Hello! My name is Daniel, and I am a CV/resume writer and global career consultant who works remotely with professionals from all walks of life. I explain who I am and what I do in this video filmed in my adopted city of Porto, Portugal. Here is PROOF

I have hosted knowledge-sharing sessions to provide career counsel to people whose lives were disrupted by the pandemic. Notably, last year I held an AMA that I consider my big break. From it, I met hundreds of Redditors worldwide and accessed a unique window into their lives and aspirations.

My clients undergo a user experience comparable to visiting a barbershop for a flattering haircut and an engaging conversation. I meet each client via Zoom and share my screen with them as I interview them about their careers and write their new documents in real-time. They chime in with their approval or feedback to ensure the final product has accurately depicted their history and is tailored precisely to their goals.

Many Redditors that I've worked with have gone on to become friends, collaborators, and mutual confidants. After working together, they receive competitive offers from UN organizations, FAANG companies, and leaders in their respective industries. My days are brightened daily by receiving word that someone I've worked with has achieved their target. I love what I do and am grateful to have felt connected and useful throughout such an isolating period of history.

At this stage of the pandemic, many employers are summoning their staff back to the office. There is a noticeable global shift in people's relationships with work. Many people want to derive meaning from what they do moving forward. I figured now would be an opportune moment to host another session.

AMA anything about job seeking, living abroad, working remotely, the gritty underbelly of the career services sector, or the pursuit of professional fulfilment in the new normal.

Comments: 471 • Responses: 72  • Date: 

narwhalsome240 karma

How global of a phenomenon do you see the “Great Resignation” of folks who choose to quit instead of returning a physical office?

Is it concentrated to any specific regions or cultures?

DorianGraysPassport272 karma

Millenial clients in larger US cities often ask to pick my brain about my life abroad because they're tempted to leave behind the stress and take their savings somewhere where they could access a higher quality of life. Many people with desk jobs have gotten a taste of remote freedom and are hesitant to lose it.

guto879738 karma

And what would your answer to those people be, out of curiosity

DorianGraysPassport110 karma

To assess their financial situation and soul search while still working and not to make the decision hastily. However, if they're being abused or their mental health is suffering, I'd tell them to leave more imminently.

Quotered50 karma

And how can I get a new job in a company that is losing workers? Since I’ve been in an office from the start of the pandemic, I have no worries about being in an office.

DorianGraysPassport91 karma

View the list of all employees on the company LinkedIn page. Connect with anyone whose headline says "We're Hiring" and ask them for an informational interview. In it, you'd learn about their vacancies and they'd learn about your profile to see of there's any alignment.

BigDaddyLongBeard84 karma

[deleted]

DorianGraysPassport119 karma

I once worked with a lady who took a 17-year sabbatical to raise her kids, and she landed on her feet and gained employment. In her cover letters and on her LinkedIn profile, we detailed her volunteering and consistent enrolment in online courses. She had the unique advantage of being fluent in multiple languages, so we leveraged those.

Burnstryk72 karma

In your experience how has companies using ATS for CV parsing changed your tactics when doing CV overhauls?

Do you find yourself mindful that you need to try to 'cheat' the system in order for your clients CV to pass the ATS?

DorianGraysPassport82 karma

Keywords are often listed skills so it is easy to extract them from a job listing or from Linkedin and to tastefully place them across a document.

iPlowedYourMom70 karma

[deleted]

DorianGraysPassport57 karma

All of my rates are listed on my website.

TotFacienda69 karma

I was ready to hate on you for this obvious plug but damn those prices are reasonable. €35/hour for interview coaching? That’s cheap as chips

DorianGraysPassport72 karma

Thanks. I am not greedy and I pride myself in making my prices accessible to all people.

toppplaya31225 karma

Unfortunately the mobile experience leaves a lot to be desired...

DorianGraysPassport30 karma

I'll share that feedback with my webmaster.

ButtDoctor694208 karma

The mobile website is good, actually.

DorianGraysPassport49 karma

Appreciated. I’ll tell that to the webmaster as well so he feels a balance

Binsento37 karma

I don’t feel strongly either way regarding the mobile version of your website.

