Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Resume Revamp

As my year of unemployment looms (keep your eyes out for an anniversary happy hour to come), gentle readers, your MatchGirl has been wondering what she's doing wrong in her job hunt.

Now, I know the economy is terrible right now. And I know several of you have also been unemployed for close to a year, or more than a year. And I know that several of you who are more recently unemployed are very nervous that you, too, could be facing a near-year of unemployment in a few months. We all know the recession is not ending any time in the near future - no matter how many stimulus programs the government starts.

But, dear ones, that does not mean we stop trying. No. And while, yes, perhaps there is nothing that I am doing "wrong" in my job hunt, there is always something more that can be done.

I have spent the last few days doing a total resume revamp. Out with the old, I tell you. In with the new, the modern resume, the tips that others got from hiring managers. I redid the whole thing - with loads of help from a formerly unemployed Brooklynite. (Thanks, D!!!). I changed the mission statement. I added action words. I pointed to achievements and accomplishments instead of simply a laundry list of daily activities and job descriptions. And today I sent a few out. No responses yet, but we'll see what tomorrow brings.

While I have rewritten several parts of my resume over the past year (and about five dozen cover letters), I hadn't really totally made it over - thrown out the whole thing and started, basically, from scratch. And it was one of the hardest things I have done in a long time. Writing a cover letter is tough, but you practice and you tweak it for every job you send it to, and, depending on your career, you can be a little wordy and a little interesting and definitely descriptive. With a resume, especially the old format, not so much. Wrapping my head around the more "modern" format was definitely tricky, but, thanks to good advice, a lot of time on my hands and a very patient proof-reader, I feel pretty good about what I'm putting out there now.

Now, about those jobs to apply for?

In response to some of the comments I've been getting, here is a link to a professional resume writing service - they have good examples of modern resumes and this site has a page with a list of great action verbs on it. If anyone else has any ideas or good resources, please post them in the comments section. I'm sure your fellow unemployeds would be interested to know!

Good luck to all of us!


  1. Fingers crossed for you!!

    My new proactive re-vamp is my cover letter. I have not been putting much emphasis on it until now. In fact, some of the emails I've sent out previously have just said "Good morning! Please find my resume attached. Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!" In my case, I think it may be especially important to have a strong cover letter that grabs people's attention. I am looking for a fashion company with a younger customer but my recent jobs have been with an older clientele. I need to be able to prove why I should be considered in spite of that fact.

    PS - have you heard of Just found a couple jobs on there today and I had never checked there before.

  2. You should share this new format with the rest of us. I had no idea potential employers were potentially looking for something totally different than what I've been sending!

  3. You know, I just did the same thing yesterday. After 4 1/2 months with little response from potential employers, I figured it was time for a change too. Oh, I can't stand writing cover letters, and today I found a typo on my template. Sigh....

  4. While I agree that a overhaul on the resume is a good idea, not sure about the importance of the cover letter. I've had plenty of headhunters completely overlook my (brief) e-mailed letter where I tell them to take a look at my online portfolio. I know because they come back with "can you send me jpegs of some of your work?"