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This may be the best resume I have ever seen (jimplush.com)
339 points by beagledude on Feb 5, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 147 comments

This sort of CV is going to exclude this person from certain positions and companies - probably exactly the companies and positions this person does not want to be hired at. Jamie is doing her own filtering by being "in your face" about what sort of worker she will be, and you can instantly tell whether or not to exclude her from consideration. Whether to hire automatically, that's would take more time to determine.

She'll instantly get discarded from consideration for most 'sit in a cubicle all day and take directions from 5 committees' jobs, and that's probably exactly what she wants.

This infography resume scores high points for standing out and being memorable, which is important as many companies receive many CVs.

It completely fails as a tool for communicating how good she is at what she "does". I guess it's Rails? The CV is confusing.

Also, it gives the impression that the person is more interested in style than substance. I guess that's okay if you're an artist/designer (?), not so good if you're a programmer. The CV gives me the feeling this person is a programmer, but probably not a good one, she should really be a designer.

Overall, I think the problem is what's communicated in the programmer /\ designer Venn-diagram. She's trying to communicate that she's a designer programmer, but it comes across "forced". Her designer part made this infographic, which isn't very good, and we can't really tell if she's a good programmer, and suspect that she's not.

Are you arguing that it shouldn't have been an infographic, or that the infographic should have been better?

Other than the list of tools, I thought it was well done and showed she had an eye for aesthetics, which most developers either lack or actively shun.

Which is not to say that some people don't absorb the information better in different ways. That's probably why there's a "Plaintext" link at the top.

I don't know what he meant, but I can imagine how an infographic could demonstrate both her skill at design and her skill at programming — it's just that this one only really even tries for the former.

Not good.

* Has a graphic which must be interpreted simply to find the last few projects the candidate worked on.

* Uses a proportional diagram scheme that is (a) worse than pie charts (an achievement) and (b) requires a color coded legend to illustrate the simple clause: "[Project Name]: Rails, CSS, jQuery".

* Straightjackets the candidate's work experience into "technology used" instead of "accomplishments earned".

* Attempts a comparative analysis of experience with different tools both as a "developer" and a "designer" without explaining the significance of either term; what's a "Photoshop CS5 Developer" or a "Textmate Designer"?

* Or is the blue "frequency" and the orange "expertise"? Why is the graphic laid out so that the cutesy venn diagram looks like a color key?

* Spends something like 1/3 of the real estate of the graphic on an almost entirely uninteresting attribute of the candidate (what terminal she uses, what text editor she uses, what browsers [seriously.] she uses). Designers can be expected to know Photoshop. Nobody cares about your editor.

* I have no idea what the subway-map illustration of command line tools and web services even means; the impression I get is, "this person will add baffling complexity to things in order to avoid boredom". Whoah, where do I sign?

* Extraordinarily inefficient representation of the candidate's Rails experience; a simple resume would lead with "Rails developer with over 5 years experience" instead of burying the lede in another cutesy picture.

* No reasonable employer cares about college credits earned in high school, the age you were when you coded your first website, or what platforms you tech-supported in school, and yet that material consumes more visual weight than the number of years the candidate has doing Rails development.

Resume tip. Here is the terrible thing about spending time on your resume pointing out your favorite dog breed or color-coding your choice of text editors: people with real accomplishments would never, ever do that, because they only have two pages of heavily-bulleted text to convey those accomplishments in. What you say with a resume like this is, "I hope someday to have major accomplishments" --- whether that's true or not.

It's not just that infographics are a crappy format for resumes (and, they simply are.). It's that this is not a good infographic. In fact, since we're all so familiar with resumes here, it's actually a really good example of the problem with all the cheesy infographics that have been floating around for the past year.

The blogger who highlighted this "graphical resume" did a disservice to the person who created it; I have no doubt the author is an totally reasonable human being who sends normal resumes to people when resumes are what's called for.

Sorry, this is not your type then. I would definitely spend some more time to look into the applicant.

Yes, for pure coders, this is a terrible resume. It looks like she is using the right side of the brain for something left-sided. But, that's the point.

How many coders do you know can show an interest in both design and code (same for designers)? To have an aptitude and interest in both code and design is something very hard to find, and to be able to express the fusion of the two is a challenging process for many who are aching to stretch the boundary set by text heavy, information-only resumes that do not communicate nearly what you want it to. (How much design skill, creativity, and passion can you communicate with just information?)

Yes, I would never hire her for algorithm optimization, but if she was building a website that doesn't innovate technologically but rather creates social, cultural, aesthetic or other value (which the majority of startups do) - I would take a second look.

For what its worth though, I do think the graphs are a little hard to read but not hard to navigate, especially if I'm looking for a particular skill to hire for. Its easy to see if she has Ruby skills, for instance - but its hard to see the overall picture of what skills she has without spending a lot of time on it.

> Yes, for pure coders, this is a terrible resume. It looks like she is using the right side of the brain for something left-sided.

Urgh... I really hate to go into rant mode because I know what you're trying to say isn't really relevant to this. However, as an incredibly right-brained person who is a good programmer (or so I like to think :-) and has absolutely zero design skill, I'm always a bit annoyed by this. The whole "right-brained people are creative artists, left-brained people are engineers and scientists" is a 3 or 4 decade old view of how the brain works. Yes, the left brain tends to be a bit more textual while the right brain tends to be more visual, but that doesn't mean that right-brained skills aren't useful to coders or that left-brained people don't have design skills. And even if it did, people can still tap into the other side of their brain.

