It’s one thing to get your resume critiqued by a family member or friend, or even a career counselor or employer in your chosen field. But what about a high-profile professional in your field who doesn’t know you but is universally respected thanks to his experiences, knowledge and contributions? Can you convince such a person to critique your resume?
You can’t simply show up on your dream critiquer’s figurative doorstep, resume in hand. You need to build a relationship with him over time. Here are a few strategies for doing just that.
Do you and the person you’re courting both participate in any Internet discussion forums or listservs focused on your industry? Or does your dream critiquer write or contribute to a blog that lets readers comment?
The Internet has revolutionized and globalized the notion of community. You and your dream critiquer might be fellow members of an Internet community. If that’s the case, reach out to your dream critiquer directly, first to comment on one of his writings and then to ask him a few questions to show your genuine interest in his work and ideas. If a discussion ensues, you just might be able to seek out a resume critique later on.
Perhaps you and your dream critiquer are members of the same professional organization, either at the national, state or better yet, local level. Is he a leader within this group? If so, consider becoming a leader yourself or joining a committee through which you’ll have the chance to actually meet and get to know your dream critiquer.
For example, if you and he were both on the committee that plans the group’s annual professional development event, suddenly the two of you would no longer be strangers but instead colleagues.
Was your dream critiquer just written about in a publication of some kind? If so, you have the opportunity to not only congratulate him on the piece but to also start building a professional relationship with him by asking a question or two. For example, you could send him a quick email saying:
I just finished reading the article for which you were interviewed. Congratulations! I was just wondering about something you said in the article: Do you think…
Think of all the potential ways you can be connected with someone. Is it possible that you and your dream critiquer:
- Attended the same college, university or school?
- Belong to the same social organization?
- Have friends or associates in common?
- Served in the same branch of the military?
- Attend the same religious institution?
- Work out at the same gym?
- Are involved in the same or similar political activities?
If you can come up with something you and your dream critiquer have in common, you can use it to start a conversation.
None of these strategies is a sure thing, of course, especially if your dream critiquer is among the super-famous (or the certainly busy and in-demand). But if you’re willing to invest time, energy and perhaps even money in developing some sort of professional association with your dream critiquer, you just might motivate him to evaluate your resume -- eventually.