Monthly Archives: May 2011

Avoiding Resume Hell

In the last year, I’ve been reviewing dozens of resumes for a PHP Programmer position. I only see the resumes of those who passed our technical recruiter’s initial screening. It is appalling how many resumes are just BAD.

Here are some simple things that will tell me exactly what I want to know.

  • Instead of an “Objective” section with a useless I-want-to-use-my-skills-to-add-value line, add a sentence like “Seeking PHP Programmer position.” Or whatever you’re looking for. The company wants to know to which job opening you are applying! You may have experience in various technologies–what are you looking for RIGHT NOW? Saying that you seek A or B is okay too.
  • List which open source platforms and frameworks you have used. Aligning with the company’s standards can be a big bonus.
  • For technical resumes, don’t be afraid to go beyond one page. But don’t give me essays either. Write short sentences that tell what you created or implemented. Use action words like created, enhanced, architected, implemented and so forth. List which technologies you used for each project.
  • Tell me about your side projects. Tell me about the online communities you frequent. Tell me about the open source frameworks to which you have contributed. Tell me about user groups you attend.
  • Provide URLs to your personal web site or blog. Provide URLs to some apps you have created.