Anyone that has ever found themself job hunting has probably experienced at least a brief period of resume obsession. It’s natural to over analyze the tiniest details, wanting to make sure we don’t overlook some error or miss out on a great opportunity due to a silly mistake. While this instinct can be helpful, almost everyone takes it too far. It’s easy to become neurotic about the state of your resume, and to worry too much about minor details.
Some resume questions I’ve answered many times are:
What font face/size should I use?
Should my bulletpoints end with a period or not?
What size should the margins be?
Should I say “References available upon request”?
The correct answer to most of these questions is… it doesn’t matter. The reason it doesn’t matter is because it’s just a tiny part of your resume, and your resume doesn’t matter either.
In Part 1, we talked about what the resume black hole is, and why people end up there. If you haven’t already read that, go check it out now.
In this post, I’m going to let you in on a huge secret that will (hopefully) change the way you think about applying for jobs, and will definitely improve your success rate if you incorporate it into the way you submit applications.
As I said in part 1, we need to let go of the buckshot, and build ourselves a laser. But, how do we build a laser? It turns out, almost every employer out there has handed you the schematics to assemble the perfect weapon to land an interview. We just have to learn to recognize it and take advantage.
If you skim any popular career subreddit, you’ll see a common pattern.
“I’ve applied to ~10 jobs a day since May and I’ve only gotten 4 callbacks.”
“It took me 316 days, over 200 jobs applications…”
“Over the past few months, I’ve applied to over 100 jobs (a conservative estimate)…”
These are all actual quotes mined from Reddit. What do all of these people have in common? They’re wearing the number of jobs they’ve applied to, and had no success with, as a badge of honor. They aren’t getting any interviews, despite many applications. In fact, they’re mostly getting no responses at all. In other words, they’ve all become trapped in the resume black hole.