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Resume advice? Anyone?

Garann Means
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2002
Posts: 214
I'd love to get some feedback on my resume. I just got my BS a year ago, and have held a full-time position in the public sector for about 8 months. However, I'm scared to stay in the public sector. I'm using Java now, but because of inherent bureaucratic knots, there's little opportunity here for me to keep my skills current. That leaves me the choice of remaining here until I retire, with a salary cap of about $60k, or trying my luck in the private sector once things settle down and the wheat has been separated from the chaff, wrt IT startups.
I'm networking like crazy, but all the leads I've had so far have turned into dead-ends once I sent my resume. So I have two questions:
1. What is this resume lacking? I'm already planning to add a section of projects (open source and moonlighting) that I've worked on. Additionally, I'm working on getting my website up with examples of web and Java development I've done. Is that a good strategy? Would it make a difference?
2. In two months, I'm eligible for a promotion incl. a $10k raise. This is because I really am a good programmer, despite how it looks on paper, and this is something each of my very few employers has recognized within a month or hiring me. How do I reflect that on paper? How can I show that I may have only put two months into a project, but that the project would have taken considerably longer if I had only the beginner-level skills my resume implies?
If anyone with more experience or hiring experience can advise me, I'd be very greatful.
Michael Target

Joined: Jun 25, 2002
Posts: 12
Richard Scothern
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 25, 2001
Posts: 83
I think you also need to add emphasis to your java programming. In your current job, you list java 7th out of a list of 8 languages/technologies. I would think employers are looking at your current job, seeing HTML, DHTML, ASP, JSP, VBscript, JavaScript and assuming you are a web *page* developer who does a bit of java and sql. Put Java at the front of the list, you may also want to include some specific APIs in parenthesis e.g Java(Servlets, JSP, Javabeans, Threading, Reflection) to show what you are actually programming in java.
Another thing employers like to see is not what you've done (programming) but how it has contributed to the company eg., cut costs, improved efficiency in the department.
As for the promotion; if you are being promoted you can write ...was promoted to <new job title> after x months. If it is a payrise you can put...received x amount of positive reviews and was given a raise.
I hope this helps.
Frank Carver

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
This is really more appropriate to "Jobs Discussion" than "Jobs Wanted", so I've moved it for you.

Read about me at ~ Raspberry Alpha Omega ~ Frank's Punchbarrel Blog
Garann Means
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2002
Posts: 214
Can you explain a little further? I am a web developer. I don't write desktop apps and don't really want to. Is this a bad thing?
Thank you for your advice,
Richard Scothern
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 25, 2001
Posts: 83
My point is, whether or not you develop applications which run on a desktop or a server, I assume you are trying to sell yourself as a java programmer.
There are roles for people who work on the presentation layer i.e, write HTML, use JSP/ASP tags etc, and those who create the software on the server to provide the application logic, i.e, java (or whatever) programmers.
By looking at your resume it appears - to me anyway - that you are more of the first than the second. If this is your motive then fine, I don't now why you aren't getting any more interest. If this isn't the case, then I'd advise you emphasise more on the programming part of your job and less on the web page part.
Of course, it could be that no one is hiring and we're all screwed!
Garann Means
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2002
Posts: 214
OK, I see what you're trying to say. The problem is, I have a holistic web development skill set - everything from making the graphics to setting up the database to configuring the application settings to writing the backend logic to etc.. That's what I really want to capture, that I'm able to do the full spectrum and can put together a small webapp with almost no outside aid, or fit pretty much anywhere into the proces of building a large one. I'm trying to show that I'm flexible, and it sounds like it doesn't come across.
Maybe I'll try and show that with a portfolio and list of projects, rather than with employment and education history.
Again, thank you for your suggestions.
Vlad Guru

Joined: Jul 26, 2002
Posts: 5
list your skills separately(Technical Skills: Java, JSP, etc) and do not list your references. References usually checked after offer is extended.
Frank Carver

