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As a millennial, it’s becoming more accepted that job-hopping is a common tactic to increase your salary. For starters–yes, I have done that during my years of employment. Now, despite how red-hot the US economy is right now, I know people who have still have trouble getting in the door for a new job. So today I want to talk about resume tips & tricks I’ve used to get interviews.

Here are some examples of what a damn good resume can do:

  1. My good friend went from $8.25/hr to $90K/year in 11 months doing the same work at a different company.
  2. I went from $9/hr to $50K in 14 months (I even had an offer to fill a position that didn’t exist from another company during this time-frame).
  3. I get at least a 50% interview rate after submitting my resume.
  4. I’ve turned down five 100K+/year jobs over the last 2 years.
  5. You are able to have more freedom in interviews to take control (Related: Underrated interview hacks I use).
  6. You can leverage recruiters to find jobs on your terms.

You know what’s crazy? You can get more money, more offers, and more interviews by spending 4-8 hours updating your resume.

The Most Basic Finance Strategy To Getting Out of Debt.

Time to smack you with logic bombs. Do you want to get out of debt? There are generally two trains of thought.

  1. Spend Less
  2. Make More

Say you make $15/hr as a Jr. Software Developer (about $31K/year). You might take home $2,000 after taxes every month. After bills and rent, you actually keep about $200 to put into savings or to put towards paying down debt.

You Try to Spend Less – you follow some tips to save money and manage to save an additional $200 per month. Now you have an extra $400 after taxes. That’s not bad. You get an extra $2,400 more per year by spending less. But you can’t really cut spending anymore, it has a finite limit.

You Try To Make More – You start filling out surveys such as Swagbucks and Survey Junkie. You might even do Lyft on the side. You net an extra $1300/month after 80 extra hours. (Now taking home $3,300). I love survey sites and it’s a good mini-hustle with a decent payoff. However, your rate of dollars per hour is often much less compared to your job.

The ROI of A Good Resume

Now let’s say that instead of doing surveys for a few days. You dedicate all of a Saturday or Sunday (6-8 hours) to update your resume and apply for a few developer jobs.

You go about your business as usual and over the next few weeks you get callbacks from several companies.

You take a few interviews and they seem to go pretty well. It’s not that crazy to assume out of the 4 interviews you take, you got offers from 2 of them.

The offers come in:

  1. Offer 1: $45K/year + Full Benefits + 10% Yearly Bonus
  2. Offer 2: $52K/year + Full Benefits + Remote Option

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS TYPICAL, DEPENDING ON THE SKILLS YOU LEARN AND DEVELOP IN YOUR FIELD, YOU WON’T GET AN ACCURATE ASSESSMENT OF YOUR WORTH UNTIL YOU INTERVIEW. TECH AND SKILLED POSITIONS THIS IS VERY COMMON.

Just by spending a day updating your resume the right way, you eventually net at least another $15-20K a year.

8 hours for an extra $15,000. That’s a good $1,875 per hour (okay, maybe less if we account for time of interviews).

Resume Tip #1: Buy Knock’em Dead Resumes

There is so much you can learn about resumes that there should be a book. Oh wait, there is! “Knock’em Dead Resumesis the book I use to level up my resume. It talks about the types of resume you have based on level/skill/industry/design/etc. It’s a damn good complement to this article.

The Best Resume Book You'll Ever Read

The Best Resume Book You’ll Ever Read

I consider this book the holy grail of resume building. It’s ideal for creating a proper framework and even gives additional info on interviewing. For $10, it’s easily worth the extra thousand of dollars you’ll be making.

Resume Tip #2: Don’t Use a “One-Size Fits All” Resume

Before you start going in and update your resume, you need to look at jobs/positions that interest you.

Going back to our developer example, there are so many types of developers that exist. Web developers, blockchain, e-commerce (Shopify, Magento), specific language developers (Ruby/Javascript/etc). This means that as you progress in your career, you will want to cater your resume that is specific to your desired role.

So don’t update your resume to say you can do all of the above. If you have practical experience in working in mobile apps, look at mobile app positions and the skills needed. Then look at similar positions that might be tangential (SaaS apps) or a particular specialty you like (user experience, for example).

NOTE: In some cases, for a management role and above, having a well-rounded resume is beneficial. But if you are someone that is just wanting to move up and get more money to expand your skillset, focus on catering your resume to be a specialist.

In our example, you would create 3 variations of your resume to focus on the roles you want and the preferred languages for those roles.

Resume Tip #3: Ditch The Objective

Personally, I hate fancy “fun” titles (Princess Of Consumer Happiness?!? get out of here). But in the same vein, labels are the #1 indicator of a pre-first impression prior to an interview.

If your resume has an objective such as, “seeking a new position to expand skills and yadda yadda…” STOP! Objectives remove any interpretation of your abilities and can hinder your perceived value.

Don’t explain why you are looking for a new job on a piece of paper, save that for the interview. Besides, all objectives are to seek employment, so don’t waste space. You want to state your title as a concise way to label your job level.

If you are a developer going for a mobile position, then below your name say something like “Mobile App Developer | [primarly language] Specialist”

That’s it. Not only will recruiters immediately understand what you are, they already have an idea who the kind of work you do.

Resume Tip #4: Get On LinkedIn

If you aren’t on LinkedIn, you should get on ASAP. Not only will you have the ability to connect with people/friends/coworkers, you can start making new connections with people in other companies that you are interested in.

LinkedIn is primarily used as a “professional” social network so don’t try to get too personal.

The biggest reasons why I love LinkedIn

  1. It’s a viable substitute for a resume (in some cases it may be preferred).
  2. You can technically build a resume when you fill out your profile.
  3. You can include projects and accolades as attachments for your previous positions.
  4. You can include photos, skills, recommendations and endorsements from a colleague to help build your credibility.
  5. It keeps you visible: Not only will you start getting recruiters attention, but you also allow your future employer to see “you”. Personally, I prefer them to see me vs. having no idea who I am and not having an impression before the interview. A good pre-impression can help you recover from a poor face-to-face interaction.

Resume Tip #5: It’s Okay To Stretch The Truth

Don’t make yourself sound like a guru in your role, there is a blurred line between truth and stretching the truth. As you are moving jobs and putting yourself out there, you want to aim for the job you would like to step up to, not the job you can easily do.

By that I mean, some people would rather move from a junior position and stay junior when moving to another company and then “get promoted” over time. Then apply for mid-level positions and so on.

In my opinion, no one is truly ready to be a good fit for a more senior role until they dive in. You can’t get practical experience in new skills if you don’t work on those skills.

Don’t lie, but if a requirement for a position requires 3-5 years experience in a particular skill and you have been doing it for two? I would tweak it to fit the resume. Practical experience is worth more than on paper experience (probably suited for another blog post).

Resume Tip #6: Apply, Apply, Apply

Personally, I recommend putting your resume up on Glassdoor and Indeed and turning on the “Interested in A Job” function on LinkedIn. Not only will you be able to apply right away for relevant positions, but you dramatically increase your visibility as a viable candidate.

These are also the best places to look for positions available.

Last Thoughts

I think most people fall into the trap of only searching for jobs when they are upset or think they are about to get laid off. This leads to a lot of desperate applicants applying for positions they aren’t suited for.

Out of all the finance tips, spending a full day on your resume will yield the most money, in the quickest manner, long-term. 

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