Have you ever heard someone described as “nitpicky?” What does it mean?

Nitpicky is an informal way to describe someone overly focused on tiny, unimportant details, especially when criticizing something.

As a resume writer, I sometimes work with people who nitpick the writing in their resume to death. They always want one more revision or will pick a specific part of the resume that “isn’t right.”

The reality is that if a person won’t at some point step back from the actual wording and let the resume go, it will be almost impossible to finish. But what causes nitpicky behavior in the first place?

1) Nitpicking is a result of fear. This is the most important underlying reason.

Once a resume is complete, that removes an excuse for not just starting an active job search.

One of my clients once taught me (unintentionally) about the connection between her fear and her resume. We were having a conversation about the differences between using the word “seminar” and “workshop.” Which word best described the events she planned? We went ’round and ’round about which we should use. I was very polite, but she was driving me crazy!

I finally told her that no one was going to notice. While technically there was a difference between a seminar and a workshop, it didn’t actually matter. What mattered was the actual content, not the word. People would not notice, so either word was acceptable.

After this conversation, I realized that it was easier for her to stress over these two words than to actually start looking for a job.

2) Nitpicks happens because writing a resume is so far out of your comfort zone.

If you don’t know anything about writing resumes, it can be easy to get stuck in the wording because you don’t know how to decide if it is written properly or not. The best way to help with this is to hire a professional to write the resume with you!

3) Nitpicks happen because you get too many opinions from others.

It is easy to go back and forth with someone else about the wording when neither of you is a trained resume writer.

There is a balance when editing a resume. You must be very careful about the actual wording because words matter. But if you realize you are nitpicking, just know that your fear or uncertainty is only getting in the way.

Rather than obsess about little, unimportant details, try to come back to the writing another time. You will move past your nitpick, laugh at it a little, and finish your resume so you can truly start your job search.

If you still feel uncertain about writing your own resume, you also have the option of hiring me! I have been helping people get jobs for 20 years. If you would like to discuss your resume, please schedule a FREE consultation!