DorianGraysPassport54 karma

The balance of opinions remains in tact

ilovepi25 karma

Here's some more detailed feedback on the mobile web issue:

In the Android Reddit is Fun app the site looks very broken. The menu is all over the place and there is an odd broken image link/placeholder image. Reddit is Fun probably used the Android system WebView.

On the same phone copy->pasting the URL into Chrome results in a beautiful and fully functional site.

DorianGraysPassport11 karma

You’re a gem!

Philosopher777163 karma

Hi! During this pandemic, many platforms started offering certificates for online courses. Are they really worth it and should they be on your resume?

DorianGraysPassport100 karma

I always advise clients to take online courses to gain industry-specific skills or to make their profiles well-rounded. I'd add all certificates to one's LinkedIn profile but only one or two prestigious & relevant ones to the resume.

Theduckintheroom54 karma

  1. How different is the CV/Resume/Hiring Culture between North American and European Corporations (I know it differs by country, so just choose the one you're most familiar with)? (E.g. do employers expect different format and information)?
  2. Are there decent opportunities for expats with professional backgrounds (e.g. accounting, engineering) in Portugal? Wife really wants to move there.

DorianGraysPassport94 karma

A positive trend I've observed is that European hiring practices are slowly becoming more Americanized. In the past, CVs in Spain/France would often be expected to have a picture.

I advise people who wish to come to Portugal to already be working remotely as local salaries are very low. On the other hand, there are tech companies and consulting groups setting up new offices in Porto, where I live. If you and your wife take steps towards moving here, I would be happy to answer specific questions you may have. I was very lucky with how much help I received with getting settled here and I'd pay it forward.

Theduckintheroom13 karma

Thank you!

We may actually ask for some insight on the various cities and places to settle down if we make the move, but will start with seeing if we can secure a good remote position :)

rfsnunes17 karma

Hi. Learn about Aveiro, then. It's a coastal city, smaller than Porto but (imo) with all the good stuff minus the crowd and a lot cheaper. It's got a big university with a tech focus so there's some software development companies in the area!

Theduckintheroom3 karma

Thank you!

DorianGraysPassport15 karma

Can confirm. Aveiro is lovely. I spent the most recent lockdown in an empty town in its outskirts with a friend who lives there.

Vehicle-Mountain5 karma

Remember to tell your clients also that once they live 180+ days in a given year in Portugal that they and their employer needs to pay taxes IN Portugal as that is their fiscal residency then. It's not as simple as finding a Silicon Valley job paying 300k/year and then going to live in Portugal as both the employee plus the employer would be committing tax fraud in this case.

DorianGraysPassport5 karma

I’m not a lawyer, or an accountant. I’d happily connect any client with the lawyer and accountant that I use.

kid_tiger3 karma

I would love to live in Porto! I work part time remotely but would love to create an opprotunity to work remote and live in Porto with getting another job while in Porto to supplement the expenses. How much is it to live in Porto for monthly expenses on average?

Also I'm super interested in getting my resume rewritten as I have been working on it lately

DorianGraysPassport8 karma

I pay EUR 600 monthly for a two-bedroom small house in Porto. I have a helpful & respectful landlord. Things are not expensive here which is why it is becoming an attractive destination for remote workers

Debaserd42 karma

What's the max number of pages a CV should be?

DorianGraysPassport111 karma

1-2 pages with the skills section and each descriptive bullet carefully tailored to the specs of each position applied for. The further back the role, the shorter its description should be.

RandomJin38 karma

If you feel completely lost in your job search and don‘t know what you want, how do you get out of this rut?

Worked in different jobs over the years and recently lost my job. Now I feel like there is no way things will improve, no job that fits me and I don‘t know how to get out of this situation. Getting more and more depressed by the days. Would appreciate your input a lot.

DorianGraysPassport49 karma

I can relate 100%. I lost a job a few years ago and experienced a downward spiral for a few months but I bounced back. It was cathartic to write about it.

My advice to you, first and foremost, is to not internalize a message that you did something wrong or that you're not good enough. These things happen. Everyone I know has endured at least one job loss.

Stay diligent, keep applying to roles, practice self-care, and don't allow sadness or desperation to blind you into accepting a low offer or a role that you know will be soul-crushing.

liaotown31 karma

My dream is to work abroad and live in Australia/New Zealand for a few years however from what I have heard it is very difficult to get a sponsor to get a working visa from outsiders. (I'm Canadian) I have a bachelor in business and a masters in international business. What would your biggest tip to help me achieve this dream/goal?

