Monday, January 25, 2010

Proofing Your Resume

The resume that you send out, whether in print or electronically, is the first impression that you will make on a potential employer. For that reason, you want to make a good impression, and that’s one reason that I am trying to get people to manage their brand and present a great “modern resume.”
You definitely need a resume or CV to summarize your efforts and display your brand, but at the same time you need to be sure that you are projecting the image that you want to project.
With that in mind, I would recommend that you have two reviews done of your resume using the following criteria:
  • Use someone in your career field
  • Use someone outside of your career field that is a good writer
Why use two? There’s a couple examples I can give you, mainly from the technology business. I think they’re applicable to all areas, and I would like to hear back from you if you use them.
Someone in your field will understand the language, jargon, and terms being used to describe what you do. They can give you an idea of what image you are presenting of you accomplishments and skills. I saw a resume that listed Windows 2004 awhile back, which is a non-existent product. A non-technical person would not have known that, and I might have missed it on proof myself. However that is a glaring error to someone that is in the field.
Note that someone must be in your specific field, so a database person if you work with databases, a orthopedist if that’s you’re field, or a contract lawyer if you do that work. Using someone that’s a criminal attorney or urologist might not get you the same level of review.
However people that are specialists and talented in their fields often don’t present themselves well to laymen. Who are the laymen I worry about?
I despise human resources as a term, but not as a department, and they often sift through the stacks of resumes (or emails in this age) and reject or accept them. This is with an eye on the job criteria, so they are matching up skills (hence the technical review), but they often make their own decisions, especially as the number of candidates matching the criteria grows.
Having someone that’s a good writer review your resume and help you punch it up to read better, make more sense, flow, can make a difference when you have someone reviewing your work that sees 200 of them a day.
Do yourself a favor, when you open your resume and make a chance, send it to two people that will give you confidential, critical reviews from two points of view.

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