Resume Tips (Not that I am Preparing One at the Moment)

Just read this helpful suggestion from Yvan Rodrigues over in CodeProject. I particularly like his description of a “skills grid”:

My resume is 13 pages. As ridiculous as that sounds, I get a very high interview rate and usually before I show up they know if they want me or not. I did it that way because I have been a hiring manager for many positions and you have so little to go on from a 1 page resume and cover letter. With mine, what they see is what they get. I use a skills grid to indicate my level of knowledge for various technologies using this key:

Basic knowledge: I have researched this topic; or I haven’t used this technology, but I’d like an opportunity to; or I have used this for less than 6 months; or I could discuss it at a cocktail party.
Applied knowledge: I have used this in one or more projects; or I have used this for less than 2 years.
Advanced knowledge: I use this regularly in projects; or I have been using this for 2–5 years; or with some preparation, I would feel comfortable speaking about this topic to a general audience.
Expert knowledge: This is a core technology in my projects; or I have been using this for 5+ years; or I have written or spoken to this topic; or with some preparation, I would feel comfortable speaking about this to an audience of my peers.

While I think a thirteen page resume is excessive*, Yvan’s Skills’ Key seems useful. I have used used a Skills Grid myself for years, but I just liked his wording, so I am preserving it here as a reference, in case I need to re-do my resume someday.

*Personally, I pride myself on maintaining a dense ONE-page resume. It requires exacting discipline to strip out every un-necessary word in order to keep it short and concise. But I try to treat my resume exactly like an elevator speech: Make every syllable count. (Unlike my blog, which conforms more to the Pascalian adage, “I would have written a shorter post, but I didn’t have the time.”)

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