For 3 years I was targeting a Global Supply Manager position at Apple, the job I eventually got through LinkedIn personal branding to attract recruiters.
It was October 27th, 2016 and I received my first LinkedIn InMail from an Apple recruiter (the message pictured to the right). I was so excited that personal branding and building my rank in LinkedIn search results for specific keywords had actually worked that, after falling into a rabbit hole on WebMD searching my symptoms of blurry vision, heart racing, loss of breath, shaking, and whole-body tension, I believe I developed either temporary COPD or had a mild heart attack.
I couldn’t believe a recruiter from Apple had reached out to me for my goal job. I say “goal job” instead of “dream job” as I live my life by goals. I set goals and do everything possible to achieve them, with the understanding that anything is truly possible. I leave my dreams to my wandering mind while I am asleep.
I had studied career strategy, LinkedIn personal branding, and how to increase the odds of getting in-front of recruiters using LinkedIn Search Engine Optimization (LinkedIn SEO) so much that I had random companies from all over the United States reaching out to me by the time this message had come through. Luckily, because of all these random companies had reached out to me, I had my fair share of practice of messaging, emailing, initial screening phone calls, and even phone interviews. I purposely ended it with phone interviews and did not entertain any on-site interviews, as I really didn’t want any of these jobs. I was looking to gain practice for when recruiters from the bigger companies with six figure opportunities started reaching out.
You know what they say, practice makes perfect. Practice also gets you ready to capitalize on opportunities when they cross your path.
LeBron James would not have had the amazing basketball career he had without practice, not would he have received his first contract without a ton of practice getting him ready to try out. Serena Williams, Taylor Swift, Tim Cook, or anyone else you want to name who has been successful at what they do would not have their careers without practice.
So, I continued to practice my personal branding, studying and tweaking things as I went along to see what worked.
Three years after starting this process, I had my chance! The Apple recruiter reached out! I could see myself sitting at One Infinite Loop, wearing an Apple badge, making a six-figure salary, and my apartment filled with too many brand new Apple products.
I replied to the recruiter with my resume.
Looking back, my resume was decent… aside from the formatting that looked like shit and job descriptions that did not add any value for the recruiter and hiring managers to understand why I was a valuable asset for their team.
And… want to know what the biggest mistake on my resume was?
It is classic, BUT… this wasn’t actually the time I made my BIG resume mistake. My resume was shitty, but it did the job of telling my education, work experience, and contact information.
I actually had two different Apple recruiters reach out to me.
This first time, I did not end up getting through the initial resume review, but I engaged in good conversation with the recruiter enough to get him to help me out. I was working at Harley-Davidson and he was also into motorcycles. Aside from working together through the hiring process, we would also talk about motorcycles – maybe more so than the hiring process. After I didn’t make it through the initial resume review, he gave me 3 example resumes to use as a reference when rewriting my resume. I hit the ground running updating my resume and LinkedIn profile right away.
Apple Recruiter #2
Two months later the second recruiter from Apple reached out to me through a LinkedIn InMail message. This time I was so damn ready!
I knew what to expect – well, at least up until the resume review process…
I had edited my resume for two months straight getting ready for this moment to come again, yet I wasn’t prepared for it to happen so quick. Crazy things happen when you get really into LinkedIn personal branding and SEO…
If you were to ask my fiance Sarah about the time between the initial recruiter reaching out and this second one, she might say I was a little obsessed with editing my LinkedIn profile and resume. It was hard to work at Harley-Davidson and at the time I was also a full-time graduate student in Purdue’s Weekend MBA program. You could probably imagine my non-existent attention span in class when trying to finish out that last semester and talking to these recruiters at Apple.
I responded with my new, refreshed resume modeled after the sample resumes the first Apple recruiter gave me. I sent this second recruiter a response not only in a message back on LinkedIn, but also follow up email.
We were going back and forth for awhile, until I got the good news that she would like to schedule a call with me to further review my resume to prepare for the resume review. We scheduled the call for 2 days out, so I had some time to prepare my few minute overview of my education and experience.
My BIG Resume Mistake
When the day came, I had probably already rehearsed my education and experience overview more than a dozen times. As I waited for the clock to strike 1:00 pm, my heart was racing. The clock went to 1:01pm. Then, 1:02pm… Finally, at 1:09 pm I got the call and that is when she told me…
“Hey Chris, sorry I am a little late. It appears your phone number listed on your resume is not correct. Luckily you had it in your email signature, so I was still able to get ahold of you.”
My BIG resume mistake was literally one (1) incorrect digit in my phone number on my resume!
I couldn’t believe it. After going over that resume almost daily for several months, I could not believe my damn phone number is what I forgot to check.
I realized that contact information is the easiest item of a resume to overlook. We go word by word through each line of the summary of qualifications, experience, education, certifications, groups, activities, skills, and every other section you may have, including the objective statement (if you haven’t caught on that these are sort of useless in today’s digital world where you are directly applying for a specific job 99% of the time online anyway), yet our contact information is the one thing that can trip up our recruiters the easiest showing one big negative attribute – lack of attention to detail.
So in summary – check your contact information on your resume – right now, today. Although I was lucky and still got the job offer, some recruiters will not be as nice as to let you edit your resume before he/she hands it out to the hiring manager. Spelling mistakes are one thing, but contact information at the top, front, and center that could send them off to contact some random person may cost you the opportunity.