Are you better at fixing cars than the person that does it for a living and has had years of training and experience? Can you build a workshop with the same quality as a Master Carpenter? Not likely. What is more plausible and probable is that your efforts will result in something you might be okay with, but you suspect is not as professionally finished as it could be..
You can see examples of mediocre everywhere if you look. There are people driving around with duct tape covering rust holes in their cars, decks at the rear of houses that are wobbly and unsafe or people in school who are content to just get passing grades. Not to be confused with those who work hard and can only muster barely passing marks, or the ones who can’t afford a proper repair job. These are the folks who could do better but don’t put in the effort. These are examples of settling.
Now if you want to risk falling off your deck, don’t mind the jeers and looks you might get from your duct taped paint job, that’s your choice. The consequences are yours to assume and you shouldn’t be surprised if you and your guests feel uneasy on that deck or you get the odd comment about your quick-fix repair. In short, you know the consequences and are okay with the risks you run.
It’s interesting then when someone will make their own resume, be told by a professional that its got some major issues, and still be okay with it just as it is and head on out confident that it will get them an interview. In other words, if an auto body shop offered it’s car restoration services for free, why would anyone still want to drive around with painted duct tape covering a rust hole? Or if someone knocked on your door and offered to replace or repair your wobbly deck at no charge, wouldn’t your only question be, “When can you start?”
To accept help with your resume from a professional, here’s what you have to acknowledge: 1) I’m big enough to admit the quality of what I can produce is not as good as what a professional could produce 2) Just as I have skills and expertise in some things, an Employment Counsellor or Resume Writer has the expertise when it comes to the job application process 3) Seeking out help with my resume from someone who can do it better than I can shows my intelligence.
Now I’m happy to say that many people I interact with are receptive to getting and accepting advice and suggestions with respect to crafting a better resume. There still remain many however who when being given feedback on their resume, become defensive, argue that spelling doesn’t really matter, and shun the help. Their choice as I said earlier.
It doesn’t mean of course that the poor resume they leave with is guaranteed to fail. No, I admit there may be some employer out there who does call them in for an interview even though the resume has spelling and grammar issues etc. Sure it could happen. However, the ODDS of it happening are lower than if the resume was enhanced by removing those spelling and grammar errors and the overall impression it gave was notched up significantly.
So why do people settle and hand out what they know are inferior resumes? Well for starters, it may be an issue of pride. After all, if you’ve worked hard to produce something yourself and you don’t actually know the quality is poor, it can hurt your self-esteem if even the most well-meaning professional starts pointing out all your errors. As you listen, you may very well feel foolish, yes even stupid (although I dislike that word intensely). So while some might express thanks and ask for help to improve it, some might just defiantly hand it out anyhow because they don’t want to admit their work is inferior.
In my line of work, I also see many clients with diagnosed and undiagnosed but suspected mental health issues. So in some cases, the person may actually believe the resume they have created is perfect, although the lack of results it brings them would suggest otherwise. As sad as it is, there are some people who will likely never get an interview with the resume they have, but they truly believe that resume is fantastic and their capacity to see its shortcomings even when pointed out is minimal or non-existent.
Resumes require work, and work is something many want to avoid, especially if making a resume – a really good resume – is something they don’t enjoy. The irony is however that making a poor resume is easy, but a poor resume means having to make and submit many resumes. A strong resume takes more effort, but the result is a higher likelihood of getting an interview and having therefore to do less resumes. But the short-sighted, ‘whatever requires less effort’ mentality often wins out.
My advice is obviously to get professional help with your resume. Get over it. It’s not about you, it’s about the resume. The resume professional isn’t a professional in all areas of life, but they are when it comes to crafting a resume. If their help is free, as in the case of a social service or job search agency, run and get that help!