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Show HN: I wrote a book on writing good developer resumes (thetechresume.com)
380 points by gregdoesit 7 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 108 comments





I’m excited to share The Tech Resume Inside Out: a guide on how to write a developer (or engineering manager) resume that represents you fairly. The book is free for any developer currently out of a job [1].

COVID was what triggered me writing this book. At the beginning of the year, I was in the middle of writing a book on growing as a software engineer. However, as COVID started and the tech the layoffs followed in April and May, I found myself wanting to help people impacted. I’ve been a hiring manager for a few years, so I offered to do resume reviews for those laid off or applying for positions[2]. I had more than 300 developers take me up on this offer in a few days.

I did in-depth reviews for the first few dozen people, then copied-and-pasted common observations for the next batch, and finally sent over a 15-page PDF with the most common advice, with a few pointers for the bulk of the people. Here’s an early version of this PDF[3] - which also was the basis of this book.

I wasn’t that happy with how little backup I had for the advice in that guide, so I started to reach out to tech recruiters and hiring managers for more feedback. I also asked people to share back how their improved resumes worked out, applying the suggestions, and started adding this into a growing guide.

Four months and 55,000 words later, the book is ready. I tried to give level-headed, but practical advice, with lots of examples from actual resumes (that are all anonymized). Happy to answer any questions here.

[1] https://thetechresume.com/complimentary-copy

[2] https://twitter.com/GergelyOrosz/status/1263855589861580800

[3] https://thetechresume.com/A_Good_Tech_Resume.pdf


Great job. I didn't read everything, but skimmed some of your materials online and most of this seems to be right on point in my view (having done hundreds of interviews and looked at thousands of resumes).

A few points you touch on that I really like:

* Leave out extraneous stuff... photos, references, etc. I don't need to know where you went to high school (assuming you are a college grad). I'll ask for references after I hire you.

* Check typos and formatting. I know some hiring managers who will let typos, formatting issues and grammar mistakes slip. Personally, I look for them and will likely disqualify you if I see them (I'll be more lenient if English isn't your first language). If you can't keep bugs out of your resume, which is a one to two page document, how can I expect you'll keep them out of your code? Also pro tip: always PDF resumes so formatting is consistent and doesn't show the squiggly lines that word document spell checkers show.

I general, I'm always surprised by resumes that try to stick out with gimmicks like charts or color, or whatnot. I've looked over high hundreds (or low thousands) of resumes and the ones that stick out are usually black and white, well formatted, straight to the point, brief and don't have glaring errors.


I've heard PDFs aren't great in automated resume filters because the OCR doesn't work as well. Is it possible that you prefer PDF because of a survivor bias (PDFs that get past the filter are better for you but fewer PDFs get past it)?

OCR is only an issue if it is an image PDF that came from a scanner.

I'm in the staffing industry and deal with automatic resume parsing tools. They have no problem with text PDFs that are saved from the source.


I’m the founder of a startup that has eliminated the issue you mention. Our documents-to-database service handles arbitrary rotation, skews, and offsets.

Example of it handling a scan of a document that’s rotated ~100 degrees and physically cut in half with scissors here: https://siftrics.com/hydra.html


Re: typos, I think you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you bin a resume for one little mistake. But, yes, if it’s more than a couple, that’s probably not a great sign.

I don’t want a resume that “represents me fairly,” though. I want one that gets me interviewed for high paying tech jobs. Those are related concerns, to be sure, but I’d much rather get interviewed for a job that’s a serious stretch for me than not. I want my resume, which is a marketing document, to get me in the interview room, where I represent myself.

Seems like you could fix that by not relying on what hiring managers think and say, since neither of those necessarily correspond to what they actually choose to hire. After all, no hiring manager will admit to discriminating on race, age, caste, etc... But all of those have been newsworthy factors in the recent past.

It is a shame the complimentary copy for those out of work requires having a LinkedIn profile.

What exactly do you hope such a requirement is going to achieve? Surely not to prevent piracy as I found a working PDF link to the final release in seconds.

I assume you have some other motive for the LinkedIn requirement and am genuinely interested in what it is.


This was the easiest way I came up with validating people who are actively looking for jobs. As a software engineer, LinkedIn is a place you can also get a bunch of inbound interest (I got my last 3 jobs on this platform, from inbound messages). I don't use it for anything else: the data is deleted after I manually validate them.