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
I don't want to sound harsh, but I'm not really surprised if you haven't had much takeup from a resum� like this. I'm afraid there are lots of subtle problems with it.
While you are arguing with my points below, feel free to take a look at my own current resum� as HTML or PDF. I'm not shy, all comments welcome!
The number one problem is the same as I see from most novice resum� writers. You don't show that you've thought about who will be reading it! This document reads like some notes you have made for yourself, not for someone involved in hiring. Here's a few specifics to get you started:
  • Make it look good printed: recruiters the world over work with paper. A web site can't be put in an "in tray", spread on a table, shown to the tech lead at the coffee machine etc. etc. Concentrate on the paper version.
  • Always explain every specialist term orabbreviation you use: you don't want to miss a job because some temp in HR has never heard of something. What is TVW, for example?
  • Spell out your dates: I've had a recruiter shelve a resum� because she read 9/01 as September 1st, this year
  • Date the document: No one wants to waste time with an out of date resum�, so it's vital that it has an issue date at the top to reassure people that you are still available.
  • Concentrate on the recent stuff. The older some experience is, the less it is of interest to an employer. Describe your most recent position in depth.
  • Put your contact details on it. If they can't get in touch, they can't hire you!

  • The general approach for this is to think hard about how a recruitment process might work. If you've never been involved in it yourself, talk to people who have. Listen to "war stories" about all the inappropriate and uninteligible resum�s that always get submitted.
    A typical example might be as follows:
  • Department head gets agreement to hire someone. We'll assume they actually need someone with your skills, but they probably don't realize it.

    • "We need to put our old widget tracking system on the intranet, get another developer in",
      "what skills?",
      "Since Tom left, no one understands all that PL/SQL and Oracle Forms anymore. Oh and a guy in the next office says ColdFusion is cool, so that would good, too".
    • Sketchy request is passed to HR, who change it even more, and pass it out to agencies, websites etc.
    • The agencies understand that the HR folks don't really know what they need, and they have out of work people pestering them every day, so they submit hundreds of vaguely appropriate resum�s. Your first task, to get your resum� submitted for lots of positions.
    • HR acts as a first stage filter, rejecting the wildly inappropriate ones, and the ones they don't understand or don't like the look of. Your second task, to get your resum� past HR to people who understand your skills and experience.
    • Eventually a pile of paper is passed to the department head or team leader who needs someone. He/she gets together with some existing employees and they work to trim it down to a "shortlist" of candidates for interview. Your third task, to get onto that shortlist.
    • Finally, the formal process begins. Telephone or physical interviews, references, offers etc. Your final task, sell yourself better than the rest.

    • Does this sound tough? Sure! but you have a poweful weapon in your resum� if you use it wisely. Let's take the "tasks" in order.
    • Get submitted. The most important things here are availability and keywords. You want everyone involved to know you are available, so you don't get left in the file. Agencies, websites and so on are all both very busy and very dumb. They are not good at "reading between the lines", so you want to explicitly list as many appropriate keywords as you can, near the top of the first page.
    • Get past HR. This is similar to stage 1, but the emphasis is different. Where the agencies are busy with too many people on their books, HR folks are typically underworked in todays can't-afford-to-hire economy. They don't want to lose their jobs either, so they have to look useful. They are sill dumb, though. HR might reject a resum� because of poor layout or spelling, or because you haven't included something which they need to fill out some internal form. The trick here is to include everything they might conceivably need: location, citizenship, marital status, etc. etc.
    • Shortlist. The most important part at this stage is the details of previous work. You should already have a skills match from your efforts for stage 1, but the shortlist process is when the people you might work with begin to get ideas about what you can really do for them. Describe the systems you've worked on, describe the successes and benefits you brought to the employer, describe what tools you used to do the job. The "Aha!" moment is when the shortlisters look at one of your previous positions and recognize their problems in something you have already solved. Give URLs to any of your work which is publicly accessible. Put together an online "portfolio".
      There's another trick at this stage, and it's about hobbies, interests and personal history. I couldn't help noticing that your resum� says nothing about you as a person. Imagine there are (say) 30 reasonable resum�s on the table, and they need to be cut down. The team will go back and forth through them trying to decide. At this stage it's vital to be memorable.

        "We'll interview the snowboarder, the violinist, the gameshow guy, the sci-fi fan ... and who else ?"
    • Interview. Your resum� can even help you here. Most interviewers quickly get fed up by the process, so anything you can do to help them is a win for you. Leave a few things deliberately unwritten; give them things to ask you, for which you have prepared interesting and appropriate answers.

