WTF do I put on my resume? Anyone have advice for writing a technical resume? Any examples of great resume's to share?
Remember that when I'm reading your resume I'm reading. Write it to tell the story of who you are and who you want to be as well as you are able. Cut out things that don't fit that story-- you can always pleasantly surprise them later with the extra skills.
Unless you've worked on something that got put on a billboard near my house, I don't know what your project's codename was. "Developed key metrics for Project Hazel" translates to "measured brown thing" in my mind.
Many engineers find it distasteful to describe their contributions in glowing terms. But that's the game and because I can't tell you're being demure I'm going to turn the brightness down two notches on your resume same as everyone else's. So amp it up until it feels gross (and not much further).
Your entire career jammed into a single page - not a good idea.
How many really good stories have you read that are one single page? Your resume is a story about you that follows a well known general form.
Presumably you have worked hard and put in the work - it will take a few pages to explain it in a clearly set out manner. Explain your education, what you have done, where you have worked, your interests where you feel it relevant. Space it nicely, choose an attractive font. Your resume should not be full of technical keywords, and there is little point in describing every technology you have ever touched (see this http://supercoders.com.au/blog/theskillsmatrix.shtml). Illustrate the most interesting aspects of your work over the years with a short yet clear description of things you found particularly interesting.
Don't submit a 20 page thesis but as for "one page or nothing" - from someone who does the reading and assessing of resumes - this is bad advice. Don't sell yourself short - years and years of work does not boil down to one page unless you wish to belittle yourself and your career.
That said, in my opinion the most important page isn't even one of those - it's the cover letter. Perhaps the reason I don't mind slightly longer resumes is that I don't bother to read them carefully if it's clear no effort was put into the cover letter.
Good luck with that. As I said to the other commenter with the same view, I'm happy to see a resume with two pages of irreducible complexity if you have examples. I haven't yet.
It seems to me the shorter the better. The best resume is just your name.
PS - hundreds of thousands of resumes - wow! How'd that happen? Forty resumes every single work day for twenty years?
Why should your resume show your entire career? Isn't the point of the resume to tell a story that gets you an interview?
Anything else is overkill.
Yeah, you're right. Don't include everything in your resume.
NB: This advice varies between countries. In the US, one page is standard.
I'm also sure I'm not alone in this, and I'd suggest that annoying a considerable percentage of hiring managers for little gain represents an unforced error.
I am curious, though. Could I convince you to send me a copy of your resume? Redacted, if you like. I'd just like to know what a career that really needs 2+ pages looks like.
Regarding cultural differences, the only one I know of that causes problems is sending pictures or other indicators of protected class status. I try pretty hard to judge all resumes fairly, and it makes it more difficult to be sure unconscious bias isn't kicking in when I have age, race, and marital status right there on the page. But of course, write to your audience-- if that's expected in their culture and you're comfortable with that, go with it.
It's not my student's career that takes up two pages; that's just the first page. It's what I can actually do that takes up a second page (skills, major software products I'm familiar with and projects). Education, work experience, internships and info like phone number and email address are on the first page.
Lots of people think they're special snowflakes. They're not.
If you're incapable of fitting your experience into 1 page (when that's the prevailing standard), it makes me seriously question your critical thinking skills. It got to the point where I would automatically toss out any resume longer than 1 page.
No, it's really not. I've been involved in hiring at multiple American companies. One page is not important. No more pages than you need to highlight your highly impactful experiences is much better advice.
If you're incapable of fitting your experience into 1 page (when that's the prevailing standard), it makes me seriously question your critical thinking skills
You are a special snowflake.
I'm not even the only person saying it in this thread.
In very rare cases, you can get away with 2 pages. A self-taught developer just getting into the field is definitely not one of those cases.
I've almost never seen a resume which should be been longer and I've seen hundreds which should have been shorter.
It does seem to come up a lot on HN whenever the topic comes up, yeah. Though the odds are high, OP might not be American -- and besides that, others will read this thread as well. Perhaps it would be better if we mentioned where on the planet we are when discussing things like this.
That said, 1-3 is sort of acceptable depending on how relevant the information is. But 4+ pages would definitely get thrown in the circular file.
What we DO give a shit about is what's actually in it.
Have you ever vetted resumes? Once you've seen enough of them, you really start to appreciate the one page resumes that tell you everything you need to know, and leave off all the stuff that is not relevant to the job.
A 2 or 3 page resume isn't an instant no, but it's got an uphill battle for the reviewer's time compared to the one page resumes also under consideration.
But it's not just my resume anyway, I've heard of others with three pages and seen others with two. I've also seen a friend's (he's French, I'm Dutch) which was one page, and I thought it didn't say anything about him, just the standard "I did compsci like everyone else, oh and look here is one toy project <end of page>". He said his school told him to keep it to one page. Looked like terrible advice when I saw the result of that.