Ok, that's my rant for the day. :-)

:) rant appreciated. I actually harbor the same suspicions, but for the sake of general understanding it was the best way I could frame the issue.

but even as a designer she has failed to demonstrate good design sense. All she has demonstrated is that she's good at copying the en vogue style.

There must be thousands of jobs that want just that.

Agreed. But that's still better than many.

>but even as a designer she has failed to demonstrate good design sense

Can somebody explain what's wrong with this design?

tptacek did an excellent job of explaining it for you already. It sounds a bit like you are thinking of design as "making things pretty", and it's not. It's about communication.

The message this resume is communicating is that the author also feels that design is just about ornamentation, and the only way it could be more obvious is if the diagram were in the shape of a giant duck. I have to assume she doesn't actually believe that, not least since she hasn't asked for us to psychoanalyse her and it's really, really unfair to try to do so based on this completely decontextualised link. But even so, the design seems unsuccessful to me because it's communicating the wrong message.

Design is about communication, but it does not exclude ornamentation. Design can be ornamental (if the purpose of the resume is to highlight some design skill), however it should not reduce the readability of data as this one does. Having just read "The visual display of quantitative information" I have this to say to the designer of the resume: remove non-data ink. Increase data density and readability. Especially readability.

It's flashy and harder to understand than more boring presentations?

I understand why it might not be a great resume, but what about the design. The Previous Work tree diagram is sort of neat, in text form the info that it conveys might be even harder to understand.

It's a bad design because it does a bad job framing the contents. It doesn't solve a problem, instead it creates several. It took me several times longer to figure out her resume than it does for a standard one, not to mention that I still came away not knowing several things that I would need to know.

As it stands, all I can say about her is that she has decent mastery of Photoshop but no understanding of good design.

> I would definitely spend some more time to look into the applicant.

So would I.

> Yes, I would never hire her for algorithm optimization, but if she was building a website that doesn't innovate technologically but rather creates social, cultural, aesthetic or other value (which the majority of startups do) - I would take a second look.

She'd also probably be good at doing design / front-end parts of a website while communicating with back-end developers (who might be doing algorithm optimisation).

I expect she'd be good at talking to designers from a coders point of view too.

This applicant I suppose. What about the next 50? I'd grow REALLY tired of trying to parse through all of it.

Isn't that true for just about anything (at first) original and novel?

>Its easy to see if she has Ruby skills, for instance - but its hard to see the overall picture of what skills she has without spending a lot of time on it.

One can take her resume idea even further and create a CV in an interactive form, so it could meet everyones needs.

The issue of thinking in pictures versus words has always interested me. Wiki says[1] 30% of us are explicitly picture thinkers, 25% think in words and the rest combine both methods. Most entrepreneurs (not sure about the ones dealing with start-ups) tend to drift towards the right, because it's usually easier to generalize your idea by visualizing it, rather than coming to a logical conclusion by using words only. Which, I think, would be slower in this case. So, how come are most (if not all?) of the current cv-websites featuring only long walls of text?

[1] = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picture_thinking

Because all of what you said about how we think has nothing to do with the informational density of the two formats. Words trump pictures for complex ideas.

But isn't "maker of beautiful things" what designer/developers are really aspiring to? And in light of that, isn't recognizing the division just as silly as drawing a venn diagram with yourself in the middle?

I'd suspect anyone who calls themselves a designer/developer is probably good at other things to, like writing, designing meaningful infographics, and playing the resume game with subtlety.

I think this misses the point. There is enough to talk about in this resume that it got bumped up to the #1 spot on HN. The likelihood that there are many people reading HN who might have a suitable job prospect for someone competent in ROR and JavaScript is quite high. While Jamie will not be landing an alpha-developer gig at Google with this resume, the chance that she would find a good fit for her skill-set is high.

If I posted my resume with two pages of bulleted accomplishments to HN, it would be met with a deafening thud.

No reasonable employer cares about college credits earned in high school

I'm not sure about that. When I interviewed at Google, everybody seemed very impressed that I finished half my Honours degree before I graduated from high school at age 17. I had far more questions about my experience with concurrent high school and university than I did about doing my doctorate at Oxford.

But on the broader point, I absolutely agree -- if I was looking to hire someone, this would get an immediate reaction of "this takes way too much work to comprehend; trash it and move on to the next candidate".

You have an anomalous school story. Feel free to revise my recommendation if you are some kind of crazy child prodigy and you think it's going to help you to point that out.

Maybe things are different in the US, but "earned 64 college credits before graduating from high school" sounds pretty anomalous to me -- isn't that half a degree?

"isn't that half a degree?"

Probably not. Most "college credit" earned in US high schools is unfocused coursework that gets you out of (some of) your general-ed requirements. Lots of universities won't even transfer the stuff, and if they do, it's not typically treated as real college credit.

Aside from that, thanks to the prevalence of AP courses it's much easier (and more common) for high school kids to get college credits today. It's definitely not as impressive as it used to be, and citing the number of credits earned as if it were some kind of score is silly, at best. It's the sort of thing you brag about when you have nothing real to brag about.

Aha, quite different from Canada, then. Up here it's unusual for students to get any college credit while in high school, and when it happens it's typically no more than 10-15 credits of AP or IB credits.

Yeah, that's what it was like in the US 10-15 years ago. AP courses were still pretty new/unique when I was in high school, but these days they're as common as clubs or intramural sports.

