How to ask someone to review your resume?

Just like a writer should never be the one editing his book, a job seeker should not be the only person reviewing and editing his resume. It is always best to ask for a second opinion and a fresh eye – even the most experienced among us can become oblivious to mistakes with time.

Who can review my resume?

Absolutely everybody. Sometimes you can get the most unexpected and useful feedback from people who have no relationship to the industry where you would like to work. It can be your friend, someone who has more experience with job search, someone who you know for sure has a lot of attention for detail or someone who has worked in the recruitment industry. You can also use professional help and actually pay a specialized company for help with your resume.

What exactly do I ask for?

When you are asking to have your resume reviewed, you should be asking for way more than just pointing out a few typos that might have slipped your sight. Make sure the person reviewing your resume answers the following questions:

  • How readable is my resume? Is it clean and nice-looking? Is the layout clear?
    - This should be the first thing you ask for. If your resume looks cluttered, most of employers won’t take a lot of time to read into it and look for information.
  • Is it clear what I am looking for? Did you figure it out at once or did you have to look for it?
    - Again, if your reader doesn’t see right away what you are looking for, most likely your potential employer won’t see it either.
  • Did your attention start to drift away at a certain point? When did it happen?
    - We have all heard of the proverbial 6 seconds the managers spend on reading the resumes. Don’t hesitate to ask your reader at what part of your resume he started to be distracted and what became clear to him before that.
  • Does my resume correctly represent my skills and accomplishments?
    - This is a great question to ask someone who has actually worked with you or knows your career path well enough. You might be omitting a crucial part of information that will play a huge difference in the job-seeking process.
  • What questions do you have after reading my resume?
    - If your reader asks you to elaborate upon certain parts of your resume, it is a good thing. You have given him the main job selling points about you and he asks you to tell him more. However, if some parts of your resume are unclear to him and you need to explain, it is better to have those parts reviewed.
Why would I want to ask somebody to review my resume? What if they give me a bad advice?

Your resume is a big deal. It is the very first thing your future employer will see. You have probably spent hours and days perfecting you resume to the point where you become immune to any mistakes it may contain. A fresh eye is always a good idea.

Of course, the person reviewing your resume may not be an expert and their advice might not be relevant. For example, someone working in the theatre industry would not be qualified to give a proper advice on how to list your engineering publications on your resume. In order to avoid having someone give you a wrong advice for your resume, here are several tips to consider when asking someone.

TIP 1: Keep in mind the country the person comes from. Very often countries have different traditions when it comes to resumes – make sure your reader comes from the same place where you are looking for a job.

TIP 2: Try to stick with the person from the same industry, preferably someone who has worked with you. Not only does this person know better what your industry is looking for these days but they can also know you better professionally and know what you have accomplished.

TIP 3: Ask several people! If more than one person points something out on your resume, it is definitely worth looking int

Our last recommendation and maybe the most important tip is to not obsess about small details after getting feedback. You cannot satisfy every reviewer! If every single person you have asked suggests a different font, just pick the most readable one and move on. Take into account more major details and adjust them in your resume, so that the reader will know what you are looking for and why you are perfect for this jo