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NovoResume Review: Will the Real Resume Please Step Forward

Do you despise updating your resume as much as I do?

Are you still waiting for an XML Resume standard such that you can publish the data of your job history and allow all the recruiters to format the data however they wish?  Right - a bot could do that job.

Yeah, me too.  I've wondered why the old 19th Century technique of writing a resume still persists.  I've only ONCE applied for a job that did NOT allow a resume upload.  It wanted a LinkedIn URL and a few other bits of data.  I double-checked... nope, no place to upload a 19th C. letter stating all my wonderful qualities.  That's one out of a couple of thousand applications.  One company that had made it to the 21st Century.

Since I've been searching for my next team ...  I've updated my tired ol' 19th Century paper resume to an online modern tool... it's sexy and cool.  All the kids are doing it.  Come along with me and let's try out NovoResume.

This is a really nice and enjoyable user experience.  After entering my old resume and realizing it's several pages of blah blah blaahhh. I decided to get creative and bust out of the predefined layouts and ditch the linear chronology of work experiences.  Reusing a few of the components for new and different purposes was very easy.  Just click on the header title and give the component a new label.  I liked the predefined Skills component and used its look and feel for my Organization section.

I didn't see any ability to define your own layout components - but that's OK - I could repurpose one easy enough.  As you can see in the above screenshot - NovoResume comes with a nice selection of components - just drag and drop them on the page.

I was a bit confused trying to get the first column to flow into the second column.  Never did get that figured out... so I ended up chopping some text and after some word-smithing got the column to a single page (one of my prime objectives).  Since NovoResume had a link to my LinkedIn page in the header bar I felt the boring chronology was redundant.  However, NovoResume's expert system didn't feel such - it gave me quite a few suggestions all numbered and labeled on the page.  The AI had quite an opinion on what to do about this obvious lacking of mine in resume 101 skills.

In the process of trying out the AI's suggestions (Content Optimizer), I lost the complete text of my crafty perfectly worded bulletproof resume.  This led me to search around for a Save system and version control backups.  Oops - there isn't one.  Well, NovoResume is doing an automatic save - there is no Save button - that's smart.  But as soon as I deleted the complete column of text because I clicked to implement one of its suggestions, the system auto-saved and there was no undoing it (Ctrl-Z would have been nice).  I found the company's feedback button and sent a nice suggestion for version control.  Then I got busy retyping and rebuilding that perfect document.

I tried out the My Content feature.  A way to save portions of your text for reuse.  Just click to import the snippet.  If you are like me you have about 27 versions of your resume saved on disk and are typically doing some form of copy & paste.  This feature may replace 25 of those versions.  It took a while to import all those work experiences - 30 years of consulting is a lot.  The feature has a predefined hierarchy of items.  Browse through the items - you may be surprised by what they have thought of already.  I don't know how one could include all of these pieces of content in one resume... maybe we should all try.

The tool is well behaved and robust.  I never had any issues with it crashing or freezing up on me.  It is very clear where one clicks to download a PDF.  It took me several days to figure out all of its features... well maybe not all of them.  For example; there are these small dots with percentage labels - I ignored them for the longest time assuming it was a form of view zooming.  Finally clicking upon a dot ... the system scaled the column width.  Hey - that was handy!  

Could it be that the Utilities (back arrow & forward arrow) are version selection control?  Oh-Boy that could have come in handy yesterday.  Maybe "Utilities" is too utilitarian a term for the arrows that go back in time - just my guess.

The Language Set feature may come in handy in Europe or other more worldly parts of the globe - here in the USA it's not going to rock your world.  I didn't try it out because like most Americans I speak only American.

The Cover Letter feature should be nice.  I didn't try it out, because I've not done cover letters in a long time.  Not sure if that's dumb or smart... I find that most of the people I'm dealing with are just into matching their word list with my keywords.  I've been asked to help them out by bolding the key phrases in our industry.  In computer technology that might become something like 80% of the words.  I didn't do it, isn't that why we invented highlighters!

The resume templates that you can start with are attractive and varied enough to give you a great start.  

With the COVID-19 pandemic in full economic meltdown and something like 15 million people in the USA unemployed right now, there should be plenty of people polishing up their resumes.  So has a great business niche to conquer this spring using the classic freemium model.   The premium plan starts at $16 per month. 

I wonder if they have any enhancement ideas to make their site more sticky... something to keep the consumer coming back after landing that killer new job.

One idea I had early on that I would have paid the 3 month price for was the ability to read-in my LinkedIn data.  Easily worth the $30 bucks to import an existing work history - wonder if one could write a Zapier integration for that?  ... pondering ...

Well if you are wanting to see the results of a couple nights playing with NovoResume... it's right up there in the header - go ahead read the awesome NOVO Resume of David Koontz.