Superhuman’s scrolling “Wall of Love” featuring actual tweets. © Superhuman Labs, Inc.
In the same way, your resume will perform infinitely better if you can get even just a couple people to vouch for you. Here’s the top half of a resume I used to apply to Superhuman’s Onboarding Specialist role. Notice how I added testimonials that vouched for my friendly and helpful attitude—key soft skills in sales and customer success:
The first few testimonials are reviews from freelance and agency clients I’ve had, but the ones all the way at the bottom are recommendations I received on LinkedIn from coworkers at previous jobs. Again, these are incredibly powerful for getting a hiring manager to trust you.
Who to get testimonials from
If you have work/volunteer experience, ask your former (or current) coworkers and supervisors.
If you don’t, you probably have done school projects. Ask your teachers and school mates.
If you have never worked with anyone, go volunteer somewhere this weekend, do a good job, and then ask for a quick recommendation to help you get a job. Anyone worth getting a recommendation from will totally understand.
If you’re still not sure about this, reach out to us
, and we’ll help you brainstorm something.
How to ask for testimonials
I’m hunting for my next job opportunity, and would really appreciate a few kind words from you about our time working together at Acme Corp. Would you be open to recommending me on LinkedIn? If so, here’s where you can do it.
Additionally, I would like to provide people with a good phone number and/or email address to reach you if they want to know more.
Thanks in advance,
Teachers, professors, school project collaborators:
Hi, Mr. Scott!
I’m hunting for my next job opportunity and could benefit from a testimonial from you while I was in your government class in high school. Would you be open to that? If so, you could recommend me on LinkedIn here.
I’d also like to give my future employers a way to contact you by phone and/or email if they want to discuss it more. Would that be okay?
Thanks and hope things are well!
Just getting two to four of these testimonials dramatically increases your chances of winning a job. Don’t skip this part.
Step 4: Show your experience, tools, and projects
This is the part where you get to show off. It doesn’t necessarily have to be professional experience or a college degree—although these are great, too. You can use it purely as a skills section to list your relevant hard skills, or combine it with your work history if you have it.
If you have work experience
- List your work experience in reverse-chronological order (from current/most recent at the top, down to oldest).
- Only list jobs that are relevant to the kinds of jobs you’re seeking.
- Write a short description for each experience that explains what you learned during your time there and how it prepared you for this coming job. Try to match this to the kinds of job descriptions you’re finding online.
- Keep it to short bullet points, but don’t sacrifice the narrative.
On Crash, your Work Experience section looks like this:
You can also list educational experience here, such as your high school or college, since you’re probably working hard to succeed in school.
If you don’t have work experience
You’ve certainly done creative projects, learned how to use certain software, that sort of thing. Follow the steps above for listing your portfolio projects and software tools you know how to use. Bonus points if you can link to projects that proveyou can use a tool, such as a Figma prototype or WordPress website.
On your Crash profile, we have a special section for your “tech stack,” or software tools you know how to use. Bonus points if you add proof!
In the portfolio section, link to projects you’ve done, social media accounts, anything that makes sense to show your work. Don’t forget that you can customize the preview image and text, so if it shows up strangely, you can easily fix it.
If don’t have work experience OR creative projects to showcase…
It’s time to roll up your sleeves! It’s super hard to win an exciting startup job if you haven’t proven that you’re willing to do some work. Here are a few easy ways to start building up your skill set, tech stack, and portfolio right now:
- Write an article on Medium or LinkedIn about a topic or person that interests you
- Make a simple infographic in Canva, Figma, or Adobe software
- Write a review of an interesting book you’ve read
- Offer to help a family member with something technical, and document your process
- Teach a friend how to play soccer, or draw, anything you can do, and document your process
Step 5: Create your call to action
All great landing pages—and good resumes—make it easy for the reader to take the action you want them to take.
In the case of your resume, the call to action is usually to contact you via email or schedule an interview. On a traditional resume, you’ll want to make sure you include your basic contact information: phone number and email address.
When you create custom video pitches on Crash, this is super easy:
The white “Contact” button goes to your email, and you can customize the blue button to go anywhere you want. Our recommendations:
- Leave it blank to let them see your full Crash profile
- Link to your personal website, if you have one, or your LinkedIn profile
- Link to a scheduling page, such as Calendly, and make it super easy for them!
Bonus: Your personality archetype
This is an extra step that can help people understand you a bit better. In fact, it’s a great way to understand yourself. Head on over to our Discover quiz
to find out which type you are. Once you create a Crash profile
, it will show up automatically!
There you have it! If you want a winning resume in 2020, learn from marketing: build it like a high-conversion landing page. And make sure you proofread it all the way through. Basic typos and writing errors are a huge red flag for attention to detail.
If you’re looking for an easy resume builder that offers a great resume template, sign up for Crash
and start creating your profile. You’ll be able to export it to PDF whenever you want.
There are tons of awesome examples of resumes out there. Crash profiles
are no different! Soon, we’ll publish an article featuring some of our favorites, and link it here.
Common questions about resumes
Do I need a resume writing service?
If you’re simply terrible with words, it might be a good idea to have some help here. The Crash team is always available via live chat to help you as you build your profile and pitches. Beyond that, you can reach out to a friend with really good grammar, or even book a professional resume writing service like TheJobSauce
. ← These guys are the real deal, by the way.
Is there such a thing as a perfect resume?
No, nope, negative, nonsense.
“Perfect” is a subjective, impossible quality that we all sometimes get trapped in!
Forget about “perfect.” Focus on the principles we’ve laid out in this article, and if you feel the need to go further—go beyond a resume.
Beyond resumes—the real secret to winning jobs
Have you ever thought, “I’m so much more than my resume”? How about “My resume isn’t nearly good enough to get this job”?
Here’s the reality about resumes in 2020:
Your resume is only a small piece of your job hunt toolkit.
Resumes and cover letters are table stakes nowadays—every candidate is sending them, and they all tend to feel the same.
Instead, you need something that really captures attention. And you need to send it directly to a human being, not into a job board’s black-hole applicant tracking system.
This is where custom-tailored video pitches come into play. When you pitch yourself, you’re showing your potential employer that you really care about the opportunity. You’ve done the research on them, and are pitching specifically to them.
Which of these is more likely to capture attention and win an interview? The pitch, all day.
Focus on quality over quality.
When you “spray and pray” your resume to large quantities of job postings, you’re bound to be disappointed in your job search. It’s like walking up to every attractive person in the gym and handing them a piece of paper on why you’re dateable.
Instead, hone in on a select few opportunities that really excite you. Research the company, research the job, connect with people at the company on LinkedIn, and get in touch with the department leader for the role you’re interested in.
Be your own credential, and forge your path into the future you want.
Your new job is waiting for you—not your resume.