How To Market Yourself With A Strong Technical Resume
From Anita Borg Institute Wiki
Presentation: How to Market Yourself With A Strong Technical Resume
Terri's note: These are really raw notes, so there will be typos and possibly some confusing shorthand. Hopefully later on I'll get time to edit them to a more readable state and fix the wiki formatting, but I wanted to get them up sooner rather than later!
How to Market Yourself with a Strong Technical Resume Erica Lockheimer Wendy Gustafson
- full! (huge crowd waiting outside to get in before the other session had even closed!)
- how to stand out, how to get hired - room is full of students (no surprise)
Win all steps, all the time 1 Resume and web presence - if you don't have one, you can get passed over
2 recruiter - passion, fit, articulate your interests and show your personality - recruiter wants to see if you fit, have the right culture
3 phone screen. be prepared and do research on the company. Maybe it's not your ideal job, but take it as if it and do your practice - worst thing is to not be prepared! learn about company, ask the right questions - this is your opportunity to practice, so take every one seriously - show your passion, let the interviewer push you in the right direction
4. onsite interviews. tech interviews, be comfortable writing on a white board - practice articulating ideas, whiteboard
A complete LinkedIn profile increases your odds - direct personal brand - look at similar profiles to see what the path looks like
Projects - make sure to describe them, including school projects, and provide links - if you impacted something on a team or project, mention it!
Best way to network - keep contacts up to date - take advantage of alumni pages (who did you go to school with) - take all the opportunities you're given (make the most of GHC!) - Make sure you keep in touch with the folk you meet here, make the
- sometimes its your friends' friends who can help you
You never know what opportunity will come up or what connections will turn out to be key!
Groups - also helpful for networking Company pages - check out what it takes to work there!
Stick the landing - leverage your network - referrals work - take on as many interviews as you can (practice practice practice!)
Key concepts for writing your resume - start documenting where you are, what you learned, where you've been
Objectives - to define your professional profile, your talents, skills, experience and interests - to be a concise professional marketing tool (personal brand) - to position yourself for the job you want Make sure to highlight aspects of yourself that related (specific courses, projects, etc.) At the end of your resume, you want to see that it ties directly to the job you want.
- to differentiate yourself from the rest How am I different? What is unique about me?
Fundamentals: - all contact info is provided (name, phone, email, linkedin profile link if
you have one)
- you'd be surprised how many don't have this!
- And is professional (No firstname.lastname@example.org) Time to "evolve to the next step in your email alias definition" Don't make the recruiter feel awkward typing in your email address!
- Clean spelling & grammar - review, review, review A few mistakes won't sink you, but lots make you look unprofessional and bad.
- Formatting - there are multiple ways to effectively structure a resume.
Key is o be organized and consistent.
There is no perfect format, but watch that there's a clear flow and it tells a story about you.
It's all about Me! - When describing team projects, specify what *you* did that positively impacted the outcome Women especially are all about the we here, but we want to know about you. Be specific about your contributions! Were you the brainstormer? did you have creative solutions to problems? - Convey your efforts in terms of the problem that was solved, the value added, tne positive result, and/or what you learned from it - Demonstrating the ability to tie your efforts to the bigger picture and overall value-add will differentiate you Make sure you tie to what this really meant for customers, etc. Don't be too task-list oriented, talk about impact. - avoid detailed task-oriented lists (... unless you're boring!) It doesn't tell us much about you and how you evolved or created or built something
How can you differentiate yourself? - don't just list skills, talk instead about how you applied these skills - what was the result? the product? - quantify where it makes sense: lines of code, # of test cases, $$ value of project - use high-impact words to describe what you did zzz: helped, added, wrote --> (ooh, ahh) enabled, enhanced, defined, developed Show that you own things, think about the bigger picture and impact People tend to use very bland, passive words - but be authentic to who you are, don't embelish -- you want to reflect you
and truely what you did.
