After a year of unsuccessful job hunting, I decided to make a drastic change. I moved to a new country to start over. Later, I realized that upgrading my resume would have probably been enough. Living more than a year in Bulgaria, I’m glad I made that decision.
After I settled in my new home, I didn’t want to waste any time. I went on all the job boards I could find and started applying. 2 weeks passed and the awful feeling of “I’m not good enough” began to creep in. I looked at my resume and felt even less motivated.
At that moment, I realized that it needs a serious upgrade. I went online and started looking for some resume templates. What stood out was a resume of Marissa Mayer created by Enhancv. As she’s always been an inspiration to me, I wanted a resume like this.
“What are you most proud of?”
When I landed on the “New Resume” page of Enhancv, it was the first time that I didn’t feel intimidated by an empty page staring right back at me. The page was filled with suggested sections, including bullets with questions. What caught my eye was the Most Proud Of section. While trying to answer what I’m most proud of, I replayed some of my life’s biggest events. Moving to new countries and managing to adapt quickly, or changing my lifestyle to cure my Psoriasis. I wrote it all into my resume.
I had never asked myself what makes me proud and why before. The process of answering this for myself not only boosted my confidence, but also helped me reflect on some of the most difficult situations I’ve gone through and outline the lessons I learned. I loved what I discovered.
With very little work experience I never thought of myself as an ambitious person. But when I reflected on moving to Bulgaria because I believed things will change and I’d find a job where I can grow and learn, it became clear that I was.
Other personality traits I discovered were persistence and discipline. In my life, I’ve tried different sports, even started learning to play the guitar. I never became good at them, nor did I continue. Which made me think I’m not a persistent person. But reflecting on my journey with Psoriasis, the opposite appeared to be true.
“What was the outcome of your involvement?”
This question appeared in bullets of the experience section. While trying to answer, I suddenly viewed my previous roles differently. In my mind, I went back to all my previous positions and thought about what I did day to day. I checked my emails, the bullet journal I kept while working there, and everything else that could provide more details. I suddenly remembered new things about my involvements and realized that I learned much more than I thought.
The boring bullet “Social media research” turned into “Developed a Social Media Posts plan and increased Twitter followers by 150 within 2 months.” It went through each bullet point like that. Even though my experience section became shorter, after comparing it to my old resume it was obvious that it had become more impactful.
“What are you passionate about? What motivates you?”
Back when I was about to graduate, I went to the University’s career center with my resume for feedback. They told me to remove my hobbies or any details about my free time. Apparently, “employers don’t care about that.” I came home and deleted anything connected to my passions, thinking that my resume was better. The problem was that I felt there was nothing that stood out and it didn’t make me feel proud of myself or my accomplishments.
Looking at the resume of Mayer, I changed my mind. Because I only had a handful of internships up my sleeve, I needed to fill up the space and stand out. I shared what my favorite books are, what I do in my day, and my passions.
Thinking about these, especially my usual day and what I dedicate most of my time to, helped me realize that I’m actually trying hard to spend my days proactively and grow as both professional and an individual. I believe that’s something every employer is looking for.
“Passions demonstrate that this person has a learning attitude, they have a growth mindset, they want to experience new things and generally improve in some way.” ~ Ewa Zajac, Intercom
“Suddenly, I felt proud of my resume”
After I finalized my new resume and compared it to the old one, I felt a surge of pride and confidence. It wasn’t just because of the clean design, the content made the difference. As a junior marketer, I felt I didn’t have anything to put on my resume and nothing I had done seemed special. But the time I spent considering what to put in each section ended up being an unexpected bit of self-discovery. Suddenly, everything from who I was as a person to what I had done in my previous positions was more dynamic, interesting, and impactful.
My new resume gave me the right amount of confidence I needed, especially after a year of unsuccessful job hunting. Ultimately, I think it played a key role in getting me the job I have now, a job I love.