DorianGraysPassport20 karma

I've known people who've moved to Australia and worked on farms before earning further working privileges. I'm not well-versed in the nuances of Australia & New Zealand's immigration processes beyond their experiences. I'd advise you to narrow down what type of work you wish to use your business degrees for and make sure that the theme of your goals is clear across your LinkedIn, cover letters, and resume.

Morcrabanen26 karma

Hello! Well, this is a random happenstance, I have been looking to establish my own career ever since I gratuated from Uni past autumn (28m). My experience is with the family business, my father owned, through out the years, several cafes under different franchises, I have helped him on every level, from a busboy, to a shift manager, but sadly recent economy of my country no longer allows such things, and I am looking change my work life and find a career for myself.

I entered Starbucks to economically survive covid times as a barista, and through the year have been applying to all sorts of careers that I am interested in, mainly digital marketing, marketing and HR. The thing is I almost never get any returns, not even a decline most of the time. The ones I do are often negative, even at new grad positions. I am quite confused and I wonder if it is my previous experience in the service sector hampering my prospects on low level jobs. Should I purposefully omit those experiences? Are those worth anything at all? I would welcome any tips for the situation I am in. Thanks in advance ^^

DorianGraysPassport40 karma

Maybe these descriptions I've written previously would be an asset to you.

Barista Trainer

Providing impeccable customer service to patrons of a licensed store under the brand umbrella of Starbucks.

Educated junior-level baristas in best practices when preparing drinks and engaging customers.

Served 1000+ hot beverages per day in a high-stakes hospitality environment.

Coordinated 250+ daily orders for takeaway with the Starbucks App to swiftly optimize the user experience.

Ensured cleanliness and food safety in compliance with corporate and government regulations.

Starbucks

Managed all aspects of a Starbucks retail location and ensured a meticulous user

experience for patrons.

Trained junior-level staff to optimize them within their roles and developed a sustainable culture of mentorship in a fast-paced retail environment.

Managed the online presence of the location and liaised closely with regional leadership.

Oversaw all organizational components of the retail location ranging from scheduling, monitoring expense reports, and analyzing P&L statements.

Demonstrated versatility as the role evolved to span the oversight of multiple locations.

Starbucks

Barista Trainer

Providing impeccable customer service to patrons of a licensed store under the brand umbrella of Starbucks.

Educated junior-level baristas in best practices when preparing beverages and engaging customers.

Served 1000+ hot beverages per day in a high-stakes hospitality environment.

Coordinated 250+ daily orders for takeaway with the Starbucks App to swiftly optimize the user experience.

Ensured cleanliness and food safety in compliance with corporate and government regulations.

olioli8616 karma

How much variety in style is there for producing an ideal CV based on the type of job?

DorianGraysPassport34 karma

Hi! I always aim for the templates to be sleek with information displayed in a format from top to bottom (no parallel columns of text) with each section clearly divided into parts. I am fond of the "clear" template in Resumonk.

kjuneja3 karma

Do you recommend photos like the clear template has space for?

DorianGraysPassport17 karma

Leave it blank or, if you're feeling like trying something unique, add a QR code that leads to a portfolio, link tree, or video cover letter.

Clavo_VA11 karma

How is Portugal?

Do you speak the language?

How difficult was it to move there?

DorianGraysPassport18 karma

For me, it was very easy to move here! I am a US/EU citizen and I was already living nearby in Madrid. A local friend who is also a writer gave me a lot of advice. I was able to find a place to live shortly after I arrived.

Clavo_VA2 karma

I've been wanting to move to Spain for years now but the process is very difficult.

How is the work culture?

DorianGraysPassport5 karma

I had one very demanding corporate job in Madrid but I learned a lot from it. Many of my friends there are English teachers who relocated to Spain as recipients of this postgraduate scholarship.

takethislonging9 karma

Given that your last AMA raked in thousands of upvotes even though you run a fairly commonplace business, do you use some internet service to push up your reddit posts?

DorianGraysPassport35 karma

Nope! I just sat diligently and gave a personalized response to everyone who engaged with me. Resume writing services are common, but my live interview method is unique.

phoebonacci8 karma

What are some of the unseen realities and downsides of the digital nomad life? I'd like to do this eventually but wonder about how it affects putting down roots, old friendships and so forth.

