The other week, at our local networking group, we looked to empower each group member to make his or her résumé more of a “human magnet” by trading on-the-spot feedback with other group members. We had them pair up over multiple rounds, each round with a different partner, putting notes for feedback on each other’s résumé. That way, everybody came away with multiple copies of his or her résumé with spontaneous written feedback on them.
In the concluding discussion, it became apparent that the “rules” job seekers often worry about really fall short. Whether it’s about how far to go back with dates, how many pages to give it, or where to list awards: there isn’t any “quick fix” where you just flip the switch, and your résumé hits it out of the ballpark henceforth.
So what are some things to bear in mind?
All readers of your résumé—recruiters, HR pros, hiring managers—are people. As people, they will have a gut response to your résumé.
Do you think anyone will be blown away by a cliché-laden “objective” that reads: “To utilize my skills in a new full-time opportunity with potential for growth that speaks to my ambitions while benefiting the team”?
The fact that there even is an objective is the least of problems with it. Hopefully it will garner some feedback to the effect that none of the “information” in this phrase distinguishes you. Which leads to the next point:
If several people give you the same feedback on something about your résumé, there probably is something to it.
If there is fair consistency among people in pointing out what they thought worked well, what caught their attention, or what they might have done differently, that is something to be taken under advisement.
Interacting with human persons about your résumé can help develop your résumé to be more like that of a human person.
Discussing your assets in your own words—spoken words, not writing—makes it easier to put it in words that sound like they come to you naturally…like the natural you.
Look at it this way: You will be sending some variation of your résumé out to many different people. Wouldn’t it seem like the smart thing to do to get insights on your résumé from many different people first?