Overwhelmed in the job search? We simplified the process for this professional.
Most professionals would agree that part of a fulfilling job is the opportunity for growth. Setting and reaching new goals, learning new skills, making waves in your field — these are the things that make a role rewarding, not monotonously completing tasks day after day. Being in a job that seems to be going nowhere means feeling stuck in your career as a whole, and unfortunately, that’s how Beth Calahan (not her real name) feels right now.
For many years, Beth was at the peak of her career as an event planner. She excelled in her work with a corporation on large events and then opened up her own event-planning business, which flourished. She established herself in her industry and built up a strong network along the way. However, these things were left behind when her family relocated for her husband’s job.
Now in a different state, Beth has found a role as a marketing manager at a new company, but the position isn’t what she had hoped it would be. “There is no career growth here,” she told us. “I’m not learning and I’m not growing.” It’s been a disappointing transition, and a few months ago, she finally decided to seek a change. Needing a new role that would give her those growth opportunities, she set out on a job search that unfortunately, only added to her frustration.
Related: Should You End Things With Your Job?
An overwhelming job search
“If I had to describe my job search,” Beth told us, “the best word would be overwhelming.”
And we know she’s not alone. For Beth, those feelings of worry and anxiety have translated into two major challenges for her job search. The first hurdle has been finding the time to craft a truly effective resume. Formatting, optimizing for applicant tracking systems, highlighting skills, incorporating keywords — it can seem like an impossible task to take on all at once, particularly under the added pressure of searching for jobs. Add to that a full-time job and two young children to care for, and how could anyone find time to polish their resume? The result of this lack of time is Beth's second hurdle: not submitting her resume because she isn’t confident in its quality.
“It’s so time consuming because I have to write a new cover letter and tweak my resume for every application. I want to do a good job, but there are just so many elements. In the end, I feel paralyzed by the whole process and end up not applying at all.”
What Beth needed was a resume that would make her feel confident and eliminate her hesitation in the application process. With this in mind, she entered our resume-makeover contest and was this month’s lucky winner!
The difference (the right) resume-writing service can make
As it turns out, this wasn’t Beth's first time working with a resume-writing service. Beth shared that she had previously worked with another service, but it wasn’t a positive experience; the finished product wasn’t impressive and lacked the professional expertise she thought she was paying for. In fact, she felt that her resume was barely touched at all: “When I saw my new resume, it was like the writer didn’t even do anything,” she explained. Naturally, this left her feeling skeptical about resume-writing services overall.
When Beth was paired up with TopResume writer Jackie, her opinion soon changed; Beth was pleasantly surprised by the care and consideration Jackie put into her resume. Let’s take a closer look at what Jackie did to improve Beth's resume.
Crafting a stronger resume
Jackie’s main priority was to take Beth's already-impressive accomplishments and position them in a way that would be more impactful and catch the eyes of hiring managers. To get into the nitty-gritty details of the rewrite, we’ve highlighted the five major changes Jackie made to Beth's resume. Click here to view Beth's finished resume in its entirety.
1. Created visual impact
Beth's original resume featured long blocks of text, which can be difficult to read and bury the most important information hiring managers are looking for. To fix this, Jackie focused on breaking up the text into more concise, easily digestible lines to allow readers to quickly scan Beth’s resume.
Jackie also reformatted sections of the resume to increase white space and create visual balance on the page. By eliminating the cluttered feel of Beth's original resume, Jackie ensured that pertinent information is easy for a hiring manager to locate.
2. Highlighted quantifiable achievements
It’s not enough to simply list your day-to-day tasks, which is what Beth's original resume did. Therefore, Jackie reworked each job description to focus on Beth's quantifiable achievements. Percentages, dollar signs, and statistics are major eye catchers to employers because of the way they clearly communicate results. Highlighting these on Beth's resume means that hiring managers and recruiters will immediately see the value she can contribute to their companies.
3. Optimized for the ATS
Beth knew about applicant tracking systems (ATS), but trying to beat the bots was one of the things she found most overwhelming about the job search. In order to get Beth's resume past this strict software and in front of human eyes, Jackie incorporated industry-specific keywords throughout the document. Now, when the ATS scans Beth's resume, it will categorize her as the qualified candidate that she is.
4. Eliminated red flags
Owning and running a successful business is a huge accomplishment, but it can be difficult to convey this on a resume. Originally, Beth chose to limit the detail she gave about her business to give more attention to the experience she felt was more applicable to her current job search.
Unfortunately, failing to elaborate on important experience can leave a negative impression on a hiring manager. Did the business fail? If so, what does it say about Beth as a professional? To eliminate any red flags like these, Jackie expanded the section on Beth's business, showcasing its success and emphasizing her notable accomplishments.
5. Streamlined credentials
In Beth's original resume, her skills, education, and professional development sections were disconnected, making it difficult for an employer to find specific details. Jackie’s solution was to centralize all of this information, organizing it all in one place at the bottom of the resume.
She reformatted these sections with visual balance in mind — a list of skills can be monotonous to read, and Jackie’s new formatting is more pleasing to the eye. Now hiring managers and recruiters will be able to both locate and comprehend her credentials with ease.
A more efficient job search
Though worried at first about some of Jackie’s changes, Beth felt more at ease after learning the logic behind how they were actually making her resume more impactful. Now, she feels prepared and proud to send out her resume. Though Beth, like everyone, still has to adapt her resume for each and every application, the document Jackie created for her provides a solid framework to work off of.
“This has alleviated a lot of my anxiety about applying for jobs. I’m so much more confident, and I know the application process will be a lot easier now,” she told us. “I know I was skeptical going into this, but above all, you just have to trust the process.”
You can get a professionally written resume as well. Learn more about TopResume’s resume-writing services.