Thursday, February 2, 2012

Should you Have your Resume Critiqued?

I volunteered at a networking event yesterday where I offered free resume critiques to job seekers who had been displaced. Each person that sat down at the table with me had previously asked another "resume professional" to evaluate their resume prior to talking with me. Every one of them had been given information that was different (and often just flat-out wrong) than what I suggested.

If you follow my blog posts, you have probably heard me say that resumes are as subjective as beauty. Everyone has different opinions and different preferences. However, instead of nitpicking your use of font and whether you use circles or squares for your bullets, let's look at the fundamentals that you must ask yourself about your resume.

Is your Resume Clear and Focused?
Within the first few seconds of looking at your resume, often in the first line of the summary section, an employer should have no doubt regarding your job target. Never use a generic or vague objective statement. This will cause some employers to stop reading immediately.

Do you Clearly State the Benefit you Can Offer an Employer?
Companies hire to either fill a need or solve a problem. Clearly convey what will make you cost-effective to the employer. Focus on your return on investment or ROI. After reading your resume, they should have a clear understanding of how you will earn the money they will pay you.

Does your Resume Contain Measurable Accomplishments?
Use your previous measurable accomplishments to demonstrate the value you can bring to an employer. It is no longer enough to state you have a skill, prove it to them with past examples.

Is your Resume Error-free?
One spelling error, one misused word, or one mistake can often be enough for an employer to take a pass on calling you. Think of your resume as a paper representation of you. If you are applying for a position that requires attention to detail and professionalism with a resume full of errors, chances are you will not be successful.

So, to answer the original question, should you have your resume critiqued? The answer is yes, but do it in moderation and don't make knee-jerk reactions to every single thing they tell you. Don't show it to every "expert" you come across. Also, ensure the person who is looking at your resume is qualified to do so. Look for Certified Resume Writers (yes such a thing does exist) and listen to how they talk about the job search process to ensure their knowledge and information is up-to-date.

No comments:

Post a Comment