But you raise a good point, thank you. I updated instructions, so anyone with no LinkedIn profile can email me directly with some other proof of their online presence.

Originally, I got a lot of spam requests from throwaway emails that I could not validate.

People who get the book this way also get access to updates: which will be fixes, corrections, and additional content.


Just my opinion but it sounds like you're making a lot of additional manual work for yourself with little to no benefit.

I could understand if you were able to maybe monetise the contact information you collect but as you said you delete everything once you validate it seems you are validating just for the sake of validating?

For example how would you deal with someone out of work due to COVID and wanting to use this time to retrain and get into the software engineer field? I can't imagine they would care about (or even know about) having a LinkedIn profile with zero related employment, no contacts to network with, etc.

I know I am being a little 'difficult' with my question and I am not criticising I am just interested on your thought process more than anything.

-----

Update: Just realised you edited your original reply so my reply doesn't make quite as much sense now :)

I think your direct email option is good. If it were me I would automate the direct email with a little bit of weak validation such as "please explain in one or two sentences your situation" then anyone who emails with a few words are automatically validated and any blank or one word emails are either auto-deleted or put aside for manual validation.

Just an idea though. I figure posting to HN means you wanted a little feedback :)

Best of luck with your book. I don't have a need for it right now (thankfully) but I hope it helps others as it appears you have a put a lot of thought and work into it.


I love the auto-replying-to-the-email suggestion. I didn't think of this: I might do this next time!

My goal with the form was to have people explicitly confirm details (like their role and employment status). Beforehand, I got a few requests for free copies from non-developers, and some people outside tech. This book is not really helpful for them, and I wanted to reduce this kind of support burden, by adding an automated message with the form (you can see it in action).

But finally, let me admit that I was just excited to build (what I thought was) a sensible dynamic form, automate storing the data in DynamoDB, then deleting it when the validation script runs, running the backend on Lambda that I played with for the first time. Trying out new tools: any opportunity is a good opportunity!


That sounds like a good time to me!

Thanks for making this. As someone on the spectrum for whom the job application process is extremely tedious, I will be reading this cover-to-cover.


I've seen first hand that offering something for free for people experiencing hard times is rarely abused so long as you require someone to ask for it.

"Email me if you are unable to afford this book and would like a free copy" for example, will rarely be abused. (And if it is, it isn't a lost sale, because they wouldn't have purchased it anyway.)

I suspect it might actually increase overall conversion rate, because it may trigger many people to consider that they actually can afford the product, and it shows that the merchant has a heart.


I originally had this message up. However, after the first 30 requests - a few which had no information, and seemed like one-time emails - I opted for something I can automate easier.

I now added the email option for people who don't have a LinkedIn account (or don't want to share it), thanks to the original suggestion. I love the Show HN crowd!


I'm hesitant to spend money on something that may be useful but probably won't save me from homelessness (I'm so unemployable that glowing internal referrals don't even get me a 15-minute phone call), but I don't qualify for your complimentary copy and I really, reallly don't want to out myself (because this will destroy even the tiny bit of employability I might have remaining).

So I bought it. Sure hope it's useful.


You might benefit most from speaking to a counselor to work on your self-image.

I have a few friends who were unfortunate to graduate either right before or during the pandemic, and have had trouble finding jobs since. Would they be eligible for your free copy offer? I know one of the criteria is “lost job due to COVID-19”, but perhaps that could be extended to “...or have been unable to find a job due to COVID-19”?

Just a friendly suggestion/question - wanted to get that clarified before I link those friends to the complimentary copy page.


Yes, please have them send it through. Anyone who has graduated qualifies.

I just clarified it on the site as well: "Lost your job during COVID-19 and are actively looking for your next position OR you have already graduated and are actively looking for your first job."


You’re awesome. Thanks for updating the site!

P.S. I plan to buy this book when the student version goes live, as I’m a bit away from graduating still.


Hello, I found out about the "Purchasing Power Parity" thing on your site and I want to thank you for that consideration, it helps. Also thanks to all the people who think and then act on such ideas.

Thanks! I added Purchasing Power Parity the day before yesterday [1]. I'm originally from Hungary, and $15 there feels closer to $30 in the US.

