Building A Resume

A solid resume not only gets your foot in the door, but sets the tone for the interview itself. In addition to helping the interviewer shape their questions about you, a well-crafted resume puts you in control of how the interviewer perceives your value, which can completely change the way they perceive your answers to questions.

This is not intended as a how to guide for building a resume, there are plenty of them out there. There are even services that will build or edit your resume for you. We may be creating some how to material separate from the podcast at some point. This has been more of advice and guidelines to use when building your resume.

Episodes in the series

  • Getting A Job
  • Building Your Resume
  • Soft Skills to Ace the Interview
  • Whiteboards and Coding Challenges
  • Bad Interview Questions
  • Mock Interviews

Episode Breakdown

15:38 Resumes VS Curriculum Vitae

“If you hate them kick ’em in the shin, don’t give them your CV.”

A resume is a short document laying out the value you can provide to a company, based on the experience you have. A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a big honking document listing every bit of experience that might be useful to someone somewhere.

“The way I look at the CV is that is like your database, the resume is a select query for a particular person.”

You should have both. Think of your resume as being a subset of your CV, targeted towards a particular potential employer, with the CV essentially being the master copy of the whole set of data.

22:18 Resume Filtering

“It’s important to understand how this works.”

Think of it like filtering data in a big data set, you want to filter on whatever cuts the most records out of the search as early as possible. In many cases, they are better off risking missing the perfect candidate, just to get a good-enough candidate in a reasonable period of time. Comparisons that take longer should be done later, on a much-reduced data set. Comparisons that are wholly manual, face-to-face, and time consuming are only done to pick the winner out of the few top candidates.

“Sometimes this can work for you and sometimes it can work against you.”

Many HR departments screen with software that looks for keywords. It’s important to remember that they are screening resumes in bulk. Get disqualified in some way and you’re out. This can really suck, because some of their systems are terrible (ex. Getting lined up for Java jobs because you do JavaScript). It can also nail you on technology that is mistakenly on your resume that you don’t ever want to use again.

“They’re aiming to disqualify as many people as possible.”

HR departments and many hiring managers will also look for certain prerequisites manually when comparing you to others who passed the first round. This can include things like having a computer science degree.

31:40 Curriculum Vitae

“It is the big honkin’ document that’s got it all.”

Your Curriculum Vitae should contain all your work information and experience. This includes things that you no longer do or want to do. This also should include previous employer information, along with enough detail to contact said employer if required for a reference. Finally it should contain a breakdown of your accomplishments and responsibilities at each employer.

40:02 Resume

“They are going to do key word searches both electronically and in person.”

The obvious is a listing of previous work experience, carefully peppered with the appropriate keywords. When listing previous experience, try to focus more on what you achieved, rather than the tooling you used to achieve it. You still need to mention experience with tools, but take care that you don’t overwhelm the value you provided, because that’s why they are hiring you. Try to quantify accomplishments if possible, with actual numbers.

Also look for other differentiators that might either make the interviewer interested in you as a person, or that might make you stand out. You shouldn’t include things that can be used to discriminate against you.

49:25 Standing Out

“When you come across as the hard sell you come across as desperate.”

Focus on the value you provide, rather than the tools needed to provide that value. A nicely formatted, clean-looking resume will stand out in a pile of dull, printed resumes. Don’t forget to take a few copies with you into the interview. Be sure it is tailored to the company where you want to work.

DevSpace: North Alabama's Premier Polyglot Technology Conference

IoTease: Product

Beast Sensor

This is a sensor that is built for the weight room. It includes an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and acquisition frequency sensor. It connects with your smart phone via Bluetooth to track your lifting and give you motivation to keep improving.

Tricks of the Trade

Value of a thing is not based on the cost put into it. It’s based on what people will pay for it. This is more than economics. If you base the value of a thing on the effort it took to make it, rather than what people will pay for it, you will be poor, overworked, and inefficient.

Editor’s Notes:

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