When Crowd Sourcing is a Really Bad Idea

I was just skimming one of those “10 sites you should know about’ type posts when I came across two really problematic sites among those listed.

Razume and Resume Social are both sites that encourage users to create a resume, then seek feedback from other community members. Here is what Razume says:

On Razume, you can ask anyone to review your resume simply by sending them an email using Razume’s “send to a friend” form. You should ask anyone who can add value to your resume to review it for you. In addition to your friends and family, we suggest reaching out to knowledgeable peers, mentors, coworkers, recruiters, employers, career consultants, and industry professionals. We will also allow you to request reviews from experienced members in the Razume community.

But anyone whose ever written a resume knows that feedback is highly subjective and generally not worth listening to. I say ‘generally’ because some feedback is valuable of course – an experienced hiring manager or recruiter can offer their own impressions of you based on your resume and those impressions are always useful to know. But peers? Friends and family? No way!

If you ask 10 people what they think of your resume, 9 will have an opinion and at least 5 of them will contradict someone else. You will wind up making changes to try and please everyone and before you know it, you’ll have a resume that resembles Frankenstein’s monster.

You cannot get to a great resume by asking a lot of people to tell you what they think. That way madness lies!

My advice is this: Ignore websites that promise easy fixes (the same post also pushes Howtowritearesume, which promises to generate a resume for you filled with standard language and keywords for your industry – great! Now you can sound just like everyone else!) and ignore websites that recommend asking ‘the community’ for advice on your resume. The community is as clueless as you are – that’s why they’re there in the first place.

There are no shortcuts to success when writing a great resume. You must research your target audience, understand their needs, identify your unique personal value, and create a resume that communicates that personal value. That takes some time and effort but it will pay off in more interviews and better opportunities.

For help on writing a resume the hard way, feel free to take my online course – no charge!

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