Dev Chair : Resume tips
- Tailor your resume for the job you are applying to:
- Don't mention the Waterfall model or UML skills if you are applying for an Agile development role unless you state explicitly that you want to learn the new process, and vice versa.
- Don't include MCSD or MCP logo if the company is not interested in certifications. You're probably very proud of your certs but some people love them and some hate them. To me, a certification means you know the answers to the certification exams questions, not necessary how to apply that knowledge. And with the rapidly changing field of software development and the glacial update cycle of certifications, what you know from the certification probably is not what the employers are looking for anymore.
- Include skills that you are actually proficient in. Don't include skills, tools or packages that you only have a passing familiarity with. Mentioning VB when you only experimented with it in college between Quake sessions doesn't count. The temptation is always there to embellish the resume with lots of diverse skills, especially for college graduates with limited work experience. But all that does is open up opportunity for the interviewer to grill you on areas that you have no answer for.
- Leave out skills that are taken for granted or irrelevant. Conversely, don't include skills that every computer users would know. For example, mentioning Microsoft Office skill when applying for .Net programming job. They don't add anything to the resume, and at best detract from it.
- If job hunting through a recruitment agency, verify what they send out as your resume. Recruiters tend to be mostly ignorant of the software development field and our terminology so they may butcher your resume. Some may be just plain greedy and would alter a resume in order to get you an interview.
- Proof read your resume. Don't send out resume with spelling mistakes in it. Microsoft Word has spell-checker and grammar checker built-in. Use it.
- Don't provide web site address if it is not current. The worst thing you can do to yourself is to show potential employer a web site from the 90's with clashing colors, use of <marquee> tag, and an out-of-date bio and resume. Blogs are all the rage but not appropriate for a resume, unless you are applying for a blog-related job!
Think of your resume as a precision guided weapon instead of a dumb 2000 lb. iron bomb. Yes, it takes effort to tailor your resume for each job. But if you do not care about the job enough to do spend the time, then why bother applying in the first place?