    • If you have a good grasp of how hiring really works, you can be way ahead of the others just using a few simple tricks like the ones above.
      It's also not at all obvious from your document whether you are primarily interested in short-term contract/project work, or a long-term career with a company. These two sorts of applications require quite different approaches.
      For short-term work the most important thing is your skill set right now. Your resum� should start with a list of skill keywords, marked up with some sort of experience level. Then concisely describe your softer skills. Then provide a work history to back it up.
      The reasoning for this approach is that people hiring for short term contracts already know what skill set they need, and they probably need it yesterday.
      For a long-term career position, what you know now is less important. What is vital is that you will fit in to their organization and can learn and adapt to whatever the job becomes. This is where personal objectives and very broad soft skills come in. It's a cliche, but you have to show that you are a "team player".
      This post turned out longer than I expected, but I hope it has been useful.
    John Coxey
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 24, 2000
    Posts: 503
    Garann Rose Means:
    - Regarding the issue of promotion and $10K raise.
    1. Do not put $$ amount of raise on resume - just don't do it - no one cares.
    2. Under your current employer - you list previous job title - timeframe - responsibilities - etc.
    3. Unter your current employer again - you list new job title - timeframe - responsibilities - etc.
    Since you have just recently receive "promotion" you may want to adjust dates between the two job titles.
    Title #1: May 1990 - Aug 2002
    Title #2: Aug 2002 - Present
    Change to:
    Title #1: May 1990 - June 2002
    Title #2: June 2002 - Present
    By doing this - you show that you have been doing title #2 work for a few months --- and can use "reason or leaving job" is that you felt new position was not challenging enough.
    You don't want to show that you just got a promotion and left.
    Is the above legal?? Hell yeah!!! Why? Because more than likely you have been doing job title #2 work decription long before you got the promotion.
    Can new employer find out dates of promotion? They had better not. If I find out my previous employer gave out information other than my start and hire dates --- I call an attorney. Period!!!
    In reality - I've had 4 IT jobs in last 3 or so years -- NO ONE has ever called my previous employer and NO ONE has EVER called a reference.
    The only exception to this - was when a mimumum wage security guard company that I had applied to (needed money for fishing trip) had called one of my professors at college. And that was no biggie.
    Another option for your resume - in regards to the promotion:
    --- Just show how you accepted increased responsibilities as you worked at the company. But whatever you do - don't put $$ amt of YOUR pay or pay increase on resume.

    John Coxey
    Evansville, Indiana, USA
    John Coxey
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 24, 2000
    Posts: 503
    Garann Rose Means:
    - Looking at your resume:
    1. Unless you received a degree - remove the following colleges:
    Skaget Valley & Smith College
    2. For "The Evergreen State College" :
    - List the degree and major and year completed.
    - Do NOT list the dates attended - Let the recruiter ASSUME you spent the past 4 YRS going to Evergreen State.
    Evergreen State College - Northampton, MA - Bachelor of Science - Computer Science - May 2001
    (something like that).
    You need to list the major (dont use word "major" and "minor" - just tell me the degree name and what it was for).
    As your resume stands - I can read it as BS-Computer Science or BS-Psychology with some computer science courses. YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT CLEAR TO THE READER WHAT YOU DID!!!
    - Why do I say this? You are volunteering too much information. Recruieters only want success stories and are going to question why you bounced from college to college.
    - You want the focus of the resume and interview to be concentrated on your skills and what YOU can do for the company - not about how you bounced from college to college.
    - I personally went to Penn State Univ for 18 months and dropped out. Went to Pitt for 12 months and droppe out. NONE OF THIS IS ON MY RESUME.
    - Also - I have 5 yrs of trucking experience - again - NONE OF THIS IS ON MY RESUME.
    Why? I want the interviewer to strictly focus on my IT skills. Hell - I don't even put down Penn State on the job application - I did not graduate from there - so the heck with them.
    That's problem #1. I need a beer and will be back with problem #2.
    P.S. Do not take this as a personal attack or anything such - I am trying to help.
    John Coxey
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 24, 2000
    Posts: 503
    Garann Rose Means:
    Beer with a meal replacement bar - now there's a man's dinner for yah:
    Problem #2:
    - Your resume looks "hurried up" - like you spent all of 10 minutes on it. Why do I say this - because it looks like everyone elses?
    - What you need to do:
    1. Look at a resume' formatting program - that will help alot. MS-Word is the industry standard for resume submission - so look at some of their resume templates.
    2. You need a SKILLS section at top of resume. List skills in order from most experienced to least experienced. Do not list in alphabetical order. Recruiters know how the game is played and if they see non-alphabetical order they will assume by order of experience
    3. For each job:
    Need Section: Company, Location, Months Worked (which you did)