I am now thinking of building a service to enable integrating PPP easier for creators [2], as I had to build everything from scratch, including calculating the "right" amount of discounts for 140 countries.

[1] https://twitter.com/GergelyOrosz/status/1315699026445074434

[2] https://twitter.com/GergelyOrosz/status/1315768527895302144


What do you think about digital/interactive resumes?

I've been building out a tool to make resumes that let you zoom in to different topics, would love to get your thoughts on whether you'd like to see something like this: https://prototype.profiled.app

Looking forward to reading this in any case! I lost my contracting role due to Covid and I think it's great that you're giving away those extra copies to those in need.


Most companies use an ATS to organize inbound applications and ask job seekers to upload their resume. Here, recruiters/hiring managers later view this resume.

You need a PDF or Word doc here (PDF preferred). When applying for larger tech companies, this is the use case 90% of the time.

As a hiring manager, I want to see details quickly. The less "fanciness", the better. I can scan traditional resumes much easier than this one. So my view is the same as when choosing a fancy template: you make the job of the hiring manager more difficult, thus lowering your chances.

With software developers, boring and simple format is good. Your resume content should sell you, not the presentation.


As further anecdata: where I work, the interviewing system doesn't support random urls to stuff, and only shows the uploaded doc (if any). So unless we checked the linkedin link (almost never provided) and clicked through to projects (or followed links in docs, neither of which I or any I've talked to have ever done AFAIR), we'd never see it.

It might be workable for last-round or very small + "high contact" interview pipelines, but it's probably useless earlier or at larger companies.


> You need a PDF or Word doc here (PDF preferred).

Both. You need both. Because their system or their HR dept may ask for the Word version and you should have it ready on hand.


One thing about resumes is different companies often like different things. Possibly something that is useful is if you build a digital resume, then have print options that are optimized for different things (even specific optimizations for specific large companies ). This way you can generate whatever Resume you like targeted to different things. For small/mid type companies where I have interviewed 100s, I like extra detail, and I'll look at links if initial content looks promising.

IMHO no one reviews resumes like that. You're almost always going through a huge stack of resumes, spending very little time on each one.

This is fantastic. Thanks for making it. I sent you a dm on Linkedin about licensing it.

It looks awesome, and very necessary. But isn't it sad that we've got to the point that so much effort - and a whole industry - has to go into this very meta side of work, time that is not spent doing something that actually produces something? All of this just to get to the point where you can get an interview to get a job to then start doing something productive for the world?

Again, not to take anything away from the book itself, which looks great. Just a comment on the work world today, I guess.


As the author: I could not agree more. I wish we had a system that's not as dependent on resumes as the current one is. I actually dedicated the last chapter (that I'll probably make public) on advice on how to make the process better, if and when you'll be a hiring manager.

Anyone who feels the pain on how broken the system is: please, try to not forget this. And when you'll have the opportunity, try to improve it.

I see solutions along not immediately rejecting when the resume is not a "fit", but carrying on looking for signals.

As of today - in 2020 - the best way to not have to rely on a resume is to have a referral. The first part of the book stresses this a lot. A trusted referral "I know this person" will probably make a resume redundant, at least for smaller places.


Companies do depend a lot on referrals and I personally have basically not needed a resume except for pro-forma purposes for 20 years. One downside of that though is that companies hire solely from what would be called the old boys network, which probably wouldn't sound so ideal in other contexts.

We're working really hard on solving this specific problem. Resumes show you surface/hard facts, but not the "soft stuff" that really matters for whether or not people will be happy in their new role. Things like shared values, ideal work culture, priorities, etc. Our efforts have been well-received so far - 90k people have signed up to be matched with companies this way.

Editing to add that we're at http://www.happymonday.com/ & feedback is always welcome.


Just curious: how many companies have signed up to be with people that way?

The company numbers are smaller as initially we were functioning more like recruiters. Now adding more scaleable and self-serve options.

I think you bring up a great point, and I think especially with the advent of more advanced AIs (like GPT-3), there will be a lot more noise in the system, and the gap between signal and noise will be much smaller.

Therefore, As a society, I think we've reached the point of needing to add extra weight to our real-life connections. They say making deals in business has always hinged on "who you know," and going forward, I think being anonymous is going to actively count _against_ people, rather than personal connections being a plus.

