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Proofing Your Resume

The resume that you send out, whether in print or electronically, is the first impression that you will make on a potential employer. For that reason, you want to make a good impression, and that’s one reason that I am trying to get people to manage their brand and present a great “modern resume.”

You definitely need a resume or CV to summarize your efforts and display your brand, but at the same time you need to be sure that you are projecting the image that you want to project.

With that in mind, I would recommend that you have two reviews done of your resume using the following criteria:

  • Use someone in your career field
  • Use someone outside of your career field that is a good writer

Why use two? There’s a couple examples I can give you, mainly from the technology business. I think they’re applicable to all areas, and I would like to hear back from you if you use them.

Someone in your field will understand the language, jargon, and terms being used to describe what you do. They can give you an idea of what image you are presenting of you accomplishments and skills. I saw a resume that listed Windows 2004 awhile back, which is a non-existent product. A non-technical person would not have known that, and I might have missed it on proof myself. However that is a glaring error to someone that is in the field.

Note that someone must be in your specific field, so a database person if you work with databases, a orthopedist if that’s you’re field, or a contract lawyer if you do that work. Using someone that’s a criminal attorney or urologist might not get you the same level of review.

However people that are specialists and talented in their fields often don’t present themselves well to laymen. Who are the laymen I worry about?


I despise human resources as a term, but not as a department, and they often sift through the stacks of resumes (or emails in this age) and reject or accept them. This is with an eye on the job criteria, so they are matching up skills (hence the technical review), but they often make their own decisions, especially as the number of candidates matching the criteria grows.

Having someone that’s a good writer review your resume and help you punch it up to read better, make more sense, flow, can make a difference when you have someone reviewing your work that sees 200 of them a day.

Do yourself a favor, when you open your resume and make a chance, send it to two people that will give you confidential, critical reviews from two points of view.

cross posted to The Modern Resume

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by Roy Ernest on 26 January 2010

It has been more than 5 years since I ran the stored proc sp_updateresume. I always think that I should do it. So far I havent gone near it. I think it is better to keep your resume up to date.

Posted by Steve Jones on 26 January 2010

I would say that you need to check your resume every 3-4 months, see if it needs updating.


Posted by Tim Mitchell on 26 January 2010

Good tips.  I've been in the position to read the resumes of others on many occasions, and the glaring errors made by otherwise smart people are difficult to swallow.  In a wired world where some openings may receive hundreds, or in extreme cases thousands, of responses, those who review the responses aren't initially looking to your merits, they're looking for a reason to drop your resume in the circle file.  Having someone else review your resume/CV for errors, misspellings, or context is a very easy way to avoid being excluded from consideration for what amounts to a minor oversight.

Posted by Dugi on 26 January 2010

What about if your resume or CV is overqualified for the position or the person who make review for your resume (HR side or Head of Dep. side) is non-qualified comparing your resume! Let mew show little example: I'm chief and I'm looking for the employee, so he comes to me with his resume that is much valuable than mine, what to do? In my country every time you are failed in this situation.

Posted by Steve Jones on 26 January 2010

I'm not sure what you mean there by being overqualified. I am talking about someone proofing your resume. If a person has a better resume that you, and asks you to review it, you can do so or not, but I'm not sure that impacts your employment position.

Posted by Jason Brimhall on 26 January 2010

Sound advice.  Touch up the resume and keep it up to date - just in case.  It also helps dramatically to have somebody else review it and make recommendations.  I had a friend do that for me when I first started in IT nearly.  I think it made a huge difference.  And now, I return the favor for friends - if they ask.

Posted by Dugi on 26 January 2010

Sorry for my duplicate posts I have some problems with Internet!

I think if you go to add more info in your resume and applying for any new job, in this case your resume is overqualified for the position you never win a job at least this is the situation in my country. I talked  little bit outside the article but I must to tell about this situation that I see about resumes in my country.

Please delete duplicate posts!

Posted by frankcastle509 on 12 December 2011

yes updating a resume will always do favor for your job search and will increase your chances in getting a good job.

visit my blog for more info resumewritingfree.blogspot.com

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