Top Eight Resources for a Resume Critique
By Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert
September 05, 2008
You’ve decided you need a second opinion on your resume, but where should you turn? We’ve gathered the top eight resources for resume critiques, as well as the pros and cons of each, to help you find the best reviewer for your needs.
Professional Resume Writers
Resume writers can provide excellent advice on how to improve your resume, says Murray Mann, principal of Global Career Strategies Group in Chicago and coauthor of The Complete Job Search Guide for Latinos.
Pros: “Resume writers know what employers want to see in a resume,” Mann says. "They are usually up-to-date on the latest trends and know which keywords are needed to maximize a resume’s exposure.”
Cons: The most comprehensive critiques are normally fee-based. Many firms offer free critiques, but they can be general in scope. “Remember, free critiques are often geared to sell the writer’s services,” advises Mann.
How to Find One: Good places to check are the and the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches.
With 20 years of experience coaching senior Wall Street and corporate executives, Trisha Scudder is a pioneer in the career-coaching industry. The president of New York City-based Executive Coaching Group, she reviews many resumes on a daily basis.
Pros: “A good career coach will take the time to edit your resume with you, reviewing both the big-picture impact as well as the details,” says Scudder.
Cons: “Unless they also coach senior executives, career coaches may not know the needs of the person likely to review your resume,” Scudder points out.
How to Find One: If you’re unable to get a referral, check out the International Coach Federation or Career Masters Institute.
In their quest to find optimal candidates, recruiters review numerous resumes every day.
Pros: “If you have the qualifications that a recruiter is looking for to fill an opening, then you could receive extensive resume assistance,” says Mann.
Cons: But Scudder cautions: “Recruiters are often very busy, and since they are paid by the hiring company and not you, they may not help you with your resume.”
How to Find One: Referrals from friends or an online search are two ways to find recruiters. Visit the Kennedy Information Directory of Executive Recruiters Web site and SearchFirm.com.
An increasing number of job fairs provide free critiques by resume writers, career coaches and HR representatives.
Pros: At job fairs offering critiquing services, “you receive expert advice with a mark-up of errors and recommended improvements,” Mann explains.
Cons: Your critique will often be limited to five or 10 minutes, allowing only a cursory review.
How to Find One: Monster provides a list of upcoming career fairs. You can also search for events in your local paper and check with schools that might be hosting them.