DorianGraysPassport11 karma

It's not always glamorous. One can easily feel displaced if one doesn't have a strong network and support system. I'm lucky that in each city that I've moved to, I've known people who helped me get settled and adopted me into their social circles. I would not live my life any other way, but it is not for everyone. FB groups for expat communities in cities are often full of people vocalizing their grievances or their longing for human connection.

isharetoomuch7 karma

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DorianGraysPassport19 karma

I've noticed that male clients never hesitate when I embellish their achievements, and some of the women take pause and request that I scale back on sentences that trigger impostor syndrome.

inkdragonfly7 karma

At what point does embellishing become problematic? This is something I'm struggling with for fear of getting called out

DorianGraysPassport2 karma

It becomes problematic if it misrepresents the candidate's abilities in a way that is immediately glaring. For instance, in language ability or technical skills.

poutina6 karma

Hello! Have you seen an uptick in folks opting to change their careers entirely during/after the pandemic? Have you seen any success with people who take boot camp or crash type courses in another industry? I ask because I am trying to do that myself, but I worry about having a good enough resume to appeal to hiring managers in the industry.

DorianGraysPassport5 karma

Many of my clients have taken data science & coding boot camps to great success! Throughout the pandemic, I've seen many clients land roles and shift their industries. I wrote an article about this a year ago.

Bambi_One_Eye6 karma

Wondering how often you've come across someone with US/EU citizenship moving from the states to a member country for work?

I assume being a citizen already gets you past most of the visa/sponsorship hurdles? Really curious how often EU companies take on US talent?

DorianGraysPassport4 karma

I am a US/EU citizen and have found a positive stereotype about Americans working harder. There is definitely a competitive advantage for talent who do not require visa support, and this was most apparent to me in Madrid because companies could hire US/EU citizens. At the same time, people with only US citizenship were limited to roles as teaching assistants.

Other_Exercise5 karma

I've heard you can live an OK life in Portugal for around $1,000 a month. Is that true?

DorianGraysPassport8 karma

Yes. I know many people who live well here earning even less. The key thing is to live out of the major cities.

Other_Exercise4 karma

Would living outside the major cities, however, be more boring and isolating? Could you live in Porto for $1,000 a month without seriously scraping by?

DorianGraysPassport4 karma

It is possible! But it hinges on your lifestyle. A decade ago, the EUR 1000 per month stipend for English Language Teaching Assistants was enough to live really well in Madrid. Every year the cost of living there increased and now my opinion is that it's no longer enough. I envision Porto becoming the next Berlin within the next few years and that the cost of living will rise dramatically.

PhanesDionysus5 karma

I am a recovering heroin addict almost 2 years clean. How do you suggest I go about telling interveiwers about this and how to turn the weakness into a strength? I normally state it has made me alot more appreciative of life and grateful for what I do have.

DorianGraysPassport19 karma

I applaud you for your recovery.

I am not sure I would mention this unless you're applying for a role working with vulnerable populations and are trying to express that you understand their circumstances and can form a common ground.

If you felt compelled to mention it anywhere, it would be on the cover letter, not the resume.

brockharvey5 karma

Ha. That’s so cool! I actually used to write/edit CVs as a way to make money in uni, I did it for plenty of students looking to start their careers. I always enjoyed it, and the extra little chase complimented my hospitality work well!

Oddly, I’m also planning to move to Porto in Jan! Mind if I dm you a couple of questions about your move? I’d love to pick your brain.

Cheers, congrats on the success!!

DorianGraysPassport2 karma

Hi! I would be happy to give you advice as you prepare to move! My friend group in Porto is very inclusive as we all moved here around the same time and with similar motivations. I'd be happy to include you on our future outings after you're settled.

h0bb1tm1ndtr1x4 karma

Many companies, for those who don't know, will question longevity at a past employer. Why did they spend 8 years at X before moving on? Are they unmotivated? That line of thought.

What's a good way to go about explaining why you may have spent so much time somewhere without bashing your old company? Given there are so many factors to what could ruin a good thing waaaay down the road.

