Everyone needs a resume or CV….and nearly everybody has resume advice.
Well, except maybe professional athletes, drug dealers, and members of the royal family. But all of us normal and legally employed people need resumes. This also means everybody has created a resume or looked at a resume at some time or another. Which means everybody has opinions about what should be included in a resume, how things should be worded, etc. This isn’t a necessarily a bad thing, but often if you show your resume around to try and get opinions you will receive a torrent of mutually exclusive advice.
Your Mom’s friend’s sister says that you should always include activities and hobbies to show you are a well -rounded person. Your husband’s college roommate says that you want to only include things that are relevant to the job. Your nephew in HR says that no one reads a resume over a page. The guy at the coffee shop insists that’s an old fashioned rule. One website says this, another says that. Who do you listen to? Glad you asked. Here are three questions to make sure you ask yourself about anyone who offers you resume advice.
3 Questions You Can Use to Tell if Someone’s Resume Advice is Worth Taking Seriously.
1) Is there a reason behind the advice?
If anyone gives you advice on a resume, or suggest you change something, ask them “why?” If they don’t have a reason for what they are telling you (such as, “this will make the resume more scannable,” “this level of detail will establish that this was not a one-time event, but that this was a regular duty,” or “this isn’t a real word, and resume people like to read real words,”) then they shouldn’t be trusted. Anyone who simply insists “this is how things are done,” doesn’t actually know what they are talking about. Every decision in the resume creation process should be easily justifiable.
2) Have they looked for a job in a while?
Especially if you are younger or a recent college graduate, you are going to get a lot of advice from older people about how to write a resume. Unless they work in HR or were hunting for jobs recently themselves, I would take any advice with a grain of salt. Resumes and CV’s trends change all the time, and although there are certain universal trends that make all writing effective, anyone who last looked for jobs during the Clinton administration might not be the best person to trust on what people are looking for these days.
3) Would the person ever know if the advice they are giving is bad?
This is the most important point. There are all sorts of self-declared resume “experts,” which include everyone from the retired person giving free advice at the library, to college career services staff, to online Career Consultants. The question you need to ask yourself about these people is this: if the advice they gave was wrong, would they ever know it? Do they get feedback from the people they help? Are they forced to constantly evolve and improve their advice and techniques to earn a living or can they just repeat the same bad advice without consequences…(I’m looking at you, college career services employees).
Here at Resume to Interviews, the whole business is dependent on word of mouth and referrals. If RTI clients don’t get interviews, then there is no new business. We have to make sure we stay relevant, always improving the resume creation process and staying abreast of the newest trends while perfecting an overall philosophy that avoids silly fads.
Resume to Interviews might not be the only place to get great resume advice. There are lots of sharp people out there who are very good at this. But there are also many who have their hearts in the right place, but just don’t know what they are doing. Remember to ask yourself the above questions to make sure you can tell which type you are taking resume advice from.
- Article Name
- Everybody Talks: Opinions and Resume Advice Sources
- Jason B.
- Family members and many others give resume advice. Take any career and resume editing advice with a grain of salt.