If you have done the hard work of creating a well written résumé, one that is current and packed with achievements, trust it. I share this simple thought as I have spoken with two clients in the last week who have had concerns planted in their minds by comments they have gotten about their career marketing documents.
One person said, “It’s a little wordy.” What does that mean? What words would we eliminate that will not degrade the quality of the stories that we tell? As it turned out, this comment came from a person with the notion that there is some rule that a résumé must fit on a single page. It sometimes works that way, but when the job seeker has a longer career filled with experiences that add value to the résumé, it is not always possible.
The second comment came from a recruiter. The client has a highly technical résumé, one packed with certifications, projects, multiple degrees and high-level experiences. This client has a strong interest in IT security and the experience and credentials that make him an expert. The feedback he got: “It’s a little heavy on IT security and not enough hands-on.” Yes, yes it is. That’s what this client does and wants to continue doing. That’s why it is written that way. By the way, this client is contacted by potential employers and recruiters every week, validating the effectiveness of the résumé.
My response is this: Consider the advice you get, take it seriously, but also consider from where it comes. Is the person giving you the advice qualified to do so? The average time in role in the recruiting industry is less than three years. If your résumé is written by a CPRW (Certified Professional Résumé Writer – like me) or a pro writer with another industry-recognized credential, you can be confident that it is a quality document.
The job seeker must be confident in the résumé, fully versed on everything in it. She must know what it says and why it says it. He must know the details of the stories described, ensuring that he is ready to explain in detail in an interview setting. Like a golfer who must trust his swing or a singer who has confidence in her training and ability to hit the high notes, the job seeker must know that the résumé is solid and must have the stories ready to support it.
Feedback is valuable, but don’t twist yourself in knots over every comment. Good hunting!