Maybe that'll mean having less "meta-work" to deal with, because your real work will stand on its own, and you'll have professional connections who can back you up. This change will make it harder to break into the system, though, and will make it harder for under-performers to succeed.


I guess it's due to a relatively new, high-skilled profession, but on the other hand, still unregulated. Without a "bar" (like in law), a lot of work will go into screening individuals on a relative basis.

There are 'certification' programs in many areas, but they're not universally viewed as positives. My experiences getting some certifications... gosh - 10 years ago now - I did it, but half the hiring folks I talked to didn't care at all. Given the time/price, I don't think it was a bad cost/benefit ratio. I needed it for a specific job, but outside that specific job it didn't help me much. With that said, I already had... 12 years of experience and had a moderate-sized network of experienced colleagues already. I think certs can help less-experienced folks get a foot in the door, but again, only at places that place any value on certs in the first place...

Is there any less individual screening in law? Passing the bar is the minimal standard for an applicant, but I’m sure they still need to demonstrate a lot of other things to get hired.

I'm sure there's plenty of screening for law positions, but probably not for the basic knowledge they studied in college. Asking a lawyer with 10 years of work experience to recite some fundamental law trivia would probably be unusual, while it's common for programming interviews to ask fizzbuzz and standard algorithm questions.

You could, as in the case of much of civil engineering, have a more widespread requirement for professional engineer and other certifications for people past some minimal level of work experience. (There actually is no software engineering PE at this point or it's at least being phased out.)

But now you're requiring 4-year degrees and making it very difficult for anyone to switch over from another profession.


It's sad but this is just one part of the overall very broken hiring process. Eventually technology will be able to match publicly available data about ones background with open roles well but that seems to be a long way off.

The nice part is most of the time your resume just needs to be good enough. Not having any major red flags is enough for a conversation if you have some experience under your belt.


Is it sad though? I mean, in the end this is the obvious consequence of an increase in the supply of devs.

If anything gives me hope is a world with more devs!


I'll be honest there are too many contributing experts from Uber, they have/had systemic problems in hiring and culture I would find it hard to accept the book.

The sample "Hiring Pipeline" chapter says that auto-rejections from ATS systems are a "myth" and that most/all resumes are screened by a human. Is this really true? I'm suspicious.

The next sample chapter even contains an anecdote strongly suggesting it's not a myth:

> With how the recruitment industry is going with ATS systems, one-touch-tooling, and AI, it’s all about optimizing the top of the funnel to streamline the workflow. In this setup, it is key that you have a resume where a machine can identify that you have 80% of what the company is looking for.


Worked in recruiting most of my career. I've never seen a system that auto rejects anyone. In recent years I have seen systems that puts cold applications into some type of qualified or less qualified bucket.

Easy solution: Ask your recruiting team/hr department if your company has something like this in place. There are only 3-5 major ATS's that are used by ~80% of companies.


Had a funny thought. What would happen if I just put tons of key words in a hidden area of a document to make keyword scanners happy. Old school keyword stuffing. Then the visible portion was my actual resume. I bet I could get in the better bucket. Could even scrape the job listing to fill the hidden stuffing.

I used to work at one of those ATS companies, and our resume parser specifically looked for keyword stuffing like that, where people would fill the white space with keywords in white font. These get marked as keyword stuffed. Though what our clients did with those resumes I have no idea. We once had one that was about 20 pages long, just every skill you can imagine, one after another white text on white field. It actually caused a downstream issue when the parsed resume data was too big lol

There are normally checks for this type of thing. Remember it's another engineer who is building the ATS not a recruiter haha

Hey returningfory2, great spot on the comment in the quoted section: "With how the recruitment industry is going with ATS systems, one-touch-tooling, and AI, it’s all about optimizing the top of the funnel to streamline the workflow. In this setup, it is key that you have a resume where a machine can identify that you have 80% of what the company is looking for".

I talked with the recruiter I quoted later on, and while they think eventually the industry will go towards having more automation, she also confirmed she did not see any automation like this, today. I probably should have made that more clear!


It's crazy how widely spread this misunderstanding is.

You can normally find the ATS for a job application by taking a quick peak at the source. Most companies are using a handful of ATSs and if you check their offerings, they don't include automated rejections.


