How To Write An Interview Winning Resume

  • Evil Kraig F

    SSC Guru

    Points: 100851

    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.


    - Craig Farrell

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  • Miles Neale

    SSChampion

    Points: 13147

    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.

    Not all gray hairs are Dinosaurs!

  • bnordberg

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5379

    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.

  • jbnv

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 973

    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.

    Jay Bienvenu | http://bienv.com | http://twitter.com/jbnv

  • Samuel Vella

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8055

    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

  • John.Sansom

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7335

    Miles Neale (7/19/2012)


    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.

    Thanks Miles, glad you enjoyed it.


    John Sansom (@sqlBrit) | www.johnsansom.com

  • John.Sansom

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7335

    Evil Kraig F (7/19/2012)


    To add to the discussion, the consulting side of the street in the States definately behaves a bit differently.

    An excellent point, there are indeed regional market differences.

    Thanks for your comments!


    John Sansom (@sqlBrit) | www.johnsansom.com

  • @SQLFRNDZ

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 9095

    That is an excellent post !

    Could you attach a sample resume to the article as you described?

    Thanks

    [font="Tahoma"]
    --SQLFRNDZ[/url]
    [/font]

  • davoscollective

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6325

    This is extremely good advice, especially for people starting out with job seeking or those who haven't been very successful. If you're a seasoned veteran with a successful job seeking history then sure you might not gain much from this, however, any contrary opinion is really just anecdotal and not supported by enough evidence to make it a rule.

    What is certainly fact is that people are time-short and have very small attention spans, but much like marking an essay or exam the level of attention paid will depend on the person doing the marking.

    The argument around what sort of resume is the most successful is intriguing and I'm inspired to go and do a study on this, profiling resumes versus job success rate. My hypothesis is that there won't be any single ultimate success strategy that works in all situations.

  • Andre Guerreiro

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7319

    John.Sansom (7/19/2012)


    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.

    Thank you for this advice, John.

    I've always been polishing my resume like it was a bug infested software.

    And it has worked out great so far.

    Best regards,

    Andre Guerreiro Neto

    Database Analyst
    http://www.softplan.com.br
    MCITPx1/MCTSx2/MCSE/MCSA

  • John.Sansom

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7335

    @SQLFRNDZ (7/19/2012)


    That is an excellent post !

    Could you attach a sample resume to the article as you described?

    Thanks

    Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

    A very intriguing suggestion that needs more thought. Let me get back to you.....


    John Sansom (@sqlBrit) | www.johnsansom.com

  • ITGuy268

    Mr or Mrs. 500

    Points: 536

    Hi John,

    Great article with some very interesting perspectives coming through from everyone...

    For me two issues coming through:

    First issue is I have a catch all CV (Resume) and I'm getting a lot of responses from agencies (in the UK) regarding opportunities. My CV lists skills such as C# (alongside SQL, MCITP) and of course the agencies doing the DB search are picking up my CV as a result of this blanket search method. As a result I'm often called offering C# .net developer jobs.

    Second issue is I have experience performing daily DBA functions (while employed as developer) and strong T-SQL skills but I'm not getting offered positions as a DBA / DBD and this is what I really want to do. Past roles include IT system technical analyst and developer and I've been working with a plethora of IT systems since the mid 90's. Since 2006 I've learnt (self taught, course & work experience) and loved using MS SQL Server and have decided this was where I wanted to go with my IT career. After being made redundant in 2009 I decided to get qualified, therefore I did the MCITP in DBA & DBD learning tracks in versions 2005 & 2008.

    Why should I hire you? You know SQL Server clustering, so what? Why is that of use to me as a business owner? Demonstrate the business value you have delivered because of what you know or have done. Simply listing technology and skills is boring. Take your resume to the next level by clearly showing the reader how you delivered value using what you know. Be factual in your delivery and mind you don’t take it to the other extreme or you’ll end up coming across as boastful

    Lastly John you are so on point as per quote. How can I demonstrate to a potential employer that I'm a passionate individual who would love the opportunity to work and learn with them? I'd love to show that I've delivered business value but my experience is limited and while individuals and departments gained value from the work I'd done it is difficult to quantify this?

    Once again great article - Any help / advice greatfully received!

    ITGuy 🙂

    MCTS | MCITP | Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Administration & Development
    MCSA | MCSE | Business Intelligence SQL Server 2012

  • TimothyAWiseman

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8819

    Thank you for the article, it was interesting.

    If I may highlight one thing that you mentioned, keep it brief. I would not go so far as to say that 2 pages is a hard limit, but keeping it to one page is just fine if you are going for an entry level position and if you are going into 3 pages much less beyond it should be for a more senior position and you should carefully make certain that the content is worth going beyond 2. 2 pages is certainly a good "soft limit", but there are times to make an exception.

    I would also suggest watching the font size. I know there is some variety of opinion, but I personally prefer 12 for the normal text and 14 for headers.

    ---
    Timothy A Wiseman
    SQL Blog: http://timothyawiseman.wordpress.com/

  • TimothyAWiseman

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8819

    John.Sansom (7/19/2012)


    That's an interesting question! Me personal preference is to not mention articles/blog posts on a resume because they can be found easily enough via a simple internet search on a given candidate. That said, if I felt that an article/published work was particularly relevant to a role and clearly demonstrated value, then I might consider mentioning it.

    I would respectfully disagree a little bit here. As someone who reviews resumes, I like to see community involvement and I think a good writing sample which shows your ability to communicate, your community involvement, and technical knowledge all at once is worth highlighting. I personally mention a couple of my best articles published on my resume.

    I would not rely on a prospective employer to find your publications on their own. For instance, if you search for "Timothy A Wiseman" the first result is a lawyer, and the 7th is a historian. My SQLServerCentral author page shows up at number 3, but my Simple-Talk author pageauthor page shows up much later and I can't even find my blog in that search at all. If you search for Timothy A Wiseman SQL, the entire first result page is either by or about me, but even employers that take the trouble to do a web search might not add qualifiers like that.

    With that said, I understand that it can vary heavily by the employer. Some won't care and some will find it a negative thinking that it detracts from work time.

    ---
    Timothy A Wiseman
    SQL Blog: http://timothyawiseman.wordpress.com/

  • Stan Kulp-439977

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 9948

    A resume is just skeletal bullet points.

    You need one, but you need a good cover letter even more.

    Sending a resume without a cover letter is an invitation to put it in the round file.

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