The problem is that it might not get a second look, and you should be optimising your resume for the person reading it.
Granted, as you said a one-page resume is useless if it doesn't highlight your skills and experience related to the job you're applying for, and it seems your friend only picked up the first part of the advice and missed the second part that normally goes with it, which is to make that one page relevant to the job you're applying for.
A 2 page resume can work if the front page lets me know all the details I'm interested in knowing. The reality is though that the person reviewing your resume likely has a pile of 20-30 others to get through, and if they have to dig through your resume for the details, then you might find yourself losing out if there were sufficient other easier to read resumes to fill up the number of interview slots.
And secondly I think there might be a difference in our experience and approach. Usually I do open applications, not for one very specific function. Like with security you can do penetration testing, forensics, crypto, etc. and while I have more experience in some areas than in others, I like all of it. If they can use someone in forensics, I have a basis to start with (I had a forensics course) and I'd love to do it. Or if they need another person for the pen test team, that's my main trade and I'm all ears as well.
Usually the companies don't actually have a pile of resumes and they want to hire anyone with skills. Typically I meet someone on Twitter, or heard of the company when talking to colleagues/classmates/teachers/conference-goers and I email the company as a result.
Also, if I like a resume when I read it the second step isn't "read it more". It's "schedule a phone screen". So if you filter yourself out in step one for no advantage in step two it's probably a bad move.
Having said that, that's how it works in the companies I've worked at, which are all American. I have no idea about how the Dutch do it and wouldn't be surprised to find out that it's different.
Then leave the accents off: The English word is resume.
This one bugs a lot of people and the people it doesn't bother are fine with "resume"
> more than one page is fine, but I get that it's an opinion
The reason why I don't usually hire people with three page resumes is because it usually means they have trouble getting to the point.
And yet: If you really can't tell the story of you and the value you can bring to a potential customer in two pages, then by all means use another page, just understand that most people can give that kind of summary of themselves so it might be worth thinking about exactly why you think you can't.
A resume for a developer just needs to get you into the hiring process and provide others with some things to talk about. It doesn't need to tell your entire story, so you might try to have multiple resumes for different kinds of companies instead of a long resume with something for everyone.
Some styles of written English use things like coördinate instead of co-ordinate. This is, by some definitions, technically valid. There's a whole section in Wikipedia on it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_terms_with_diacritical...
Hiring managers are supposed to be professional, but they might see "r?sum?" because of a tech issue, or they might think you're foreign (and have an accent yourself). Much rarer is the hiring manager who is going to see those accent marks on a developer resume and prioritise it over someone without the accent marks.
If you're french-speaking, and for a french-speaking role, you may want to demonstrate this (and these issues should be moot), and I suppose if you're a graphic designer trying to demonstrate your aesthetics and typography, then we're talking about something else, but if you're a developer, you are potentially missing out on an audience by adding these things.
Also: Noel is not typically accented and and Senor wasn't originally accented. If you need to write coordinate in your resume, I'd leave out the accents there as well.
Some people, believe it or not, have attention to detail and if they think the correct way to spell it is "résumé" then that's what they'll do. It's something that might be appreciated by some and ignored by others, but if you want to snub someone for using accents, I can't imagine the other trivial transgressions that set you off.
Webster's is also an American dictionary and would have you believe "colour" is spelled "color", so it's not relevant here except when discussing the specific and quirky American dialect.
Why would anyone take that chance?
> if you want to snub someone for using accents, I can't imagine the other trivial transgressions that set you off.
Sometimes people are just having an off day. You might like them fine the rest of the time, but today they just got done dealing with three's customer service.
Again: why would anyone take that chance?
> Some people, believe it or not, have attention to detail and if they think the correct way to spell it is "résumé" then that's what they'll do. It's something that might be appreciated by some and ignored by others
Attention to detail means making a hardcopy on quality paper with a proper letter of introduction and references, and posting it in. If you're doing this, then I'll concede you might be right to use résumé.
However otherwise, there are absolutely more people who will be set off by seeing those accents. People who put them in, want to put them in because they think it's right, and if they actually had an attention to detail they'd think about how the other person is going to interact with their r?sum?.
> Webster's is also an American dictionary and would have you believe "colour" is spelled "color", so it's not relevant here except when discussing the specific and quirky American dialect.
A British company doesn't want a résumé, they want a CV.
American companies are asking for a "resume" which is a short summary, and it's in a different format. Most American hiring managers will not deal well with a British-style CV, and since we're talking about resumes, we're talking about an American hiring process -- the kind of process that landed Americans on the moon.
