2. Little facts / actual performance data, and over use of words such as "passionate", "strong", "self-motivated", "success", "thrive", etc when describing themselves in the resume.
3. Changing jobs very frequently and no consistent theme in jobs, say 5 jobs in 5 years, one in A.I., one in e-commerce, one in gaming, without specific pursuit of interest.
5. Too specific on trivial details in a large project, such as "work on JSON network request and return error codes to frontend".
6. When sending your document, try sending a PDF but not a .docx
I've also seen this recommended as a way to get past recruiters in big companies.
I feel we should have two separate resumes. One for the recruiter crapshoot (where we play buzzword bingo) and another for engineers.
If my resume contains many short stints, what's the best way to paint this in a positive light? I've already removed the months of my job history so that only years are on there, which makes some of my positions appear longer.
Personally I'd consider undescribed gaps of 3 months in between the interesting projects unusual.
In fact I'd rather see "waiting tables" rather than nothing.
I'd rather see "waiting tables" rather than nothing
Also I read it as multiple 3 months gaps. I might have misread though.
Not sure why that's a bad thing. I've done telco, cloud provider, ecommerce, embedded systems. I'm happy with that - it gave me much better experience on a path towards an architect position than any one industry on its own could.
If you're a developer at these companies, and you try to claim you're an expert in each of these fields... yeah I'm going to raise an eyebrow.
Is that a suggestion or a red flag?
I've tried switching to using a PDF a couple of times, but I've had pushback from Recruiters/Agents each time, and have had to revert to .docx
Maybe that's just here.
Tried that. Got endless calls from recruiters who assumed I knew Oracle, Sybase, MSSQL, etc.
On the flip side of the coin, this word salad appears on many job posts. It would be nice to see them clearly define their stack but also other languages they accept on a separate line.
- Multiple, short stints at different companies. Sometimes things happen but if you have a track record of jumping from one place to another I am pretty confident you won't stay around very long if I hire you.
- Multiple pages. A long resume is not impressive. Typically it is just annoying because it makes it harder to find key information. It shows a lack of ability to communicate in a concise manner. I have worked for several companies, completed three degrees, have worked in multiple functions, lead a wide variety of teams, and am still able to keep my resume to a single page. If you need more than one page, fine, but if you need several you are doing something wrong. If there are multiple candidates for an opening your resume is going to the bottom of the pile.
- Keyword stuffing. This typically means the candidate is writing their resume for a search engine. They aren't really looking for the right job...just "a" job. It also shows a lack of ability to communicate effectively.
- "Creative Resumes". Don't be cute. Don't use alternate layouts, photos, background colors, interesting fonts, or graphics. It doesn't get you noticed. At least not in the way you want to get noticed. Stand out by being concise and organized. Show you that you can identify the most important aspects of your career and communicate them effectively.
- Buzz words. Be a human and communicate like a human.
- Lack of precision. Don't just say "Improved application speed" say "Improved application throughput by 50%". When you lack precision my conclusion is either a) You are hiding something or b) You don't know how to communicate effectively.
- Objective statements. These aren't a red flag. They are just a waste of space. Nobody looks at them. They clutter the resume and make it longer than it needs to be.
> Keyword stuffing. This typically means the candidate is writing their resume for a search engine.
If you're applying to a larger company, your CV is likely to be imported into their internal system, often semi-automatically. Sometimes the keywords are not for the public search engine, but for the initial HR's sorting.
I haven't blindly submitted a resume in the 20 years I've been working. I've always used recruiters or an inside contact.
Resumes should be good enough to get you in the door, no more. The typical recruiter/hr scans a resume for 5 seconds. Two things stick out in a bad way - typos and jumpiness. Anything else is usually forgiven, or subjective based on the person reading it. This is coming from someone who sees anywhere from 10-50 resumes a day.
Using myself as an example for people with a similar situation:
I worked as a freelancer in the past as an "Integrated Producer" which is marketing speak for a Product/Project Manager & "Growth Hacker" hybrid. I've touched everything from strategy and video production to creating shell scripts to configure new computers. Most of my experience will be the projects I've been building following tutorials or peer-programming with my mentor through a year-long boot camp intensive that covers front and backend, but also data structures, databases, algorithms, and etc.
So, most of my descriptions will be "created" or "integrated" with a technology. Like right now, I'm beginning to build a closed social network project as a capstone. I'm not going to be able to say "improved performance by X" for example.
I'm also not sure how much to share of my past. I can say things such as: "I've increased revenue by X over Y via email automation for Z." There are of course soft skills like writing documentation or managing X amount of cases (started as a law clerk/paralegal) under 5 managers. I also know that I shouldn't say back in the late 90s and early 00s that I started building websites for clans and guilds of gaming communities as a kid. (The bug has been there awhile.)
- Not taking direct ownership of achievements (e.g. I was part of a team that did x). I don't care what your team did, I care what you did even if it's less impressive.
- Recent Coding Bootcamps. Not necessarily a no go, but I've had very mixed results with this one, some good, some bad. This will probably get me to look at what you did prior to software development and evaluate if you are a capable person in general.