I mean... If the ATS ranks candidates and the company has a policy of only looking at/considering high ranking candidates, then it's an "auto rejection" in practice. I don't know if this sort of thing is common, but it's possible.

Ours asks a couple (basic) questions right before submitting the application- if anyone answers "no" to any of them we don't consider that resume.


Sure, automatic ranking is also "possible". The point is that it isn't being used in practice.

Those questions aren't related to what is being discussed: ATSs filtering people based on the contents of their resume.


I don't think any ATS will actually "reject" a resume on any grounds. HOWEVER, what really is the difference between "reject" and "ignore"?

I think what essentially happens is that resumes get ranked and high priority indicated factors (like a lack of Bachelor's Degree for example) will cause a resume to end up so low in the stack that it essentially doesn't exist. I know that when my company puts up a job posting we get over 100 resumes the first day. We might look through the top 30-40 resumes a day. While the other 70 resumes haven't officially been "rejected", they effectively are, since they will never see human eyes. Maybe companies with fewer applications go through every resume, but every company I have worked at gets more resumes than a single hiring manager can realistically go through, especially if they have other responsibilities (like running their department). So the ATS ranks them and we look at 30ish per day. Manually upvoting or favoriting the ones we read that we like.

The myth/rumor that certain factors get rejected by the ATS is effectively true. Rejected might not be the correct term. But "buried" could be more appropriate. But the idea that they aren't going to be considered by humans is effectively true at large organizations that get lots of applicants.


Interesting timing. The Ask a Manager blog just yesterday published a guest post by someone who tracked down one of the commonly cited statistics that drives the supposed myth. The research does not debunk the claim itself, though both the author and the blog runner share their own comments about the veracity of the claim.

https://www.askamanager.org/2020/10/your-job-application-was...


There's no guarantee your low ranked application is looked at. Why would they if there's a big enough pool of applications the ATS liked? A human just has to pull the trigger.

It can hold that auto rejections don't exist and low scoring applications are junked (by hand).

I went through some reviewers LinkedIn profiles. Most of them are 22-30y old claiming to be senior SW developers, architects or team leads. Maybe your problem isn't the resume but an imposter syndrome...

I've noticed that a lot of the younger crowd likes to over-embellish their titles. For example, maybe they worked on a team of 2 software developers and they call themselves "Senior Software Developer" because they had 2 years of experience and the other guy (or gal) was an intern.

That might seem like a joke, but it isn't. I have seen that many times.

Another popular one is people that put "CTO" or "CEO" on their resume because they did freelance work for their cousin's friend's brother's pizza restaurant once. They started a company called "AAA Software Enterprises" and made themselves CEO. Then closed the company after that project finished.

These people need to realize that overembellishing your resume can often hurt you more than under-crediting yourself.

I have also noticed that the 2-3 year experience gap is a dangerous gap in Software Development. Developers have learned enough at this point that they are walking all over the other junior developers that are doing basic bug fixes. They feel like a God and feel like they can do anything. But what they don't realize is that they might have too much experience for the Junior Developer position, but they don't have enough experience to realize how much they actually don't know yet, because they have never experienced it. So some developers fall in this trap of never being pushed hard enough in their early years and not realizing how much they still have to learn. So they think they know it all and tend to overembellish, without realizing how dumb they look because they have no idea how niave they still are.


Most large American tech companies have something akin to a “junior engineer” position as the lowest level in the full-time ladder, that’s handed out to new college graduates, industry hires with only 1-2 years of experience, and otherwise very rarely. Having a masters degree might let you skip it, having a PhD will always let you skip it. People are generally expected to get promoted out of this introductory position at around the 2-3 year mark you mention.

> When you interact with people, be mindful of these roles and their constraints. When a recruiter messages or calls you about a rejection, know that they are often a messenger. They are as invested in you getting the job as you are! As much as both the resume screening and the interview process can seem like a black box, it’s run by people who try and do their best.

Thank you. I think it's important to understand and empathise with everyone involved.


As always, thoughtful resources, especially provided gratis, are a wonderful contribution, and appreciated!

That said, I think there's a fundamental problem with what determines a 'good resumes'!

Resumes are generally assessed by a wide range of hirers and various layers or recruiters or hr in the middle - and the people who assess it they all have (very) different ideas of what is good!

