Recently, in setting up a program I was asked to review
several resumes in advance of the program to give
the students a “leg up.” The students had to volunteer to
have their resume’s reviewed early.
The resume was sent as a .pdf file attachment and appeared
as a general run of the mill internet form. So, there seemed
to be many places where suggestions could improve the
resume. After a quick assessment, I was concerned that
I would be perceived as an ‘ungrateful wretch’ simply
tearing the resume to pieces. So I contacted the professor
and asked for her recommendations (knowing in advance
that I wanted to speak to the student to find out how
receptive he was, what his intended position was and
where the resume model came from.)
We spoke and I learned that he seemed to be most interested
in autonomous career and looked to do a post-doc in
preparation for either an academic position or a role
in a government laboratory. He had gotten format advice from
undergraduate career counseling at the school.
What a revelation? That changed the whole nature of
my review since I would not be reviewing the resume
thinking it was targeting an industrial job position.
The bottom line here is it is important when seeking advice
on one’s resume, cover letter, CV and other documents
to apprise the reviewer of what position you have
prepared the documents for. There are helpful hints
that will be different for documents. Several format
issues, like margin, font size, kind of paper or file type
will be similar.