Lately, I've noticed an increasing number of job hunters and career changers are confused about the ambivalent advice they receive on resume writing. It's an annoying "everyone-is-an-expert" situation. RELATED: Need to write a resume? Watch these resume tutorials! There are two reasons for this dilemma:
1. There are no fixed rules regarding resumes.There are no binding, always-applying rules for your resume. There are certain current industry standards, but those are subject to the ever-evolving demands and requirements of the job market. The bottom line here is you cannot really say something is clearly wrong or clearly right. Obviously, this leaves room for discussion and a lot of “well-meant advice.”
2. Everyone has created a resume.Pretty much everyone has written a resume at some stage in their lives, and this process might have led to interviews. Or remember your uncle, who reviewed five resumes eight years ago for his local pawn shop, and is now your family’s veteran HR expert? You see, you are pretty much surrounded by career and resume experts everywhere you go.
The risk.Obviously, it is hard in this situation to judge what advice is good and what is not. Let me give you an example from my practice: Recently, one of my own resume clients came back with feedback regarding my first draft for his resume and said that, even though he thought it was great, he had feedback from two independent people that thought the top third of the first page of the resume should be changed. Now, that was going to be interesting (just in case you are new to the resume world, the top third of a resume is THE most important part of the entire document). I asked the client if he was comfortable sharing the source of this information. It turned out, we had feedback from a close family member and a best friend. There is, of course, nothing wrong with this, but it led me to asking the following questions:
- How many resumes do they screen, scan, and review on a weekly basis?
- How many people do they invite to interviews based on their resume reviews on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis?