Job hunting - Cleaning up your resume

Job hunting is a skill of its own. It's different from the things we have learnt to do as part of our day-to-day work or learning to code experiences. It requires a certain set of skills that are bound to get rusty unless you are interviewed every other month or so. So, it ends up being an almost new experience every time you get back in the pool.

In this article, I want to cover a few things, some quite easy to do, to make sure your most important tool - your resume - is able to reach the right places and hopefully get you the opportunity to be interviewed.

Use an ATS friendly resume.

Contrary to popular belief, pretty much every organization that has a dedicated HR team uses a form of tracking system to set up their hiring processes. Even small companies often use these tools.

What this means is that your resume has to pass through a digital system setup between you and the recruiter. It is important that just as much as a human is able to read and understand your resume, the system is able to do that as well.

What is ATS?

ATS is short for Applicant tracking system. It’s a piece of recruiting software that manages the hiring process - collects, parses and sorts through resumes. Top recruiting platforms have some form of ATS integrated e.g. Recruitee, Workable or Greenhouse.

When you upload a resume with your name, work experiences - company, title and period - as well as education and it automatically fetches correctly, then your resume is considered ATS friendly.

Companies most likely use the ATS at different levels. Some may use it for screening out if the resume even matches the opening, while others may use it to smoothen the hiring process for the recruiter/hiring manager by fetching and presenting your information seamlessly.

Regardless of the level of use, it’s important that your resume is able to ace this parsing. You can also check if your current resume is ATS friendly using free tools online. Although they often require you to sign up so they can sell resume services to you. 😅

Include only relevant experiences

Unless it was an internship, and you don’t have a lot more experiences relevant to the job you’re applying for, I’d strongly recommend that you don’t include jobs where you spent less than 6 months. Asides from the impression it may leave, were you able to gain significant experience or make desired impact that you intend to show off in just 3 months? If the answer is no, you should definitely take it off your resume.

And if you do have a ton of experience, I’ll assume we already know the old age recommendation to keep your resume within 1 to 2 pages max. 🙌

Accomplishments not past job descriptions

While you may be tempted to simply describe what you had to do daily for each of your work experiences, it’s imperative that you focus instead on what the results of your actions were. It’s always good if there’s a way to quantify these results, but in most cases that isn’t possible, it’s also fine to simply outline the result.

There are lots of content online trying to explain the best kind of English to use for this part, I’m never certain lol. But the goal is to focus on results and accomplishments regardless.

Don't write:

  • I worked with React and Vue
  • Worked with and integrated APIs
  • I created content.

Instead write:

  • Built new products that helped shaped the customer experience and improved discoverability of company x services.

Once your resume is ready, you can upload it to Dropbox, Google drive, your personal website or wherever you want to. But also make sure you have an accessible url for it. This could be or something more generic like a link.

Here’s my resume on Dropbox -

I wish you all the best on your journey to find the next opportunity for yourself and I look forward to hearing any recommendations that may have assisted you in optimizing your resume for job hunting.