[TriLUG] recommendations for professional resume help
william at trilug.org
Sat Aug 28 02:18:14 EDT 2004
Additionally, most of the headhunters I've dealt with seem to have some
sort of resume database system that they batch .doc files into for
searching...think standard format for easy parsing. I'd personally like
to know more about how the system works (e.g., can I load up a .doc file
with tons of searchable keywords that will make it bubble up to the
Now, that said, I have some thoughts on resume building as well (in the
interest of full disclosure, I'm currently employed on a 6 month contract
after 13 months of unemployment):
- Objective: Could be useful, could be a hinderance. It all depends on
what you're aiming at, and if you want to change your objective every time
you submit your resume to a different job description.
- Key skillset: Do have a block of quickly scanable skills. Personally,
mine is labeled "Summary" and looks rather like this: (slightly dated)
- 2.5 years software development, 6 years web development
- 6 years Solaris, 5 years Linux, 2 years FreeBSD
- PostgresSQL, Oracle, mSQL
- Verity K2
- BroadVision One-to-One
Short, sweet, two the point, and no bold text.
- Emphasis (bold, underline, italic) - Use emphasis for job titles and
locations, and for key sections in your resume to help the person reading
it jump from index to index. DON'T use it to randomly highlight words as
it makes your resume look like a ransom note :)
- Job descriptions - Again, a bit of personal preference, but I lean
toward concise bulleted lists. If you put a paragraph (or heaven forbid a
3 paragraph block) before someone, they may just ignore it. Time is
valuable in our economy, and the more effort someone has to expend to read
your autograph, the less likely they will expend it (since they have
plenty of other resumes go get through).
- Education - If you have it, put it there, but use your judgement. I'd
rather not see 6 half-completed associates degrees (my apologies to
whoever it was that brought this to mind the other day) since it looks
like the person is just drifting aimlessly through life. Remember, your
resume should make you look purposeful. If you have the grades, by all
means put a GPA and summa cum laude.
- Personal pursuits - Things that will enhance your marketability to an
employer are good (ACM chapter president, Trilug Secretary, etc.). Things
that could be divisive (religious groups, political organizations, hate
groups) are probably best left off. Even things as laudable as missionary
service can be used against you if someone is sufficiently bigoted.
- Unemployment - can be a positive (availability, likely desire to work
hard), can be a negative (why are they unemployed) (particularly if your
previous employer was sketchy about letting you go). You probably don't
want to put Best Buy on your resume during your lean period (by all means
work there, just don't tell anyone) :) . You can put in a section labeled
"Continuing Education" and put down whatever tech projects you're
currently doing on the side to show that you haven't stopped being a
techie just because you stopped earning a techie paycheck.
- KISS - Don't write a treatise. Remember that you're trying to sell
yourself for a job, not document your entire employment and educational
history. If what you're presenting detracts from your hirability, take
- Length - Unless you have overwhelming amounts of experience that
absolutely must be mentioned, try to stick with 2 pages at most. If
you're just out of school, one is probably plenty. Remember that as much
as HR folks want to see buzzwords, a lot of techies will get to review
your resume and will be turned off by obvious BS.
I once reviewed a resume from a fellow who (in his mid-twenties in 2000)
claimed to know a dozen or more "web languages." Included were HTML,
and 5-6 that I had never (and to this day have never) heard of. My
BS-o-meter rang in at a 12.0 on a 10 point scale.
Just my $0.02 on an already full thread :)
http://free.house.cx/~william/resume.shtml (my slightly dated resume in
On 27 Aug 2004 rwshep2000.2725323 at bloglines.com wrote:
> Last job search I was distributing my resume in a strict XHTML format, no
> tables. I figured, since I'm a web developer, wouldn't it make sense to use
> current HTML practices in my own resume? I wasn't really concerned that anyone
> would be using browsers too old to render CSS.
> I got a couple responses
> back from recruiters asking me to submit in Word. I think their systems required
> a word format for some reason. No problem, since I maintained Word, PDF and
> plaintext alternatives. Otherwise, the XHTML didn't seem to be a problem,
> but I'm not totally sure.
> What does the group think?
> --- Triangle
> Linux Users Group discussion list <trilug at trilug.org wrote:
> On Thu, 26 Aug
> 2004, Turnpike Man wrote:
> > > now have plain text and PDF versions to
> share for those locations that require
> > > non Word resumes. Of course,
> there are some places that take Word only. go
> > > figure.
> > I'd like
> to second the suggestion of providing your resume in PDF format.
> > The
> two job offers I got both made positive comments about receiving my
> > resume
> in PDF form. Word version mismatches can munge resumes into slop.
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