I've seen this play out many times where person 1 says make it longer, person 2 says make it shorter, person 3 says not enough detail, person 4 says too much etc ..

So on balance I don't think it's possible to make an objectively perfect format of resume that will always be more successful than a different format for any given job application.

Other variables like number of applications, personal connection with the people you talk to etc are possibly going to be more valuable to focus efforts on in a job search, once your resume is 'good enough'. Then expect to modify it to suit various people's preference if you are really interested in a specific role.

My 2c ..


On the pricing page, it’s difficult to scan and see the difference between the two packages. You could do “everything in basic plus:” or change colors or something else to add contrast.

Also you should charge more for this book, I think it’s worth at least $30. The extra value added package could be $50 and include the templates and case studies or a personal resume review. See Rock and Roll with Ember.js: https://www.balinterdi.com/rock-and-roll-with-emberjs/


Thanks for the feedback and suggestion!

For the contrast: you have a good point. I'm seeing if I can do something, but I am seeing a good variety of sales across packages. I might just leave it for today, come back to it later.

For pricing: I'm aiming to optimize for reach over revenue for this one. I'd like to keep the book affordable, and give people a good deal. But by people paying, I'm hoping to target those who will actually read it, over just download numbers. I especially would not want to overcharge as resume advice is... a subjective field, and no one can guarantee results (maybe some gurus say they can, but I don't want to be that guru).

Originally, the whole book was supposed to be two pages in the next book I'm (still) writing on growing as a software engineer, in the job search section [1]. I just hope the other parts won't expand as much as this one has :)

[1] https://blog.pragmaticengineer.com/book/


This is a fantastic resource for developers looking for work. I run a company that helps people make resumes and even I learned a few things!

How did you validate that applicants that use your resume advice get more interviews and responses? What success metrics can you share?

I both asked beta readers to share if they are seeing a change in application rates, and reached out to a few of them.

I have a small sample size - about 15 responses - and everyone reported getting higher response rates. Some said it was much much higher, some said it was somewhat higher.

I will add that almost everyone who has responded are people with 2+ years experience, many of them having 5+. So I cannot vouch if the advice here significantly helps people with less experience, where the market is more competitive and it's harder to stand out.

All of this is anecdotal, though. I have a few people who agreed to share their names on the site, with reviews. And I have more emails in my inbox saying thanks for seeing higher success in going through the resume screen. There are also people who got more recruiter calls, but still have not been able to get an offer, struggling on the later parts of the process.


This is already pretty informative! Thanks for validating your approach!

Shouldn't the process of hiring be more like an interactive proof system?

Prover (the applicant) and verifier (the hiring manager) are both interested in proving the applicant to be a suited candidate. It should be in the hiring manager's interest that suited candidates can act as valid prover that can convince the verifier!

With this thought, this book should be financed by both the hiring manager and the applicant. The hiring manager should help applicants to write good resumes. And the applicant should help the hiring manager to accept their proof of suitability.

Also, do you think this book will get more people a job (which would effectively create jobs and reduce unemployment) or just improve the candidate selection?

If it just improves the candidate selection, the rejection rate and thus the average happiness of applicants would stay the same (or even drop, as they paid money for this book) and the only beneficent would be the employer, as better candidates are hired.


The website gives me a notification saying "looks like you're based in the Netherlands..." regarding VAT. Interesting approach, but alas I'm in Belgium (next to NL) and not even close to the border.. :)

Okay, so I hunted this bug down and it was in my code, an interesting one. Sharing it here for amusement.

The endpoint returning the string of "Looks like you're based in Netherlands" is a nodej.js script that has this defined in the top:

    const MESSAGE = "Hey  - it looks like you're based in $countryName."
Sometime later in the code, in a function I manipulate this string in the module's export function:

    module.exports.getDiscountData = function(countryCode, countyName, etc) {

    // Fetch the right message

    let message = counryValues[countryCode]; // We get MESSAGE

    message = MESSAGE.replace("$countryName", countryName) // oops - we overwrote MESSAGE with a new value!

    message = MESSAGE.replace("$otherVariable", etc)

    return message; 
}

And for each country, I have keys /values listed, like: "GB": MESSAGE, "NL": MESSAGE, "HU": MESSAGE_2

The problem was that once the first request replaced the country name, MESSAGE was mutated, and it now had the value "Hey - it looks like you're based in Netherlands." instead of "Hey - it looks like you're based in $countryName."

