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How To Write An Interview Winning Resume Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012 4:37 AM


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Samuel Vella (7/19/2012)
With regards to the relevancy and a "catch all" resume..

I've been using a catch all for the past 6 years as a contractor and I've never been out of work more than a couple of weeks. I'm currently on contract number 9 and will be looking for my 10th soon.

Instead of paring the resume down to what the job is asking for, I've trimmed it down to what I want to do. Relevancy isn't just for the employer!

The IT job market, especially in the UK, is heavily controlled by the agencies. Having a universal CV/Resume means that when an agent calls me with a potential contract and I want to be put forward, as long as the agent has a recent copy in front of him I don't need to do anything. Alternatively if time is short and I need to get a CV to an agent by a set time then I don't have to think about it. I can spend 2 minutes firing an email off and then get back to whatever I was doing before.


I'm thinking what John meant was that it's for example not necessary to put "I've done some PHP development in college" on your resume when you're applying for a SQL Server DBA job 10 years later.




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Post #1332067
Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012 4:54 AM
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Koen Verbeeck (7/19/2012)


I'm thinking what John meant was that it's for example not necessary to put "I've done some PHP development in college" on your resume when you're applying for a SQL Server DBA job 10 years later.


Thats for John to clarify for you but personally I think you're reading more into it than what he says. Pruning out old data is different from filtering out current data for relevancy.

I've got a bunch of core skills on my CV only 3 or 4 of them will be relevant to any role.
Post #1332074
Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012 8:38 AM


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IMHO

I think it is different for contractors. Headhunters aren't reading any of your resume until their search engine makes a hit on its criteria. Then they will actually put an eyeball on your resume, but, I've been told, then they will only look at the last 5 years of info. I have also been told by headhunters that a 10 page resume, for a contractor, is the upper limit. Other than that the " readable, enjoyable, accurate ..." rules all apply.


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Post #1332234
Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012 8:42 AM


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Hi Samuel thanks for your comments.

If you are totally satisfied with the results of your current strategy, that’s great! Don’t change a thing. It’s important to follow what works for you.

I've been using a catch all for the past 6 years as a contractor and I've never been out of work more than a couple of weeks. I'm currently on contract number 9 and will be looking for my 10th soon.

The contractor and permanent markets are indeed different to one another and do warrant adjustments to a job hunting strategy to reflect this.

Instead of paring the resume down to what the job is asking for, I've trimmed it down to what I want to do. Relevancy isn't just for the employer!

That’s a good mindset sir. Ideally of course, what you want to do and what the employer is asking for should be one and the same.

The IT job market, especially in the UK, is heavily controlled by the agencies. Having a universal CV/Resume means that when an agent calls me with a potential contract and I want to be put forward, as long as the agent has a recent copy in front of him I don't need to do anything. Alternatively if time is short and I need to get a CV to an agent by a set time then I don't have to think about it. I can spend 2 minutes firing an email off and then get back to whatever I was doing before.

Very true, the agencies are a key factor in the UK market. They can spot a great candidate a mile off because their CV stands out (for all the right reasons) amongst a pile of catch all resumes.

Contrary to your own apparent success, perhaps consider why play a numbers game, taking the unnecessary risk of being overlooked, when a targeted resume will consistently come out on top.

In my own experience, both as a candidate and a hiring manager, I have found that the additional effort spent on a resume is always a worthwhile investment.

Great comments! Thanks for sharing.



John Sansom (@sqlBrit) | www.johnsansom.com
Post #1332240
Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012 8:44 AM


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Koen Verbeeck (7/19/2012)
Samuel Vella (7/19/2012)
With regards to the relevancy and a "catch all" resume..

I've been using a catch all for the past 6 years as a contractor and I've never been out of work more than a couple of weeks. I'm currently on contract number 9 and will be looking for my 10th soon.

Instead of paring the resume down to what the job is asking for, I've trimmed it down to what I want to do. Relevancy isn't just for the employer!

The IT job market, especially in the UK, is heavily controlled by the agencies. Having a universal CV/Resume means that when an agent calls me with a potential contract and I want to be put forward, as long as the agent has a recent copy in front of him I don't need to do anything. Alternatively if time is short and I need to get a CV to an agent by a set time then I don't have to think about it. I can spend 2 minutes firing an email off and then get back to whatever I was doing before.


I'm thinking what John meant was that it's for example not necessary to put "I've done some PHP development in college" on your resume when you're applying for a SQL Server DBA job 10 years later.


Koen, quite right sir. I may not have said so explicitly but this is indeed a theme that I wanted to communicate.



John Sansom (@sqlBrit) | www.johnsansom.com
Post #1332243
Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012 9:21 AM


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To add to the discussion, the consulting side of the street in the States definately behaves a bit differently. For example, they always want a chrono 10 year resume, at least almost all of my agencies do. With skills applied at each position.

2 pages not only won't cut it, the lack of mass wouldn't get me anywhere at the level I want positions at.

What I've learned to do is create a hybrid resume. It's a skills based resume with the chrono following it. Not all of the agencies will accept it but I find it helps on those that will. Otherwise, they get my 10 pager. *shrugs* I'm not in direct contact with the hiring manager so I've got to follow along with the directives of the consulting firms out here.



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Post #1332286
Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012 9:29 AM
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Enjoyed it, a great reminder to write to the intended audience. The future boss does not care if you know COBOL or like to ride horses, they want to know what you have to offer, will you and your skills help them solve their problems, and what will it cost them. The rest comes later but only if it is appropriate.


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Post #1332297
Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012 9:40 AM
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I'd like to add one of my pet peeves.
I get lots of resumes, that have a skills section. In this section, the list all the languages they know and how many yrs...
Then they have a experience section that is extremely brief.
I hate this! It gives me no idea of what skills were actually used in each job. So then I have no reference.
For example: someone lists 8 years of SSIS.
Then in there experience they may only have 4 yrs of what I would consider ETL'y stuff. Where are the other 4 yrs??
My preference is to not have a skills section at all, then have an expanded section on experience - that gives a better indication of what they used.
I guess it boils down to - I really don't care what you claim your skills are, if you cannot demonstrate it in your experience.
Also I see a lot of attempts to blow smoke in the skills section. So if you list it plan on me testing you on it in the interview. If you can't, I assume the rest of your resume is made up - and we're done.
And if I have to re-read you resume over and over trying to piece together you skills and experience, we're done.



Post #1332313
Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012 9:48 AM
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bnordberg (7/19/2012)
So if you list it plan on me testing you on it in the interview. If you can't I assume the rest of your resume is made up - and we're done.
This is a great rule of thumb.


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Post #1332318
Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012 10:16 AM
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John.Sansom (7/19/2012)


Contrary to your own apparent success, perhaps consider why play a numbers game, taking the unnecessary risk of being overlooked, when a targeted resume will consistently come out on top.


Because from experience I'd say it's not worth the effort. I can count on 1 finger the number of roles I think I've missed out on due to not tailoring my CV. I need two hands to count the roles I've got which have moved from CV submission to a request for interview within 24 hours.

By the time you've carefully read through the job spec and then altered and changed your CV appropriately, the agent will have 5 more CVs from other suitable candidates and will be sending those instead. The tailored CV ends up on the "B" pile in case the client doesn't like the first batch.

Obviously this isn't true for all roles which you will apply for, but it will be true for the majority and why miss out on opportunities just to get the perfect CV submitted which may never even be looked at by the hiring manager.

It really does come down to numbers and hard sales techniques.

But as always YMMV
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