Resumes That Get Read

A resume is your golden ticket to get an interview. Companies get hundreds of resumes for every opening they have. If you imagine it from their shoes, there’s just no possible way to interview that many people for a single position.

The best thing that companies can do is screen out people based on their resume. One common misconception is that people believe resumes are a way to get a job. Rather you should think of it as a way to convince the hiring manager that you should absolutely be given a chance to prove your worth.

I’m going to cover various tips & tricks that will make sure you are not wasting your time.

Qualifications

If you do not meet the minimum requirements, don’t apply for the job. There is typically wiggle room between qualifications, but again the keyword here is minimum requirements.

English

Your resume should show that you have competent English writing skills. It should be proofed for any typos, grammar, and punctuation. Your written ability is a significant advantage you will have over other people. Each mistake is a ding to your overall first impression. You should:

  • Make sure your words reflect your discipline.
    • EX (Software Engineer): Developed, Built, Implemented, etc.
  • Speak in first person. What were your individual accomplishments, impact, and challenges?

Cover Letter

The cover letter should be a personalized letter to the company you’re applying to. Simply taking a template cover letter and replacing the company name and position will show that you didn’t bother to care enough for why you want to work at the company.

Rather if you take a creative approach, make a fun cover letter. Whether it’s the tech stack, company mission, or even the location the company is based out of. These prove that you have passion for landing the job.

Limit Your Job Search

Applying for more than three or four jobs at a time can make you look unqualified. It may show signs of desperation. You want to give the impression to the hiring manager that you are the ideal candidate and if they do not take you up on the offer, you can find another position in a heartbeat.

You are the one who gets to decide where you want to work because you know what you want in life. Thus you should only apply for one or two jobs at a time. Think about how much more personal and intricate your application will look by just focusing on one company at a time.

Personalization

The absolute best way to get someone to look at your resume is to come across as a human being, and not just a checklist of qualifications. I refer to this as your Developer Story. Where did you come from? What have you worked on? What do you want to work on? etc. There are three main areas you will want to cover with regards to your developer story:

  • Accomplishment – What did you accomplish?
  • Impact – What impact did you have?
  • Challenges – What challenges did you face?

If there is anything listed in your resume that seems interesting, you should be ready to talk about it. For example, if you co-founded a mobile app that was successful or known, be ready to talk about all three areas. In other words, show, don’t tell.

Do not tell people you are the hardest worker in the room. Do not tell people you are passionate. You can’t expect somebody to believe you are these things without seeing proof. If you’re the hardest worker in the room, tell me about how you learned a new environment and shipped a product in a constrained time-frame.