Resume Advice Contradictions: Why Job Seekers Get Frustrated

Resume the council. Lately it’s everywhere. Honestly, there is so much that a job seeker would have to work hard not to get bombarded by it. Do this. Do not do that. Make sure you have this. Make sure you don’t have that.

The amount of advice is not only overwhelming, it is often contradicted. In fact, I met a job seeker last week whose first comments were “please don’t give me any more advice on the resume!”

I can’t say I blame him. I’m not sure I’ve ever known a profession like ours where we try so hard to make people our equivalents. Do attorneys explain all aspects of the law to you when they work with you? Do accountants teach you all the nuances of the tax code? No, they tell you what you need to know and answer your questions, but they don’t teach you how to be lawyers and accountants.

For whatever reason, we career professionals seem to feel the need to turn everyone else into ourselves.

And we seem to feel the need to do it in such a general way that we often present contradiction after contradiction. My job seeker above was mostly frustrated as blog after blog relayed different advice on how much your resume should be, how the summary / profile section should be organized, and how much to trust bullets. Each “career professional” who reviewed your resume had something different to say and, yes, often contradictory. Not only that, but the recruiters said one thing, the hiring managers said another, and the resume writers still something else.

It’s no wonder so many job seekers are skeptical about paying for resume services! We don’t seem to know what we’re talking about!

And they are walking away without appreciating us, but they stand firm on all these edicts (“resumes can be ONLY 1 page in length”, “resumes must ONLY use bullets”, resumes must ONLY go back 10 years in employment history) They may sometimes need to be adjusted to meet the specific needs of that customer’s audience.

Rather than bogging job applicants into the essentials (and I’m just as guilty as the next pro) of resume details and so-called “rules,” perhaps we should take another approach and explain all the factors that go into the development of a curriculum. strategy, which then determines the length, number of bullets, etc.

Hey, maybe we should market our “value”, which is not that we know how to organize things on a page in a nice format, but that we really know how to “sell” a paper client to the audience. is trying to reach.

And maybe before giving advice on what the resume looks like and if they have complied with all of our edicts, we can remind clients that resume writing, like any form of marketing, is not an exact science, that you are playing a game. of probabilities. All of that depends on how well you can anticipate not only the needs of the reader or readers, but also their preferences.

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