I had no idea this would happen. And that a "const" in Javascript is a mutable thing. I fixed it by deep copying the string of the original message.

The super interesting part is that I did not notice this problem, as when I was testing, I did low frequency testing. As I am using Lambda, I probably got a new container created, where MESSAGE was re-initialized. But with the HN traffic, the containers stayed alive longer, making this mutated string issue a problem.


At first, this sounds like the familiar blues of “I got bit by an immutable reference to a mutable object”, but something seems...off. Const in JS is an immutable reference that doesn't change the mutability of the value referenced, so an object will be mutable though you can't reassign a different object.

By JS strings are immutable, and String.prototype.replace doesn't modify in place, it returns a fresh string. So, this shouldn't be possible as described.


Sorry about that, I didn't do it on purpose! I use the service https://ipstack.com to look up IPs and use their data to display discounts based on location. I pay for this, so I was hoping it's better quality than it is.

I live in Northern Washington, USA and routinely get kicked over to Canadian versions of large websites, including Google and occasionally Amazon. So all of these are imperfect systems.

Your website appears to be recognizing me as from the US, which is correct. For whatever value that anecdote is worth to you.


I’d report a bug I were you, then. It showed the correct flag for me (Czech Republic), but told me I’m in Portugal. Seems like the do know wwhere I am and just mess up the name.

I'm in South Korea and the banner claims I'm in United Arab Emirates, however it shows the correct flag for my location. 218.146.64.x is my IP address range.

Thanks for writing the book!


The author seems a helpful fellow future proofing his website :)

I do live near a border and YouTube thinks I'm in the other country all the time. I suspect European borders may have more resolution than Californian algorithms.


One question I always have regarding the 2 page suggested limit -- should I just drop old positions? At some point in a long enough career, just listing company, position, and dates will push it out past 2 pages.

You should think of your resume as a sales pitch. The only goal of it is to get a callback from a recruiter.

In Europe, I've had a hiring manager tell me he actually reads longer resumes. Another recruiter in the UK told me for exec profiles he's seen 3-4 pages long ones that were not great, but passable. The other 23 recruiters and hiring managers all suggested to fit it into 2 pages.

I would say, make sure everything important is on the first 2 pages. The book has an example of a person with 20+ years' experience refactoring their resume to a 2-page one, cutting off 10 years of less relevant experience, and getting a lot more callbacks.


Thanks for the feedback. TBH 4 pages has worked ok for me so far -- the most important info is on the first 2 pages, the remainder just stops any questions about what I was doing during that time. But I'm open to change :-).

I've also gotten conflicting opinions on leaving off my graduation date so I end up alternating back and forth on that.


Remember that it is a resume, not a biography. As the author mentioned above, it's a sales pitch for yourself. If people ask about a gap, tell them about it. No big deal and at least the resume got them to respond. If I can condense 35 years (and lots of companies) into a two page resume, it can be done by most people.

> should I just drop old positions

Yes. If there is work that you would like to specifically highlight, group your achievement(s) into your summary. If someone says not put a summary in your resume (beginning or end) you are making a mistake. Having an (albeit brief) identity helps you remain memorable in a sea of similarity. No need to list jobs 10 years ago, but saying you have written forum software or worked on a banking app is relevant to your career.


"Lost your job during COVID? You could be eligible for a complientary copy"

Do I get a complientary copy for proofreading your copy? Like a sort of bug bounty if you like :D


Yes! I've hired a copyeditor, used Grammarly and had a few hundred beta readers who all pointed out issues, including spelling. But I could use more help - there's usually things lingering around.

Ping me at hello@thetechresume.com referencing to this comment and I'll hook you up with a copy.


The website is fantastic. Did you use a template to create it? Is it using some platform for checkout? I would love to know. Also if you can share the process of publishing a book like this end-to-end (writing, publishing, hosting, marketing etc.) it would be an invaluable read. I want to publish a book in my field, but not sure how to go about it. Thanks.

Thank you! I bought two Bootstrap templates to build the website and tweaked them, the main one being this one[1]. I'll share a post about how I self published and tools I used for the launch on my blog[2] - you can add it to your reader or subscribe to the newsletter to be notified. All those details wouldn't fit in this comment!

