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  • Resume questions...

    Does anyone in charge of hiring have any resumes they can send me so that I can get some ideas? Or if anyone recently updated theirs, that'd be fine also. I'm looking to update mine and look for another job.

    I have no formal education other than high school which is the kicker for my resume. I've been at the same corporation 400k + employees since February of 1999. I started off doing support for proprietary systems, moved on to server management/deployment including desktop support, networking, cable installation, etc... and now I'm doing web application development in ColdFusion with SQL/Oracle data mining/reporting.

    I'm not a great writer and I always read resumes where I'm like, 'Wow, they describe what they do beautifully (and make it sound good).' Where as when I write it, it sounds pretty basic and rudimentary.

    As I said, I'm mostly worried about my empty education section... :(

    Thanks for any advice...
    It is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9/NIV

  • #2
    Re: Resume questions...

    about the education problem. Get plenty of letters of recommendations, every boss or supervisor you had. Write a simple letter about yourself and why you would be good at what ever job you are looking for, and see if they would sign it.

    I kind of have the same issue, i have 5 years of college but no degree. You really gotta sell yourself and get them interested in why you want to work for them. Also dont forget to mention you are looking to get certified in something, MCSE or something.
    that sounds like a good idea trooper.


    • #3
      Re: Resume questions...

      I'll advise you use the power of Alt+0233 so you can write résumé correctly. When I clicked on the thread, I expected it was something related to resuming downloads or similar.

      The lack of education hurts, so emphasise your real work experience. Education shows what you're supposed to be able to do, experience shows what you can effectively do. Write clearly and concisely, don't worry about beauty in words, per-se. The person reading this is looking for information, not artwork. Professionally succinct is the way to play. What needs to look nice is the typesetting. Use tabs and alignment wisely so the page is clean and easy to read.

      If you have any on-the-job training, put that in under Education. If you learned, it's education.


      • #4
        Re: Resume questions...

        I'm no good at writing résumés, but I can help you with your writing and style. Send me a PM if you're interested.
        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~
        I have a tendency to key out three or four things and then let them battle for supremacy while I key, so there's a lot of backspacing as potential statements are slaughtered and eaten by the victors. ~
        Feel free to quote me. ~


        • #5
          Re: Resume questions...

          Originally posted by MagnaCentipede View Post
          I'll advise you use the power of Alt+0233 so you can write résumé correctly. When I clicked on the thread, I expected it was something related to resuming downloads or similar.
          Resume is correct without the first accent OR without either accent. We are speaking in English here. Well, we try, anyway...
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          • #6
            Re: Resume questions...

            I do hire, although I don't screen.

            Keep it to 2 pages. More will not do you any favors. The lack of education can hurt, but, if you have real world experience that is measurable and proveable, it's really not that important. In general, if you don't have an masters from MIT or something, don't draw attention to the education section. That goes even if you do have a college degree.

            I guess the best advice I can give you is don't put ANYTHING on there that you cannot, 100% prove (I see way too many C/C++ mentions on resumes where the person was in the same building that some C/C++ development occured, but doesn't actually know anything about it, other than the spelling). Try to show your enthusiasm with your cover letter, and a sense of how much responsibilty you have taken with you job tasks in your experience description.

            i.e. Expert in (tech buzzword A), (tech buzzword B) on (mega important project C) using (product D) is meh.

            Performed (task A), (task B), on a project that required me to (do something responsible), is generally much better.

            Good luck.
            Do or do not, there is no try....
            -- Yoda, Dagobah


            • #7
              Re: Resume questions...

              Carrion with you're homophonic Ms. Spellings -- I'm sure Tori approves -- if you like, but just because lazy sods (unmotiviated grass) let the language fall to shambles doesn't justify further scattering the pieces.

              Next you'll try to tell me that the use of "words" like "u" and "ur" in non-sarcastic or non-financially-cumbersome contexts isn't justification for a savage-yet-behavior-corrective beating.

              Curiously, on topic...
              What's your prejudice of the one-full-sheet résumé? Does the lack of a staple make that right eyelid pull upward a bit in preparation for the eye-roll-feed-to-schredder maneuver, or is it prefered over the two-pager that has only two lines of content on the other side, granting you little value for the calorie invested in seperating the two pages and lifting one against the almighty force of gravity?


              • #8
                Re: Resume questions...

                One sheet is better than two. More than that is a waste of my day (and paper, for the inevitable review time print out)...
                My opine is that if you can't fit it in two, you trying too hard or are compensating for something.
                Do or do not, there is no try....
                -- Yoda, Dagobah


                • #9
                  Re: Resume questions...

