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OK time to tackle resume critiques and writers! January 5, 2010

Posted by jvmullin in 1.
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Let me preface this post by saying I am not against critiques and writers like every other profession there are good ones and bad ones. So buyer beware!

Ok we are unemployed are funds have become limited some of these services are offered through the major job boards and the other has some steep charges to it.

So what do we do. I have had the same  resume critiqued by 3 different job boards and received various results. The major critiques was the format I used, it wasn’t chronological, I was missing a Objective statement, hello that is so old school, and then the content, I am not even going there what is wrong with skills and accomplishments.

Being the curious type I wrote back to these “experts” and asked how much they knew about the electronics industry and how many resume they had written for engineers? Only one replied and try to explain that the industry didn’t matter that there were rules and formats to be followed and thats what they critiqued to get a full critiques would cost me a few hundred dollars. Hello! I am unemployed!  To me that was the wrong answer. It is our resume and as such we know that there is certain industry jargon that must be mentioned in our resume somewhere, preferably up front at the top.

We are constantly barraged with “companies want to know what you can do for them” a list of your past responsibilities does not cut it in todays world. You need to list skills and accomplishments with percentages and dollars permeating these.

Now to get to the heart of the matter. Your resume is your’s and it is up to only you to perform due diligence on it.  It is a dynamic document in that it requires constant change to make it fit better to every situation you use it. You are the master of it. So if you fall into the free critique scam then take the results with a large grain of salt. After all it is a ploy to get you to spend the money you do not have to get a full critique. If they didn’t get the free critique right in your book why would you want to pay for a full critique by people who do not understand your industry.

I was at my local career center and a woman, who is paid by the state, tells me she is a registered resume writer. So I ask how many resumes have you written for Engineering Managers? NONE Okay well how many have you written for electronic engineers? NONE Well then how many management resumes have you written? NONE So exactly how can you help me write my resume if you do not understand my industry or know the jargon? Well I can write you a resume and then you will need to modify to fit. Hell, I can do that with a Word template!

If someone wants to critique your resume first ask if they have any industry experience and is it recent. Where do they get there information from (hopefully the hiring managers not HR)? Do they fully understand the industry jargon? If you are satisfied with all the answers then let them critique your resume. Again it is your resume so you have to totally buy in to their suggestion before changing your resume. Discuss the proposed changes and ask what the advantages and disadvantages are.

Resume Writers:

Yes there is a certification for resume writers. I would seek these people out as they have to meet certain criteria to maintain their certification.  This does mean that any certified resume writer is okay to use.  There is where your due diligence has to be top notch. Find one who has recent experience in your industry and at your level. Ask for references. You want to know if what they wrote is working or not. Interview them as you would any business dealing to make sure that it is a right fit and that you will get value for your dollars.  The writer should be asking you many questions about your past experiences, skills and accomplishments. Make sure they have a thorough understanding of who you are and what you can do before they put ink to paper.  You will want to carefully proofread there work to make sure that it matches you and all statements are factual. The really good writers should hit it on the first try if their questioning was accurate.

I know it sounds like I went on a tirade on resume critique’s and writers.  As I prefaced this post I am not against these people they have a job to do and are looking for clients constantly. What I am against is people claiming to be something they are not or performing a task they are not qualified for. As people are unemployed for lengthy periods of time they become more desperate. There are people that will use this desperation to feed on the  masses for their own prosperity. These are the people I am against.  Shame on us for not doing our homework/due diligence.

The saying goes a fool and his money are soon parted! Job seekers let’s not be foolish but smart in our quest for our next career.


1. Mike Strout - January 7, 2010

Hi Joseph,
If you find a better way to write a resume for the electronics industry let me know. I have 6 different resumes specific to Entertainment, Broadcast, Theme Park AND Energy Management, Lighting Design, LightingControl and Show Control PLUS a BIO and credits package for Live event and project production. Not 1 of them comes close to what the “rule” is for resumes dictates so I’m out before I begin. Oh, Maybe that’s what the college degree is for, writing resumes and being socially acceptable in corporate america!! LOL
All joking aside, my resumes are a true and accurate description of me and I can’t change it. Hopefully my business plan has better results!! Thanks for listening, Take care, Mike

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