How to get hired, or at the very least, how to get me to take a 2nd look at your resume

May 25, 2005 · Posted in Misc, Writing & Reading 

I was taking a look at some resumes this week and I was taken aback at the state of most of resumes that were submitted. So here are some basic rules for anyone who cares to listen :

1. Use spell check.

2. Use punctuation, at the very least use an occasional sentence and end it with a period.

3. If you use an Objective section, make sure the objective somehow applies to the position for which you are sending in your resume.

4. In your work history/class description(for a new grad) make sure you actually describe what you did not just that you did it. For example :

I worked on a group project where we wrote a program that did X.VS

I worked on a group project where I wrote the network code for a program that did X in C++ and used a CVS repository to store the code. The code was developed in a Solaris environment using the GNU compiler.

Which one of those two comes off better? In the first you would probably end up with a list of buzzwords somewhere on your resume with no context, in the second you can forego the list since your buzzwords are there and in context. OK, the example was a bit contrived but you get the idea.

5. If your GPA is below a 3.0 don’t put it on your resume. GPA’s are optional on a resume and a verbal 2.7 comes off alot better after you have wowed them in an interview.

6. The truth will set you free. If you worked part/full-time to pay your way through school, say so, don’t just say you waited tables. It will make that 2.7 or even that 3.9 look alot better.

7. A lie will damn you. Don’t pad your resume, even if you’re a very smooth talker padding may ruin an otherwise great interview if you happen to get caught.

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