7 Tips for Tackling Resume Writing Anxiety

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( ENSPIRE Health & Wellness ) How to Avoid Allowing Anxiety to Interrupt your Resume Writing

ENSPIRE Contributor: Naomi Stamps

When it comes to resume writing, you can find various articles and YouTube videos on how to write it quickly, but many fail to mention it can cause anxiety. The harsh reality is that resume writing can be intimidating (especially if you have a little experience under your belt). This is the way I felt after I graduated from college with no prior work experience to show for it. I felt like I was behind everyone else and would be denied jobs and internships because of it. 

Little did I know that as I began my resume writing journey, there were some lessons that I had to learn along the way through trial and error. Mentally speaking, preparing my resume wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. The good thing is I overcame the obstacles ahead, and I accomplished what I set out to do. Before you write your resume, it’s essential to ensure that you’re mentally prepared for what’s ahead. Here are seven tips on how to overcome resume anxiety: 

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  1. Don’t tell everyone that you’re working on a resume. 

While some people may mean well by sharing their tips, others may harshly criticize you, argue that you don’t know what you’re doing, or belittle you for skills you haven’t gained yet. Only tell those you trust won’t give you the third degree to avoid unnecessary stress and anxiety. 

  1. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

When I decided to write a resume, I went around in circles, trying to figure it out independently. I was very frustrated and overwhelmed from hours of looking up resume writing tips. I told myself that I wouldn’t reach out to anyone for help because I was worried that others would judge my lack of skills and experience. Use the sources available to you so you can get that resume into your future employer’s hands. Reach out to the Career Center at your alma mater for resume writing assistance. They can offer resources, resume templates, and you can schedule an appointment with a career consultant. The best part about this is that it’s free! If you’re looking for affordable resume review services, here are two websites that offer affordable resume review, coaching, and editing services: https://cheapresumeservices.com (Tip: If you want to make sure your resume fits the job you’re applying for and is free of grammatical errors, buy the Editing package). –https://www.savvysidehustles.com 

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  1. Remember that you don’t owe any explanations to anyone. 

I was a little nervous during my first resume consultation over the phone because I had no work experience. I constantly wondered, “Will they ask why I haven’t worked?” “Will I be compared to other graduates and face harsh criticism?” “How do I explain myself if I’m asked a bunch of personal questions?” Thankfully, I never encounter this problem, but some people may try to get too personal. There’s nothing wrong with respectfully saying, “I prefer not to answer that.” It’s not required for you to share why you don’t have specific skills yet. A career consultant’s job is to help you shape your resume and offer advice on pursuing your career interest(s). Don’t allow fear of judgment to stop you from moving ahead with your goals. 

  1. Schedule your next resume consultation at least one week later. 

After my first resume consultation, I decided I wouldn’t schedule my next appointment until after I applied all the tips I received. Unfortunately, this was the biggest mistake I made. As I tried to determine what skills to mention, I found myself overthinking and doubting myself. Besides this, when I reviewed resume examples from others pursuing my career interests, I became a victim of comparison. These feelings caused me to procrastinate on my resume revisions for a month. 

While many people like the freedom of completing tasks when they want, we as human beings are deadline-driven. Schedule your next consultation at least one week later to motivate yourself to work on revisions if revisions are needed. If you can finish it sooner, then go for it! Giving yourself a deadline leaves very little room for doubt and comparison to control your mindset. 

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  1. Consider the consequences of giving up. 

This connects back to tip #4. When I doubted my capabilities, I asked myself these questions: 

  • Will I be able to apply for jobs or internships this year as I planned? 
  • If I keep procrastinating, what are the consequences? 
  • Why am I trying to pursue the jobs and internships I want? 

This helped me to put things in perspective and push myself to keep going. If you doubt yourself, take the time to ask these questions and be honest with yourself. Self-reflection not only provides clarity but also reminds you of your “why.” 

  1. Remember that resume writing takes patience. 

Even though you may be eager to send your resume to jobs of interest, resumes sometimes require rounds of revisions. I had to revise my resume about four times before it was ready to send out. Since many recruiters review dozens of resumes a day, they look for the slightest mistakes to place a resume in the rejection file. Take the time to make sure your resume is perfect and trust the process. 

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  1. Remember that everyone’s story is different. 

The place in your life you’re currently in may not be desirable, but don’t allow it to hold your happiness hostage. It may not be your time yet because you still have some growing to do (both mentally and physically). But you have to remember that no one starts at the top, and it takes hard work to be successful in life. Just because the people around you already have a job or internship doesn’t make them your competition. So be kind to yourself as you work on your resume, begin your job search, and know your time is coming soon. 

Related Articles: A Letter to Those Struggling With Their Mental Health

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