FollowHire! the leader
Highlight where you stood out as a leader
- identified an opportunity and took action that added value
* took initiative to take on additional responsibilies * when above and beyond
- community service - roles in clubs, societies, etc - motivated your peers - negotiated a win! (show that you helped overome conflic)
What did you say? - Fundamentals - What did *you* contribute or learn - What value was added in the end result? - the bigger picture - diffentiate yourself, authentically - does your resume convey your personal brand?
Don't be afraid to brag!
Finally: make sure you have a 3rd party objective person review your resume (not just mom and dad!) - make sure they give you feedback. - "give me two sentences about what you read" "give me 5 keywords about me"
and see if those line up with what you wanted to convey.
Questions: Is there an actual limit o the number of pages you can have? 1, 2? - No. There are some traditional aspects to submitting to resumes, but things
have evolved a fair bit.
- many people don't even read cover letters anymore, so we want to squeeze
that little bit more
- But we do appreciate it when it's short and concise! So it may not have to
be 1 page, but don't go on for 5...
Would it help if you prioritize what you write? - absolutely - students: maybe only need 1 page, if it's really long you're probably going
with too much detail
What role does a cover letter play? - Speakers agree that they no longer read cover letters. It tends to be
treated like filler, just as a quick way to see why you'er awesome
Is it worth adding something like github to your resume? - Yes, it's worth it, especially if you've gone outside your school/work - stepping outside the box, innovative
Currently studying theory, but want to find a technical job... what should I put on the resume? - no shame in showing that you've changed course - sometimes skills will be applicable to your new role - try to highlight relevancies, skills you've demonstrated in that time that
will be useful going forwards
Are objectives something that adds value to resumes? - Yes, makes clear interests and goals - a way to be straightforward and help along with the process
How do we talk about value add, etc. on a short bullet point? - if it's important, you should add it, don't worry about the format - it is definitely worth taking a few lines for things that matter
How do you make sure you're leaving enough to talk about in a job interview if you've already put it in the resume? - Don't worry about pink paper, think about what impact and it's the content
that will make it pop
- if you do it right, you're not going into minute detail, so you've got
plenty of opportunity to talk about that when the interviewer asks
What if you don't have much programming experience but want a technical job? How do you demonstrate your ability to learn quickly? - much of this is shown in the phone screen, etc. - show potential with other projects - give examples!
When you're not particularly qualified for the list of qualifications, you should still apply? - yes - recruiters will sometimes help you find a place, figure that out for you - we know you don't have all the exact stuff; we're looking for people who
are fungible and able to learn, not templates
- lack of exact experience does not mean you'll get ignored
Add on comments: Tailoring your resume: learning agility is the most important thing, say how you are going to build expertise, demonstrate that you're already learning about the company. Talk about what you love, what you're excited about. "and they lit up when..." Figure out what you're passionate about if you can -- it's ok if you're just starting and you're not completely sure.
When should you take high school experience off the resume? - it's fine if you're a student, but this will trail off naturally
Is it useful to have references? - people will ask when they want them, don't need to provide them up-front - do make sure that you have references on linkedin if you can, though
How often to companies look at other social networking sites to get a feel about you? - do not give anyone your facebook profile - Be careful what picture you use: that's searchable
How should you quantify your programming on a resume? do you specify years, experience? - This comes out elsewhere in your resume, mostly in the project details - you will find out in the interview sometimes. - know which one you feel most comfortable in and do your interview using
- don't need to specify years, etc. someone will ask.
How effective is it to raise questions in the reader's mind? - don't want to let them wonder, but do think about how you'd describe more
completely in case they do want to know more
- don't try to encourage them to ask, though
Specific question: I was homeschooled for my last year of high school, should I include it or would it be better to leave a gap? - TMI. Feel free to just gloss over it - if there's something special, put it in as an experience
If you're in multiple areas, how should you mention them all? - Don't go too high level - what industry were you in? what are you coding for? details are important
For folk who are mid-career, how does this advice change? What if you were locked into a position and want to take a new direction? - highlight transferrable skills! - less about specifics and more about what you managed, what you learned. - show that you are ok about getting out of your comfort zone, trying
If you have something really enriching from high school, can you still keep that on until you have a full-time position, even as an upperclassman? - yes, you can definitely keep that if it's a thing that matters