    Need Section: Job Title or Project Title.
    - Tell what you did - what project did - how you contributed to project.
    Need Section at bottom part of each company you worked for. Work/Tools Environment - tell what OS you used, what Software. Can be a re-hash of skills section. Gives bulk to resume.
    Next - Education - List your education- see problem #1 in previous post. Actually - I would list this at top of resume - my opinion.
    Next - Industry Certifications - you got any - list them and date received. No one cares about the score - even if you got 100% on SCJP2 exam.
    Next - Put "References on Request" at end of resume to add closure.
    This should add some bulk to the resume.

    Note: For Job Titles / Project Names - make sure it is something the average schmuch can understand. Don't put down "ALHPA 2178 PROJECT" when in reality you should put down "Drinking Fawcett Handle Design Program". I need to understand what's going on.

    OK - That beer went fast - I gotta make another trip to fridge. Back is a sec.
    John Coxey
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 24, 2000
    Posts: 503
    Garann Rose Means:
    Made sure I grabbed the rest of the six pack.
    Here we go....
    Problem #3:
    - NEVER-EVER-EVER put references on a resume.
    - 1. You want to use the resume to list all YOUR skills and what your did. In your case - this is particularly important.
    - 2. When you get called in for on-site interview - and fill out application for employment (note: this may happen after offer is made and on your first day of work) - is when you turn in contact list.
    Why? You want to call your contacts/references the day after you give their info to an employer - so you can prepare them and remind them to call you IF someone actually contacts them.
    It's also considered more professional in the business world to give refereces at on-site interview or first-day employement that to just "volunteer" them.
    Again? I want the total focus of the interviewer to be on ME - GOOD OLD ME!!!.
    I want to use the entire 1 or 2 sheets of my resume to focus entirely on me.
    As Mark Hershberg has mentioned - he is on other side of game playing recuiter boy. He has about 10-20 seconds to look at resume.
    That's it!!!
    I have 8 yrs of college and 4yrs of IT experience. All I get is 20 seconds for a yeah or nay!!! Period!!!
    I want Mark (or any recruiter) to focus solely on ME!!!
    My advice:
    Go to library - get a table every day this week for an hour. Don't do nothing - except write down your skills - and what you have done at company. Don't read any resume skill books - just focus on what YOU did in your IT career. How you grew - your contributions - anything.
    Watch the people in the library - it helps you to concentrate. Daydream if you have to - let the thoughts just roll on in.
    You'll be amazed at what you pick-up doing this for 5 days.
    You'll also be surprised that 95% of the folks out there have the same resume format - resume style - and resume info as you do.
    You'll also be surprised that - even though what I say on this board is repeated 10,000 times all over the NET - 95% of the folkd out there put all of 10 minutes into the interview/resume process.
    Hopefully, my advice will get you started.
    Side Note: One of the reson's I write on this board - is to focus my thoughts on the interview / resume process. Amazing, when I am writing here - how many thoughts come into my mind. I actually sit here with notepad writing down ideas.
    When you get good at this game - you can actually go in and try different ideas out - see what works - what doesn't.
    For example:
    I've noticed that if I am offered coffee or a coke - I automatically say yes. It really and truly helps to break the ice. I may not actually open the can of coke - and I really do hate coffee - but I'll go through the motions.
    This is in contrast to what the interview books say to do. So you gotta play the game and find out what works for you.
    Note: If you think you need the help of a resume writer - for God's sake - still do the library thing and sit and hack out your skills and what you want to say - and get this down on paper before seeing a resume writer.
    Take some time out at lunch - look around your office/cube/box and let the ideas flow - what have you hacked on / worked on at work.
    Did you do any customer support? if so, on what - was there a problem that needed solved. If so - what? Did it require a coding solution - if so, what/what language? How did you get the mother through managment and into production?
    Did the system every crash - How did you fix it?
    Was it a 2AM production support phone call?
    Did you fix/proof anyone elses code? How do you ocntribute/prepare for code walkthroughs?
    All of the above is intended to give you ideas to write down on paper and get that brain of yours working.
    Remember - you can take a simple project/fix and make a big deal out of it and put it on resume. Sometimes you have to do this!!!
    Give you an example:
    I worked at EDS - I did mainframe production support. Didn't know shit about COBOL - still don't.
    But - I was the guy they called at 2AM for production support. Why - Cuz I knew how to re-start programs and talk to folks.
    So on resume: I indicate that program runs in 3 countries (USA, Canada, Puerto Rico) - I indicate that I was responsible for batch cycle support. At interview - when asked how I made contributions to project - I put mention that I physcially put in "restart instructions" for each step of JCL code.
    I mentioned that I would sit down with senior folks on project and verify that my restart instructions were correct. I also asked how I could verify that the generated output was correct.
    I also created "SAS" reports to validate my data. Why? Try reading an IBM Core Dump at 2AM to find which account crashed the system due to bad data formatting.
    A SAS report run over a data file - will instantly tell you which account has character data in an integer field or vice versa. Then you pull the account out of production. Restart the job and evaluate the account in the meantime.
    Find out what caused the account to go bad - hopefully, you received bad data from another group and it's their problem. If it's our problem - research it - and call team members if a whole buch of accounts start crashing the batch cycle.
    Once fixed and evaluated.
    Put the account back into production for the next night's batch cycle. Generate report for management.
    When I would all operator in Ohio, California, Texas or wherever EDS happened to be that month - I would point operator at code and have them read instructions on how to restart the job.
    I also mentioned how I created "status reports" every morning for managmenet. This would help my manager "validate" his request for personell resources.
    Again - take a minor situation and make it into something important. Show how you took charge - show your communication skills.
    Most of all - remember the hiring process is a game. The more you prepare and practice at it - the better you get.
    So approach it as a game. Your first step will be to re-hash the resume - and put more substance into what you actually did.
    Next step - take it to a pro resume writer. If you can't affort the $100 to have it professionally hacked/re-written/proofed/etc - then don't be in this game. You spent a few grand on college - what's another $100 (if that).
    Note: I don't care about on-line resume's - God knows we've had enough discussions about this the past 3 or 4 yrs on this board. It's nice - but I don't care about your HTML skills.
    Management is going to want an MS-Word document in their grubby little hands. So make sure you put an MS-Word copy of your resume on your web-site so it can be printed off.
    In case you "forget resume" or "reference list" when on the road - put them in MS-Word format on your web-site.
    All you gotta do is jump on the net - hit your site - print off a few copies. If you have time - hit a local library ad pay the 10 or 15 cent per page fee to get a few printed off.
    Hell - can ask the receptionist at company to do this for you. It's happened. Especially, after going out of town to a job fair and then having interviews the next day - and you are like "shit" I ain't got no more.
    Note: It's ok to use resume's printed on plain paper while at interview - as I've had to do this a few times - due to lost luggage or just plain having too many interviews lined up over the day or two while out of town - it happens.