One thing I hate about bragging about that sort of thing is that it's (unfortunately) more of a reflection on the quality of the high school you attended than it is on your character. The best students at the worst high schools in the US don't have the same access to AP courses as the average student at the best high schools.

Actually, this is true. If I look just one district over, the math level stopped somewhere around Trig. I think. For my cousins who lived just a few hours away, again, the schools didn't offer much. I think that there is something to be said for taking advantage of the opportunities that are provided to you--but we should be aware of the impact of luck in determining what opportunities we are presented with....

With that having been said, what do suggest we can do to help out with districts with less resources? I've done a lot of outreach, but it often feels like a drop in the bucket....

I won't say it's common, but it isn't all that unusual in the US either, at least among my group of friends. I came in with only 20-something hours and was on the low end (really focued on my math, finished all the necessary credits for my Comp Sci. degree before leaving high school). A friend of mine, on the other hand, came in with just under 70 credits, but they were all the gen-ed with some upper level math thrown in. While that'd normally be a little over half a degree, she added a second major that balanced it out.

A number of my friends did this though, so I don't think it's quite as big of an accomplishment in the US than elsewhere. Though I'll be the first to admit that my group of friends tended to be the high achievers in high school/university.

-- A undergraduate in CS/Mathematics

I started with 48 credits and it does get the basic math and general ed requirements out of the way. That way, I could start graduate physics and math course by my 2nd year at the university....

But, we take students from some magnet schools here to intern and they're amazing (multivariate calc, AP physics, and a year of Java--before senior year. The student had worked on a team project and was commenting his code unprompted...). I invited a Canadian colleague to a group meeting where they presented what they were working on she was stunned...I think that in the US when students have opportunities, it's great--the difficulty is how to improve the average....

Washington State has had a program for decades where you can go to a community college for the last two years of high school, for free. I earned an associate's degree instead of a high school diploma.

I could truthfully say the same thing. It isn't listed on my resume because I have done things since the age of 18, too, and many of them are more impressive to a decision maker at a tech company.

At the best high school in Illinois you'd have roughly 2% of the graduating class be within shooting distance of that number, just to give you an approximation.

Correct, but it's the irrelevant half: general education and introductory courses. Also, Florida actively encourages dual enrollment, where high-school students in their 11th year begin working on an associates degree at a community college. The students picked for dual enrollment have to be decent, but the aren't exactly the cream; plus the community colleges they attend aren't very good either. It's basically a way of having something like the AP program (minus the rigor) by outsourcing the education to another school.

speaking as someone whose college education was aided by a significant amount of AP credit, this is a silly thing to brag about. Schools will vary by which AP exams they accept and how many hours they award, and I'm sure this is true about all pre-college transfer credit.

It's at least equivalent to bragging about your SAT score.

If it's dual-enrollment credit that would be a bit more meaningful than AP credits. Still kind of a silly thing to put on a resume, I think.

I had around 60, but was only able to effectively make use of 30 or so... maybe not even that. Extra "credits" don't really help when your major is already heavy on required courses.

Nope, I had nearly 80 units going into UC Berkeley but am still taking four years to graduate, not to mention taking 5 classes or so a semester...

It is a little more simple if you go to a boarding school, in my experience.

Its nice, shows dedication. Earning a ton of college credits is not about just being smart, tons of dedication needed.

Yeah, but dedication to the schooling environment and being a good employee are 2 different things really. Earning these credits might just be about cramming, I assume most of them are awarded based on exams? I've seen plenty of people preform well on set academic goals that can be gamed without actually taking much away from it. At least with college you usually have things like a software project, assignments and possibly a internship which are a bit harder to cram your way through.

It really tell you knowing abut how the employee is going to approach problems and how creative their solutions will be.

Google also has weird requirements over a candidate's schooling, more than just about any other employer I've ever seen. People with 20 years of experience get quizzed about their schooling decades before during interviews.

Maybe it's to continue to encourage schooling on the whole, which makes their job of selecting a candidate that little bit easier.

The question a resume should answer is "would I interview" not "would I hire." And my answer here, were I looking for a designer who is creative, who could implement designs in HTML and CSS, and who could work with Rails, would be absolutely.

She is applying for a design / developer job. This is a phenomenal resume because: it shows that she can present things attractively and, most importantly, can be creative.

Lastly, it would appear that it's interactive, but we only have a link to the static image. I think it would be a lot more appealing if you could hover and learn more.

"Has a graphic which must be interpreted simply to find the last few projects the candidate worked on."

Bug or feature? This could very well cause a potential employer to stop and spend more time on the resume, and end up getting to know more about her than the person whose first couple lines of plain text did not catch the employer's interest.

"Straightjackets the candidate's work experience into "technology used" instead of "accomplishments earned"."

To me, the single thing that popped out the most was the quotation highlighting detailed accomplishments ("incredible job managing the launch", "delivered a product", etc.).

"Or is the blue "frequency" and the orange "expertise"? Why is the graphic laid out so that the cutesy venn diagram looks like a color key?"

This absolutely does not work at all and should be scrapped.

"a simple resume would lead with "Rails developer with over 5 years experience" instead of burying the lede in another cutesy picture."

Who gives a damn about yet another "Rails developer with over five years experience"? Was that experience building anything good? Did she learn anything and get better? Did she understand the customer needs and meet them? Was the site usable? Did it perform well? Did it stay up?

