Deciding which advice is the best advice when searching for a job.
I know we’ve all been there. We decide to finally dust off the resume and have a few friends or colleagues look over our work. Soon thereafter, you receive great advice from Friend 1. A couple of days later, Friend 2 pops up with advice that appears just as great…except, it directly contradicts Friend 1’s great advice:
Friend 1: “Your Summary of Skills section has too many details. I would focus on five max…”
Friend 2: “You really need more details in your Summary of Skills section. I would add all the software you used at your last job, the transcription you’ve done for doctors, and your ability to use Mac and PC computers.”
So we’re already in a conundrum. Who’s advice do we take? Do we take anyone’s advice? What if we sought help from other people and we have even more advice to consider?
If it feels like you are on a runaway train of advice, you probably are. First of all, when you ask for advice, let your friends and colleagues know that you are just looking for a different perspective. You may or may not use their suggestions but they might also inspire a useful change, addition, or omission.
Second, have an open mind when getting your resume (interview practice, cover letter, etc.) critiqued. Too often we are attached to our resume because we’ve spent long hard hours working on it. We feel like each word is valuable and each accomplishment is critical to include. However, ultimately, the resume (and other job search communication) is about you but FOR your potential employer. It may sound harsh, but this is the best advice I can offer, get over yourself.
So what is the best advice? Simple. The best advice is the advice that will best build your resume for the job to which you are applying. Remember, the resume is a malleable document. It can and should change each time it is submitted. Similarly, cover letters and interview responses should also adapt to each new position. Seeking advice and critique is a good thing. This additional support may help you find insight you missed, uncover hidden errors, or add pizzazz that the employer just might be looking for. However, when it comes to deciding what to change, which advice to take and which to disregard, slow the advice train down and remember that what is most important is what the employer considers most important.
Enjoy your ride and best of luck on your job search!
Danny Zendejas is the Hospitality Business Consultant for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. He has over eight years of experience in the hospitality industry and workforce development and is a native of San Antonio, Texas.