I returned to India from the U.S. last fall and since then I have not had any success in my job search. What’s especially discouraging is, in spite of my experience in previous companies being one of my most exciting and responsible assignments till date, still when I look at most promising JDs my resume doesn’t get that attention.

I cannot get an interview no matter how hard I try. I have two degrees and 10 years of work experience, terrific recommendations on LinkedIn and a large network. The recruiters take a look at my resume and within a fraction of minute, I see their facial expression turning from a happy face to a disappointed one. Maybe the problem is that there are flaws in my resume. Is that a big enough problem to get me eliminated from a recruiting pipeline?

One fine day, while passing by the market adjoining the Company where I worked before shifting abroad, I met my Ex-Boss. He was overwhelmed to meet me after so long. We sat for a coffee and I shared with him my personal sufferings regarding the job hunt. He suggested me to share my Resume so that he can look forward to a suitable job for me.

After a few days, I received a call from him. He was disappointed at me for not being serious regarding my Resume. He further continued by saying that the resume had various flaws that will eventually lead to rejections. We planned to meet the next day and discuss the resume in detail.

The next day I woke up with the hope that now things will get sort out soon. I met him at the decided venue. We greeted each other and then sat over for a detailed discussion. The very first mistake he pointed out was that my resume was too long and was confusing to read.

He further added that the resume had vague clichés like ‘team player’, ‘hard worker’ etc. indicating a lack of specific qualifications and no unique qualities. He further said that the skills section of the resume is not the place to sugar-coat. What we see as a rose-colored picture of a certain skill might simply be seen as a fib by a recruiter.

Boss then looked at how disappointed I was while I was facing the silly mistakes I made in my Resume. He explained to me by saying, “Standing out is all well and good, but you have to do it in a way that fits the mold of your target employer’s industry. If you’re not sure what that means, you’re best off keeping your resume’s “unique” points limited to an eye-catching layout or use of color.”

While looking at my Resume, he said,” Let your copy breathe. You don’t want to create a forbidding brick wall of text that gives your reader a headache before they’ve made it through the first few lines.” And that probably hit me hard.

After a while, he bid me farewell. But his words left an impact on me. The next day, I opened my laptop and sat down with a calm and composed mind. I went through my resume and looked at the main points, made a flow chart of my work profile and companies.

Then I started building my resume from scratch. Once it was done, I looked at it from the point of a recruiter and kept all the points in my mind that Boss had told me. Then again, it was not up-to-mark. I kept on making changes again and again till the time I found it appealing. Sometimes, we ignore the silly mistakes that keep us one step away from our goals.

It took me around 3 weeks to finalize my resume and present it before the recruiters. I had applied for a post in my target organization and then after 2 days, I got a call from the Company and the date was fixed for my Interview. The Recruiters were extremely happy with my resume and work profile and they wanted me to join the company immediately.

Now its been over two months, since I have joined the company. I am extremely satisfied and overwhelmed with my work. I still look back at those days when I was craving for a job. Those days were the days of my struggle and also the game-changing point of my life.

The one thing that I have learned over time is that

“A resume will seldom get you a job offer. But a resume will often lose you a job offer”.

One thing that comes to the mind of the reader is, who is ‘I’? Here ‘I’ can be either you or me or anyone seeking a job opportunity.