After I got laid off, over the phone, I was asked to stay one more week to transition the new guy back as president. There wasn’t much transitioning to do, since he had been the president about 18 months earlier, so we just had a few meetings here and there. Plus, we were like “two bulls in a china closet,” or however the saying goes.
I spent much of my time getting ready for my job search. I looked, and looked, and looked some more for my resume. Not sure why I did that, wasting a few hours looking for something that was at least six years outdated. But is was like some old security blanket I was looking for. I finally gave in and downloaded a template from the internet that I could use to start over.
After hours of tinkering around on this very, very short document I sent it to a few trusted friends. These were all people who were qualified to tell me if my resume was good or not. Hiring managers, experienced professionals and executives, and even an HR professional from one of my last companies.
They all said it looked GREAT! And it did look great. It was shiny, squeaky clean, free from grammar and spelling errors.
And, it was IMPRESSIVE! You should have seen the titles:
- General Manager
- IT Manager
Okay, the last one isn’t the most impressive, but hey, I thought I was hot stuff to have those first few titles on the resume. Since I moved from a small town (Pocatello, ID) to a larger city (Salt Lake City), and I was hoping to go from a small IT company to a larger company in Salt Lake, people would be able to figure out I wasn’t the General Manager of GE, or American Express, or eBay, or something like that. I had a big title at a small company. And that was the problem.
Because I was applying to jobs with the following titles:
- Business Analyst
- Project Manager
- Product Manager (this was my dream position)
When HR and recruiters saw my resume, they had to ask:
And I got put in the garbage pile. My success rate (number of interviews secured / number of resumes sent) was really, really pitiful. Like, 2%.
A resume writer would have interviewed me, tried to understand who I was and what I was looking for, and changed the resume so that my past job titles WOULD NOT have hindered my ability to get an interview.
Months and months and months went by, with no income. I forfeited thousands of dollars of income Just a few hundred dollars, invested in a resume writer, could have changed that.
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