    Best of all - relax, have fun

    John Coxey
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 24, 2000
    Posts: 503
    Garann Rose Means:
    I just went back over this entire message thread.
    I had not read what other people wrote until just now.
    Compare my notes to Frank Carver's: We both essentially say the same thing.
    Again - Please don't take our comments as a personal attack or such. Read them - use them constructively. Both Frank & I have been in this game for some time now - and know what we are talking about.
    Let us know how things go. If you have a success story (meaning you scored a new gig) - let us know.
    John Coxey
    John Coxey
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 24, 2000
    Posts: 503
    Garann Rose Means:
    One last post.
    Got my pathetic web-site up and running - here is a link to an MS-Word copy of my resume.
    Note: I need to work on the Hewlett-Packard section more -- and have not "proofed" the resume yet. I am currently fishing (for trout) and not really looking all that hard just yet.
    Here is the link: enjoy!!
    Kevin Thompson
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: May 04, 2001
    Posts: 237
    John - I looked at your resume. What I am going to say is the way the world perceives things - and I wish it wasn't true. I know differently. I know that people who worked on mainframes were very smart, very capable, and very sophisticated.
    However, like I said, that is not the way the real world sees things. To use the word "COBOL" (and all mainframe related words) on a resume, puts you in the category of "those stupid old people".
    Every single mainframe programmer I know of stripped the "those old people" words from the resume.