Bootcamp grads (for me) are more likely to get a look in for project based roles where each project is measured in single digit numbers of weeks. For long projects or product roles, I'll somewhat favour the demonstrated ability of college graduates at sticking with and completing big things.
Not a "red flag" for me, but a reasonably strong signal.
I approach resume screening as a way of qualifying a candidate, not disqualifying them. I'm looking for positive signal, not negative. Do they have experience in the domain or technology I care about? Have they worked in teams and environments that would indicate they could succeed here? Are there are any notable successes, or interesting hobbies or side projects that make them stand out? If they clear the bar, I move to a phone screen.
It's not until much later in the hiring process that we start to look for "red flags" that might indicate something is amiss.
Depending on the volume of qualified candidates and number and urgency of roles available, I can dial different stages of the funnel up and down to optimize for efficiency vs. hiring speed (though the bar to get hired remains the same regardless).
- lists of buzzwords without clear descriptions of what they actually did. I don’t care about “fashionable” terms. I wanted heard about concrete things they’ve done.
- poor formatting. If they don’t care enough to make their resume look clean and neat, why would I expect them to care enough to be thorough in other jobs. I don’t care too much about the aesthetic style of the resume as long as it is clear and consistent.
This is a self inflicted problem across all companies. As long as companies are not willing to pay the market salary, people will move elsewhere.
> - poor formatting. If they don’t care enough to make their resume look clean and neat, why would I expect them to care enough to be thorough in other jobs. I don’t care too much about the aesthetic style of the resume as long as it is clear and consistent.
As neat and tidy as the resume is, certain employers are looking for buzzwords. So if those buzzwords aren't on the resume, it gets to meet the circular file.
Back when I was on the short term merry-go-round it was because companies hiring were only offering 3 month contracts. After a few of these in a row places offering full time won't look at you and even interviews for 3 month contracts ask "so why so many short term contracts?".
I was well into this career trap before lucking out on one of the 3 month contract that forgot to stop paying me. Eventually they "fixed the glitch" but it still got me back on track career wise.
Why do you say this? Surely underpaying people is one way to make them leave but not the only reason. Some people think “the grass is always greener” elsewhere. Others don’t last long because they are not easy to work with. Others are not great employees and so are encouraged to move along sooner rather than later. Lots of possible reasons. Most do not signal the type of person I want to hire.
I say it because I keep seeing articles like this one  all the time: "Workers who stay with a company longer than two years are said to get paid 50% less."
And that matches my personal experience. After spending 14 years at a company giving me 3 percent raises year after year, I've switched jobs frequently, but usually with large pay raises with every job. 8 years out and 4 jobs later now I'm making double the salary I was at the long term job I held.
> Some people think “the grass is always greener” elsewhere. Others don’t last long because they are not easy to work with. Others are not great employees and so are encouraged to move along sooner rather than later. Lots of possible reasons. Most do not signal the type of person I want to hire.
Sure, much of what you say is true. I think it may have been valid maybe 20 years ago.
Lately, though, I think people want to stay relevant in a field with so much churn it makes your head spin. So they see the leading edge of where tech is going, and want to get there first. And if a company has tagged someone as the "Java engineer", it can be hard for that person if they want to switch to ruby on rails, or they want to expand into machine learning but their company doesn't need the skill (or they already have experts doing that work.)
As for me, I've learned to let a technology get established before jumping into it, but even at that rate, the tech I learned 5 years ago, is not relevant today. In college, what I learned lasted maybe 15 years. (Yeah, I'm old).
So yeah, my resume would surely hit your circular file. But I'm in good company I suppose.
The mean job length at google is only 1.1 years even though 84% of people are highly satisfied.  Compare this with Eastman Kodak where the median is 20 years, and only 45% of the employees are highly satisfied.
Out of curiousity, in what region do you live?
I'm a consultant these days, so yeah 1.1 years is actually a long time.
Staying in these companies would hurt me a lot more in the long term. It's hard to convince the next employer that you're worth hiring when you're out of touch with modern development practices and your relevant experience is limited to personal projects you did after 8h of wading through mountains of spaghetti code.
Last 6 months I have been working on a system which uses SQL stored procedures for everything (including business logic and reinventing parsing of XML and JSON - poorly). Every single time I mention this solution the interviewers raise their eyebrows. Not a single interviewer has expressed any positive feelings about the solution.
Am I really expected to stick along working on such an atrocity just so I could put >1 years of a resume?
Asking because I've worked for several startups and tech management has changed several times in a year for both of them, they loose and gain huge streams of revenue rapidly, have worked burnout hours at times at all of them.
All factors that have made me seriously question my employment there at times but the knowledge I'm gaining makes it to good to give up for now.
Suggests median tenures at small tech companies can be as low as 1.5years.
For me - it depends on the stage of career a candidate is at.
If you're not job hopping every 2-3 years in the early stages of your career (say, first 8-10 years out of school), you're without doubt losing out monetarily (which may indicate a lack of ambition).
On the other hand, if you've not managed to hold down a job for over two years (or any job for over 18 months), you ring bells in my head of maybe just having managed to not get let go for lack of performance and bailing out before it makes it to your record.
