In my previous post, I listed the few simple rules I use to review other people’s resumes. Sadly, in my quest to be clear and concise, I ended up vague and unhelpful. This happens more than I like to admit. But, today is a new day. Let’s make a resume together!
This resume will be real - it will be about me. But, it won’t be my resume. It will be bizarro-Scott’s resume. He just graduated college and wants to upgrade from an exclusively ramen diet.
Our resume will be pure text. If you don’t understand why, read this comment.
P.O. Box 911
Maple Valley, WA 98038
+1 (206) 229-9142
My name. My contact information. That’s it.
Deadpan serious: I have seen ridiculous things like birthdays, astrology signs, and height/weight. I’m sure metroid23 has seen worse. If those things are relevant to the position, list them in the body of the resume.
No one reads these things. If we were customizing our resume for a specific position, we might include it. We’re not. This is our job fair resume.
My last three positions or my last five years. That’s my arbitrary rule I use to decide what experience is relevant. Unfortunately, bizarro-Scott wasn’t the most industrious student. He did only one summer internship, fiddled with building a community site for students in his major, and had a short tenure with the campus computing services group.
Each piece of experience needs a few pieces of information:
- Position title.
- Name and location of organization.
- Dates worked.
This is when we need to resist embellishing. Were we a “technical intern 3” or a “computer security researcher” for the summer? One is almost meaningless and the other can be misconstrued. Whatever is chosen, we need to be able to justify and defend it.
EECS Community Website
05/2007 - 12/2007
Pacific Northwest National Labs (Department of Energy)
06/2006 - 08/2006
Student Computing Services (Washington State University)
08/2004 - 02/2006
Some organization names need clarification. Not everyone knows about the national labs; therefore, we annotate with “Department of Energy.” “Student Computing Services” is very generic; but, annotating it clarifies to the reader its scope.
We’re writing for two audiences: recruiters and future bosses. They’re want the same thing; but, search for it in different ways. Therefore, we brainstorm two sets for each experience item:
- EECS Community Website
- Keywords: PHP, Python, Web, Blogs, Atom, RSS
- Accomplishments: Started the site. Designed and made it. Negotiated with administration to OK it. Continue to administer it.
- Research Intern
- Keywords: Python, network security, parallel processing, distributed systems
- Accomplishments: Researched data sources. Designed and wrote software to integrate them to a previously existing database. Optimized previously existing processing tools. Gave technical presentations for multiple groups. Got a job offer.
- Technical Consultant
- Keywords: networking, helpdesk, support
- Accomplishments: Supported students in-person and over phones. Worked in multiple computer labs. Trusted with sensitive student information.
Finally, we combine them together to create our descriptions:
EECS Community Website
Created a Python powered student blog aggregation website. Negotiated with the school administration to establish appropriate speech policies. Built a PHP-based tool for administration and maintenance. The website continues to function and resulted in increased exposure for students and the university.
Designed, wrote and deployed a Python application to integrate data sources into a previously existing network security database. Independently researched distributed and parallel computing techniques. Used that knowledge to optimize previously existing processes providing improvements of at least an order of magnitude. Gave well-attended technical presentations distributing expertise to fellow employees. Wrote proposals detailing future avenues of research.
Supported customers in a helpdesk position both in-person and over the telephone. Entrusted with and handled sensitive student information. Worked in multiple campus computer labs often solving on-the-spot networking and software issues.
Remember, not every piece of experience is with a company.
Make movies? You’re a “cinematographer.” Discuss your awards and completed titles. Take pictures for your school paper? You’re a “news photographer.” Talk about the select pictures and relevant articles.
Our resume style isn’t just for techie soon-to-be professionals.
We only include our most recent institution and the associated honors. If our GPA sucked, don’t bother listing it - they’ll know what it means and likely won’t ask.
We include clubs only if we put some effort into them.
Washington State University (2007)
Bachelor in Computer Science, 3.1 GPA
Clubs: IEEE of WSU (Vice-President 2006-2007, Career Fair/Junior Dinner 2005-2006)
Remember the rule about every section being shorter than the preceding? Basically, we have two lines max.
Bicycling, hiking and spelunking man-made structures.
Add a little ASCII jazz.