There are a lot of potentially better ledes than "Rails developer with over 5 years experience".

Also, in the interactive version, I'm assuming the related experience circles "pop" for the various projects when you hover over the key. That's at least a more interesting way to examine history with a technology than the standard "list technology key words next to as many projects as possible in big wall of text" used in standard resumes.

"What you say with a resume like this is, "I hope someday to have major accomplishments""

And what's wrong with that? If this is the resume of a young person with experience but not enough to fill two pages with small font, bulleted text of major accomplishments, maybe this isn't a bad way to draw attention to yourself and get an employer to take a chance on you?

Lastly, an over-riding fact here, I think, is the "View Plaintext" link. If you were the one considering hiring her, you could have just clicked that and got all the stuff you wanted, probably.

"This could very well cause a potential employer to stop and spend more time on the resume, and end up getting to know more about her than the person whose first couple lines of plain text did not catch the employer's interest."

Or it could cause the employer to stare at the bafflingly unfamiliar format for the alloted 30 seconds and then move the application into the not-selected pile.

One of things that bug me about most resume recommendations is that it's incredibly difficult to make a truly general one. For every screener who will be impressed by your cover letter/section X/feature X there is another one who holds the exact opposite opinion, and most of the time you don't know who will be screening your application or what their preferences are. Very few of these recommendation/good resume template/excellent resume showcase posts mention this.

I think its a terrible infographic, to be sure, but I also think its good enough to stand out from a pile of resumes on the HR or hiring manager's desk. Probably good enough to get an interview out of it.

The minor design tweaks I’d make aside, it‘s creative and I love it, but having tried the creative cv route before, headhunters and/or HR always come back with “Can you send us something formatted for Word?”

In that case I would make a page-sized BMP and paste that into Word, and send off the DOC.

"No reasonable employer cares about college credits earned in high school, the age you were when you coded your first website, or what platforms you tech-supported in school, and yet that material consumes more visual weight than the number of years the candidate has doing Rails development."

I think this is a ridiculous statement, but we almost certainly have a different definition of what makes an employer (cough) reasonable.

My priorities in a resume read are passion, then applied intelligence, then experience. The information you're ignoring here is valuable with essentially no additional variables (doesn't matter much where they went to high school, or what the website did). How long someone I don't know paid you to write code in whatever technology is almost useless information to me.

No, he's right. It's hard enough trying to keep normal stuff to two pages without all that random stuff. My "high school" (UK secondary school), gets 1 whole line. I dropped the bit about being the top student (at GCSE) in my school years ago.

OK, I admit, I have dedicated 4 whole lines (3-5% maybe) on my C.V. to my personal interests. If I get an inexperienced interviewer who wants to make me comfortable they provide easy openers (it's cool, I'd rather get straight to business and talk about their business), and emphasise I am not my job.

I'm not even out of college, and I've already dropped the high school bit from my resume entirely. Does anyone really care what a potential hire did in high school once they've had a real job or graduated from college (save someone being an extreme outlier that completed most of their college degree in HS or what have you)?

Straightjackets the candidate's work experience into "technology used" instead of "accomplishments earned".

More broadly, I feel like "technology used" is a pretty weak indicator of how well they'll do. An applicant may have used C for 20 years and be a "C expert," but have poor application/system design sense.

Many hiring managers (and their technical staff) I've talked to lately have been only superficially interested in the technologies (languages, frameworks, etc.) I've used, and much more curious about how I go about solving problems and designing overall solutions. Several have flat-out said they're hiring smart, motivated, creative people, and are happy to train new hires on parts of their technology stack with which they're unfamiliar.

So I agree that an accomplishments-based approach might make more sense. I think it's useful to still indicate what technologies you've used, as it can show things like technical breadth, and a willingness and desire to learn new things. But, "I'm a C expert of 20 years, and I can fill in function bodies based on other people's designs like a pro," is much less impressive than, "I just started learning Ruby 3 months ago, but I designed and built Complex System from scratch with it." Sure, there's a lot of room in between those two extremes, but focusing on "technologies used" doesn't really give you much information.

I agree with your assessment, but it is an interesting try at presenting the information, and the linked png did at least have template for a link to the plain text version.

Willingness to experiment and try new things is an asset for a developer. Inability to edit oneself, or to walk away from an experiment when it has clearly failed, is a dealbreaking liability.

Infographics ON a resume, good or mediocre: OK.

Infographics AS a resume, if amazing: OK.

Infographics AS a resume, if not amazing: VERY BAD.

Seeing multiple comments of yours in here (all negative) I can't help but wonder if you have some kind of axe to grind with her?

Yes, her infographic isn't flawless. But it isn't bad either, it is in fact pretty damn good. And most certainly good enough to stand out in a pile of standard-resumes, which is about as much as it can possibly accomplish.

(a) I am definitely being very noisy on this thread. Sorry. I'm procrastinating.

(b) Instead of simply saying "you're wrong!", why not tell me some things you specifically like about this infographic as an infographic? I am seriously interested in what stories you think this graphic does a good job of telling.

a) Not a problem. Same here, or why else would I embark on a journey to slay a >50k karma dragon. ;)

b) I don't disagree with most of the formal concerns that you listed in the top comment. I'm just saying that I think you're judging her too hard.

The goal of a resume is to score an interview. I do think that this one is well enough executed to score above average.

Case in point, so far it's been good enough to score a "Best resume I've ever seen" blog-post and a >60pt Hacker News thread.

