Most people want to help so you let friends critique your resume even when you have just invested in a professional. You would think this is a good thing, right? In the best of worlds, letting another pair of eyes read your resume is a good thing.
- Another pair of eyes might remember a contribution you made to the company that you forgot.
- Another pair of eyes might see small corrections that add value.
- Another pair of eyes might know the statistics to quantify your value.
But people have varying levels of training on what makes a good resume or what it should look like. I have 33 years of resume writing experience and three professional resume writing certifications but after my client leaves me with their new compelling resume that clearly illustrates their value, they may ask for advice from friends.
Friends critique your resume based on what they know
The friends are well-meaning so when friends critique your resume they tend to go back to what they know. They go back to what they learned in school 20 years ago or 30 years ago or they go by what they see coming over their desk as hiring manager. They give advice based on seeing bad resumes and they tell you your resume should look and sound just like those resumes.
I just have seen this happen too many times when well-meaning friends try to tell you how to “fix” your resume even after it is professionally written.
- Friends mean well but they often tell you that you must have a cookie cutter resume to win a new job.
- Resume writing is all about differentiating yourself from the crowd not blending in with all the losing resumes out there.
Did you know how long it can take to land a new job?
When you aren’t getting enough traction in a job search, there are multiple variables. The most common one is that you aren’t being proactive enough in using your network or finding new connections to get you to your goal.
Self confidence is another big player because if you have not been on the job market for a long time, it is scary to be out there. You just have to become the sales person representing you.
Factors that affect job search:
- Desperation – How to ensure your job search doesn’t reek desperation
- Lack of Confidence – How to recapture confidence to win in your job search
- Lack of Marketing Knowledge – How to Hugely boost your career marketing success
The danger of having your friends critique your resume is that the assumption is that the resume is the problem. Not only are your friends most likely not well-versed in current resume strategies and effective career marketing methods, they are only seeing part of the issue.
You panic and think it is the resume based on their opinion but they don’t know how you are looking for a job.
- Are you using only the apply online technique? Point and click is not effective as the only method. You may have to apply online and should follow rules but you need to get out there and follow-up every submission.
- Are you applying to any job you see? Flooding the market is the biggest problem out there. HR and hiring managers overwhelmed by thousands of untargeted resumes submitted by job seekers who don’t even read the job description.
- Are you posting your resume online and hoping you will get hits? Being proactive is critical. Use your network and if you don’t have one, start by building an effective network with people who are able to get you in the door.
I have seen job seekers with troubled pasts get hired quickly with only one or two submissions when they leverage the power of their network to find inside leaders able to give their resume a push.
Yes, your resume should be well done but before you ask your friends for advice, make sure you know what a good resume should look like and make sure they do too. Don’t let your fears lead your job search. For Jason Alba’s take on the friend’s angle, read his post, When Friends Critique your Resume
Work hard, connect and reach out. It takes time, especially if you are in the upper salary level.
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