Your Resume Sucks, Here’s How To Fix It

Blake Band
Blake is the Washington DC Community Manager at IVY, a collaborative community that features entrepreneurs, creatives, innovators, influencers, and artists that connect through a series of intellectual experiences. He recently graduated from the University of Florida with a Masters in Entrepreneurship.

Your resume sucks. No offense intended; of course I’ve never seen it. I’m sure you’ve put some time and energy into crafting a pretty solid summation of your prior positions and subsequent skill set. But it still sucks.

Let me clarify.

The job market is tough; there is no denying that.

Regardless of who you know, your alma mater, current state of the economy, or the field you are entering, the post-grad purgatory many of us find ourselves in is cruel and unforgiving.

The key to expediting the hiring process is by differentiating yourself in any and every way you can to stand out from the deep depths of the pack.

 

Technology has advanced more in the past 10 years, especially in the last 50 years; but one thing that has not changed is the resume:

Paper: white 
Ink: black 
Font: standard 
Size: nothing over 12 pt. 
Card stock: sure 
Scented: please, no 

There is only so much you can do to make yourself jump in paper (or on screen), to catch the eye of a hiring manager. You have to get creative, especially if your CV isn’t overflowing with certified experience or technical skills.

When I began my job hunt, I ran into a few reoccurring scenarios:

  1. Find job posting -> submit resume -> no response
  2. Email hiring manager -> forward resume -> no response
  3. Email contact -> forward resume -> no response

Plain and simple, my resume was not enough. It didn’t do enough to demonstrate who I really was, and what I could bring to a firm. As an aspiring marketing professional/entrepreneur/important-person-who-wears-suits-sometimes, I knew I had to do more to bolster my image.

With the current rates of skywriting a bit out of my price range, I decided I would channel my inner Scorsese and make a video resume–a short (1-2 minute) video showcasing my skills, talent, experience and personality. Hardly an easy task, but worth a shot.

After a week of mentally storyboarding, an entire day of filming and several hours of editing, I had an awkwardly charming, humiliatingly yet hilarious minute and a half virtual resume.

 

 

From then on, each time I established contacts with a hiring manager, a connection of mine, or random person on LinkedIn, I included my video.

Feedback was extremely positive across the board. Some people had never seen anything like it. Others got a good laugh, and a few were genuinely impressed.

Did I break the Internet? No. Did this open the floodgates of job offers? Not necessarily. But I was finally getting responses, second looks and interviews. My hard work, while only truly beginning, had paid off.

Point being, take some time and think about how you can enhance your professional attractiveness. If not through a video, find another vehicle other than a one-sheeter to capture the attention of an employer, like these jobseekers did:

 An aspiring scout from Florida crafted a comprehensive NFL Draft guide.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 3.32.30 PM

 

 A budding photographer from Sweden manufactured action figures.

 

A savvy designer from Colorado produced a monster movie poster.

Joe Kelso Resume

 

Put yourself out there, you’ve got nothing to lose.

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