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Resume Tips For A Programming Career

Resume Tips For A Programming Career

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After years of training, learning programming, taking high level mathematics and other college courses, you've finally graduated with your computer science degree. Now you are ready to get started in the real world and put all your newly acquired skills into practice. But often times programmers are trained in the ropes of programming and never learn anything about getting a job.

So how do you get a job as a programmer?

computer programmerAccording to Justin James the author at Tech Republic, a programmer’s resume should list skills first where they can be easily found.

In his opinion the details of typical programming to accomplish typical tasks is a waste of space on a resume. Traditional generated summaries such as “experienced programmer with great communication skills” are also a waste of space in his opinion. Justin James wants to be wowed by job descriptions. He doesn’t simply want to know that you wrote VB applications; he wants to know what the applications were for.

Other Suggestions

  • Make sure that your experience highlights your skills
  • Keep your resume between two to four pages long
  • Watch your formatting
  • Spelling and grammar: “It is critical that the spelling and grammar in your resume is flawless.
  • Stay out of EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) territory: “Do me a favor and try to not expose any EEO-related information to me on the resume.
  • Outside interests, hobbies, achievements, and activities: “I like to see these, but only if they are relevant.”
  • Obscure or nonmainstream technologies: Don't mention them unless you know them really well
  • Employment history: "I give applicants some slack on employment history. For instance, five year stints are fairly rare in IT, and I give anyone a lot of leeway if their history includes anything that occurred during the dot com boom/bust."
  • Gracefully show your inner geek: "Please give me something meaty that we can discuss during the interview. So, where it is relevant, try to show me how much of a nerd you are. For instance, try to mention the hovercraft you made from an inner tube and a lawn mower engine."

Advice from other industry managers and hiring interviewers.

Two Resumes

Keep two versions of each resume that you use. One is your "elevator pitch" resume. One is your full CV. The elevator pitch resume is the one that you use to get attention. This is one where you compress your experience and your skills, you throw down logos and flash like its 1999, and you use it to (professionally!) get attention for further discussions. The second one is the full (dry) super-professional resume that you use for situations like an interview or for employers that need everything there is to know about your career before they will consider you. You should do this for EACH resume that you put together.

- Certification Forums

Use Plain Text

Your resume is going to go through a bunch of automated transformation tools and will be mangled horribly along the way. Any non-ASCII character, such as those nonstandard Microsoft Word bullets, or any accented character, or (heaven help you) Unicode will be turned into our old favorite, the question-mark character ("?").

Stevey's Blog Rants Avoid buzzword overload

List of buzzwords

When I read through a resume that contains an exhaustive list of buzzwords under a skills heading, I am struck with an overwhelming sense of mediocrity and suspicion. Unless you have intermediate to advanced hands-on experience, or a well-recognized certification for a specific skill, then leave it off your resume.

Brian at dbug



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