Colette Sibylle April 4, 2021 Resume
Nearly all initial resume screenings are done using a checklist of items that must appear in order to advance to the next level, regardless of whether it is screened by computer or staff. If you don’t have the correct ratio of keywords on your resume for the position, you don’t make the cut. So why do so many experienced candidates for computer programmer jobs not make sure that the correct keywords are on their resume for each individual position for which they apply? It’s usually a combination of attention to detail and desire to respond quickly.
Use Action Verbs – Choose your verbs carefully. So many resumes are uninteresting due to poor verb choices. There are definitely skills to great writing, and using the right words to convey action and engage the resume reviewer is one of those skills.
Write About Your Results, Not Responsibilities – Don’t let your resume make the mistake of focusing on your previous jobs’ responsibilities. Your resume should focus on the computer programming work that you did and what you achieved. As a hint, avoid using the word responsibility or responsibilities on your resume so you don’t fall into this trap.
Another common misconception is that a resume must be one page in total length. I am not certain I know how that idea became popular or why it has remained so engrained as it ultimately serves little purpose for most candidates and it can work to the detriment of a job seeker. The reason why is that a one page resume, for a person who has fairly extensive experience, can sell them short. This type of resume will either leave off critical information or it will be typed in a font size that is not easy to read.
Do not put an Objective section on your resume. Why would you? What value does it add? Space on your resume is limited and is better used to provide a one paragraph (2-3 sentences) summary of your qualifications for the specific position. This summary should include years of experience, types of experience, and highlight the most important technologies related to the position. This section is used to make the resume reviewer’s screening process easier and improve your chances of passing the initial screening. Use it wisely and tailor it for each position.
Keep it Relevant – In second grade, I played the role of a singing tree in my school play. As important an event as that was to me in my life, it is completely irrelevant to our discussion here about resume writing tips. You should follow the same advice on your resume. If it is not relevant or you can’t reword it so that it is relevant to the job or employer, leave it off. Focus your resume on the items that qualify you for the position you are seeking. In other words, get rid of the fluff. For example, I once received a resume from a programmer, however the only thing I remember from it was that they attended clown college and competed in national juggling competitions. Yes, that was interesting, but it completely trumped their qualifications for the programming position which I don’t even remember. Basically, limit items on your resume to those relevant to the position for which you are applying. Do not include irrelevant items to that position on the resume. If you haven’t figured this out yet, this means you will have multiple, fine-tuned versions of your resume for each type of position for which you apply.
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