Monday, February 16, 2015

10 Tips for an Awesome Technical Resume

I've been asked a few times about providing tips regarding resumes. I'd like to provide them here.

  1. GPA is a must for some companies, keep it on if it's above 3, off if it's below (but know who you're applying to, if they care about GPA then you'll need to give it eventually).
  2. Don't use your school's email address on your resume. If companies don't have any openings but like you, they may not be able to get in contact with you in 2 years when they do if you use on your resume.
  3. Personal Email addresses should be professional looking. If you have an email account that has inappropriate words in the name, email is cheap, get a new address, you can link to your main account if you need to, but don't put for your contact info.
  4. Quantitative, Quantitative, Quantitative. I think it bears repeating.
    I supported Einstein creating the Theory of Relativity, did you get him coffee, or tell him the secrets to the universe. I might hire the person but I would need to know if they make good coffee, or change the world first.
  5. Anything that is older than 8-10 years not related to what you're applying to, remove it. Generally if it's not useful to show a potential employer you had a paper route, leave it off.
  6. I would generally exclude Office, and Windows and probably iOS as "skills" employers expect you to know those two, and you don't need to explicitly state it. Linux is good to mention somewhere.
  7. Your intro shouldn't be "I want job x, with company y for reason z". That's boring and most hiring people are probably going to jump over it, instead opt for an intro. Tell people about yourself and what things you're interested in (this should typically be someone related to the job).
  8. Be concise, keep the resume to 1 page. It's amazing how many new grads straight out of college have bolstered their resume to 4 pages. I would dare say, with almost any amount of experience aim for 1 page.
  9. You don't need to break up your current job by project, and/or year.
  10. Remove redundant data. If you've written requirements on 3 projects, specify only that. You don't need to specify all 3 projects and what you did for each specific one.

If you want to take a look at my "sort of living" resume check out
Above all, a resume is a piece of paper that attempts to give you an opportunity to talk to someone in person. Your goal is to give people something easy to read, that makes them want to talk to you at the end (or even mid ways through ;)).