© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Amazing Resume Creator"
Beware the Free Sample Resume. Just imagine how you would react if you saw a plate of donuts on a sidewalk, all by themselves, with a sign on them that said "Take'em." I'm sure at first, you might be excited, but then when you put a little thought into it, you would become less enthusiastic. "Hey," you might say "Just how good can these donuts really be, if they are just being given away like that?" If you had a paranoid frame of mind, you might even wonder if there's something seriously wrong with them, like they would make you sick. More likely, though, you would simply guess that these donuts have gone stale.
That is, more or less, how you should think about 99% of the free sample resumes you come across online and in books. There may not be anything seriously wrong with them, like they won't get you in any sort of trouble for using them, or anything. But they are stale. Many times, if they are being given away for free, it's because they are out of date. Resume styles change with the times, just like everything else in the business world (if you don't believe me, get a load of the gigantic shoulder pads that Michael Douglass was wearing in Wall Street). Sending out an out as stale, musty, out of date resume would be like showing up for your interview in a suit like that (not a good idea, unless you actually ARE Michael Douglass).
More Free Sample Resume Considerations
Even if the free sample resume is up to date and recently written, it has another big problem that you can't really do anything about. Namely, it's not about you. It's a sample resume, that is, it is created for some imaginary person with an imaginary job history applying for an imaginary job. Now it is true that you will change those things around to fit your specifics, but often that simply involves a kind of "seek and replace" method of taking the free sample resume specifics out and replacing them with your particular specifics. When you do that, it's likely that the generic structure still remains, and the resume doesn't represent the kind of insightful, incisive, selling document that it needs to be to get you the job of your dreams.
All things considered, it's usually just easier, simpler and certainly more effective to learn to write your own resume. Writing your own resume ensures that you put nothing old, generic or bland down on the page. When you write the resume yourself, you can also apply a strategy which is specifically tailored to match up your experience, education, interests and accomplishments with the requirements of the job that you are applying for. It doesn't take a genius to realize that this specific, strategic, tailored resume is going to have a much bigger chance of getting the interview and the job than some free sample resume which you do a little change to.
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