For what it's worth, I reread my comments, reconciled them with the fact that I'm just here to kill time today, and zapped most of them. Thanks for calling me out for them.

This needs to happen more on the internet.

It's bad infographic. It presents a lot of unnecessary info in had to parse way. It stands out just because it is different. I quit considering being different just for the sake of being different to be a good thing long time ago. To quote Jobs again, design is how it works. This was about how it looks. It looks OK, it works badly.

The point of a resume is to generate sufficient interest to get talking, ideally an interview but even a screening phone call is better than being ignored.

For someone who's interest is in working in design and development this is a very distinctive marketing document. Yes it could be improved, but the fact that it is attracting attention means it worked.

> Attempts a comparative analysis of experience with different tools both as a "developer" and a "designer" without explaining the significance of either term; what's a "Photoshop CS5 Developer" or a "Textmate Designer"?

It's an interpretation error, the bars indicate expertise and frequency of use (shown below).

"people with real accomplishments would never, ever do that"

One might even go further and say that "people with real accomplishments" wouldn't bother having a 'resume' (in a standard plain format) in the first place. Their work/accomplishments should speak for themselves.

I think you are ignoring what the author of the article was so impressed with - "I get exactly the information I need to make an informed decision on this person". Thats the takeaway of why this resume was so valuable to the hirer, right?

better than some resumes I've seen...hell I've seen some where the person had their email address wrong

That's a sorry testament to the quality of resumes everywhere.

If I was hiring a programmer for a creative business though, and I didn't know too much about programming (like most employers), this would definitely set her apart for a number of reasons.

Set apart, perhaps, but not necessarily in a positive way. There are a number of parts of the resume that don't make sense - why would I care if someone uses Textmate, the technology chart is horrendously hard to understand at a glance, the subway-style bit for command-line vs. web service tools is odd, etc.

Do resumes REALLY tell you anything? This is an incredible overview of the woman. She spent quite some time on making such a resume, much more interesting and easier to read than a regular resume, shows her skills off, gets the introduction, shows which tech shes worked with.

Everything needed is there. So vuala. I think this is great. You still need an interview to get details on projects. What else can you expect? A resume that removes the need for an interview?

> So vuala So voila

Sorry I am french I had to point that out :)

Being French too and _even more_ pedantic, I have to point out it's actually spelt "voilà", not "voila".

I guess it really depends if she is able to provide any code from her projects, the design work will be apparent just by looking up some of the sites she has worked on. Some sample code can pretty quickly give an indication of how well the resume stacks up on it's claims.

I concur. This individual could not be the serious type of employee that a serious business would seriously pursue. Matter of fact, and if I could be frank here, the candidate appears to be one of those who think outside the boundaries of normal business discourse and would be a distraction to her colleagues who spend most of their waking moments trying to to stay with the established norms and as we like to say, "not making any waves".

(Actually, in comparison to most self-declared artists out there, her work is pretty considering the limits of her experience and she read, and probably reread the memo suggesting that she get her ass on Git and by quite possibly has a Github/Gitorious/Unfuddle account where here code can be scrutinized. I'd probably hire her)

To those who dislike it: Jamie Kite has succeed in doing far more than most people with their resumes: She's gotten thousands of people to look at it and talk about her resume.

Is it the best infographic? Parts are pretty serviceable. Is it the worst? Not by a long shot. Does it use a lot of common styles seen today, yup.

Will it infuriate some people? Oh hell yes from Ptack's reaction. But did it work? Yes.

"Logical" left brained types get hung up on exact meanings of graphics when sometimes it's the fact you have a visually interesting doodad out there is all that counts to get the attention to your whatzit.

Does she have some stupid stuff on their and weird phrasing? No more than most people who haven't looked at lots of resumes. (Apple terminal caught my eye).

Would I hire her for a top level rails position? Likely not without more convincing. Would I think about hiring her for a midlevel position where there is significant art issues, yeah, I'd definitely consider calling her for an interview.

She should likely redo parts of it to sound better, (like many people have to do with their resume).

If getting talked about is all you need, just put a naked photo of yourself holding bacon on the resume and submit it to Reddit. Being much talked about is only inherently good if you aspire to be Paris Hilton.

So what if she just happens to be a mediocre developer designer hybrid? This exposure is very likely going to be a stepping stone to a better job than she'd get without it.

Your example is about a stunt unrelated to showing qualifications. This actually shows some. It shows some history, and shows what skills were used where.

Is she a perfect ubergod? Nope. Does she smile and perfect ruby fall from the sky? Probably not. Does she probably have a good enough knowledge of rails and photoshop to do many a task? I'm guessing she could do all of 4 gigs I know of at the moment using skills she has. Are they the epitome of grand rails design, nope, but they likely fit her skillset.

Hacker News people have this very odd elitism thing going on expecting everyone to be functionally speaking manga cum laud from Stanford.

I'm not sure how you got elitism from what I wrote. I just mean that praising somebody because something they did generated some controversy is going too far in the opposite direction.

Peoples' problem with the infographic seems to be is that it isn't the perfect infographic and that she'd "just need a resume if she'd done anything of note". Hense the controversy. tptacek did a whole page comment on deconstructing it, aka, the controversy.

If I were hiring someone to make infographics, this would be a useful (but not necessarily positively received) resume.

For anything else, particularly development, it'd be in the discard pile pretty quick.

