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Resume mini-rant

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Myopic Rhino


I spent a couple of hours today going through resumes for a student intern position we're hiring for at Qualcomm. The position's actually pretty cool - whoever gets it will receive some valuable job experience working with games and graphics, and they'll be able to make quite a few industry contacts.

I was dismayed at how bad most of these resumes were. I'm not talking about poor grammer, or formatting, or anything else that they teach you in the typical resume writing class. And I'm not talking about lack of skills/experience, since these students were all from a prestigous engineering school. I'm mainly talking about irrelevance.

2/3 of the resumes failed to meet the minimum major requirements listed for the position. I don't mean that they were just missing some of them, they were missing ALL of them. No graphics, no gaming, no OpenGL, no exposure to embedded system. None of them even listed gaming as an area of interest. Seriously, I don't care how badly you want a job, if you're not even close to what a company says they're looking for, you're wasting everyone's time (including yours) by sending in a resume.

Some of these people even included generic-sounding cover letters stating that they are a perfect match for the job. [grin]

Many of them also listed their jobs at McDonalds or Walmart or whatever. I'm sure that some people out there care about the fact that you've at least held *a* job, but if you're applying for an engineering job, they probably don't. In general, don't bother listing information on your resume unless it helps establish you as being qualified for the job for which you're applying. You can get away with a bit - and listing things like hobbies and interests is fine - but keep it brief.

Finally, if there are multiple area in which you have skills/experiences and are willing to take a job in any of those areas, consider maintaing separate resumes, each focusing on a particular area.

Anyway, I hope that somebody finds this brief set of tips useful.
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I was looking at that job posting. I dont have exp in embedded systems, I'm not from a local college, and my graphics experience is minimal atm (took one class, but i wouldnt say thats the most helpful of things) - so I didnt apply.

I personally find it difficult to apply for a job that I dont honestly feel I'm qualified for, I view it as simply a waste of my time and the company's time. Don't know how come some people just spam generis resumes everywhere thinking they'll somehow get a job that they're not even remotely qualified for...

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Thanks for the tips. For some reason I see this as a good thing though. I hope that when I get ready to graduate and start applying for jobs I'll be competing with equally incompetent people [grin]. Of course I plan on working my butt off for whatever internships I can find before graduating, in hopes of having relevant work experience to put on my resume.

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Part of my point, though, is that the people weren't incompetent. Pretty much every one of them had impressive stuff on their resume. Most of them just weren't applying for the right programming job, and many of them just needed to rework their resumes to ensure that they are showcasing the important things.

For the record, out of 50 resumes, I found 4 strong candidates to interview, and 10 decent ones that won't get interviewed unless the first 4 don't work out for some reason.

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Yeah, tips are good. I actually learnt my lesson on resume tailoring the hard way. I applied for several jobs and never even got so much as a call back, and then after taking a course wherein you do alot of resume talk I realized that, hey, maybe my resume isnt properly tailored to what I'm applying for.

First job I applied for after that class I got (the job I'm currently at actually). So maybe it was coincidence, but I really doubt it. I'm tired, I'm rambling. Ignore me.

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I'll definately be taking these tips into account in the next few weeks. Thanks. I just wish that job was around here somewhere ;).

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You were beaten by about 9 days by my Pro. Comm. teacher (professional communications, not that old dialup client). But at least were the resumes and cover letters horrible enough to show to your peers for hours of derisive laughter?

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Great Tips! Glad to know.

It just wouldnt occur to me to apply to an engineering job, when the only thing I could show for myself is that I worked fast food....

But, needless to say, scoring an intership off of highschool + college experience is tough enough. Thats what freaks me out the most. The last 4 years of my life was quote/unquote wasted (in a programming sense) because I decided to join the Marines. Talk about a crazy 4 years filled with training and deploying.

Now that I'm in college, I'm hitting C++ harder then hell because the only thing that is in my mind is, "Will I have what it takes to land a job when I graduate or a summer internship?". The biggest thing that I'm striving for is to bust out some games or a well designed 'game', and attach that to my resume`.

We'll see how it goes. Feel free to send some motivation my way->dlmcgraw@ksu.edu!

¤ David McGraw ¤ Semper Fi

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