Asking for Help

Now, more than ever, is the time to ask for help in your job search. Whether it be about your resume, the interview or how to network your way in to the perfect position; go for it, ask the question, ask for help.

Before you do that, however, I caution you: Be open to the responses.

Just a couple of weeks ago a candidate who contacted me directly had asked for feedback on her resume. I asked her if she had specific questions that I could address or just my impressions in general. “In general” she said, so off I went.

My first response was the Objective didn’t give me any additional or new information, so delete it. It’s not necessary if it offers nothing of value. Her response was that she read about it online and was keeping it.

My second response was to create a heading for “Volunteer Work” to clarify which positions were volunteer and which ones were for pay. The response was that it was obvious which positions were volunteer positions since they were all located in the same city where she lived. I’m sorry, I missed the connection. As a recruiter or hiring manager, how would I know that was volunteer work? Never before in my career have I come across this theory. I’ll have to think about this one.

Wearily, I ventured in to my third thought. Since the most recent experience was all volunteer (and not directly related to the overall career goals), let’s put the Education section first and highlight the Masters level degree obtained in the desired field. This will draw attention to the degree and bring into focus the scope of her education and how it will relate to the positions she’s interested. Back to the online article she read: the Education section should always be last on the resume, right above ‘References will be Provided Upon Request”.

After a long, really long, pause in which my jaw was slightly dropped, I asked her if there was anything else I could do to help her out. “Resume aside”, she said, “I just don’t know why no one will hire me”.

Hmmm. Me either.

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