Also mindbending: Rails/jQ developers command an enormous premium in this market, but my understanding is that the people who actually lay out and draw those cheesy infographics make peanuts.

I find this your most salient critique, of all that you've leveled in this thread.

In other words, legitimate Rails/jQ skills do not require clever resumes in this market to get noticed, so from a job search perspective a simpler, more traditional resume makes more sense.

I think this invalidates some of my comments in reply to your comment at the top of this thread. :)

I can't help but think of my long-standing opinion of infographics- they are often just a way to make a tiny little bit of largely inconsequential information take up a lot of space.

The best resume I have ever seen is this one: http://www.squicky.org/cv/

It is funny for a moment but that is all.

It would be all if he was some random English BS major graduate from Idaho. The fact that he has a PhD from MIT in EECS changes the underlying message to a "I am confident/arrogant enough that I'll land a top job despite the goofy resume".

This would be great if you wanted a job at USA today.

The best resume you've ever seen includes that the candidate is a PRO at WEB BROWSERS?


Presumably in the context of web development, this means familiarity with browsers as deployment platforms (quirks etc).

Not quite, the chart says they aren't quite pro at web browsers, but that they're used all day.

You can hit the same level by procrastinating on HN all day long.

Not a fan of this. Not because of the garish colors and graphics (though I don't really care for those), but because of the implication that there is a "perfect sweet spot" between a "developer" and a "designer". Copying and pasting shit from a Ruby on Rails tutorial does not make you a good developer.

Why the assumption that she's not a good developer? Was it the choice of emphasized technologies (e.g., terminal, text-editor) or the focus on web development tools (e.g., jquery, rails)?

I suspect she can program better than you give her credit for (better than straight copy/paste/tweak from tutorials), but probably won't be straying far from straightforward use of rails. Perhaps that level of programming coupled with design ability is a sort of "sweet spot" for many projects?

I'm certainly far more on the programming side of this continuum (and so would never attempt a CV like this), but I can believe this resume might persuasively communicate her combination of skills to her intended audience.

If I were going to pick out a particular thing that stood out to me, the use of Advanced "Apple Terminal" in a resume of any format would throw me off. It could just mean that the candidate was trying to convey eg "Terminal"/"UNIX Shell", or it could mean that they don't understand what the CLI really represents.

A bit nitpicky; it wouldn't be an instant drop, but I'd still look at the rest a bit more cautiously. Oddly enough I only notice a resume's "tools" section when there's something weird in it.

"... the use of Advanced "Apple Terminal" in a resume of any format would throw me off."

That catched my eye too, along with the 'TextMate' proficiency. If you start putting those things on your resume you might as well also put '90% Keyboard skills' and '100% expert Mouse user' on it.

But, the chart says there is! THE CHART!

A fun exercise, but somehow I distrust infographics on principle. Overly big fonts make feel stupid and foolish for example. OK, I got it he programmed for FIVE years

FIVE!!!!!! 5555555 5 5 5 5 5 55 5 5 Five five five five five





That's how it makes me feel. In general if you treat somebody as if he is stupid, it'll make him feel stupid. Infographics treat people as if they are stupid - bright shiny colors, big fonts, short sentences...

Maybe it already has to do with chunking. "5" is really just one chunk, the number 5. But a big, ginormous 5 doesn't fit into one brain slot anymore. It fill the whole brain and bounces around inside of it.

Anyway, I don't like infographics...

I couldn't take it seriously because of how popular(cliché) infographics are. The first thing that came to mind was that satire on infographics which included the text:

2: The number of cats I own.

Love it. It takes a certain size of balls to send something like this to a potential employer.

This kind of thing targets a certain type of company. This could be a way of flushing out the type of companies you don't want to be involved with (stodgy, old-school traditional).

Is writing this type of resume really the best means of filtering out an applicant's undesired companies? It would seem to me that the best way to avoid companies you don't want to be involved with is to simply research the company before you apply. With that approach, there's no risk due to the personality or opinions of the recruiter regarding the format of the resume, but you can still end up at the type of company you want to work for.

i actually believe resumes like this hinder the application process. the problem this seems to solve for the author is "Ok great, we use Java and PHP and Python but how competent are they in those languages?"

it's a fair concern, but i don't agree this is the right way to solve it. imo, brevity can speak louder than pictures and colors. even if i were to give the author the benefit of the doubt here, this particular resume/graphic doesn't strike me as exemplary.

In addition to all the (valid) comments that have been posted so far, there's one more thing that bothers me:

When I was looking for a job, a fair number of the resumes I sent out were either sent by fax or given out in printed form. Either way - they were in black & white. Requiring your resume to be in color in order to be readable seems like a terrible way to actually go looking for work.

I think it's effective because it's polarizing. Any recruiter who likes it will REALLY like it and immediately want to pursue the applicant.

In my opinion, this still doesn't solve the problem of beefed-up resumes. Or one can spend 40% of his time working on PHP doesn't tell exactly how good he is in PHP. The best is still to have the candidate really showing how good he is, for example to have the candidate work on customized puzzle targeting the skills an employer needs.

This may be the best resume I have ever seen, too. She would be on the top of my list without a doubt.

The color coded tree is animated and reconfigures itself as you hover over the various items in the legend. We are seeing a static screenshot. There is also a text version available which we are not seeing.

She does hit the spot between developer and designer. That statement seems to be confusing a lot of people. I am not confused by that. Those are exactly the type of people I need. I guess it is just not in everyone's argot.

