I Have a Job, They Don’t: Help With That Resume

So next up on our list of things to do for your friends and family that are unemployed, when you're the one with the job, is helping with their resume.

“Wait,” you say, “but I'm not a professional resume writer anything!  How am I going to help?"

Well, first let me note that the people reviewing and reading your friend's resumes are probably not professional resume writers either. Hell, they're probably sick of seeing overly slick and contrived resumes that people have handed to them. It doesn't take a professional resume writer to find flaws in resume, and sometimes you may have specialty knowledge that will help out the people you know looking for work.

This of course assumes that you're not kind of person who obsesses over good resume writing and has practiced it – in other words, someone like me. If you already have worked hard on resumes, studied resumes, and help keep with resumes? Then you already know to help your friends by doing this.

Er, so go do it.  The rest of you stick around and read on.

Now, sure not so sure you can help a friend or family member looking for work with the resume review, let me assure you you probably can. If you have a decent job now, if you've had decent jobs before, and have made resumes for them – or even had ones done for you – then you can help out:

  • You can see what you think.  Imagine if you're asked to review a resume as if someone was being hired.  Look at it and give your honest reaction – chances are you'll see advantages and disadvantages on the resume.
  • If you're in a similar position as a person you're trying to help, then you can compare their resume to the one you've used. That comparison alone may help.
  • In your job search, you've doubtlessly been given resume advice by various people. Sure that with your friends.
  • Show them your resume, your winning or best resume. That'll only give them plenty of ideas.
  • You can try being hyper–critical, and see what flaws, you can take a highly critical, perhaps overly critical view of their resume. As long as they understand that's approach are taking, it can be quite helpful.
  • You can share your word-processing and layout skills to help the resume look better even if you're not sure about the content.

Odds are, no matter your resume–writing skills, being a second set of eyes will be helpful enough. But I suspect, you probably have a few useful experiences and bits of knowledge at the very least it will help out your friends and family need.

Steven Savage