I don't know what you mean by "your student's resume". Do you mean you are a student? If so, we may be conflating a CV with a resume.
> Do you mean you are a student? If so, we may be conflating a CV with a resume.
Yes, I'm still a student, though with a diploma in lower education and some (relevant) work experience, so it's more than one school and one internship that are relevant.
My own first has a brief paragraph of info about me, who I am and where I want to be.
Then my most recent/relevant employment history along with any notable achievements or responsibilities for each.
Then any relevant education, typically the university I went to along with the overall course grade and modules. This becomes less important as the length of your career increases though. If you've been a professional developer for 10 years or more, an employer likely won't care what class your university degree was.
Lastly people advise including a very brief section for references, but personally I just make it known that they are available on request.
It taught me that most people don't actually care as long as you don't waste space, they just think they do
A bit of formatting also helps, a professional looking resume will frame your accomplishments better. Something many readers are sensitive for.
And show impact. "Developed key metrics for project hazel" reads different than: "rewrote metrics engine resulting in real time view on all client transactions, leading to $10M in new marketing opportunities".
And finally, if you're really interested in a job. Adapt your CV to show the most relevant information for that job first (and word it in the best possible way, e.g. look for the language the employer uses to describe the job)
I would never expect someone with 10+ years of experience to have a one-pager, though, unless they have literally held only one job in that time - which is itself a red flag.
The one page advice stems from a time when people worked just one or two different jobs in a 40-50 year career.
Yes, you can omit details about things you did a dozen years ago. No, there's never any reason for a 12-page resume. Yes, you want the recruiter/hiring manager to be able to evaluate your resume quickly.
But 2-3 pages is sometimes necessary to convey sufficient information about an established career.
Especially if you're a contractor and even then you're going to be leaving off large chunks (1996-2005 is missing from mine.)
So again, keep everything on there short, relevant, and above all /on message/.
Stay focused on relevant work achievements or other experience directly applicable to the job you're applying for. If you're a poker champion and applying for a medical job, it's not relevant. If you're applying to a poker gaming company, perhaps it is.
On-message, absolutely, is the #1 thing. Sending out the same canned resume to everyone is how you get chucked in the garbage.
2. Try to keep it short(1 page). Resumes are usually not read but skimmed. Most hiring managers are given 20-50 resumes and very little time to decide who to pick for a phone screen.(typically 3-5 minutes or less)
3. Don't be afraid to use an interesting conversational writing style. So 80% of resumes read like a badly translated instructions manual from a 1970s VCR.
4. Structure your resume to put your best qualities first. If you went to a good school or got a good GPA put that on top. If you kicked but at your last job and got promoted a lot put that at the top.
Your content should be increasingly selective with every position you get, and every award you get, and every a commendation.
It should be very easy for employers to identify what conversation pieces you are ready for. This can be provided in the form of a side project list, a neat contributions list comma a extracurricular, or presentations you provided. Anything on your resume should be something that you can talk about in great detail. For every interview that I've had, I re-read through code Snippets of all projects I have listed. When Review Time becomes greater than necessary, I delete projects from my resume.
You should also update your resume monthly, you often don't understand or remember what new things should be added to your resume unless you do this as a rolling task. This can accumulate until you are finally applying for jobs, where you would then remove things you no longer find interesting or that are irrelevant. This will give you the opportunity to add non technical, yet important things to your resume.
In a cover letter I'd stress how well you can pick up new technologies and become useful to the client/business very quickly, how passionate you are about keeping up to date with technologies, and somehow indicate you're not a Machiavellian-ego-consumed prima donna that won't shrink when your logic/work is challenged or when the stress hits.
Employers it seems to me these days are asking much more than they would of any other profession i.e. do electricians get asked to trot out a list of sites they've worked on in the past, or are expected to work after hours on open source projects they can demonstrate when they next go to a job? It's tough for recruiters to understand what you're good at, so it becomes a bit of an art to actually letting people know you're good at such-and-such.
I haven't had any problems being self-taught in the development area - once you've got a few engagements under your belt and referees. Getting that first one is the tough bit, if you can prove yourself after that, things get easier and easier.
They're licensed, bonded, and insured.
If you agreed to let the government and insurance companies do your approval, I'm sure many companies would let up a bit on their requirements.
I've got commercial work experience as a designer and web project manager, but this is the first time I'm going after a technical position. So I kind of have experience.
I am just completing an apprenticeship, so I do have some production projects with users, which I hope will set me apart from other green jr. dev's
Talk about your projects - they should have a short description stating what it was, the technologies used, and any cool things you implemented (say, some special algorithm to do XYZ thing.) It should have bullet points in the same way you'd treat a past job you had. I've seen one page resumes that were 80% projects and 20% everything else.
