You’ve done the research into what the employer wants, tailored the content, checked it for errors, and polished it and polished it -- but still, your resume isn’t getting you the job. While the quality of your resume isn’t always the reason that you’re not getting hired or interviewed, there is always the chance that you’ve overlooked something important.
Before you send out the same resume yet another time, look for some honest feedback to help you improve its quality.
1. Ask a colleague -- not a friend
Your friends are more likely to agree to review your resume, but then again, they’re also more likely to gloss over the document or to be less-than-honest in their assessment of it. Instead of getting help from a friend, ask a colleague you know to be good at their job, and also tough. You don’t need compliments right now, you need honesty.
2. Solicit feedback from the person who didn't hire you
Another way to get honest feedback is to talk to the person who decided to turn you down. If you’ve attended an interview recently or have turned in your resume and have never gotten a response, get a hold of that hiring manager and see if they’ll give you feedback about your resume. Let the person know that you’re trying to improve your candidacy, and that you’d appreciate a word about why they decided not to choose you.
Don’t expect everyone to be willing to respond, since some hiring managers may be concerned about discrimination lawsuits or other legal issues for answering honestly. Still, it doesn’t hurt to try -- especially if you have that hiring manager’s email adddress or phone number on hand. Another way to do it: ask right when you’re denied a job. When the hiring manager calls to break the news, be ready to ask "can you give me some feedback to improve my resume?" Plain and simple.
3. Consult a forum related to your industry
Also try asking for feedback from an anonymous source. Forums are a great way to do this. Look for forums related to the industry in which you’re involved, and post the question with your resume pasted into the message. Tell people you’re looking for honest feedback, and then steel yourself for actually getting it. When you post a question anonymously and ask for anonymous responses, you may get more brutal honesty than you’d hoped for. Still, that can be a good way to see things from an outside perspective.
4. Get help at a trade association gathering
If you’re not already a member of a trade association related to your industry, it might be a good time to join. Trade associations regularly hold conferences and meetings where you can solicit advice from other people in your industry. Not only that, but associations sometimes have resume review services or provide other job networking resources that can help you with the application process.
5. When all else fails, hire someone
If you’re still not getting anywhere, it might be time to get help from a professional. Resume writers are not just wordsmiths; they’re also skilled in where to use them in the resume for the biggest impact. It will cost some money up front, but it’s worth it when you get the job you want.
See Also: Reasons your CV is Rejected
When your resume isn’t making the waves that you’d hoped it would, it’s time to take some action and get outside help. By seeking solid advice from as many sources as possible, you can emerge with a quality resume that elicits results.
Have you used any methods not mentioned above to get valuable feedback for on your resume? Please share them with us in the comments section below...