Job searching is exhausting. Finding a company that matches your interests, promotes growth, and has a mission that aligns with your values can seem impossible. When, and if, you do find a company that matches some, not all, of your requirements and you submit your resume, it often feels like you’ve been sent into an abyss. Let’s face it, it can be demoralizing to not hear back from anyone. The competition and dearth of candidates has promulgated electronic resume sifters that disqualify plenty of qualified candidates before they are even given a chance. Common wisdom says you get 60 seconds to pique a hiring manager’s interest through a single-paged resume. Most job seekers would kill for that amount of time and attention.
When I first launched my job search (which can often turn into a full-time job unto itself), I suffered from a lack of focus and direction, and ultimately a lack of confidence. With an empty inbox and no responses to my applications, I was convinced I wasn’t being heard and frustration set in.
I had done great things (I thought). I had great internship experience (I thought). But I had no true professional experience. The entire breadth of my paid professional career was a brief stint at Blockbuster (RIP) and a few college summers as a waiter at an Italian restaurant. Neither of which helped me to standout.
I knew I could make an impression if only I could get an interview. I knew I could land the role if only I was given a chance to show my earnest desire to make my mark on the working world. I needed someone to take a chance on me.
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
Opportunity meets preparation when you’re open to new experiences. Sometimes it means working a thankless job and living paycheck to paycheck, or considering a position below your skill level because of the growth potential. One thing is certain, whatever that experience looks like and wherever it leads — you must continue to update your resume so when an opportunity does arise, you’re prepared to jump.
What does it mean to always update your resume? We like to stick to 5 sections that present your information in a simple, straightforward format that any reader can comprehend:
- Name — smack centered at the top of the page — big and bold
- Contact Info — keep it simple and in your header
- Education — list it under the header only if you're a recent grad
- Professional Experience — build a timeline in descending order
- Skills — all on one line (no bullet point lists!)
No one is expecting the world’s best resume when they hire entry-level candidates. Hiring managers want to quickly ascertain who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and your potential when deciding whether to interview you. Once you’re given an opportunity for a phone screening or in-person discussion, it’s your job to knock it out of the park.
After I graduated college and tired from sending countless online applications with no responses, I committed to cleaning up my resume. I got rid of the flowery language, stuck the true me and pressed forward. I’d like to say those changes were the keys to my success, but that wouldn’t be true. The endless void of the internet still swallowed my resume whole. But at least I knew I gave it my all, remained honest, and showed the world the most up-to-date version of me. As time went on, my confidence grew, and I forged ahead.
Whether it was that confidence or the universe aligning, opportunity did eventually find me — and I was prepared. An acquaintance was looking for someone to perform some basic writing tasks. Even though I may not have been the most qualified for the job, I wanted it, and I was ready. After making tweaks to my resume to fit the role, I hit send and hoped for the best. Thankfully, I received an offer. Why? As it turns out, the chief responsibility of this position was to be a clear communicator and my resume provided evidence of my ability to do just that. It was targeted and on point, and that made all the difference.
CALL TO ACTION
Do you feel like you aren’t being heard? Resume Buffalo can help you create a clear and concise resume that will target your desired industry. We will help you format and build a resume that will get you interviews by showcasing the best YOU that exists. Sign up for our Premiere Resume Package and we will work with you one-on-one to evaluate your resume and professional experience ultimately resulting in a newly re-written version. For a limited time only use the code “FRIEND” and get $100 off!