[1] https://gumroad.com/a/901313651/vBcuK

[2] https://blog.pragmaticengineer.com/


> Hey looks like you're based in United Kingdom. The below prices do not include VAT. Use the code VAT20 to offset the VAT rate of 20%, if you want to.

But we don't pay VAT on books do we? And the item doesn't include it, as it says. So what's being offset? Is it just a general 20% discount?


I use Gumroad to fulfill orders, and they do not have an "e-books" category. They add VAT to everything, then transfer it to HMRC who don't complain. I'll work with them if we can change it later on.

This is my workaround for you not to have to pay VAT: I lower the price by the amount, so the full amount will stay the same for you (even though VAT is added).

It's not a generic discount: I add it to all EU countries with higher VAT rates. Many of these countries have (e)books without VAT, but Gumroad still adds the VAT.


Just started reading this and it's refreshing to see a highly practical take on resumes, written by people who actually read and make decisions on them. As a former hiring manager, I've found myself nodding my head A LOT so far.

Looks interesting! Would you also recommend it to other roles in the tech industry, such as business analysts or product owners? I can imagine a lot of the topics your book covers also apply to a broader part of the job market.

As I've not hired other people than developers or engineering managers, I would hesitate to recommend it. It might be helpful, but that would be more accidental than deliberate.

The hiring pipeline setup is probably similar for other tech roles, but I cannot vouch for anything else. I've had a technical program manager and a tech writer tell me it helped them somewhat. Two product managers read the beta, but when I reached out to ask if they found it helpful, I never heard back: so I assume it was not that useful for them.

What I would assume applies to other tech roles as well is this: - Try to get a referral, where you can. This will 10x your chances of progressing from the resume screen. - Use a clear format that hiring managers can scan easily. - Aim to tell a story with your resume. This is your sales pitch. - Be specific and use numbers, where you can. Talk about the impact you made and the business results you enabled. - Tailor your resume to the job description if you cold apply, over sending the same one, over and over again.


I skimmed through your sample chapters and you do make good points!

But wouldn't it be a better approach for an applicant to focus on an open source project for showing off rather than reading a 200 page book?



Thank you - fixed it! It should be [1]. No Show HN is complete without issues pointed out :)

[1] https://thetechresume.com/samples/the-hiring-pipeline.html#t...


Send lol768 a free copy.

Do you have any feedback/results/data to share from people who've applied this knowledge? I'm thinking that would be a great way to sell the book.

I do, but it seems to be hidden more down on the page[1], if you missed it. I've added a link to it on the top, with the text "Read book success stories & reviews" to make it easier to find. Thank you for the suggestion!

[1] https://thetechresume.com/#reviews-section


Thanks for sharing this! Going through applications for internships right now and hopefully this will help.

Also, Amy Miller's twitter has an errant h at the beginning of the url.


Great catch! And 3 other links had this as well. Fixed them all.

Hope you'll be able to use the advice and good luck!


I have been reading the beta version of the books and it's really really good. Highly recommend to anyone looking to up their resume game. Great stuff @gregdoesit

I read the beta and the final copy. Great to see it evolve based on real feedback from hiring managers and job seekers.

I used the advice to spruce up my resume a bit and tailor it to specific employers. But more importantly, it helped me know when I was “done”. I had spent a lot of time making small optimizations without knowing how effective they were. After reading the book, I knew when to stop.

Highly recommended!


Is there anyone using gitconnected.com? I use it to build my own resume in a technical way. At the same time, I could show my notable projects on Github.

Looks cool, I think I'm gonna buy one. Szép munka. ;)

You have a validation error on your Complimentary Copy page:

https://imgur.com/cE29tg3


Ouch! I do! Fixed now. Thank you!

Given rapid progress in technology, it is apparent that resume screening should go into dustbin of history, and be replaced by aptitude tests like HackerRank, CoderPad and like.

I have already talked to a few "resume optimization" experts, and their interviention infallibly landed my CV on the desks of organizations that seemed unable to properly appraise developer skills.

Anybody who can second my experience?


Looks good, I think I'm gonna buy a copy. Köszi a kedveskedő kedvezményt :D

Szívesen :)



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