Day 20 — Changing my resume

Re-telling the same story

Sridhar Rajendran
3 min readJun 21, 2018
Image credit: Pexels

Once I grasped the fundamentals of visual design and my presentations started looking better, my resume stood out like a sore thumb. When I updated my resume at the beginning of my job search, I felt prouder than Shakespeare. Recruiters were not calling me back because my resume did not convey what they were looking for. Now that I got over my special snowflake syndrome, I accepted responsibility for all outcomes — both good and bad.

My resume captured my roles and responsibilities perfectly. It had no typos or grammatical errors and all content aligned well. One glaring mistake — I wrote it like I was applying for a software engineer role!

Image credit: GPIHY

Just to give you an idea, I have included the epic fail below.

‘Software engineer’ Resume

It is like a bad website padded with keywords to improve SEO rankings. I mentioned the necessary keywords expected for a UX Designer profile but the content was way off. A friend of mine did provide this feedback right in the beginning but I had several valid excuses not to change the resume

  • I already spent too much time on it.
  • I don’t have a real-world experience.
  • People will appreciate my honesty for disclosing my past (even I seriously have no idea what I meant when I said this).
  • Resume is for suckers. Only portfolio matters for a designer.

Once the universe smacks you enough times in the face, it is a good idea to wake up. Rather than improvising my existing resume, I decided to start from scratch. I recollected seeing some videos of Ramit Sethi of years ago about landing a dream job. I watched every single video on his Youtube channel relating to landing a dream job. And I wished I had seen these a couple of months ago.

The core of a good resume is the narrative. It is a chance to tell your story — the steps that you took until now to reach this spot. There is no need to lie or pad the resume with false facts even if you are switching industries like me. The same story can be told from another point of view. And that is what I did.

‘UX Designer’ resume

If you look at the before and after versions, you will notice I re-told the same story from the eyes of a designer. I removed the facts that were no longer necessary and used simple language to highlight the design-related activities I conducted in my previous jobs. I did not wake up one fine day and decided I will become a UX designer. The seed was already inside, it took 7 years to sprout.

The response rate after this overhaul was phenomenal. Finally, I was speaking as a designer.

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