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How to Ask For Resume Feedback

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One of the most important things you can do during your job search is asking for feedback on your resume. Many applicants create a resume and keep sending it out without making any changes to it. Expecting different results from the same resume may lower your chances of success during your job search. Are you getting as many call backs as you’d like, and is your resume written to showcase your best qualifications for the positions you are applying for? If not, you could benefit from receiving feedback on your resume. Here area few different ways to ask for feedback, and different types of questions you can ask.

Who and what to ask?

It can be tempting to ask a bunch of different people for feedback. However, in this case, less is more. Asking too many people will lead to a lot of varying opinions and conflicting advice more likely to leave you more confused than you started out. Seek out advice from a person you know and think will be best able to help you with each type of question. Think of people you know who are in your industry, former co-workers or others you think are especially qualified to review your resume. When asking for feedback, include a job posting as well for them to review so they know what job you’re applying for, or at least to get a general idea of the type of job you’re applying for.

There are three main areas you want to cover when asking for resume feedback:

  • Grammar
    Good spelling and grammar is crucial on a resume. Having a bunch of spelling and grammar errors on your resume will make you look sloppy and unprofessional to a hiring manager. If you can’t be bothered to get your own resume error-free then what kind of quality of work can they expect from you? Ask someone you know is great with grammar to help you look over your resume before you send it out.

  • What to include or not include
    Many recruiters and hiring managers will use software (Applicant Tracking System, ATS) to search for keywords to find matching resumes. Ask someone, such as a recruiter or HR professional who’s familiar with what you should include or not to improve the chances of your resume getting picked up. They can also tell you if there are certain keywords or phrases that will help your resume get noticed. You may also want to consider asking a former co-worker to review your resume. They may remind you of projects you forgot to mention, or skills they think you have that should be included.

  • What will make a resume stand out to a hiring manager
    Once your resume has been selected for further review, you’ll have others read it who are not necessarily in the HR department and not looking for keywords but actually making sure you are a potential match for the job role they’re trying to fill. If you know someone who’s a department manager or does hiring for their department, ask them what makes a resume stand out. Keep in mind they’re likely not going to think of your resume from the point of view of someone who uses an ATS to look up resumes by keywords so you’ll want to balance their feedback with someone who’s a recruiter or in an HR role.

Questions to ask

A recruiter or hiring manager will spend about 7 seconds on each resume before deciding if they want to discard it or review it for further consideration.  3 great questions to ask are:

  • If you glance through my resume for about 10 seconds, what is your initial impression?
  • Upon reading further, what stands out or impresses to you the most?
  • What could be better about my resume?

What’s next?

To connect with a recruiter about available positions in Information Technology, Engineering, Accounting/Finance and Business Administration/Process in Grand Rapids, MI or Tampa, FL, view our job board and submit your resume. You can also submit your resume here for general consideration. If your resume is a match for an open position, one of our recruiters will connect with you, and work with you to make sure your resume is optimized for the position before submitting it to the hiring manager.

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