DorianGraysPassport3 karma

Frame it as a positive experience of growth, that cumulated to aspiring to take the lessons gained to another company focused on xyz that aligns more closely with your goals.

clancularii4 karma

I work in the United States as a design consultant in the Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) Industry. After 15 months of mostly remote work, my employer is very invested in having us return to the office full time by the end of the summer. This seems a common trend in my industry.

As the pandemic winds down, have you found a lot of people reaching out to you who are determined to switch jobs in order to retain the ability to work remotely? I'm wondering what your experience has been and if you've noticed any patterns between various industries.

DorianGraysPassport3 karma

Yes. Many people reach out to me with a sense of urgency to find a remote job before they're summoned back to the office. Competitive employers are eager to scoop up talent whose loyalty will hinge on this.

dark_mooey4 karma

Do you have any advice on how to reach out to a recruiter for a specific company (like through LinkedIn)? I usually will find a job and apply through the website, but I feel like it's just getting lost.

Also, any advice on going from public employer (small local government) to private? I fell into an HR generalist role for my local government and after a few years, I now want to move to the private sector. I feel like I get overlooked for the entry hr jobs at bigger companies.

DorianGraysPassport5 karma

Every LinkedIn company page includes a list of all employees. Scour that list and connect with anyone whose profile says "we're hiring." Those are the people to request an informational interview from to get the ball rolling.

maxwell_stupid3 karma

[deleted]

DorianGraysPassport5 karma

Don't list education at all.

ehowardhunt3 karma

How do you first break into the “resume writing” business? Help a few friends with theirs and document the before and after versions? How do you get some business when you don’t have any business yet?

DorianGraysPassport2 karma

My large base of contacts comes from being hyper-social and an active member of my community everywhere that I have lived. It didn't take long for this concept to become my full-time job once I launched my website.

Being good at my work and helping my clients achieve desired outcomes has resulted in constant referrals. I am extremely visible on social media and share testimonials from happy clients across the platforms. I used to work at a leading MBA school and interned at an international organization. Both of these workplaces have been the source of consistent clientele.

Before these experiences, like many of my peers, I was an English teacher. I've befriended people from all walks of life in my travels and many of them have resurfaced as clients in the years since I started this project. As have people with whom I went to middle school, high school, undergrad, and grad school. Any new client from a different walk of life multiplies as they'll refer me to people within their community once I satisfy them.

mojojo_3 karma

[deleted]

DorianGraysPassport2 karma

I'd be delighted to. Reach out via my website.

pure_vengeance3 karma

[deleted]

toronto_programmer3 karma

How do you measure your success for clients? Is it simply clients getting any job, or would be it clients getting their "dream job" or a significant promotion / next step type job?

DorianGraysPassport4 karma

I gauge it based on how overjoyed and enthused they are with the outcome or if their level up is significant. One of the success stories that I broadcast is that of a client that jumped from working at a music venue in Amsterdam to working for Apple Music.

Eabryt3 karma

What's your favorite restaurant in Porto? They've got some good ones.

DorianGraysPassport6 karma

Taberna Sta Antonio, Casa Guedes, Tasco, Tapabento

Azurepriest3 karma

I've been looking into getting my resume wrote. In my country they charge 200.00$ for "entry level". I graduated from some shit school a couple years ago so they bump me up to 400$.

Why is it so expensive for 10 minutes of work, from some asshole journalist major? Why do all these services seem like a scam? That's a lot of money to not get a job.

DorianGraysPassport2 karma

I charge EUR 100 and would be happy to change your perspective on this. If you work with me, you'd be involved in the process and gain a better understanding of how the sausages are made.

balancedinsanity2 karma

I was actually just thinking of going to Porto in a few months. How are things there? Have cases been spiking? Did you guys get hit very hard? How is the reopening? Are museums/historical sites/restaurants up and running again?

DorianGraysPassport2 karma

Everything is open. In response to the Delta wave, we have a nighttime curfew of 23h I think. We had a strict lockdown from mid-January to early April, and people are still shaken by it.

Semaphor2 karma

How's life in Porto? I've always considered Portugal my home away from home, but never lived there long term.

DorianGraysPassport3 karma

I dig it. I am happy here.

Mr3Mr32 karma

How would you go about applying for internships as a college student? I’ve applied for 5-6 positions to try gaining experience in various fields to get a glimpse of what I might be interested in doing, but no companies respond or accepted my applications. Is there anything I should try focusing on in my CV/resume?

