I am continually astounded at the bad resume advice handed out by the “bad Santas”: resume writers who have no professional credentials or well-meaning friends and family.
Bad Santa Advice from Resume Writers
Many so-called resume writers, without credentials, training, or professional affiliations, will give you bad advice, like telling you to alter facts on your resume. For example, they will encourage you to simply forget about a short-term position or period of unemployment and modify dates to cover the gap. They will tell you to say you have skills that you do not have rather than be upfront about skills you are willing to get. They will tell you to lie to make yourself more attractive.
These clueless helpers will also tell you that you need to keep your resume to one page—regardless of your years of experience and achievements—and that cover letters or emails are no longer necessary. They advocate unusual formats as though the format will impress hiring managers more than the content. They ignore applicant tracking systems which have difficulty with unusual formats, even though most large companies today use an ATS.
Their bad advice can lead to your being fired for lying or to your resume being suppressed by the applicant tracking system before you even begin.
Bad Santa Advice from Family and Friends
Some bad resume advice comes from family and friends who have your best interests at heart, but do not understand the current job seeking environment. They will tell you to be more modest or more boastful than your achievements warrant. They will tell you to add words like “hard working,” “loyal,” and “interested in furthering my career,” which take up space that could be used to quantify your achievements.
The absolutely worst advice these good-hearted people can give you is to write your own resume because no one knows you as well as you. The truth is that most job seekers find it difficult to assume the viewpoint of recruiters and hiring managers; and yet a resume has to appeal to that audience, not best friends or relations or to the job seeker’s own internal critic. Over and over again, I have worked with job applicants who overlook the basics of stellar resume writing: clear, concise, accurate, and focused. Instead they come up with a generic resume that describes their past more or less but has absolutely no chance of getting them the job they want now.
Good Advice from Robin’s Resumes®
To avoid the Bad Santas, whether unprofessional resume writers or your well-meaning support system, research carefully to find a professional resume writer with credentials, experience, and references. You will find all three on my website. I look forward to hearing from you.