Resume Feedback: Who Should You Listen To and Who Should You Ignore?

resume feedbackEveryone has an opinion about your resume. Every single person. And yet all resume feedback is not created equal.

Here are some points to use when evaluating solicited, and especially unsolicited, resume advice.

You will be surprised that some of the well-intentioned people you will ask should not be offering advice.

Resume Feedback from Third Party Recruiters

Third party recruiters give resume advice based on whether they would get an interview with their client. While this sounds great, remember this: the third-party recruiter is introducing you with their credibility on the line. And they only have a limited number of clients. So when they are introducing a resume to their client, it’s not a cold approach. They know exactly what they are looking for that specific client. So their resume feedback, in this case, might be the best possible advice.

Resume Feedback from Recent Successful Job Seekers

Has the person done a SUCCESSFUL job search RECENTLY? A person who has done a job search 15 years ago isn’t familiar with successful tactics today. Is the person recycling job search knowledge they have been given, but they have been perpetually unemployed themselves despite their best efforts? Be sure to filter advice from those that have recently seen success first hand.

Resume Feedback from Career and Resume Professionals

Not all career coaches/resume writers are created equal. Having prior HR/recruiting experiences doesn’t make every word spoken by a professional to be job search gospel. Find out if they have first hand HR sourcing and/or hiring process experience. Specifically, nothing irks me more than a frustrated job seeker who can’t find a job who goes into career coaching to help others find a job. While well-intentioned, the fact they never succeeded with all the advice they absorbed should be a factor for job seekers hiring them. Would you go to the heart surgeon who has not performed a successful surgery?

Resume Feedback from Executives That Hire

This is a touchy subject. Executives that hire feel they know what to look for in a resume. Hiring for a job is not the same as looking for a job. Because you received a 100 haircuts, could you now cut hair? Ask the executive: Are the resumes they receive filtered by HR? Or are they doing the sourcing themselves. If they are filtered, they don’t know what it took to find the resume. They also don’t know if it has been modified before being presented to them. Bottom line: Hiring hundreds of people doesn’t necessarily qualify you to comment on a job search.

Resume Feedback from HR and Recruiting Professionals

Do they recruit at your level? Hiring a store clerk for the holiday season is a different hiring process than hiring a boutique hedge fund marketing director. The recruiter may be highly successful, but do they understand hiring in your industry and professional space? If they do, then you have a winner for feedback most likely.

Want to design your resume the way I know works? Design it from a recruiter’s perspective.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Chameleon Resumes.


chameleon resumes


Lisa RangelAbout the Author: Lisa Rangel, founder and managing director of Chameleon Resumes, a Forbes Top 100 Career Website. Lisa has helped hundreds land the exact job they want. A former recruiter, she is a 10-time certified resume writer and job search consultant. Lisa is also a paid moderator for LinkedIn’s Job Seeker Premium Group. She has been an Official LinkedIn Blogger since 2012. Lisa is also a featured expert on Fast Company, Investors Business Daily, The BBC and the author of Follow Lisa on LinkedIn.



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