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Monday, May 01, 2006
The Friends and Family Plan
You’re all set. You’ve written your resume and you’ve had all your friends, your spouse, your colleagues, and maybe even your mother looks at it. They all say the same thing “It sounds good to me.” Now you are confident and start sending it out but nothing happens. Three weeks later, still nothing has happened. You think, “It can’t be the resume. Everyone said it was good.”

Hold it right there. Let’s take off the rose-colored glasses and look at this situation objectively. You poured your heart and soul into a resume that you OBVIOUSLY feel is good. Your feelings are obvious to everyone to whom you have showed it. They see your face, know your situation, understand the importance of the resume to your emotions, and lie through their teeth telling you what you want to hear. Alternatively, they look at the resume and think “It’s better than my old one” and give you a thumbs-up on it.

Are friends, family, and colleagues in any kind of objective position to give you useful feedback? Do they know what the hiring managers in today’s market in your target industry seek in a good candidate? Do they know what kind of resumes your competition is fielding? Can they compare what you have to offer to the skills and abilities of the hundreds of other job seekers who are competing against you? No.

Why do you put yourself through the emotional wringer of seeking advice from people who love you, don’t want to hurt your feelings, but are totally unqualified to help you? It would be like asking your husband if you look fat in your cocktail dress – what can he say that won’t get him in hot water? He says you look great as he eyes the three rolls around your middle.

Seeking resume advice from non-objective people is a serious mistake in your career search and can result in delay in landing that next job. I also hear many job seekers reporting they hear “Your resume looks good” from recruiters. These same recruiters never seem to follow up or call back, though. Could it possibly be that the “Your resume looks good” comment is a blow-off? Possibilities look good to me.

You can seek advice on your resume from 100 different people and get 100 different responses. We critique hundreds of resumes a month and many of those people who seek our advice seek the advice of other professional resume writers who also offer free critiques. Our responses will be similar in some ways and different in others. It doesn’t matter, though. What matters is “Does the resume work?” If it doesn’t work, something needs improving. If a resume is winning interviews and opening doors, don’t change it because it’s working!

We sometimes get responses from job seekers who are seeking a resume critique that state something along the lines of “The resume is working. I’m setting up interviews. I just wanted your opinion.” Honestly, our opinion doesn’t matter in that situation. Why should the job seeker care about opinions if the resume is doing a good job?

Bottom line – if the resume doesn’t win interviews, it needs work. Your friends and family are NOT the people to review your resume and give objective advice. The only response from a recruiter that matters is “When can you interview with the hiring manager?” And if the resume is not broken, don’t fix it.

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 /


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