Resume help can be found all over the web. There are resume templates and builders to help format your resume, online tools to identify important industry keywords, resume samples to get inspiration from, and articles like this one containing tips and tricks to help elevate your resume to the next level.
In fact, there are so many resources to choose from that sometimes it’s hard to pick out what’s actually accurate and useful. Like anything you Google on the internet, there’s going to be a lot of hogwash that just isn’t worth your time. So with this in mind, here are 5 mistakes you should avoid when searching for resume help online.
Mistake 1: Believing the first thing you read
Your resume may be printed in black and white, but how you should actually go about writing your resume certainly isn’t that simple. Blanket statements that “resumes should never exceed one page” or that “resumes should never include an objective statement” are thrown around willy-nilly by self-proclaimed resume experts all the time. Sadly though, things are almost never this simple. Many of these pieces of advice are oftentimes only applicable in certain situations, and sometimes just downright incorrect.
Before treating the first piece of advice you read as gospel, be sure to do some more research. Ask yourself: What’s the logic behind the advice? Does the advice apply to everyone at all job levels and in all industries? Is the advice an oversimplification of the truth? Do all resume experts agree on it?
Mistake 2: Paying for something you can get for free
Let’s get two things straight here. First, whatever type of resume help you’re searching for, chances are there’s a way to get it for free. Whether it’s resume builders, resume templates, resume samples, resume critiques, or resume articles, you can easily find free options for all of these resources.
Second, just because there’s a paid option doesn’t mean it’s any better than the free option. This is the trap many of us can fall prey to. We see a fancy resume template that costs $20, and we immediately think it must somehow be better than all the free templates we’ve been staring at for the past hour because one costs money and the others do not. In actuality, paid templates are oftentimes too over-the-top and not compatible with applicant tracking systems.
Mistake 3: Hoping resume builders will solve all your problems
Resume writing can be a very painstakingly difficult and drawn-out process. This is why many job seekers turn to online resume builders with the hope that they will make the writing process a whole lot more bearable. Unfortunately, this is all just wishful thinking.
For the most part, resume builders really only help you with formatting your resume by providing an assortment of different resume templates to switch between. While this certainly is a handy feature, resume builders are completely useless when it comes to helping you with what you’re likely really struggling with – writing the actual content of your resume. So, if you’re looking for help with highlighting your work achievements and constructing each bullet point, don’t get swept up in all the hype resume builders are getting these days.
Mistake 4: Not utilizing resume samples
If resume builders are the most overrated tool, I daresay the most underrated resource you can use would be industry-specific resume samples. While everything else you find online merely tells you how to write a resume, resume samples actually show you how a well-written resume should look like – and that’s priceless.
I’ve had so many job seekers over the years ask me to critique their current resume, and many of them looked nothing like how professional resumes should appear. Whether it’s using a poor design, personal pronouns, paragraphs instead of bullet points, or oversized fonts, job applicants often make a ton of fundamental mistakes that can easily be avoided by perusing online resume samples in order to understand the basic mechanics of a resume.
Mistake 5: Failing to realize when to use resume writing services
The crème de la crème – that is the standard you should be setting for your resume. However, if writing has just never been your forte or if English isn’t your native language, it can be nearly impossible to get your resume to that level of excellence all by yourself – even with all the online resources out there at your disposal. If that’s the situation you’re in, you should consider asking for professional help.
Now keep in mind, this is by far the most expensive alternative to take when it comes to having your resume written. Even as the CEO of a resume service myself, I would only suggest using a resume writing service as a last resort. However, if you are certain that you can’t write a stellar resume on your own and can afford to spend a few hundred dollars on a resume, then going with a resume writing service may be the best decision you can make for your career.
It’s honestly awesome that there are so many ways the internet can help you with writing your resume. However, don’t just dive into this without any strategy in place. With so much at your disposal, it’s important to identify what types of help are out there and what exactly you need help with.