Are you getting the wrong advice for your job search?

image by Rob!

I can’t tell you how many clients come in with resumes that are clearly created from the templates you find in Microsoft Word. It’s a beginner’s mistake. It is easy to assume that since Word is the top of the word processing software applications, the templates should be just what you need for your job search.

When I tell new clients that I start every resume with a blank page, they sometimes look at me funny. I believe that because the job seeker is unique, their resume needs to be created to fit their talents, accomplishments, and past experience. I do this best with a new document that uses the features that the job seeker and I select for their resume not a template created in mass as part of a software package by people who probably don’t write resumes as their career.

What’s even more scary? Bad Career Center Advice!

A client of mine who went back to school came in with the instruction book from his career center. Every example comes right out of those same templates. The format is boring, the content is boring, and the advice is totally unwise for today’s job search. And yet the career center is demanding this templated resume to be submitted for student’s to pass their classes.

In this case, my client was already getting job offers and interviews from his former resume. He went back to school as a non-traditional student after being downsized. We recreated his resume to match his new goals in school and he was ready to start using it. Unfortunately, we had to redo it one more time to meet the career center objectives which included shrinking his value-infused resume from a 2 page to a 1 page resume because “that’s the rule.”

I need their version of the resume to pass the class

When I told him that I didn’t think he was getting the right advice, he said, “I know but I need their version of the resume to pass the class. Let’s just do it for them. I won’t ever use it.”

Sad, huh? I know there are some great career centers throughout the United States that offer cutting edge services to their students and employ certified professional resume writers and career coaches to craft the direction of their programs. But this one doesn’t.

When the goal of an educational institution is to create new workers, the career advice has to match the goal. The handout is dated September 2010 but this information is included:

First, the likely possiblity that the shrinking labor pool of employment-ready personnel may create worker shortages during this decade.

Wrong job search crystal ball

I don’t know what crystal ball they are using but I don’t see worker shortages in the near future. Did they look out the window? Even in our own community, the global recession is still creating havoc with the recent loss of more than 1000 jobs in just two companies.

If the advice you are getting says your resume MUST be one page and you need an objective statement, go find someone who teaches cutting edge job strategies because you aren’t getting the right advice. Your resume must answer the question, why should I hire you? Your job search can’t be based on online only strategies. Your first assignment as a job seeker is to figure out your accomplishments in your past positions, your past education, and other experiences. Your second assignment is to define the network that will help you find a new job.

Where is your job search advice coming from? Make sure that you aren’t getting advice that would have been ok in the 1980’s but falls short in 2012.

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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You may be halfway across the country or the world. When you work with me, we share coffee, laughs, and concerns. This turns the scary job search into creative, consultative writing and learning sessions.