                  Originally posted by MagnaCentipede View Post
                  I'll advise you use the power of Alt+0233 so you can write résumé correctly. When I clicked on the thread, I expected it was something related to resuming downloads or similar.
                  Main Entry: ré·su·mé
                  Variant(s): or re·su·me also re·su·mé

                  I'm probably one of the worst folks here when it comes to hammering people for grammar and spelling, but I'm not about to come down on someone for failing to put an accented character into a forum post.

                  Returning to OP topic: Remember that resumes (oooo lookatdaspelling :) ) are used to weed people out more than include them in the later reindeer games.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Resume questions...

                    From my experience, a resume needs to be tailored carefully for every position for which you apply. Do your research on every position you apply for and custom fit your experience to what they want, putting emphasis on even minor parts of your knowledge if they are items in their list.

                    Where I've been working, the filter process for a resume goes like this:
                    1. We define a basic list of things we want in our new guy, including "nice to have" items. This, along with the standard HR content, forms the job posting.

                    2. HR filters resumes on minimum requirements (like education), doing a rather lazy job in order to create a stack of 20 resumes fitting the list to the best of their knowledge. NOTE: HR is matching that list, and they don't know Oracle from SQL, so make sure you word your experience carefully.

                    3. We're always in a hurry to get this over with, so the stack gets very quickly filtered down based on how closely the experience seems to match our environment and stuff like that. Sloppy layout and grammar will also very quickly sink a resume at this point, since we are looking for excuses to dump them and get to a short list.

                    4. The possible candidates' resumes are sent to a group of 2-3 who will be doing the interviews with the question "shall we call this guy in?". These guys actually understand the experience written down and will judge based on whether they think the interview will potentially succeed. At this point, they are usually looking for reasons to answer YES. ;)

                    5. The short list of 3-4 candidates is brought in and one is chosen within about 1 day of the last interview.

                    Keep in mind through this whole thing that the hiring manager and the others around him are very busy doing their regular job. Hiring people is an annoying side task that they hate doing and they want to do it quickly. Make sure you make it easy for them or you will get turfed in a hurry.

                    Steps 2 and 3 above can often be short-circuited by persistent telephone calls, NOT EMAILS. In many cases, if you can get your resume to the hiring manager through some sneaky channel, like a friend in the company, then you can bypass 2. Do everything you can to achieve this and to let the hiring manager know in no uncertain terms how enthusiastic you are about this particular job. It helps if you find a job you really want. :)
                    Peace through fear... since 1947!


                    • #11
                      Re: Resume questions...

                      We recently hired an entry level developer after going piles of resumes and applications, here are some thoughts for entry level people I wrote down at the time, maybe it'll help, maybe it won't.

                      Do: Highlight acomplishments in a prevous position.
                      Don't: Attribute those accomplishments to "Loop optimization".
                      Comment: I attribute the great success in my projects to variable declarations. They were critical to several pieces of software I have worked on recently. Oh, and "if" statements. If statements are awesome.

                      Do: Elaborate on relevant experience.
                      Don't: Write a novel.
                      Comment: If your resume is more than 2 pages + cover, it had better be good. Fluff makes baby Jesus cry.

                      Do: Customize your cover letter.
                      Don't: Repeatedly reference "your company" or "this position" while avoiding the actual names.
                      Comment: Dear [CANDIDATES NAME], we at [COMPANY NAME] must inform you that our BS detectors were overloaded in regards to your cover letter in the application for the [POSITION NAME] position, you probably failed before I even read your resume. Sincerely, [YOUR NAME HERE]

                      Do: Take an interest in the company and the purpose of it, add this to the cover letter.
                      Don't: Use a standard cover letter with spelling errors or incorrect use of technical terms.
                      Comment: Seriously, if you write a cover letter that shows that you spent 5 minutes learning about the company, actually read the job description, and have a reasonable grasp of English, you'll be in the top third.

                      Do: Praise the things you agree with.
                      Don't: Exagerrate your praise.
                      Comment: Our "excellent reputation"? While we're arguably the largest company in the US of our type, we're also probably not known to anyone except our immediate partners.

                      Do: Have references prepared.
                      Don't: Waste half a page listing them.
                      Comment: We assume that you can produce a list if asked at or after your interview.

                      Write a cover letter, list education, experience, and primary duties. Focus on what you did to you help the company and its customers, not how you did it. Write a cover letter. Mention the technologies you used in the execution of those duties. Write a cover letter.

                      Oh, and write a cover letter.

                      Take an interest and show that you want the job. Any one can be an "excellent asset", now tell me why you want to be one.


                      • #12
                        Re: Resume questions...

                        If you haven't yet been exposed to it, I strongly recommend Strunk & White's Elements of Style.


                        It looks like an online version can be found here:


                        Check your cover letter against those guidelines.
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