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S1E7: Acing your resume and cover letter with Jeremy Schifeling

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In today's episode of the Learn to Code With Me podcast, I speak to Jeremy Schifeling.

Jeremy is a former kindergarten teacher and founder of the website, Break into Tech. He also worked at Apple, LinkedIn, and other big tech companies.

Jeremy's journey from kindergarten teacher to business school to the tech industry was unconventional. As with many who transition into tech careers, Jeremy had to discover the best way to break into the industry. Despite bumps along the way, his strategies proved successful.

As a former hiring manager at LinkedIn, Jeremy has a unique perspective into how you can stand out as an applicant. He shares tips on crafting the perfect resume and cover letter and discusses the three C's of resume writing. He also offers advice on how to take advantage of networking to make recruiters come to you.

Key takeaways:

  • Target your resume to the person reading it. It’s the first impression you’ll make with the hiring manager—and you want it to be memorable.
  • There are three C's in resume writing. Make it clear, make it count, and make it compelling.
  • Each point on your resume should be relevant to the job and should grab the reader's attention. A dozen distinct points are far more powerful than 40 mediocre ones.
  • A customized cover letter is your opportunity to stand out. It allows you to speak straight to the hiring manager and make your case.
  • When it comes to making a hiring decision, it takes a hundred leads at the top of the funnel to get a single closed contract. Work to increase the top and bottom of the funnel to improve your chances of landing the job.
  • Automate your job search and optimize your LinkedIn profile to increase the top of the funnel. Personalized applications, resumes, and cover letters increase opportunities at the bottom.
  • Make second-degree connections through networking and seek referrals to boost your job prospects.
  • Don't get stuck in a scarcity mindset. Widen your funnel and apply to different types of companies, not just the big names.
  • Turn your unconventional background into a strength. People in tech love stories that highlight differences, so let your freak flag fly.

Links and mentions from the episode:

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  • Susan Boyle

    This interview is lunacy. You want to be entertained? Most people and their job history IS boring. Now people need to think about entertaining the resume reader? When I think of all of the charismatic, incompetent people who got jobs based on their ability to entertain and be likable but yet couldn’t actually do the job or do it well, I can’t help but think once again this interview is lunacy. Man, things have just gone to the way of the amoeba these days. Getting hired used to be so easy and based on real assessments.