Before you hand your resume off to a potential employer, send it to a recruiter, or post it on your blog (all of which you’ll be doing many times during your job search), make these six moves first. A quick check-in with each of these valuable resources can keep your job search on track by keeping your resume in line with professional standards and employer expectations.
Before You Click Send
Here are a few things to keep in mind before you contact potential employers:
1. Review sample resumes. Lots of them. Review sample resumes that belong to job seekers in your industry, job seekers in other industries, job seekers at your level, job seekers below you, and job seekers far above you at executive and management levels. The more resumes you find and expose yourself to, the better. You can find sample resumes of every imaginable description on the internet. And of course, you can start with LiveCareer. But make sure you also ask around and review resumes that belong to your friends, your siblings, your classmates, and your coworkers (if they’ll let you have a peek—of course you’ll need to be polite and drop the subject if the answer is no).
2. Show your resume to your personal mentor, if you have one. If you don’t have an official mentor-figure in your life, turn to the person who fits that description the closest. This person should be someone who knows you well and may be able to mention a few of the accomplishments you have under your belt that you may have forgotten about (or undervalued in your resume).
3. Show your resume to an editor. Ideally, this should be a paid, professional resume editor who reviews resumes and other technical documents for a living. But you can also ask for help from a friend with a formal content editing or copy editing background. If you don’t know anyone who falls into this category, take a closer look at your network. You’re probably standing two or three degrees away from one right now.
4. Show your resume to someone in your chosen field. Find an established professional person who understands what hiring managers in your field will be looking for. This person can help you highlight the resume credentials that matter most and downplay the details that may be viewed as red flags.
5. Get on the internet. Read articles about resumes. Some may rehash guidelines you already know backward and forward, but these articles can also expose you to shifting trends in formatting, style, technology, language, and other aspects of the resume process that you should probably be familiar with before you dive into the modern job market.
6. Visit LiveCareer . The site offers plenty of sample resumes and articles that can keep you in touch with current hiring manager expectations. But most important, the site offers a resume and cover letter builder that can help you keep your documents sharp, readable, memorable, and effective. Stay organized and in control, and soon you’ll be ready to send your polished resume out into the world. Good luck!