While researching a recent story on long-term IT careers, we talked to a guy who had been suddenly laid off, after decades of success at several large tech companies.
When he shared his resume with us, it looked like it came from another era.
We wondered, what should he be doing differently?
So we contacted Volen Vulkov, co-founder of EnhanceCV, a startup that automatically analyses your resume mistakes and helps you redesign a new one. (These are the folks that turned Mark Zuckerberg’s life into a cool resume.)
This time, we wanted them to take someone’s actual resume, modernize it, and offer pointers on how anyone could do the same. And they went all out.
The resumes below are real, although the person’s name, companies’ names, and some details have been changed to protect his identity.
This is the original, old resume. 'Resumes can have issues with readability, understandable content, length, showing impact and focus,' Vulkov tells us. He found four big mistakes with this resume.
Problem 1: Not showing the impact he made. 'A great number of resumes are in essence a list of responsibilities.' This resume made that classic mistake. For instance, one item reads: 'Created a Customer Satisfaction education program which consisted of live training sessions at various cities within the Southern United States.'
Vulkov prefers the formula from Google's top HR person, Laszlo Bock (author of 'Work Rules'): Accomplished (X) as measured by (Y) by doing (Z). That same item now says, 'Increased customer satisfaction rate from 15% to 35% by integrating a Customer Satisfaction education program in over 30+ cities in Southern States leading to 20% increase of my annual salary.'
Problem 2: 'The lack of his top strengths, capabilities and greatest achievements during his life,' Vulkov says. To fix that, EnhanceCV deleted the 'summary' section in the old resume and talked about his friendships, long career and strengths.
Problem 3: A resume that says 'nothing about whom you really are,' Vulkov says. 'Resumes tend to be a list of your work experience, education and skills.' But today, most hiring managers want to know if a person will fit in with the company culture. So a resume should show off your interests and your personality. This resume includes all kinds of details from an interest in photography to how a typical day is spent.
Problem 4: A single, generic resume. 'Most applicants create only one resume, send it to a bunch of companies and think they are increasing their chances of getting hired (more trials equals greater change, right?) Sadly, you are doing just the opposite,' Vulkov says. It's better to focus on specific companies, research them fully and load the resume up with relevant experience and keywords. 'Jonathan' actually dreamed of being a photographer. By creating more resumes, they created one that lets him go after openings in his dream job.
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