Attack of The Resume

Is your resume really long? Is it chock full of never ending prose? Does it cover every job you’ve held since about the age of ten? Does your resume lose YOUR attention three sentences in? Take heart, you’re not alone.

I’ve noticed a trend in tech resumes over the years. They tend to be extremely long, boring and short on anything I would consider informative. Earlier this year I swear I had a twenty pager in front of me. I wouldn’t mind it so much if people wrote overly long resumes that read like a decent novel, but most of them are bordering on nonsensical due to poor grammar and horrendous formatting. My designer friends would cry if they saw the abuse of typography committed by some of the resumes I’ve had to review over the years.

Enough criticism, now onto what I’d like to see in a resume. I really want to know what you’ve accomplished in the past. Accomplished, that’s the key word there. I don’t care about what you did day-to-day at your job. It’s nice to know that you did everything from re-engineer the next Pet Store app to water the company’s plants, but we can talk about that later. I care about answers to questions like: What have you done that has made a positive difference? What were you able to make happen that delivered value to your customers? If you can communicate that on your resume, then you have just put yourself in the top 20% – easy.

  • While I agree that things you’ve accomplished are quite important, i think the day-to-day could be important also.

    What if you’re day-to-day tasks includes something like CI ? Maybe you didn’t do anything to bring CI to your team/company, or anything else that would fall under the ‘accomplishment’ category. Considering we all know the important role that CI plays, if you’re hiring for a position on a team that uses CI, wouldn’t it be nice to know the applicant has that experience?

  • Rob Madole

    You just reminded me…I need to add that project I did when I was 12 and I programmed this sweet database app on my Apple IIe so we could organize all of our mix tapes.

  • Joshua

    Chad, I agree that it is beneficial to know certain details, but that is all I see in most tech resumes these days. If people focused on what they accomplished, I think the most important stuff will rise to the top.

    So Rob, when are you going to come work for Gestalt? :)