Sometimes it’s okay to draft and edit the details of your resume on your own, without help from an expert, a friend, or a second pair of eyes. But when the going gets difficult, refusing to seek help won’t win you any points for independence. And in fact, you might miss valuable opportunities to grab employer attention and land the job you need.
Here are five classic signs that it’s time to stop flying solo and recognize that a little outside support can do wonders for the speed and direction of your career growth.
It’s time to reach out to someone when…
1. You find a typo—in a sentence you’ve read carefully, again and again, at least 20 times. Yes, this does happen. In fact, your chances of missing that spelling mistake increase every time you read the sentence and fail to see it. Your eyes and brain are training themselves to ignore the mistake and process the meaning of the sentence using other cues.
2. You receive a negative response or no response at all after submitting about 50 applications in a row. This is a highly subjective number, of course, and some industries are more competitive than others. But as a rule of thumb, 49 ignored resume submissions is still within bounds. Fifty is too many.
3. You’re hearing patterns in the questions you receive from potential employers. If you’ve been invited to several phone, video, or in-person interviews and employers are asking the same odd question in each encounter, it’s time to get to the heart of the matter. Get help if you hear too many queries like: “You seem too young to have handled this level of responsibility. Are these claims really true?” Or: “You seem a little overqualified for this kind of work. Are you sure you won’t be bored here?”
4. Time is passing and you’re getting nervous. If you’ve been on the market for too long and you haven’t received a single acceptable offer, then something isn’t working. The definition of “too long” is entirely up to you. But if you’ve crossed the line, then it’s time to take action and change course. Just for reference, the average job search in 2013 lasted for about eight months.
5. You’ve never written a professional resume before. There’s a first time for everything, and when you sit down to write your very first draft of your first professional resume, there’s no need to invent the wheel on your own. Profit from the experiences, lessons, and mistakes of countless others who have walked this path before you.
6. You simply have no idea where to begin. If you’re paralyzed by the blank page in front of you , then it’s time to reach out. A resume is a simple document, but the stakes are high and the process can be overwhelming. If you just can’t seem to get a single word on the page after your name and address, then it’s time to turn to LiveCareer for templates, samples, and easy-to-follow guidelines that can help you tackle this stressful task one small step at a time.