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Do Second Opinions Help or Hurt Your Resume?

"Second opinion." When I hear those words, the first thing that comes to mind is a bad diagnosis. Like when one doctor swears you have cancer while the second opinion reveals you don't. Second opinions are a big deal in that regard, but a recent blog post made me think differently about how they relate to your job search and career.

The post (you can read it here) came from Louise Fletcher of BlueSkyResumes.com. She's a professional resume writer, and she had a hard day when one of her clients expressed the following statement:

"I know we finalized this resume a while ago, but I showed it to a friend and he had some comments …"

She went on to say that feedback like that is rare, but it can be extremely frustrating. Typically, the second opinions her clients receive do not measure up to the professional opinion, and Fletcher ends up delivering lengthy explanations about why the client's friend is wrong about the suggested changes.

So, while I can see why people second-guess their doctors with opinions from other doctors, I wonder how it makes sense to second-guess a professional resume writer with input from a friend, unless that friend is also a professional resume writer (then I'd wonder why they hired a stranger in the first place). Why is this a big deal? A certified professional resume writer goes through extensive training and a rigorous examination process, plus continuous learning to keep up with changing rules and technologies in the job search field. Typically, they know better than the average person.

But there's a work-around for this, job seeker! If you've ever hired a professional to write or review your resume, and you're not confident with the final result, don't tell them you had your friend look at it and they want to make changes. Instead, consider your friend's suggestions and pose them to your professional writer as questions.

Example: Your friend said "don't bold the keywords in your summary." Instead of running to the writer and saying "my friend said not to bold the keywords," rephrase the suggestion as an inquiry, such as: "I noticed that you bolded all of these keywords in my summary and I'm curious what the benefit is of doing that."

This way, it won't appear to the writer that you doubt his choices, and you won't tick him off by making him think you value your friend's opinions more than those of the professional you hired to make your resume perfect.

On the other hand, second opinions are great for anyone who needs costly car repairs (like this guy here)! Just remember that professional resume writers really are working in your best interest, and your investment will pay off as soon as you get that flood of callbacks requesting interviews. And if you don't get results, consider taking your friend's suggestions in your own hands!

NOTE: Learn more about hiring a professional resume writer through Pongo.

Have you ever had a second opinion pay off in your hunt for a new job? Tell us about it in a comment below!

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