Maybe there are some nits to be picked, but just the fact that she broke new ground in this manner says a lot to me, and it is all positive.

This is just true of me. Maybe it is not right for everyone. I thought the HN crowd would dig this a lot more. My mind is a little blown by all the nitpicking and bashing. Maybe there is a little bit of pissing contest going on here.

It's interesting, but I'd much rather see a chronologically-based bubble diagram for recent experience.

Definitely eye-catching.

Incidentally, to see this style executed (from a designer perspective) competantly, check out: http://feltron.com/

Which of the 7 images linked on that page are you referring to? I glanced over the infographics and was underwhelmed. From my perspective as the information-consumer the OP's resume is much better executed than this. The layout and colors on her resume are inviting. The typography and flow works well. I could parse most information without problems, and even felt entertained in the process.

The infographics you link to are gray, crowded, artsy and overdone. They pushed me back so hard that I didn't even bother to figure out what they are about.

I respect your competancy in the security realm. But I doubt you're competant enough in the infographics genre to justify the eleborate bashing that you posted higher up in this thread.

Let's be careful here.

I'm happy to argue about graphic design and will concede up front that I'm not an expert.

My criticism of the OP's resume, though, are about the resume infographic as a resume infographic. Like many, many people on HN, I'm certainly qualified to "elaborately bash" a bad resume.

Next, while I respect that you might disagree about the Feltron annual reports, it's certainly not a personal quirk that I like them; I learned about them from the Kottke/Gruber nexus on the web, and other people (notably, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Wired, Creative Review, Print Magazine, Slate, and AIGA) have called the reports out as well.

Finally, I hope you understand that I'm addressing the "style" part of the "style vs. substance" issue with this resume by citing Feltron.

I hope you understand that I'm addressing the "style" part of the "style vs. substance" issue with this resume by citing Feltron.

Yes and I don't agree with this apples vs oranges comparison, which is why I pointed out how unsuitable the Feltron infographics would be for a resume - no matter how well they may work in the context of an annual report.

The goal of her infographic is to catch attention and force-feed information while glancing. If that resume landed on my desk then I would look at it longer than at most others, simply because it's visually pleasing and interesting (read: different).

I agree that I wouldn't want to receive such a resume for the position of, say, a security researcher or for a (wait for it) infographics designer. But for the position of a web-designer or rails-developer I don't think this deserves the flak you were giving it.

You know I'm a Rails developer, right? That we're hiring Rails developers? Stop saying I'm not qualified because I'm a "security researcher". :)

You like his style; I'm afraid I don't. To me, he comes across as "up his own arse" i.e. his website is a bit too overdone stylishly.

Which doesn't mean that either Kite or Felton are bad designers; I'm sure both are competent. What it does mean is that different readers like different styles.



(Click Bio)

No such link, it says "This website requires Flash player 8. Click here to upgrade." if I enable Javascript.

Along similar lines, a friend of mine built a life map a few years ago:


I doubt any professional recruiter would read more then 10% of it. It takes way to much time to read, it is hard to understand and says nothing about accomplishements. Resumes is not about what you have or should have done, it is about what you have accomplished. http://www.manager-tools.com/podcasts/Sample_Resume.pdf That resume is alot faster and easier to read. The podcast that goes with it: http://manager-tools.com/2005/10/your-resume-stinks

My greatest wonder of the whole thing is how this information is entered into one of those text-only resume systems; and, how office workers with laser printers print this appropriately and see all the important details

For designers, okay. But what's wrong with a simple LaTeX CV? Its clean, gets the point across, and frankly, it stands out from the other badly-formatted Word documents.

I agree, and actually have open sourced my LaTeX resume in case anyone wants to use bits and pieces of it:


There was an entire news item that resulted in tons of LaTeX resume templates being posted last year: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1714381 (mine included!)

And yet I've never seen a recruiter ask for anything but a Word document; this seems to be significantly because they then strip off your contact details and put their own header on it, mangling your carefully thought through presentation....

I do wonder what ueful place recruiters still have in the process; they often seem to be providing a service that amounts to little more than running an advert and forwarding emails so why are they so highly paid for a variant on secretarial work?

Given the style of the document itself, the language used in the header introduction ("Web apps that people actually want to use"), and the fact that every one of the "Previous Work" items has a gray "HTML/CSS" circle, I think/hope that she's trying to convey herself as primarily interested in front-end design work.

a) Design - good idea, bad execution. To much clutter. This is typical problem for web designers nowadays, they simply don't get it. FUNCTION over FORM. To much color. To much fonts. Bad management of white spaces. Info-graphics must have a balance and accents. Logic over artistry. KISS. Not Web 2 crap.

b) Developer-for developer we need to see code. Way of thinking and way of writing. Cool tools or technologies are irrelevant to see quality of programmers.

If you are CEO, entrepreneur or business owner, and you don't have any designer/developer background, hire someone with enough professional experience to pick right people for you. Don't think that because you pay the money or manage business you know everything. Don't fool yourself with assumption. Good teams are built by design or by accident. But accident ones always bring disaster.

"If I knew they spent 70% of their time on Java and they have around 5% familiarity with Ruby now that's telling me something of value. (...) While obviously nothing is perfect I think the idea of adding weighted cues for skill sets is something missing from the current resume model."

