I desperately need help with my resume. I am not getting interviews. I have tried
working with two different resume professionals and they just don’t seem to get
the type of resume I need. They just send me lots of bulleted statistics instead
of polished prose. Please help.
The Career Doctor responds:
Here’s a simple test you can do at home. Answer this question: are you a resume
expert? If yes then you don’t need to hire a resume expert to write your resume
do you? If no then why are you wasting so much time and money disagreeing with
the resume experts?
Resumes do need to tell a story — one that convinces the person screening the resumes
that yours is worthy enough to have you interview for the position — but there are other
ways to tell a story than long paragraphs full of information that no one is ever going to read.
A resume is a marketing document designed to first grab the attention of the reader
and second convey enough information to get you the interview. Thus long paragraphs
with lots of wonderfully polished prose are going to get you nowhere. The resume will
appear too dense for most readers (thus flunking the first test). And speaking in generalities
rather than specific accomplishments will convey the message that you have nothing to
offer (thus flunking the second test).
The only good news for you is that many people think they are experts at resume-writing.
Most are not. If you are actively in a job search and sending out resumes and getting no
responses I would seriously examine your resume. You can try and fix it yourself by
researching how to write a strong resume or you can pay an expert to do it for you (and
then actually heed his/her advice).
Find all the tools you need to develop write and polish your resume in this section of
Quintessential Careers: Resume
and CV Resources for Job-Seekers.