Use your graphic design background to help you. The easiest way into a development position would probably be to find a place that will let you implement your designs in HTML/CSS. Then you can sneak your way onto the development team.
All you need is a foot in the door.
Go into too much detail about anything unrelated to the job you're trying to get. Generally speaking every single line of your resume should scream "hire me" - anything that's lukewarm should be cut.
If you can get into a top coding bootcamp, you might be able to accelerate your career by a few years. It's really difficult to get your first job, and chances are you won't be paid that much for the privilege. If you're paid 15-20k more per year from the start, that alone pays for the cost of an expensive bootcamp.
People who use the terms interchangeably are wrong in either case, but that wrongness may vary. If someone in the UK says resume they might mean CV, whereas if someone in the US says CV they might mean resume.
No matter where you are the rules are the same. A resume is usually one page and is a summary. A CV is usually about 3 pages (this is more variable) and contains a full work history.
Where there is often some confusion about them being the same thing is that CVs can be "tailored" and indeed it's usual to compress large chunks of work history if it's not relevant to a particular application. That doesn't make it a resume however.
I'm less certain about CVs in the US, but I believe they simply leave out what would normally go in a resume, which would is often what the first page of a UK CV looks like.
1) Put yourself in the shoes of the one reviewing your resume. What does he want do read? What doesn't he want to read? What is he looking for? How does he select candidates based on all the resumes he gets?
2) See how your education and experience can help the company that reviews your resume. Don't think about yourself, think about the value that you can offer, and make it clear.
I once had experience in both Java and C++, about equal. I had 2 resumes, both correct. But on one the Java part was more obvious, and on the other the C++ part. So it depended on what the company was looking for whether I would send the one or the other.
I daresay the only role of your resume should be to convince someone to click on a link that shows the amazing work you've done. Nothing you write is going to mean anything, comparatively.
Without the list — if you don't have at least familiarity with, e.g. Bash/Git, it's a big minus & I'd prefer to know that before the interview stage.
Sometimes people go for concise & hit sparse, which is definitely worse :) Even on a two-page CV, you could fit in a version of this if you remove a "Personal Statement" or "References available on request" (I'd hope this is a truism!)
1. I don't understand people who say "I don't have time to read two pages, so please send one". Why not just read the first page then and only move on to the second page if you're intrigued and want more details?
2. Legibility has a myriad of variables. I wouldn't rather read a CV that shaves off some whitespace that'd otherwise make it more delightful and easier to go through, in order to artificially shove in necessary content into the dimensions of Letter/A4.
You can see it here: http://russelluresti.com/resume/ (it prints basically the same way).
Most of what you hear in terms of resume rules is kind of nonsense. The whole "one page only" thing I think works fine for the start of your career, but I'm not going to limit myself to it. I also believe that talking about specific metrics, while it can be helpful, is really the opposite of what matters.
I believe that what got me my first couple of jobs was my cover letter (or the content of my website - they're usually pretty similar). Resumes don't usually excite people. There are a few extremely clever resumes out there that make you take notice, but the rest are usually a collection of bullet-points, and bullet-points aren't exciting.
If you want to to get noticed, don't tell people WHAT you do (every resume does that), tell people WHY you do it; this is what will make you stand out and has a much better chance of creating excitement. Specifically, talk about ethos. If you and your potential hiring company align there - on your beliefs and motivations - they're going to be excited for you.
This generally goes against the normal advice people give for cover letters where they tell you to focus on talking about what you can do for the company and how you can be an asset. That advice is bad advice for this community (development, design, anything at all in the creative field). Instead, convince them that you care about the same things; that the passion that drives them as an organization is the passion that drives you as an individual. That's how you stand apart from your competition.
And if you can't, with a straight face, say how your values align with the values of the company you're applying to, you're applying to the wrong company.
Note: I originally started communicating this way on my own material after watching this - https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_insp...
In the CV itself, max two pages, bullet points with relevant technologies, most recent/relevant work experiences, URLs for Linkedin / github / projects.
Start by changing that to "What do I put on my resume?".
Though I'll admit that particular WTF doesn't add anything, and was mostly an expression of the frustration of embarking upon converting my existing marketing/design resume to reflect my current skill set.
I have got +ve response on both
I am not saying that everyone _needs_ to do something related to programming in their free time, after all it is their choice if they do or not and they can be great engineers without doing so. Yet for me, it shows at least an interest or a passion.
Furthermore what you are doing is communicating ideas about software development. That's a plus in my book as well, as communicating ideas clearly is important. It'd also show you are willing to teach coworkers in a positive way.
But it might depend on the interviewer.
Do distribute as PDF instead of MS Word or equivalent.