Do you really want that job as a developer? Then you’ve got to show skills in your first contact with potential employers in your resume.
One of our managers shared with me the biggest blunders he’s seen on resumes. He’s offered tips to at least give you a chance to get a hiring manager’s attention. Remember that first you need to get past a resume screener just to get that interview.
Align Your Resume With The Job
Generic resumes that don’t align with the job requirements top his list.
If the job posting calls for Java or ReactJS experience, you’d better list your training and qualifications in those specific languages. If a job requires 3+ years of C#/.NET experience, your resume had better show you have it.
It’s even better to add concrete examples of projects on which you’ve worked or completed using these specialties.
Hiring Managers Don’t Want To Read A Novel
One of my coworkers said to write a lengthy resume at your peril. If you can’t highlight your experience, training, skills and education in two pages, go back to the drawing board and start over. But what makes a longer resume so bad?
“In the first phase, interviewers will typically want to weed out those not qualified. So you definitely want to stand out in a good way,” he said. Managers shouldn’t have to dig through five or more pages of your personal history to figure out how you might fit their needs.
“The resume should highlight the relevant skills needed for the job posting so that prospective employers can quickly see that the candidate is probably a good initial match,” he said.
He’s seen resumes as long as seven pages come across his desk. Stop doing that.
An ideal resume should be one to two pages with links to a personal website, your LinkedIn and GitHub accounts to showcase more specific skills and accomplishments and involvement in coding and problem solving. If your work history falls short of a decade, try to keep it to a single page. Use links that call attention to showing you have the exact skills and experience listed as requirements in the job posting. “Links to a GitHub or similar account showcasing projects and code samples will get a lot more attention,” according to Izenda hiring managers. That’s something any other potential employer you’ll meet will confirm.
Don’t list every job you’ve ever held or a full history of every role you’ve taken. Follow the advice in Gayle Laakman McDowell’s book, Cracking the Coding Interview and stick to experience relevant to the job that’s been posted. Show what you did, how you did it and the results gained by your actions in brief form. This should include a few of the most significant projects in your career. If you’ve posted all of this on your website and GitHub, those links we’ve recommended can get your points across.
Just like your job history, take care in naming every programming language you’ve ever used on your resume. An alternative suggested in Cracking the Code Interview would be to add your experience level when listing most of the languages you’ve used. Terms such as expert, proficient and prior experience help to inform potential employers of your abilities.
How do you know what’s relevant? Read over that job posting again. That tells you plenty. If you know the company name, check out their website and learn not just what tools they use, but what they do. If you apply for a job at Izenda, you’d better know what some of these terms mean: ad hoc reporting, business intelligence, embedded analytics, dashboards and visualizations.
What Does A Poorly Structured Resume Say About Coding Abilities?
A poorly organized and badly structured resume reflects badly on you. A weak resume gives a bad first impression, but it does not necessarily “weed” someone out of the hiring process. However, while a weak resume may not destroy your chances for an initial interview, don’t take chances. Write your resume concisely with a clear structure. Add those links to GitHub in the section where the resume states that you have those skills.
Don’t Make Contacting You Impossible
So you’ve done it. The resume you’ve crafted hits all of the requirements and even the wish list of the prospective employer where you’ve applied. It sounds so good they’re ready to call you for an interview. Too bad they can’t do it – you’ve left off any contact information. Yes, the hiring managers at Izenda have seen resumes without phone numbers or even email addresses. With no personal LinkedIn URL, you can’t even get a DM from them.
“We have definitely seen this for at least one candidate that applied via LinkedIn. While we were ultimately able to message them through LinkedIn, it should have been much easier to reach out to them,” according to my coworker.
One last thing – before sending out that resume, make sure you don’t have any broken or dead links. You (should have) made the pdf with live links, so this should be an easy thing to check.