Navigating the waters of career advice can be murky at times. Everyone seems to have an opinion about what you should or shouldn’t do and what you should or shouldn’t write. With all the information out there how do you really know what advice to take and what to leave behind? Have you read every article on resume writing or submitted your resume for free evaluations only to find that every place says something different?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above then chances are you’re in information overload. Personally, I’m in information overload and I write the articles and resumes not just read about them. As part of my job I’m supposed to constantly research the industry; what others are saying, thinking, writing, and doing. I find more times then not I’m just frustrated by the sheer volume of information out there. In fact, just today I was on LinkedIn viewing my group updates and almost every single group had articles about resume writing, interviewing, and job search tips/tricks/strategies. I thought to myself – job seekers must be simply overwhelmed by the amount of information. So here are some practical tips to wade through the relentless articles, tips, updates, tricks, and free offers you see.
1) Choose what applies to you. If you’re on LinkedIn join job search groups that apply to you specifically. I mean if you’re in Procurement join a procurement job search group. If you are an Executive then join an Executive job search group like Execunet. This helps segregate the type of information you receive. It won’t weed it out completely so you’ll have to pick and choose what applies to your specific industry or field.
2) Look for career professionals with two things: credentials and experience in your industry. Granted not all professional resume writers or career coaches have worked in your industry but most have written for it. Find someone who has completed a significant amount of work for your industry. They should be familiar with your industry terminology and comfortable speaking about it with you. It is OK to interview them and ask if they have expertise in your field.
3) If you are looking for professional resume writing services view samples on their website, request a free resume analysis, research the company, view testimonials or ask for references. It is perfectly OK to ask for business references. If you are looking for a career coach make sure you do the same. When I am considering working with a company I have never worked for before I will Google the company name and the word reviews. It is good to get outside information. If you find bad reviews out there you can weigh the information and decide for yourself.
4) Choose to read articles that apply to your situation – don’t just read anything and make sure you seek out the experts. I am personally a big fan of research. In fact, I often tell clients and readers to make sure they always research, research, research before doing anything. Do the same with the information you read. Research the writer, find out about their credentials, what they offer, who they work for, and what is motivating them to put together the information.
5) Everyone has an opinion and you have to realize that two people rarely ever have the same one. Yes, if you send your resume to ten different people to review you will get ten different responses on what needs to be changed. Take that information, use what you can, research what applies to you, try it out to see what works, and throw away the rest.
The truth of the matter is there’s no one size fits all when it comes to your job search, resume, cover letter or interview skills. What is most important is that you find the information that works the best for you regardless of what ten different people’s opinions may be. It’s your responsibility to wade through the information and pick and choose what works and ditch the rest. If you have sent your resume to 100 places and you have not received even one reply there is something wrong, your resume is broken and it needs to be fixed. If you’ve been on 20 interviews and have received zero offers and very few call backs again – big red flag something is wrong. Be realistic and open-minded but don’t be blind. If there is a problem fix it and try not to take every article, blog, or piece of advice you receive as an absolute. Remember when it comes to your job search there is no one size fits all.
Jessica Holbrook is a former Executive Hiring Manager for Fortune 500 companies and President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast. She creates powerful, customized, and targeted resumes that are guaranteed to get her clients interviews. For a free resume analysis visit http://www.greatresumesfast.com or for a free phone consultation call 1.877.875.7706.