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Seeking resume advice

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smr    2468
[quote name='Katie' timestamp='1350848474' post='4992529']
I don't know why you're listening to this rumour that's doing the rounds that boring is better when someone who hires software engineers is begging you to stand out from the crowd and sell yourself.
[/quote]

Oh, no. I get it. And I appreciate your opinions on the matter. Although I'm not formally a manager (thank god I turned down THAT promotion), I too am involved in hiring software engineers, though I typically rely on the actual conversation that I have with the interviewee and the results of the test we have each interviewee complete rather than the resume. Quite frankly a resume doesn't tell me much about a person beyond their work experience, regardless of how flashy it is. If the relevant skills are on the resume, and there is adequate work experience, we'll bring them in. Anyone can represent themselves to be anything they want on paper. I don't care how many industry buzzwords you can cram into your introduction, and I don't care how you leveraged synergy with your web 3.0 solution and legacy systems to achieve paradigm shift, enabling your company optimize your flex capacitors and achieve time travel at 86.5 MPH, 1.5 MPH better than the year before. I've seen these great looking resumes that, when the candidate actually comes in, can't write a smidgen of code. Yes, we force them to code on the interview. You might not be surprised by the number of people who come through our doors who actually can't code.

That being said, I realize that anyone looking for a job has to send out resumes, and people are going to toss them out for superficial reasons. And I understand that. When you've got ten resumes to look over and ten people asking you when their pet project will be completed, you do what you have to do. I don't know what other companies are looking for in resumes, and up until now I really haven't cared. That's why I started this thread. I'm going to work on creating a more sales pitch-ey resume. Sometime soon... Edited by smr

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Katie    2244
"'ve seen these great looking resumes that, when the candidate actually comes in, can't write a smidgen of code. Yes, we force them to code on the interview. You might not be surprised by the number of people who come through our doors who actually can't code."

Actually I still am. I can't quite understand how so many people manage to pass as software engineers for so stormingly long when their actual development skills mean I couldn't let them write code on their own unsupervised.

It's terrifying that I meet so few people who are competent and yet the entire world runs on software these days. It's going to kill us all one of these days.

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smr    2468
[quote name='Katie' timestamp='1351114897' post='4993566']
It's terrifying that I meet so few people who are competent and yet the entire world runs on software these days. It's going to kill us all one of these days.
[/quote]

I know! I actually had a kid fresh out of university come in two weeks ago. He got decent marks, but didn't interview well. Fair enough. He was a little socially awkward, not terribly uncommon in our field. But the kid couldn't code. I made it clear to him that he could ask me any questions he wanted and use any resource he wanted in order to complete the code challenge (aside from copying someone else's code). After about three hours I told him that I was going to go get a bite to eat and he's welcome to do the same. He just gave up at that point. He hadn't accomplished anything at all. And I pitied him. Not enough to recommend he be hired, but still, I felt bad. His university and his professors failed him when they let him graduate with a degree qualifying him to be a computer programmer when he actually cannot program a computer.

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Ravyne    14300
Here's another tip to help guide you, one which I always share in threads like this, but neglected to mention here already.

Here it goes. Get ready, its a bit of a mind-bender.


[b]TIP:[/b] [i]The purpose of a resume is [u]not[/u] to get you a job--[/i]

"What?!?", you interject.

Sorry. Let me finish: [i]The purpose of a resume is [u]not[/u] to get you a job; the purpose of a resume is to get you an [u]interview[/u].[/i]


This might seem a bit contrary to the goal of, you know, getting a job, but it really is true. Vanishingly few people have ever been hired solely on the strength of their resume alone. As Katie alludes to, the only real purpose of a resume is to be one of the few she remembers (or better yet, sets aside in preparation) when someone comes and barks at her about not having the candidate list yet.

The purpose of a resume is not even to help your interviewers prepare to meet you, once you've secured a slot. Ostensibly, yes, it is, but in practice seems more common than not that a given interviewer will not have even glanced at your resume, and if they did, it was moments before the interview begins.

No, the point of a resume is to stand up for you and tell people like Katie that you are interesting, that you are amiable that you've [i]been there and you get it[/i], and that you are a valuable addition to any team, but most-of-all, to her team.


If you keep that in mind, writing a good resume just happens. Well, almost. You see, I have this theory that most people resort to vagaries and generic statements of "I was there when..." because they think the only alternative is to go into every excruciating, exquisite detail. Not so. If you accept as the outcome of a good resume to be an interview, you are freed of the requirement provide complete explanations of every project and team you ever sat on, because if the resume has done its job, you are guaranteed a chance to expound upon any point that your interviewer takes interest in.

What's more, when that interviewer finally glances your resume over, moments before the interview or as you make yourself comfortable in his chair, you've laid out a framework for some of the questions he'll ask you. Questions that you are uniquely qualified and prepared to answer. Edited by Ravyne

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