Getting Noticed Means Getting Hired

That’s the gist of this post and it cer­tainly is true in the techie uni­verse I live in. One of the fastest ways to get noticed is to have a decent resume. I read my fair share of resumes as a tech lead at work and let me tell you, most of them suck balls. The ones that don’t suck balls are at best aver­age and not once in my 7 years with my com­pany have I ever seen a resume that made me think the per­son writ­ing it was will­ing to take a chance.

My resume (not post­ing it but if you’re inter­ested, I’ll show it to you) isn’t a thing of great beauty but it’s got a cou­ple of things going for it. First, it’s short. Bru­tally short. I saw a resume at work 2 weeks ago that was 9 printed pages long. That’s ridicu­lous. On top of that, it makes me think you’re a dolt or a show-off. Either way, get­ting my vote is an uphill battle.  Your resume should be 2 pages max.  If I want to know more about your work his­tory beyond two pages, trust me, I’ll ask.

Sec­ond, I take chances with my resume. I want some­one to read it and have a reac­tion. I’d pre­fer it to be a “Holy crap, get this guy on the phone” reac­tion but I’m ok with “What a maroon” too. Either way, we’re get­ting some­where. If I’m look­ing for a job, I’m look­ing for one that’s bet­ter than the one I’ve got. If I wanted a job just like the one I have, I’d just keep the one I have. Take a damn chance. If your objec­tive has one sin­gle thing about spe­cific tech­ni­cal details, you’ve screwed up. Exam­ple from mine: I want to read the daily Dil­bert and not once iden­tify my own cowork­ers in the strip. As I said, take a damn chance.

Lastly, it’s well-written. I had at least 3 peo­ple proof it includ­ing at least one (my lovely wife) who doesn’t have the fog­gi­est clue what SOAP or XML or SOA stands for but very def­i­nitely knows whether I should use effect or affect. If Eng­lish ain’t your first lan­guage, find some­one for whom it is (unless you’re try­ing to get hired in India) and have them proof it. Twice. Don’t under­es­ti­mate the affect effect of a well-written resume.

If you’re look­ing for a job in a cubi­cle farm, for­get every­thing I’ve said. If not, take it to heart. Oh, and Be Smart and Get Things Done. That helps too.

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