DorianGraysPassport2 karma

Demonstrate that you're malleable, a fast learner, and be able to vocalize how & why each role resonated with you at this early stage of your career.

unfonfortable2 karma

Can you provide some reasons why I should consider hiring resume professionals who don't have experience in recruiting?

DorianGraysPassport3 karma

I have not needed a recruitment background to succeed in this space. If anything, I stand out because I interface with each client, speak with them in-depth, and create a document that captures their essence. My academic background in global communications & ethnographic research has been an asset. I'm hands-on, and my results and client testimonials/outcomes speak for themselves.

ScheminDemon2 karma

I've been in child care for the past few years and looking to transition into an office position, ideally.

What potentially makes it more difficult is that I live in South Florida and most job positions state being bilingual is necessary. while I have a working knowledge, I wouldn't call myself fluent although my BA is in Spanish. What's a way I can address this?

DorianGraysPassport6 karma

Keep practicing Spanish at every opportunity, watch Spanish-language content, and learn how to make jokes and argue in Spanish. You can list "Advanced" as one notch below fluent.

Sjuk862 karma

My CV is long, like I know it's long but the info I feel is relevant. Is there too long?

DorianGraysPassport2 karma

Yes. I'd advise you to trim it down to 2-pages.

arasitar2 karma

I'm curious on your take on resume writing software powered by AI and machine learning. We've seen AI and machine learning use in hiring practices (create job descriptions, narrow down pool of candidates, integrate resume parsing software, keyword searching etc.). It is relatively new that some people have created AI to write resumes for you.

Some use the job description and tailors what you write towards that job. Others elaborate based on what you input into it.

Here's an example: https://redd.it/obp00z

On a scale of 1-10, where 1 is complete sham, 5 is kinda useful if you use it as an aide, and 10 is this completely replaces every resume writer's job and it is the perfect way to do resumes going forward, what's your rating?

I'm personally leaning on a 3 ish, but the tech can rapidly improve. I don't forsee the AI becoming good enough to make a perfect resume for you, but I can see using it as an aide while making your resume.

DorianGraysPassport3 karma

I'm not threatened by it. I am content with the tool that I currently use but would happily embrace modernity if I learned of a B2B tool designed for professional resume writers.

Balth892 karma

How big do you think the remote working phenomena is going to get ? Do you feel it is it something that is here to stay?

DorianGraysPassport2 karma

100%. Companies will need to be flexible about this to remain competitive.

Francine-Smith2 karma

Hi. What was the first step you took to working remotely as an individual offering a specific service?

DorianGraysPassport2 karma

Having a website made that clearly defined my services & processes and sharing it across social media so that members of my network would become my clients and refer me to others.

_coconutto_2 karma

For your clients that ended up working in the UN, was there something that made their CV stand out more? Is there a certain way I should be writing my CV/cover letter?

DorianGraysPassport2 karma

Use their lingo, acknowledge how achievements of your career thus far have championed the #UN #SDGs

TorPartyAtMyHouse1 karma

What do you feel are the biggest differences in job-seeking between the USA and Europe? And what would you say has been the most challenging part of living in Europe?

DorianGraysPassport2 karma

In Europe, unemployed people are not as ashamed/anxious because their sense of identity is less tied to their professions.

Honestly, I've been living in Europe my entire adult life. I first moved to Madrid when I was 20 and now I'm 29. The abroad life is all that I know. While it's not always glamorous, I'm calibrated for it and the biggest challenges are bureaucratic obstacles overcome by asking for advice from locals or other immigrants.

phiinix0 karma

  1. Have you ever gotten pushback that hiring someone else to write their resume is "unfair" because a professional resume writer should have an edge to get their client a call/interview? What are your thoughts on this?

  2. If you could change anything about how most companies fill roles, either in the application/screening/interviewing process/etc, what would it be and why?

DorianGraysPassport1 karma

  1. Is it unfair to hire a barber or hairstylist to cut your hair?
  2. I wish there was more done to police nepotism. Often roles are made available to the public despite leadership already having someone close in mind. The role is opened just to be able to say they analyzed the profiles of a few candidates before ultimately deciding on the person they'd pre-selected.