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Anyone want to critique my resume?

 
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Just wondering if anyone wants to give me some comments on my resume. The career services at my university is having a resume 'checkup' in a couple weeks and I want to get my resume all ready for that.
Anyways my resume can be found online at (edit) new version is at http://www.pongomail.com/resume/lkstitch-resume2.pdf
thanks for the help everyone!
lance
[ September 20, 2002: Message edited by: Lance Titchkosky ]
 
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Two comments:
First, the skill highlights is way too long. These should be 2-4 skills, roughly, which are your key strengths or areas of knowledge/experience.
Second, I would expand on your experience. That's what most employers are looking for. Take some fot he skills listed up top and describe how you used these tools and technologies in pwrformance of your duties.
--Mark
 
Lance Titchkosky
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Thanks for the comments Mark. One problem I have is that many of the things under skills are things I've done/used in academic projects and haven't used them when I was working at IT. For things like that should I leave them in the skill's section?
Many of the classes I've been taking for my MSc have a practicum section where you use what you have been studying in class. eg, last semester I took a class on agile processes. The in class part was all seminars that required us to do research on specific agile processes and then give a 3 hour presentation. The practical part was we developed a system (a timetracking/billing) system in a small team using XP.
anyways thanks for the help.
lance
 
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I have the same feeling as Mark had. Your experience part is too simple, don't just give a one sentence highlight, add some meat. For example , simply saying "Designed and developed web applications using Java Servlets" doesn't mean anything. what application ? what architecture, what platform, what application/web server, what database, size of the pj, function of the pj, what special servlet technique, what desgin pattern, etc. You don't need to say too much, but you get to say something to show people what fields you have touched.
skill set part is too lengthy, will not catch people's real attention.
 
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Lance...
You have a good start... I'd like to give you some pointers about Resume Writing... First, let me say that I am not a professional resume author... I have no experience other than writing my own and reading others for the last decade... So take it for what it is worth...
A resume is an organized written presentation of relevant information and accomplishments specifically targeted toward your work/job search objective. It is not, in my opinion, a laundry list of jobs and duties. It is an overview and should not tell everything about you... gotta save something for the interview... Keep in mind that your resume will be read/skimmed in approximately 25 to 35 seconds... So it needs to be clear, direct, effective, professional and easy to read. Bullet points are good to use to facilitate skimming... but I think that you over did it on this resume. Conversely, you want to avoid long paragraphs and large blocks of text.
Keep in mind that your resume is a Sales Brochure and you are the product. It should be written to illustrate what you can do... It is not a biography. Be mindful of your target market and write the resume in your own words. The language in the resume and your verbal presentation should be similar... Write as you speak!
In my opinion you should not include personal information or physical characteristics... Hobbies or interests unless they are related to your job objective... Leave out the "References available upon request"... They know that already...
Also, FYI, The objective statement is seldom used, if ever on a professional resume. It has been replaced by the Summary/Lead-in paragraph... at least that is what the out-placement dudes told me last time I had my resume reviewed..
You might want to get to a public library and checkout some other examples of technical/professional resume writing books... That helped me bunches when I was figuring out what to put in my resume at least it will expose you to different ways you can format your resume...
Good Luck!
 
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Lance,
You already have a solid resume to start. If you're graduating next year, I would suggest getting a Java certification before the end of the year so you can put it on your resume for next semester's recruiters.
Further, pad down your skillset a bit by eliminating redundant words ("Experience in..."). Just list in order of proficiency, from best to worst. Highlight areas you are interested in working on (J2ME or AIX, for example).
And make sure you use business terms and show that you learned from your work. For example, show you know the software development cycle...or environment (development, testing, production)....
I didn't scrutinized your resume, but it looks good. Your skills are diverse, so I would also suggest having different versions of it for different companies. ie, a software one for sw companies and a hardware one and a business oriented one....etc.
 
Mark Herschberg
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Lance, it's ok to discuss some major projects in school. List one, maybe two, under experience. If you list skills that aren't back up by descriptions under the experience section, it looks like fluff.
The object part is still used on resumes of people coming out of school--although you do have prior experience. Your call there.
--Mark
 
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+ Enjoy traveling, camping, hiking, water skiing, basketball and squash.
+ Interested in home theater setup and use.

I don't want to seem cynical, but that translates as "a few generic 'outdoor' things I don't really do anymore, put in to show I'm not just a nerd", and "I spend a lot of time watching TV"
If you want people to believe this section you have to justify it just like the skills and experience.
My top tip, though has got to be to use this section to say something interesting and different about yourself. Got any hobbies you wouldn't think of listing here? Won anything recently? involved in any online communities (hint)? The old stuff about "show you are a rounded individual" is effectively obsolete. Leverage this section to make yourself memorable.
 
Lance Titchkosky
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Thanks for all the comments people. I've trimmed down my resume and added a project work section. I know it still needs some work but here it is
http://www.pongomail.com/resume/lkstitch-resume2.pdf
 
Frank Carver
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That looks generally much "tighter" now. Personally, I don't understand the "GPA" stuff, but I have to assume it makes sense locally. If it could be expressed in a more useful way, someone with more Canadian/American experience will have to chip in.
The main remaining problem I can see with your resum� is that it's not clear what (and when) you are actually looking for.
The only thing even vaguely like an "availability date" is December 2003! As it stands, this is likely to just get your resum� tossed in the trash Even if you get past that, you say that you are doing a "part time" MSc, but don't say how much time it takes up. Many potential employers or recruiters will move on rather than bother with considering someone who may be at college a lot of the time.
So, to dispel these fears and meake it all much clearer, please
  • Put an availability date clearly at the top of the resum�
  • Explain how much time you will be able to give to an employer (if you will be doing the course evenings and weekends only, make this really obvious)
  • Put your employment history above your education, so it looks like you are applying for work rather than another course.


  • As I've said in several other threads, the vital thing is to learn to think like someone who has too much work and too few people; and just wants it to be as quick and stress-free as possible to find someone. Make it easy for them. Reassure them.
    Checkout all the recent resum� threads here, and think hard about how much might apply to your own resum�.
     
    Lance Titchkosky
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    Thanks for the comments again Frank. I added in an avaliability section at the top.
    thanks again..
    lance
     
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