It's been awhile - resumes

Day 1 of the new job involved refreshing a 15-year-stale knowledge of C++, and it's been busy since then. Finally had a thought worth posting about that I'm free to talk about, so here goes.

Prior to this job, I'd often spend an hour a week screening resumes for new hires. The vast, vast, vast majority of resumes are terrible; at one job in DC, I'd typically take 100 resumes, find five worth phone screening, call them each for ten minutes, and choose to bring in one for an interview. 1-in-100 wasn't atypical, from speaking to other folks doing the same job at other companies.

My meta-advice: keep the resume short, and to the point. I saw a non-technical resume this week for someone just out of college that was four pages long; five bullet points about every college job, every volunteer opportunity, and a half-page about their responsibilities in the Greek system. If you're just out of college, or within a job or two out of college, one page is the most you're going to get before recruiters take your resume and toss it in the trash.

If you have a Masters, the resume might be a paragraph longer than an undergrad. You'll need where you got the degree, what degree you earned, your GPA, and your thesis topic, if any. If you have a PhD, you get room to run; treat it as a full-blown job, and give it another paragraph to explain your thesis.

But in general? Short.

Given that, this article here is also worth a read; Steve Yegge giving 10 points of advice for resume-writers.

No comments: