By going through the tips in each section of this book, your Software Engineer resume is sure to look stronger than ever. Here is some final advice for you that you might not be aware of.
Tailor resume for the job/role you're applying to
Most people only have one version of a resume which they use to send to all the companies they apply to. However, there's absolutely no rule that you can only have one resume! If you have been following the recommendations in the handbook, you'd have noticed in a few places that we recommend tailoring your resume to the job you're applying for. This is especially relevant for people who have very varied skill sets - they could be good Front/Back End Engineers as well as Full Stack Software Engineers. However, putting all the skills and technologies they know into a resume might be deemed as keyword stuffing. Hence it would be better to select the top experiences/skills which are most relevant to the job.
You can do this by creating a "Master Resume" which contains all the relevant experience/achievements/skill you have. Create specific resumes by looking at the job listing and identifying keywords from the listing and ensure that this resume you will use to apply to that role contains these keywords. You don't have to be too extreme on this and create a custom resume per job application (you can if you want, it just takes more time), creating one resume per role would be sufficient. If you do this, be sure to keep a record of which resume you used to submit for an application so that when you interview with that company, you know what resume they are seeing in candidate your profile.
Keep copies of your old resumes
This is more for record keeping purposes but it'd be useful to create a brand new resume every time you change your job or when there are significant changes to be made. Occasionally you might want to refer to past experiences and your past resumes would come in handy. It's also pretty gratifying to see how your resume has evolved over the years and how you have grown professionally as a Software Engineer.
Getting rejections is normal
Believe it or not, even applicants who have FAANG on their resumes get rejected from job applications at the resume screening stage. There are many reasons why people get rejected and some of them have nothing to do with the applicant:
- Role has been filled: The company has already filled the role but hasn't taken down the job posting. This is super common for small companies who use job portals and the status of the job listings aren't synced across the various portals. You might be just a little too late.
- Level mismatch: Some job postings have hidden requirements (such as years of required experience, specific skill sets) which aren't public and you are not meeting those requirements. Most of the time though, the requirements should be made known in the job posting.
- Dummy/fake/phantom job posting: This may come across as shady, but some job postings are fake in the sense that the company has no intention to hire for that position or it has already been filled.
- Companies already have a candidate/employee in mind but needs to put up a job listing for the sake of regulatory compliance/legal reasons or to look "fair" that they have tried hiring externally but "wasn't able to"
- Collecting resumes to grow their pool of candidates for future opportunities and gain better insights of the job market/gauge the current talent pool.
- Too many applicants: There are simply too many applicants and the recruiters are unable to go through all of them.
Don't be too hard on yourself if you have receive a rejection, it is more common than you think. We have faced countless rejections in the past, both from FAANG and non-FAANG companies, and that includes after we already have FAANG experience on our resume!
Job applications and interviewing is a numbers game, keep at it and you will eventually succeed. All the best!
Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding resume or job applications and we'll try our best to reply.
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