    Are you the exception? Have you found that the word "COBOL" was not the kiss of death on a resume?
    Chad McGowan
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: May 10, 2001
    Posts: 265
    I have personally landed java development jobs with 'COBOL' listed on my resume. Granted, it is always listed near the end, but I still list it.
    I don't think all employers are small minded enough to think that someone can't move from a mainframe language to java. I also don't think all employers stereotype COBOL programmers as being old (if they do, I probably puzzle them because I'm still in my 20's). It just so happens that the company I started with while I was still in college used COBOL. As a junior programmer, that was the language I had to learn first.
    Also, there are some corporations that are moving from mainframe apps to java, so it helps to have a knowledge of both.
    And lastly, some companies want a developer who can do more than one thing.
    John Coxey
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 24, 2000
    Posts: 503
    - Thanks for your comments - they are appreciated.
    - I have not found COBOL to be kiss of death on a resume.
    - Let me list my reasons:
    1. My weak point is experience --- I gotta show experience and leadership on my resume --- so I go with the EDS - Mainframe thing.
    2. I hope my education and the fact I have three jobs listed after I worked for EDS (appears before EDS on resume) -- will "cover my butt" in the "dinosaur COBOL" category.
    3. At interview - I've usually "rambled" enough about Lucent and Lehigh - that I can usually cover the EDS topic in once sentence. Note - I also follow with a sentence or two about being a PROLOG coder and SYSOP BBS Operator for a year for Northwinds Software.
    I use the EDS gig to show how I demonstrate organization and people skills in attempting to solve a production support issue involving folks from three different countries at 2AM.
    4. To cover my butt further. I mention that I used the MS-CS degree and the Lehigh Univ Project to transition from "prcedural programming" to "object-oriented prgramming".
    - In saying the above - I hope and pray that I step into "dangerous ground" --- meaning the recruiter throws some OOA&D questions at me.
    - And BINGO!!! I do the Michael Jordan slam dunk - cuz I know that the recruiter just "fell into my trap".
    - Why?
    - Out come the colored white-board markers. You do carry a set to every on-site inveriew you go on? Don't you?
    - I go ahead and start with 4 or 5 basic OOA&D definitions and class charts to illustrate what I am talking about.
    - Then I slam right into MVC Architecture.
    - For absolute closure - I ask " would you like me to show you how this all relates to the Colgate-Palmolive project I did at Hewlett-Packard?"
    Please -- If there is a God - Let the idiot say "yes"???
    - Then it's another 10 min at whiteboard going through the class hierarchy chart (partial) of the Colgate-Palmolive website project.
    - Most folks (even management - surprisingly!!) know basic HTML code. So I show how we broke HTML statements into classes. We have a class for LINK, one for TEXT, one for IMAGE. I show how these are childrend of a COMPONENT class.
    I show how we divided page into SECTIONS and how Sections are made up of COMPONENTS - but that COMPONENTS are NOT child classes of SECTIONS. I think this is called an aggregation or some thing.
    Need to do some research here on this.
    - By this time - the COBOL and EDS world has been forgotten. Alle th idiot will remember is that I put in 2 yrs at EDS/GMAC/Bethlehem Steel. Note - It's also on page #2 of resume - so it won't be in front of the recruiter's face that long. Cuz we will be back on page #1.
    - Note: I am showing how I have adapted to the changing IT skills throughout my career. It's not like I worked for 30 yrs at one job - doing just COBOL. My resume shows (both job wise and educationally - that I have been able to make the transition from procedural programming to ooad programming).
    I hope by reading this - that you realize that I put alot of prep-time into getting ready for an interview.
    This exact resume - has scored me gigs in less that 6 weeks for each of the past 4 job searches. All pevious 4 job searches ended up with multiple job offers. I should mention that the HP job paid over $120K per year + 4 weeks vacation per year. And that they gave me a 4 month severance package.
    The three big problems with my career:
    1. The fact that I can't keep from getting laid off.
    2. The fact that I like to use my down time to go fishing as opposed to getting a job - reason for the year-long gaps between some of the gigs. BTW/ No one really seems to care about this - surprisingly!!! When you're single - you do as you damned please. Tomorrow - I plan on driving 500 miles to Montanna - fish on Sat - and drive back 500 miles to Denver for Sunday morning workout with trainer at gym.
    3. The fact that I view IT as a job - not a hobby. I want out of the office at 5PM and start thinking about this at 3PM. Which means, I spend alot of time procrastinating - when it comes to preparing for certification exams or learning new topics.

