Trang Lam is one of our newest additions to the Powered by Search team, in the role of SEO Specialist Intern. Her creative resume impressed us so much that we asked her to write about her experience as an example of how making yourself stand out can pay off big.
There was a rumour among third and fourth year students at University of Toronto Scarborough that employers often Google job applicants’ names, scrutinize their backgrounds, and laugh at their embarrassing pictures on Facebook. I was unable to confirm this rumour because I was not an employer or HR personnel. Quite the opposite, actually – I was a third-year IT Management student who was looking for a marketing internship. I was one of the targets.
I remember the day when my friend first told me the rumour. It was March 1st, 2013 – a cold winter day when I was swimming between assignments, midterms and job applications. It was at this moment, out of nowhere, that an idea hit me: “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if when employers search for our names, instead of showing our embarrassing pictures, Google would suggest whether we are the best fit for them?”
The idea came at the perfect time as a few days earlier one of my favorite Management professors had announced that Dev Basu – a former student at University of Toronto Scarborough and the CEO of Powered by Search – would be coming to talk to us about Search Engine Optimization. Everyone was very excited as SEO was an essential topic to our final project. Many of us really wanted to apply to work for Powered by Search. I realized then that I needed to make myself stand out; I needed a creative resume to impress.
Since re-writing Google’s algorithm to recommend me for the job was not practical, I decided to bring the search engine to my resume instead. I created the following design:
After completing the Search page, I realized the resume’s content should be more visual-oriented. So, in the week leading up to Dev’s talk – the most hectic week of my semester I may add – I decided to completely transform my resume into an infographic. This was a risky decision. Not only was it an unconventional resume format, but I was running out of time. Last minute changes are not usually meant to be so extensive. But hey, I made it! (*self-five*) and here’s what I came up with:
I had a lot of help from my amazing friends, family, and professors and. In the end, I was very happy with the way it looked. I felt like I didn’t need to worry about the search engines indexing me wrongly; I presented what I wanted to be indexed, right there for the future employers who were going to otherwise Google me.
When Dev came to speak at University of Toronto Scarborough, I handed him my newly-designed resume and anxiously awaited his response. That same day, I got the call.
I still do not know whether the rumour about “employers looking up job candidates’ names and laughing at their awkward photos” is true. Like I said, I am not an employer or HR personnel.
Instead, I am something far more exciting. I am an SEO Specialist Intern at Powered by Search. Starting this week.