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BenjaminMark

Could use some feedback on my CV

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Hi everyone

I graduated a couple of weeks ago, and I'm about to start sending out job applications. I am pretty lost when it comes to this stuff, and frankly kinda intimidated, so if anyone feels like helping out a stranger and giving me some feedback on my CV and/or website, I would be grateful.

CV

Website

It should probably be noted that I am planning on mostly applying to jobs in Europe, as I'm doubting that a US based company would get me a visa with no experience under my belt.

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As I go through it...

 

 

Your website shows up as completely black, and I see a notice about scripting security. Enabling scripts on the site brings up some frequently mentioned items...

 

Personally I despise script-driven web sites, but whatever. Your site. Some people surf the web with tighter restrictions, some allow everything to run unchecked. 

 

Your About Me page includes your picture, your DOB, and your nationality. This is a regional thing, but in my country an employer cannot legally ask about those unless they directly relate to the job. If your region routinely requires that information, fine. Personally I would cut it. 

 

The "resume" page of your site has a skills bar on the side. "Skills" sections are useless at best, and provide excellent reasons to remove your candidacy at worst. I have no idea what it means. What does 85% skilled in C# mean? What does 85% skilled in Java mean? What does 80% of "C/C++" mean, beyond the fact that you don't seem to understand that they are quite distinct languages? Or 40% Python? Is that the amount of the book you read? Does it mean you are ready to join the standards committee?  I'll interpret it as you know 40% of what I need you to know, so the no hire bucket.   

 

Seriously, kill the 'skills' section. If you want a list of keywords that is understandable, just label the segment "automated resume filter keywords: C++ C C/C++ Java Python Sockets Novell Microsoft Cisco Apple Samsung etc., with all the keywords you think you might need but making it clear to humans that the only point is to pass stupid computer filters.  Any kind of self-assessed qualitative value of how good your skills are is not useful. Give quantitative examples by listing them specifically in the projects you used them.  Let me see that one project was written in some language using some specific tools.

 

Education. M.Sc. You created two games. Provide links to the games, preferably to the playable game, or screenshots and videos if you cannot. Also describe what you did on the games.  B.SC. Did you do nothing in the degree? Give me a list of projects and tasks you did that I can translate to fill in the skills you claim to have 80% of.

 

Projects.

 

Oh, it looks like you do have projects.  You just separated them from your education section even though they were education projects. In that case, you should probably put some words in the education section saying "projects listed below". 

 

More passive voice writing. Spent your time "exploring the possibility of generating...", weak wording.  Did you use any tools or technologies or languages? Be specific about what you did and how you did it. Right now it looks very passive, not sure how much was you and how much was "another student".  Also, images and videos and links are appropriate on the web. Link it up.

 

Broken shadows. Again, you and four others, you worked on "mechanics". What languages? What engines and tools? How long? What specifically did you implement?  Where are the links? Where are the images?

 

Simple 2D Game Engine.  Same as above. Be specific about what you did and actions that document you know the skills you claimed to know.

 

Leap. FINALLY!  You used something!  You used Unity3D. Of course, your contribution seems to be that "you collaborated", and no statement about if you used C#, Boo, or UnityScript as you collaborated. Not sure how you collaborated, or if your collaboration was brainstorming or writing code or playing around with the editors or configuring workstations.  Collaboration was involved with Unity3D on the project. :-)

 

 

Next, looking at your CV...

 

Summary. Lots of passive words. You say you graduated multiple times, you only need it once. I'd include more action terms, rather than "I have gained", "team efforts have resulted in .. a master's thesis" --- were they YOUR efforts or did your team earn the degree? 

 

The rest of the document looks like your web site, so include more useful details as discussed above.

 

There is a link back to your website to download and play, so I'll try those again. I didn't see them hotlinked or highly visible in my first pass.

 

You've got "most experience", "some experience", "limited experience". What do those mean? Does "most experience" mean that you were the person driving the program the most for the three months on the project? That you read a book about it? That a professor gave you a pre-built template? That you watched as others in your class used them? You need to provide evidence to exactly what those experiences are.

 

The interests in reading, biking, traveling, sailing, around here those are not really appropriate but in your target nations they might be just fine. Personally I'd cut, but keep if it suits you.

 

Ah, found the project details finally. They are mystery-meat hover-over items that if you don't realize you are supposed to hover your mouse over it, you cannot see it.  Sucks for anyone who views it on a tablet or a touch screen without a mouse.  In this era you cannot assume the user will have a mouse to hover with.

 

Middle-click open in tabs opened a page but didn't work. Right click open in tab doesn't work.  Oh, it is a popup.  Not exactly intuitive, you need the buttons on the bottom to switch images and the arrows on the side to switch projects rather than images.  They look like they provide information, but you still wrote in passive voice. 

 

How do I close your stupid popup? Can't find a button, refresh page works..

 

So what would I do.  I think I'd rewrite your resume web page and your CV document to include more concrete examples and remove the self-assessed skills.  I'd mix in proper links on the web version. I'd make the web site rely less on fancy scripting that will be blocked by default by anti-malware scripting engines. I'd include additional detail of what you did and how you did it, and perhaps less detail about what others on the team did.

Edited by frob

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Thank you for all the feedback. Very helpful.

What exactly do you mean by "action terms" though?

 

I have to say I was worried about the hover images not being intuitive, and it seems that my concerns have been validated. I should be able to get rid of those pop-up iframes. Not sure about the overall scriptyness of the site, as I have very little experience with web development.

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What I mean is that you have a lot of passive voice. You describe that things happened passively but don't actually state that you did anything. Probably the best example of this is "team efforts have resulted in .. a master's thesis". You did not say that you built your project. You don't say that you did anything. You did not take any ownership. It is more like "somebody earned a master's degree, maybe it was me."

Try a statement like "Using SDL and C++ I wrote the foo system, the bar system, and the baz system." For every project tell me what you did and how you did it. That tells me far more than "40% SDL" and "85% C/C++".

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I updated the descriptions to try and emphasize that I did stuff as well as giving concrete examples on what I did. I have to say that it feels better already, so again, thanks a lot for the feedback. I also got rid of the confusing popup iframes.

 

If anyone feels like checking out the new and hopefully improved version, I'd be grateful for any feedback.

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