    So to answer your question about COBOL - no it is not the "kiss of death" for me.
    Frank Carver

    Joined: Jan 07, 1999
    Posts: 6920
    Fascinating thread, this has turned out to be. In the light of John's resum� and my own earlier comments I have adjusted my own a bit (new versions also in HTML and PDF).
    John: Good resum�, I particularly like the way your name is big and bold at the top (so I've done that with mine), and I've now also moved my degree nearer the top and jiggled my experience sections a little.
    However, I'm not sure about your "objective" section. It doesn't really read like an objective to me, more like a description of your "soft skills". I've always thought that an "objective" section (if you decide to use one) should say something about whare you want your career to go, but I can't see that in yours.
    I'm also not sure that your "professional qualifications" section is really "qualifications" - if it is, I would expect to see some detail about the qualifications taken and who issued/examined the certification. As it stands I'd probably label that section just "skills".
    Still good, though.
    Anyone else want join in and add theirs to the pot, or add some comments on any of the ones on show so far ?
    John Coxey
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 24, 2000
    Posts: 503
    I have debated alot about the "Objective" section.
    - Do I want to say that I am "looking for J2EE position" - or do I want to say "know OOA&D and experienced in UML and lifecycle and J2EE" ?
    - I don't think there is a right or wrong answer here. I may re-hack the objective agan - but it worked ok in last 2 job searches.
    - I like to take a more pro-active approach to the job search. Meaning - I send out at most 5 to 10 resumes a week. And they are addressed to specific folks mentioned in advertisements. So when the resume gets to a desk - I want to make an instant impact - BAM!!!
    - I look at it as another method of being different from the other guys. Figure that everyone else's resume looks the same. Mine is different - by virtue of the formatting alone - and I want to continue that difference in the Objective statement.
    - You know - even after the initial screening - that there will be 30-40 resumes on the manager's desk (possible even more). I absolutely have to do whatever it takes to get his/her attention. So that's my reason for wording my objective this
    - I respond to any job that I think is interesting to me - does not matter where I saw the advertisement. But it must have a contact name/e-mail/number or else I don't count it as part of my 5 or 10 submitted resumes - even if I send one out to that company.
    - I don't generally post my resume to a job-board and "hope for the best". It doesn't hurt- it's just that I don't count on it to generate leads.
    - Also - I absolutely become a "pain in the rear-end" once I get a contact name and phone number. I absolutely make it my goal to score an on-site interview.
    - If I were to use a "resume' rabbit" mass mailing - then I would definitely re-focus the Objective.

    - Why do I want an on-site interview?
    - My past experience has shown that I get offers 50-75% of the time when I do an on-site interview.
    And that's what I want - 2 or 3 job offers in my hands.
    - The 25% - 50% rejections are mainly due to no-show managers, or I plain just get disinterested (low pay - bad people - etc) and I think it shows.
    - Note: The on-site success rate wasn't always this way. It's just by going through this job search process so many times that I got good at it. And I think that's what you gotta do in the game.
    - And yeah - I have totally choked / panicked at an interview. Hate it when I loose my "train of thought". It happens.
    Reason why you want to be going on multiple interviews per week -- at least one a week when the ball gets rolling.
    - The Hewlett-Packard section needs a total re-work. I had to up-date the resume in about 10 min after getting laid off from HP - as I had a solid job lead from an old friend and needed to get something out ASAP.
    - I am working on SCWCD exam right now - plus the gym thing - and want to see how adding SCWCD plus the UML cert along with the SCJP2 cert will affect my responses.
    - I can tell you that I am learning a whole heck of alot about JSP/Servlets just by studying for the SCWCD exam. I am approaching it more as a "learning tool" than as a "try to pass the exam exercise". That and the gym are the two reasons why I haven't been looking for awhile.
    - I also want to see what effect loosing 120 lbs will have on my interview effort. Went from a size 50 to size 34 in past 18 months.
    Ok - it's getting late here. Gotta run.
    I agree. Here's the link:
    subject: Resume advice? Anyone?
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