Those are both offset of some of your roles are listed as contracts (but rest assured I'll be getting your references or LinkedIn or network-sourced ex-colleagues checked to make sure they don't describe them as permanent full time roles).
An outlier versus a pattern is where I see a bad situation versus a concern for hire.
Personally, spending <18 months in a company or on a team doesn't yield enough time to accomplish much. It also doesn't afford you ability to learn from your mistakes and mature.
This is a great way of explaining why I think lots is short stints reflect poorly.
If someone has a number of longer stints, then a short one here or there is no big deal. But I want their resume to tell a story.
Don’t be afraid of explaining circumstances in a cover letter.
* not following instruction in the job advert
* CC resume to many recipients
* weird sender name in email
* compressed resume
* begging for job in the cover letter
* "career objective"
* personal information
* broken links
* clear lack of personalization in the resume format
* irrelevant background/experience
* inactive github profile (only uploaded projects etc.)
* MS Office skills
* acknowledgement, signature
is interesting to me because that's usually one of the first things I'm asked when interviewing.
So if you are genuinely knowledgable about it then it could be worth a quick mention.
Also, be kind about formatting because HR software is rarely kind to it, but some formatting errors can't be attributed there. The text on the third of someone's four bullet points has extra leading space? They're not going to be able to find why the YAML they wrote doesn't compile.
I would consider it more of a red flag if the candidate volunteered too much information about projects on their resume. Let's say you write that you increased revenue by 1%. At some companies you might be able to talk about that. But at many companies, those metrics are extremely sensitive, and putting them on your resume means you're a disloyal employee.
* Generic boring template-ish resume. Usually these guys don't care much for craftsmanship.
* Too much specialization. 80% specialization is fine, just not 100%.
* For startups, a history of only working at big companies. Especially at the management level, where they tend to overspend and frustrate programmers.
* For larger teams, someone who has a history of only working solo. Some of these guys refuse to communicate, attend daily stand ups, or do daily commits.
* Putting a salary history in your resume.
I thought standardized resumes made it easier for HR systems to parse.
But there are just some really lazy, generic types of resumes which make this person seem really cookie cutter. Like they just downloaded the first resume option on Google or MS Word and took out some words, replaced with their own text.
For example, if your resume says you're a "SharePoint developer" or "Java expert" it's automatically suspect. I've worked with too many people who only know a single thing and are trying to ride that train as far as they can.
Those people have a great first three months if the job is for their exact skill set. But anyone more well-rounded will run circles around them after that.
That gets people into the mindset of being a "FOO Developer" rather than a developer, because the presence of FOO seems like a fact of life.
- Heavy Java stack experience, with no significant experience in other programming languages. One of the signs of a production programmer with no passion for the craft of programming.
- Huge listing of school projects involving many different technologies. This is a sign of lack of experience, and resume padding. When probed deeper, not many truly understood the tools they were using for their projects.
More like "one of the signs of a programmer who has other things to do after work". It may just be indicative of that person spending time with his kids, or working in an honorary office that's not IT-related.
I change jobs all the time because I work on what is interesting or highly paying for as long as it entertains me or makes me a killing.
Startups go bankrupt all the time, and big companies will fire tens of thousands of people at the drop of a hat. Pensions will be canceled, jobs restructured, and bonuses occasionally distributed in lieu of raises.
The company has no loyalty to you, they only want you to make them money -- so why should your goals be any different? It's hilarious of them to ask for that when for 50 years the business schools have been teaching them that people are cogs. Milk them and move on when it becomes boring or someone else has a bigger carrot, since job security no longer exists outside of the government.
If the company had been proven, over decades, not to fire people simply because the profit margin wasn't high enough, I would have more incentive for loyalty. But even then, any new CEO can change everything. Employment is now an adversarial game.
Github accounts with recent “my first project” forks.
Gaps in employment.
Expert in too many things.
- 8 months in a startup that burned out and failed
- 18 months in a successful startup where the tech side became very stale
- 12 months in an agency where I was required to step up to a management position rather than engineering
- current role @ a company I plan to stay at for at least 2-3 years
Would you suggest that I explain why I left all of these roles on my resume then?
But if someone does this on occassion as a hobby, how is it weird to know, or have some projects in 10 or even 20 programming languages ?
Also many projects are programming languages in themselves (Greenspun's 10th law). Tensorflow, most scheduling packages I've seen, prolog, several things I've written ... Once a project grows beyond a certain large size, it tends to become a programming language in itself.
I'm under the impression that it turns recruiters away, can this be right?
[Edit]: Yes/No is enough, no need to downvote.
I'm not seeing these often these days, fortunately.
- long term consultant wanting full time job
- hotmail / outlook address
- lack of learning new things across their career
- non-business like fonts and general lack of typography
- buzz word list
(Unless that was in their official job title. Anywhere else it's a big red flag.)
Either doing their DIY properly or outsourcing it for $8/mo to someone who can do it properly says they actually care about mail delivery working, and their domain not ending up in peoples' spam traps (ex: try sending mail to someone from a domain with no spf record).