Writing a resume is a process of self-discovery in many ways. You have to market yourself to your potential employer, which is a very difficult task because we have to walk the fine line of objectivity and self-promotion.
Your resume must summarize your educational achievements, professional experience, and qualification in a way that best meets your career objective. Composing your entire professional history on one or two pages can be time consuming; thus, we sometimes spend hours and days writing and re-writing our resumes in order to perfect the content and the format before it reaches our potential employer.
However, after looking at the same content over and over, it becomes easy for us to miss very simple typos or grammar errors, or even poorly written statements that may raise questions in the eyes of the hiring manager. Before posting your resume on job search web sites, or submitting it to companies you are interested in, it is in your best interest to have someone else review it. This can be a scary thought – while you may want help and feedback from your friend, you are concerned they will dislike something aesthetic and you’ll feel the pressure to make formatting changes. And since you have already spent a lot of time on your resume, you don’t want to have to start over.
Since you know you can benefit from having someone else review your resume, the key is to set some boundaries and goals for that review. Ask about specific things that are of the concern to you – if you know that grammar isn’t your strength, ask your friends to proofread the content. If you have gaps in your work history, ask your friend to act as a potential employer and review the resume and cover letter together. Do they have any questions about your work history, or have you addressed everything in your cover letter? Accept feedback about content, but make sure that your friends are raising valid questions about the statements you are making. If they suggest that you change an action word, can they give you a valid reason behind the change, or is the reasoning based on their personal preference? Don’t get into an argument over formatting – do your research ahead of time and know what the acceptable resume style is for your field. It is also beneficial that you have more than one additional person review your resume before you send it to your potential employers. This helps you in recognizing if the feedback is based on personal preferences or professional concerns. Ideally, the person you ask for help has experience in your field, and can help assure that the action words or phrases you have chose are appropriate for your industry and position level.
If you are unsure that you are even on the right track with your resume, and you feel that the research you have done is overwhelming and not helpful, seek assistance from a professional resume writing service. A professional resume writer should be able to help guide you in the right direction, revise your current resume or create a new resume for you. Make sure that the professional you are working with can provide you with references and samples, and that they are versed in writing resumes for professionals in your field of work. While this option requires you paying for someone’s assistance, it can prove to be a more beneficial one in the long run.
You can always serve as your own resume editor. Step away from your resume for a while; give yourself some time, usually a day or two, between writing the resume and reviewing it. This allows you to be more objective as you review the final draft of your resume, because you are not as intimately involved with it at the moment of review (the way you would be immediately after completing the draft).
No matter what option of review you chose, make sure that you do in fact review your resume before submitting it to your potential employer. You don’t want your hiring manager catching your mistakes, do you? A well-written, error-free resume is more likely to get you noticed, and get you the job that you want.