Odesk includes the hours worked on a given project. Even so: I'm not sure that tells me if the programmer has any real fluency. I suppose measures like that and/or certifications are the closest thing to what you're asking for... But maybe a Topcoder ranking and/or contractor satisfaction index for the sought-after skill set would be more relevant...something/anything which quantifies narrative comments from hiring parties, or contextualizes a programmer among their peers...that would be more valuable to me.

"If you were to pair this with a data output that is machine readable, google's problem of 75,000 resume's per week could be significantly made easier to wade through. HR people in enterprise companies look for keywords, bottom line."

People who sift through resumes look for keywords. Interviewers, hiring managers, business owners look for something else... How many interviews have you been on where the interviewer picks up the resume, glances at it, sets it down, and then proceeds to ask questions clearly indicating they did not read the resume? That's the real disconnect in the present resume model. Rather than build a machine readable way to screen fluency, or allow oneself to be charmed by the most visually disruptive document, why not build a better way for employers to simply test--en masse--for certain personal qualities AND technical qualifications? (Heck...deficiencies in psychometrics and testing methodology is a real bottleneck in America's capacity to suss out competency...in any number of domains. I love tests like the GRE which offer questions, for example, like "An Apple is to an Orange like a Doctor is to a A) Veternarian, B) Osteopath, C) Architect, or D) Accountant." How the hell is someone who's not a native speaker supposed to answer a question like that?) Often what's needed to get the job done is too subtle to communicate on any number of pages...or "pages" as they exist now, and it'd be a stretch for any machine to vibe out a candidate to such an extent. It's probably why video resumes are so useful.

The many negative responses to this resume are exactly why I've let go of the job hunt and embraced the path of the entrepreneur.

Even when you go above and beyond, winning over the hiring director is still a game of chance.

If negative feedback is what drove you into wanting to be an entrepreneur, you may want to reconsider.

Thing is, when you're job hunting you don't get ANY feedback 99% of the time. I don't actually mind negative feedback because then you know where and how to improve. What bothers me is how much of the job-seeking process is essentially a crapshoot.

Does the person reading my resume actually know what the job entails? Will they see my writing style as clever and witty? Or will my attempts to seem serious come off as stuffy and arrogant? Do I list all my experience and risk being underbid by some young hotshot? Or do I try for the job even after being told every other candidate has several more years of experience? Or in this case, I've designed an infographic to set myself apart from every other applicant, but will it be viewed as creative initiative or gimmicky for not conveying enough/the right kind of information?

The current job market is far from the only reason I'm doing my own thing, but being able to avoid that nonsense is certainly a great motivator.

My overall impression of this resume was that I wanted to go see the actual websites this person made. Which is a far better impression than a cookie-cutter bulleted list of facts that flower what you actual did at your job. As the meme states, "Haters gonna hate" - which certainly remains true judging by the lengthy responses here.

I found it quite surprising that Jim doesn't get CVs where people rank their skills. My first proper CV had that on, and my CV does to this day. Pretty basic stuff.

That said I reviewed a friend's CV two weeks ago. He was lucky it was over the net and he wasn't in the room... I think someone 10 years younger could probably do a better CV. Sheesh!

This person's resume is getting a lot of useful feedback. Outside of volume, is there a legal reason why most firms don't tell people why they weren't hired? Or is the typical, "It was a difficult decision, with many excellent candidates..." just simpler?

Accidental satire cuts deepest.

Say what you like about the style/substance and form/function angles, but if I were trying to get a job as a graphic designer I would hate to have my conventional resume on the stack under this one.

http://www.tahlent.com/ is working on similar lines.

I think it's a great resume. Does the job quickly: Do I want to schedule an interview with him/her y/n? y

Isn't the cartoon representation possibly crossing a line with having a headshot on the resume?

People put headshots on resumes all the time.

Witb his skill in non-ASCII text, he should be able to get a great job at Wolfram Alpha.

Apple Terminal Pro. That's how long I dragged myself through. Sorry Jamie.

the best resume is no resume. They give hiring managers too many things to find wrong

Now the manager who's actually hiring may know you're the one when you met him through the social network, but any employer with an HR department is going to require some form of resume/CV and job application. It's more or less a legal requirement. HR often gets a say in who's hired and lacking the ability to judge technical l33tness they tend to go on degrees, resume formatting, previous job titles, and dates.

where's the app that gets linkedin data and renders this?

I'm not sure LinkedIn has quite this much information, but after a short search -


The best resume is no resume. Don't tell me where you've worked show me what you've made. Don't tell me what certificates you have, show me what you can do no. The best way for me to know what you can do in the future is to see what you've done in the past, and are doing right now. I hope resumes die out. At least in software anyway.

On a related note, I think I just might be at a point in my career where I never need to send a resume out ever again. I definitely bias to not sending them. I think resumes are, like the commute-9-to-5-yes-boss job paradigm, just another relic of the Industrial Age for blue collar workers.

Can you imagine Roger Waters of Pink Floyd "applying" for a job as a musician/singer? "Sir, you'll have to fill out this form and submit a resume, k thanks." He hands them The Wall, Dark Side of the Moon, etc. "Sorry sir, not good enough. Yo have to eat all your meat like everyone else otherwise we can't give you any pudding."

Well, you might have heard the story about how C creator Ken Thompson was asked to take a mandatory language test at Google before being able to check-in code :)


Too funny. I could see a recruiter asking him how many years of professional C programming experience he has:

Ken: "Uh... 37 years?"

Recruiter: "Liar!"

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