice may or may not be helpful or effective.
So, what should you do with all the solicited (or unsolicited) advice when it comes to your resume? It’s important that you take any feedback or criticisms with a grain of salt. Not everyone is up to date on current resume standards and the techniques that work for one person may not work for another.
Clients come to me all the time and say, “I heard that you should do such and such on your resume”, or “My friend in HR said that my resume should XYZ”. What I tell them is that there are no rules when it comes to resume rules. Everyone’s resume should be specific to their particular situation and career. Even two people in the exact same career could have vastly different resumes.
When clients come to me asking for my opinion I take into consideration their career history, their qualifications, and where they want to go before I offer my advice. I talk to them about what their goals are, what achievements they’ve had, and what they need their resume to do for them.
Whenever you ask someone for their opinion of your resume you are going to get just that – their opinion. It isn’t necessarily right or wrong; it is simply someone’s opinion and you need to keep this in mind when you get their feedback. Be open to suggestions but don’t take everything as resume law. Don’t feel that just because someone told you that your name should be in size 48 font that you must make that change. Decide for yourself.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t seek out the opinion of others. Not all suggestions are bad. It’s knowing what to do with the suggestions you receive and whether or not you should incorporate those suggestions into your resume. It’s hard to know what strategies and standards to use on your resume because there are so many out there to choose from. Weigh the suggestions, do your research, and use the strategies that work best for you.
by Megan Koehler