Never Stop Trying to Improve Your Resume

This is a guest post by Prellz.

After 8 long months of applying, resume editing, and self-doubting, I was finally able to break through and land a fantastic job. It was certainly a learning experience, with the #1 lesson I learned was I’m not nearly as “hot-stuff” as I thought I was entering the market.

I had a very unique job—one that I thought would open the eyes of hiring managers and at least get me an interview. I quickly learned, however, my amateur resume would need a lot of work before I came even close to getting a decent interview.

Take a look at the development of my resume and I’ll break it down:

resume-prellz

Resume 1

I used this for about the first two months of my hunt, being oblivious to the advice around me. I created this while sitting in a Starbucks one day overseas, thinking it was the greatest thing ever written in Garamond font.

At first glance, it doesnt look too bad – well formatted, organized, readable. But to the experienced eye, I am not selling myself nearly as good as I should have. In each of my listed positions, I am simply listing all the things I did, with no measurable results for the hiring managers to go off of.

I could have told them anything on that paper, but without concrete numbers to back it up, nobody cares. On top of that, I would submit this resume in the blind, not editing it for any keywords within the job descriptions. I recall only getting one interview with this resume, and I got the vibe the Hiring Manager certainly regretted calling me in.

Resume Prellz 2

Resume 2

I reformatted things to your standard resume format. I added a more concise summary section, adding some common keywords that I adjusted for each job description. I also began to add measurable results into my previous job experiences (percentages, dollar amounts, etc).

I also really jazzed up my additional qualifications section, highlighting anything I had any sort of familiarity with (again, adjusted for each job description). I had some solid success with this one, landing a few initial phone interviews a week.

Resume Prellz 3

Resume 3

This one landed me my job. Given my desired field of work, I decided it was time to jazz up my resume as far as appearance. As you can see, the content doesn’t change too much, but I included simple font color differences (without going overboard), and added small pictures of each company logo on the right to add an extra bit of ‘pop’. I wouldn’t recommend going overly-artsy unless that’s what your job calls for.

While I don’t 100% recommend its metrics, take a look at rezscore.com. If your resume is way off base, it will certainly tell you (its not great with finer details). The best part about it is the ability to see other people’s submitted resumes within your desired field. That’s where I found the template for this resume, and I adjusted it to my desired job.

Lessons Learned

Ultimately, the biggest lesson I learned was to be humble in your job-hunt endeavors. Sure, you may know your old job backwards-and-forwards and would be a perfect fit for a desired job, but if you can’t accurately and effectively define your value to the hiring manager, you will go nowhere fast.

Adding to that, I thought I was so good I neglected to take all the available resume advice around me for too long. PLEASE, utilize advice sites – reddit.com/r/jobs and reddit.com/r/resumes are great resources!

Being unemployed is absolutely horrendous, so do everything you can to keep it short and sweet for yourselves.

Use measurable results, ADJUST TO THE JOB POSTING, be willing to learn & adapt.

GradDash Career Mentor


  • Canh Vuong

    Wonderful…thanks!

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