Thursday, May 28, 2009

trading resumé critiques

I've found in the past that getting professional advice on your resumé can be a fruitless effort. I've never tried paid services, but if they're anything like university career centres, they likely offer suggestions that are way off base. The advisers seem to stick to some HR version of what a resumé should be, without taking into consideration what field you're working in, and if there are any conventions related to it. I have my doubts that a generic service would know what to do with your mix of freelance and on-staff work, for example.

That's why I believe your best advice is going to come from peers and mentors who work in magazines. Joe Grimm, on Ask the Recruiter, recommends the resumé swap: sit down with another editor over pizza and look at each other's CVs. Talk about them.

I think this is a much better approach than even just emailing your friend your resumé. In person, you can have a conversation about it. You can tease out what will work the best, what your key assets are. And, though it won't be possible for everyone to do, if you can hook up with someone who looks at resumés on a regular basis, even better.

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