When I started my career, I wrote one resume that I used to apply for one job. Right away I got an interview, and then quickly after that, I got a job offer. It took only 6 weeks from the day I graduated from college to the day I started my first professional job. I thought writing a resume and finding a job was a breeze!
What was everyone talking about when they said finding a job was hard?
I spent four years in that job before I decided to take my career in a new direction. Instead of continuing to work as an editor, I decided that I wanted to explore marketing. So I went back to school and got my master’s degree in Marketing & Communications. Once I had my degree, I updated my resume with my most recent experience and education, and then I confidently started applying for jobs. I thought MAYBE it would take me 6 weeks to find a job. I was wrong.
What I found during this round of job searching was that it took me forever to get an interview.
I would submit resume after resume for jobs that I qualified for and hear nothing back. That's when I thought that I sucked at writing resumes, and that maybe switching career fields actually hurt me instead of helped me. Down, but not out, I got about the business of figuring out how to write the perfect resume.
Looking back, I was probably a pioneer in A/B testing because I would switch up customizing parts of my resume for each job application in the hopes that it would stand out against the job hunting competition.
After lots of trial and error, I landed on the right combination of what to include and what to exclude on my resume.
That’s when I started to get lots of interviews. I vividly remember one week where I was driving all over town because I had three interviews with really great companies. I was so happy. It clicked. I had figured out how to present my experience and contributions on paper in a way that got my resume picked, over and over again. Had I not figured that out, I would probably still be submitting the same resume into the black hole of online application systems.
Once my friends and family caught wind of how many interviews I was going on, they started asking me to review (or rewrite) their resume. Of course I obliged. It was really fun to help someone write a resume that they felt excited to submit.
That’s when I started getting requests from friends of friends asking me to help them write their resume.
I was on to something. So in 2011, I established the first iteration of what would eventually become Resume Revivalist. It was a website/blog called The Spicy Meatball. I wrote about all sorts of different topics and developed a pretty solid readership along the way. Every once in a while I would post about interviewing or resume writing under the Careers category, and sure enough, I would get more requests for me to review resumes. I loved it.
A few years later, my family made a big life change. We decided to move from Ohio to Florida to try life at the beach. That decision was a huge test of my resume writing skills, because at that time I was looking to move into a management role at a company out of state. Determined to get what I wanted, I updated my resume again and applied for one job—just to see what would happen.
One thing I should mention is that I am the world’s worst networker.
At least in the traditional sense of the word. There is zero chance that I am going to show up to a professional networking event, slap on a “Hello My Name is Stefanie” sticker, and waltz up to strangers to engage in small talk in the hopes that they can help me find my next job. No way. Just thinking about doing that makes me cringe.
I should also mention that I am one of the first people in my family to have a corporate career. Because of that, I’m not well connected to people in leadership positions who are willing to take me under their wing. I’m also not super great at asking people to do that for me. Back to the story.
It turns out that I nailed the application with my resume and cover letter, and I got picked for an interview.
My resume was chosen out of a long list of internal and local to Florida candidates (this company happened to be the third largest employer in Northeast Florida to competition was stiff). They flew me down to interview, and offered me the job the next week. We moved to Florida a couple months after that.
It was at that point I decided to start Resume Revivalist.
I had figured out that even though I am not a strong networker, I am great at getting to the next level in my career by perfectly positioning my experience on a resume. I've also taught myself how to interview well and going for what I want. I figured there are probably lots of people like me out there that could benefit from what I’ve learned how to do. People who may not be great at networking. Or may have switched career fields. People who have left the job market to take care of their family. Or may be actively trying to get a new job, but just keep getting rejected or keep coming in second place.
I’ve learned that there is power in a well-written resume. And I see it as my life’s work to help women promote themselves — by getting better jobs, earning more, and having the freedom to live the life they want.
I created Resume Revivalist to shorten the time it takes between wanting a new job and accepting a job offer. There is no better feeling than getting up on a Monday excited to go to work, so it’s worth it to put in the effort to find a job that you love (or at least really, really like).