I recently reviewed the resume of a professional and capable receptionist with exceptional customer service skills whom I had known for many years. She had decided that it was time to move on and handed me her resume, mentioning that one of the admin staff had helped her…helped her??? Unfortunately it was so poorly put together and would definitely have a negative impact on her chances of getting a call back for interviews. This was someone that I knew had a lot to offer a new organisation and the resume did nothing to sell her capabilities.
So my advice to anyone looking for work and thinking about getting advice about their resume from a colleague or friend is to consider these few important questions:
- Has the person ever been responsible for reviewing resumes as part of their role?
- When they last looked for a new position did they get lots of calls to attend interviews?
- Have they been in the job market in the last few years (so much has changed with the application process…they may not be up to date with the current job market expectations)?
- Is it their responsibility to produce top quality written documentation as part of their current position?
If the answer to these four questions is no, then politely decline and get some advice from an expert. Either an experienced recruitment consultant or a HR professional is your best option and if you don’t know any then jump on some agency websites as they have loads of tips and handy hints. This is a much more reliable source of advice as they know the recruitment marketplace much better than ‘Mary Smith’ from Accounts!
Would you let a friend that wasn’t a hairdresser cut you hair? Don’t let a well meaning colleague ruin your chance of getting an interview!
My advice on your resume would be:
- Focus on your achievements
- Have clear, concise bullet points – don’t waffle on!
- Stick to the facts not opinions about yourself
- Include your qualifications and any personal/professional development you have undertaken
- Be clear with your dates of employment
- Definitely include any volunteer or community involvement – this says a lot about you as a person.
Remember that your resume is what initially sells you to a prospective employer so make every word count!