Why My Resume Is Better Than Yours
Both my colleague and I applied for a
promotion on the same position that was available in our company. Our
boss instructed us to apply just like any outsider would apply: with
a resume and cover letter. I
got the promotion. He did not. I also recommended him to use any top resume writing service but he didn't.
So my colleague (we’ll call him Danny for today) acted like he was glad I was the one getting promoted. Until one day, it slipped: he thought I got the promotion because I was more “likeable” as a person.
Now, let me explain something: likeability certainly is a factor during the job application process. Whether they like it or not, hiring managers are affected by the applicant’s personality. Before they get to the point of judging personality, however, they consider something else: the resume itself. How likeable are you through the resume? Now that’s a factor that really matters.
I have a different answer to the question: “Why you and not me?” It’s because my resume was better than yours. And I’ll tell you how.
1. I included a sales pitch
Have you ever offered to write a guest blog post for a highly popular blog? Have you ever introduced a business proposal to someone? If you’ve been in any of these situations, you know how important the sales pitch is. It’s something that gets a person’s interest and sells your idea within seconds.
I did that with the resume.
You’ll see plenty of online guides that tell you to skip the Career Objective part in the resume. They tell you it’s an outdated method of writing. Most job applicants listen to these guides. Do you know why? – Because it’s easier to skip the career objective than to write a good one.
I didn’t do what most candidates do
today. I wrote a good career objective, and it was my sales pitch.
2. I delivered a resume; not an autobiography
The resume should tell your story. That’s a good starting point until you get it literally. Many job applicants are really telling story in an autobiography-like format. So you see a huge chunk of text that could belong in the About section on someone’s blog. Such writing definitely doesn’t belong in a job application.
My resume is better than Danny’s resume simply because it’s a resume.
When I was writing it, I made sure to format it in a readable way. Once I was done writing it, I wondered: can the hiring manager see the main points within 10 seconds? Is the most important information highlighted?
My resume passed the skim test. Yours didn’t, and that’s why the employer preferred me.
3. You Included Old, Irrelevant Experience and Information
I checked Danny’s resume. This was one of his most serious mistakes: he made sure to include every single detail from his long career history. This was a managerial position. The hiring manager could care less about his volunteering activities in college and his entry-level jobs.
Danny also listed all kinds of hobbies. Tennis, yoga, reading, hiking… you name it. None of them were relevant to this position.
Here’s my advice to all job applicants who want to be successful: eliminate all irrelevant information and experience from your resumes. That’s just wasting the employer’s time. If you want to get their attention, you have to do that by showing them how you’re the perfect applicant for the job. This job.
4. I edited
Be honest: did you edit your resume?
Yes; I know that you read through it and maybe fixed some minimal mistakes. But did you do what most other job applicants do? They skim through the content, tell themselves it’s just perfect, and wrap up the process.
I went beyond basic proofreading for my resume. I actually edited it in multiple aspects. These were the questions that guided the editing process:
- Is it short enough?
- Is it detailed enough?
- Does it highlight my most relevant skills and qualifications?
- Is it creative enough?
- Is it too creative?
- Is it formatted well?
- Does it look professional?
As I was going through all these checks, I was constantly finding something to change. Something to add, something to remove, something to alter. In fact, the editing process took longer than the writing part did. I was willing to invest that time into my resume, and that’s why it was better than the others my employer saw.
My resume was better than all others the hiring manager saw at that point. I’m not bragging. I’m not being an egomaniac. I’m just seeing the facts as they are. The good news is that everyone can make their resumes better. We just have to make them catchier, cleaner and more relevant.