Make Your Resume Good Already

September 8, 2014

Okay, so first off, there are things that I need to fix on my resume. (Why are there no dates for anything?) And I will fix them when I’m looking for another job. But right now I am happily employed in recruitment at a tech company and so let me tell you the things that I consistently think while looking at resumes literally 8/7.

Interesting is good. You don’t have to be a designer, but a font other than the defaults, a color that’s not blue, an interesting layout, different font weights, different outlines, SOMETHING. The person looking at your resume as seen approx. 1 billion, and they want something not-boring to look at. If you’re truly abysmal at design, just copy someone’s. I’ve looked at a million resumes and seen like 2 interesting ones that looked alike. (And like 500 boring ones that are the same, Times New Roman, center-aligned deadness.)

Check out:
Mina Mikhail
Ryan Ming

It’s okay if your personal website is barely a single page. As long as that page is very well done and links to your very legit Twitter, GitHub, CodePen, what have you. Yes, I want to see a portfolio, but frankly, lots of HR people don’t know anything about coding, so they’ll take whatever you say at face value. Then you’ll be weeded out in the technical interview if you’re not strong enough.

Check out:
Maxwell Huang-Hobbs
Tyler Freedman
Zack Ginies

Interests should be relevant. It’s cool that you like swimming or reading or whatever, but I can’t gauge that piece of information’s relevance. Either work into your resume that you were a junior Olympic swimming champion or that you write reviews for this weird horror movie blog, or leave it off. The point of the interests thing seems to be to show that you are a person who is capable of passion. If the only thing you love is code, fine, show me your weirdo hackathon projects.

Don’t say “I’m passionate.” Be passionate. Plug cool things you’re doing, highlight things you want to learn, remember that the person reading your resume is a human. And yeah, sometimes not a cool human. So don’t write for that joker. Write a resume that’ll get you hired by the kind of people you want to be hired by.

Show that you’re learning. Don’t wait to be an expert to show off. Experts are notoriously modest. If I see that you’ve even tried something in Ember.js, I’m motivated to pass you on. If we hire you, you get to learn from senior devs, they get to mold you in their image, and everyone wins.

Be very careful using an objective. An objective is your tagline. A bad tagline is worse than no tagline. Saying you want a job is dumb and redundant. I don’t like the tagline on my resume but it helps clarify what I want and who I am to someone who doesn’t feel like reading about me.

Getting a job is a bit of a crapshoot. So just make a decent resume and get out there. You’re a developer, you’re super employable. Don’t worry so goddamn much.

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