Day 21 – Set your goal and do the first step. How I created my first resume.

I just learned today that olive oil production date is one of the key factors affecting the quality of the product. Top notch product is also bottled into the dark glass as the sunlight can damage the oil. No wonder why the bottle I bought the other day at Whole Foods was on sale… I think I bought it because I liked the label with all of the quality awards medals and because it was made in Greece. As I look at it right now, it doesn’t even have production date anywhere in sight, plus it’s in the regular transparent bottle…

Apparently, when you buy high-quality olive oil you should know the production date up to an hour! And it’s never cheap. Prepare to shell out about $50 for the 375ml bottle of the goodness.

It also makes sense to buy Californian olive oil as it can be delivered much quicker than European ones. So far I found two companies – Passolivo and Roundpond. Please note I’m not involved in any way with those companies. I did buy Passolivo before and liked it (but didn’t pay attention to the production date and bottling).

Feel free to share your favorites as I’m constantly looking to improve the quality of products that I consume every day.

Did I mention that I keep a bottle of olive oil at my desk? That way I can dress my salads myself instead of going for the unknown stuff you get in salad bars. Yep, my co-workers ask about it every other day (probably thinking I’m crazy or something). It’s a good conversational point as well, try it 🙂

I have no idea why I brought up the olive oil, but I guess that was somehow important. Well, if the sole purpose of eating food is to get olive oil into your body, then it must be important! Ok, ok, enough about oil, let’s talk about something more interesting.

Last time I wrote about my first job in US and why I made the decision to fire myself.

Fortunately, the tiny room I was renting costed only $300 a month and I had a few thousand stored as a pile of cash under my mattress. The next step was to figure out what to do next. I always heard stories how programmers make a lot of money and thought, why can’t I try to find a programming job?

I was so busy adapting to the crazy life in New York and didn’t write any code for about a year or even more. Luckily, one of the few things that I brought with me to the land of opportunities was PHP programming book. The one I used back home to teach myself how to create my first online business!

Since I fired myself the day earlier, I had all the time in the world to refresh my long forgotten programming skills. Not that I had great skills to start with. I never worked as or considered myself a programmer before. Back home, I would just read a chapter in the book and try to implement it on my site.

Needless to say, I was a bit scared moving forward with this “programming” thing, but there were not that many other options I could pursue at the time.

I could try to get into moving or construction, but I wasn’t a particularly strong guy and the pay wasn’t very special. Since I had some basic coding understanding and small projects behind my belt, I decided to give programming a shot.

What do you need to find any job in US? Exactly – the resume. In a few short hours, I created my first resume! Let me see, maybe I even have it on my old yahoo account. Yep, here it is! It’s so funny to read it now. I think I copied parts that I liked from other resumes that I found online.

As you can see, most of the information on my first resume was essentially garbage. I had to come up with some bogus facts and companies. How else would I be able to find my first job, right? All companies are looking for people with some employment history, so I had to give some.

While on topic, years later when I was already established software engineer, some people asked me to look at their resumes. They just couldn’t figure out why no one called them. Well, when I looked at the files they sent me I was shocked. They basically listed all of their previous non-technical jobs, like Roofer, Waiter, Bus boy etc..

Imagine someone who is looking to hire a programmer, even a junior one. Most likely he gets piles of resumes from recruiters every single day. What do you think happens when hiring manager picks up a resume where Roofer is applying for the programming job? Exactly, it goes straight into garbage.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’ve seen a waiter who wrote code for fun after work! Great guy. He was probably smarter than some of my “experienced” co-workers at the time, but you gotta present it right! Noone cares about your roofing experience unless you are applying for the roofing job! If you look at my resume, you will see that I didn’t include my street vending experience. Instead, I decided to add a bit of fiction and hide some unnecessary details.

For example, if you look at the Education section of my resume it says Technical University. Is that true? Did I really go to the Technical University?! Of course I did, but I conveniently “forgot” to specify that I majored in Finance. Only a handful people ever asked me about my major. One of those rare times when someone remembered to check my degree was not so long ago when I got hired as SRE at HBO.

Apparently,some big corporations are doing very extensive background checks, so if you apply to one of the well-known companies and a high paying position, make sure to provide real answers to all of the background check questions. Just remember not to tell them what they don’t ask!!!

Again, don’t be discouraged here. In most cases, your first job will not be with one of those big players, so you don’t need to worry about background checks and stuff (unless you are real criminal or something). Just try to present yourself on paper as best as you can, without making it into 100% lie.

Now that I had the resume ready, I simply submitted it to dice.com and monster.com (there was no LinkedIn or StackOverflow back then), inflated my air mattress and went to sleep.

I couldn’t keep my mattress inflated because my room was so small that it would take most of the space. I had to inflate and deflate it every day. That was my miracle morning routine back then ))

Do you want to know what happened next?? I bet you do 🙂 Well, I hate to remind you guys, but there is a subscription box below this post. Get your email in there. That way I’ll know that someone actually reads my stuff and I’ll feel a bit better. No, a LOT better! While I’m not guaranteeing any emails right away, I promise to get better and keep you guys updated with my latest stuff and progress.

Just do it! 🙂

Wake up, Neo... The matrix has you...

I'm Sergey Khaladzinski (@gansbrest). Not so long ago, I decided to take my life to another level. If you'd like to follow my journey, feel free subscribe below to get periodic updates about my life and the new stuff I explore.

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