So I have a couple possible professional opportunities in the hopper, and so I’m dusting off my old resume. It’s not the fanciest and most impressive document in the world (whereas my career thus far has been quite fancy and impressive, heh), and I think it’s time for an overhaul.

Problems are as follows:

  • I am teh suck when it comes to writing resumes
  • I am teh ultimate suck when it comes to formatting things in Word

So if anyone’s got some free time and expertise and wouldn’t mind giving it a once-over, let me know. I’ve put it up online on Google Docs here.

Here’s some stuff I copied out of my mid-year review. What (if any) of it sounds like something I could/should include in my resume (of course, I think some of it would require rephrasing)?

Matt continues to be very good at isolating issues in the process, procedures while learning how to navigate the muddy waters. Matt is also very good at documenting said shortfalls and communicating how to get through the changes in these processes and procedures. Matt generally does a good job at meeting project goals while meeting or exceeding expected delivery dates. Matt is very quick on identifying issues and bringing them to management’s attention prior to them festering into a major disaster.

(The above was my manager’s review of me. The following is the boilerplate “objectives” for my team):

– Continue to improve stability of our operating environment
– Drive efficiency and overall cost reduction in all day to day activities
– Strengthen infrastructure and improve production stability
– Deliver project commitments on time, within budget, and with quality
– Deliver all Merger related projects without impact to day to day operations
– Achieve full adherence to Project Management process and reporting requirement
– Streamline and automate processes
– Reduce bureaucracy and simplify processes
– Identify leverage opportunities across teams and integrate common functions/practices
– Be self-sufficient, rise to the challenge, and minimize need for extensive hand-holding

ETA – the document is now online here.

~ by Matt Stratton on August 10, 2007.

9 Responses to “Shhh”

  1. The one thing Erik learned form me when he was getting back into the job market and doing a new resume was – keep it down to one page. If they like you and want to know more you can always send a longer one aupon request or tell them more in the interview. Overall people hate to read and don’t like long winded resumes. KISS – keep it simple stupid always works. Erik’s a GeoPhysisit (sp?) and it worked for him. šŸ™‚

  2. That really depends on your experience. That’s good advice for someone looking for their first or second job out of college, but if you have 10 years experience in the field, and you don’t have more significant, positive things to say about yourself than will fit on 1 page, it’s not a good sign.

    I’ve been through the job hunting thing enough times, and it looks like what you do is in the same general area as what I do. And I’ve been in positions with enough responsibility to get involved in hiring discussions. I’d be happy to look your resume, but it would be easiest for me if you emailed a copy.

  3. BTW, anything that describes the positions you’re applying for would be helpful, too.

  4. I agree. It’s very different in my case because a) I have ten plus years of experience, and b) I work in a technical field.

    Technology resumes tend to be chock-full of listing every single technology you know about (which can be a very long list, although I’ve seen people take this to a very far extreme and list things that are not relevant). I think the first page of my resume only covers back until 2003. Although the formatting will help with that (the top 25% of my resume is just contact info because it’s too big).

    The part I am having a hard time with is that so much of my accomplishments at this job are hard to quantify to someone outside of my firm – it’s hard to explain some of them without having to explain exactly WHAT I am talking about.

  5. That can be dealt with. That sounded like a very good review, and I don’t think it will be that hard to translate. Any technical shop will know the pain of process bloat, and have some interest in streamlining it. And it sounds like you get to describe yourself as “proactive.” But knowing what the target job is may help.

    I almost managed to squeeze mine onto 2 pages last time I did it, and I think that includes at least stuff from my current job.

  6. While I accept that technical and academic resumes (or CVs) are different and that multipage is acceptable, I would still second the recommendation to keep it concise and format to 2 pages max — in any other field I would say 1 — regardless of how many years of experience you have. Your resume should highlight your key skills and the high points of your career; not everything has to go on there. Less relevant and outdated information (like college internships or first jobs) get pushed out with time, or reduced to one bullet max.

    My latest hiring nightmare was interviewing this guy from Hungary who had about 10 years post-college experience. It was a four-page resume with about 8 3-line bullets on each job he’d had since. TOO. MUCH. DETAIL. My eyes glazed over by 2/3 of the way down page 1. And he turned out to be a terrible candidate. I wasn’t surprised; he evidently lacked the ability to prioritize information delivery.

    Not offering to look at your resume, Mugs, because it sounds like you’d be best off with another experienced-computer-type person giving feedback, but good luck!

  7. Again, it’s different with technology.

    Recruiters are replying to a laundry-list of technologies and products from the job description, and they’re just doing a search for them. For example, my current position’s job description has (I am not kidding) over 20 bullet points of “requirements”. And if someone sent in a resume to HR that did not list EVERY one of the products/technologies listed, it would never make it to my boss to even get looked at.

    The challenge is to create a resume that is chock-full of “recruiter-bait” but also is concise and readable by the hiring manager once it gets that far.

    For example, I could list on my resume that I have experience with “Windows Server TCP/IP-based technologies”, and the hiring manager would know that that means. But the recruiter would see that, and then say “well, he doesn’t list DNS or WINS on his resume, and that was a requirement for this position.”

    Of course, it can be taken to an extreme – I saw a resume once where the guy listed every single model of Proliant server he’d ever touched. That was kind of ridiculous.

  8. Find out what your company is using and put that at the top of each section. (don’t forget you can tailor it to each job) Keep a doc.. with “everything” in it, then pick and choose when you know what your company wants.


    Put a one line grabber: 10+ years of technical blah blah and leadership skills.

    all the cool new tech stuff listed across the page A row or 2 for hardware, another row or two for software, operating systems, databases etc.

    Use as much of the width of the page as you can without it looking overwhelming… Use a reasonable font to fit more stuff on one page.. again without it looking overwhelming.

    When you use dice, monster etc. make sure your rows are no more than 65 characters, cuz if it’s longer, when it’s printed it wraps and is really hard to read.

    Can you say “saved the company X dollars by providing y solution”?
    Can you say ” saved users x time by providing y technology”?
    can you say ” covered support for x clients in a day”?
    Can you say “shortened delivery cycles from X to y based on z skills”?

    as someone else said keep the older descriptions shorter and to a descriptive title if you can. People really are scanning these, and if they don’t see what they want at the top, it doesn’t matter what’s down the page.
    If they have to actually ‘read’ it the first time… forget it.

    I can send you mine if you want to see. It’s been successful 2x in the last 6 years. I’m not sure if I have your most recent e-mail.

    Hope that helps.

  9. Good luck, BTW šŸ™‚

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