Resume review

A resume is your one-page summary of your skills and experience, and will be read in the context of the job being applied for.

A sequence of recruiters, managers and engineers will read top-down and try to quickly decide if your experience is a fit, so tell them what you’ve got in bites of increasing complexity: contact info, objective, skills, experience (work, school), and additional info.

If you have the reader’s attention for 1 min, she’ll know who you are and what you want; in 2 min she’ll know your skills; in 5 min your experience; etc, and if the reader gets all the way to the bottom there’s some light content as a reward :)

If you’re short on space, you can drop content from the bottom-up, overall and in each section.

Name & contact info. Only add a third-party site, eg github profile, if someone who doesn’t know you can find value there quickly.

(Engineers reviewing your resume will look at your github to find things to talk about. You can guide this conversation by linking to things you want to talk about. The same applies to a blog; link to tagged content from your resume. Linking from a later section, however, will give you more space to provide context.)

Objective

A terse statement, tuned to the role you’re applying for, confirms the reader is in the right place. Example: “Objective: apply my skills and experience to help a team build great Android apps” Use this objective to prioritize your electives, side-projects, blog posts, etc. This is where your interests meet a given job description.

Skills

Ideally, this is the set of tools you use to achieve your objective, irrespective of company. This isn’t a broad list of jargon.

Expect to be asked about anything you claim proficiency with. Hone these skills by seeking experience aligned with your objective.

Experience

Work experience is the most realistic indicator of ability in the workplace. This is one reason why internships are important. As a student you won’t have much, so make the most of it by linking to a product/feature/announcement if possible, describing the motivation and team work involved, etc.

Education

Most academic experience will be the standard IEEE CS curriculum, so just start by listing your school, major and minor. Add anything that indicates you took it seriously, eg GPA, awards, scholarships, clubs, etc. Highlight any classes and/or projects you took in service of your objective, eg “CS 205 Operating Systems (taught using Android)”, “CS 302 Advanced iOS”, capstone, etc.

Additional

This section is a free form list of 2-3 items to show you’re a well-rounded, self-motivated human being. This content can help your interviewers “break the ice”. You can describe a side project and link to your github, blog, etc to show what you can/would do if given the time/space to work on anything. Mention something (safe for work) you do for fun, eg play guitar, cook, act, etc. Non-technical skills would fit here too, eg “Fluent in Spanish”.

Feedback

Thoughts? Suggestions? Hit me up @erikeldridge

License

Except as otherwise noted, the content of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, and code samples are licensed under the MIT license.