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Resume Beef

by Cybercosis (Monk)
on Feb 27, 2002 at 08:55 UTC ( #147835=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Okay, so I don't really have a beef with my resume (yes I do--it isn't getting me hired!), but whenever I look at it, it looks a little... wimpy. It needs more dead cow! No, it needs some sample code! Unfortunately, I've been having problems coming up with a problem or a set of problems that can be solved in a few (perhaps 20) lines in several different languages and always look pretty (or ugly) in perl. In general, I seem to be thinking about problems like solving the 8 queens problem or rubix cubes or somesuch, both of which are good problems, but don't really display a wide range of skills. Any problem ideas from/for my fellow monks?


nemo accipere quod non merere

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Re: Resume Beef
by clemburg (Curate) on Feb 27, 2002 at 13:19 UTC

    In general, I seem to be thinking about problems like solving the 8 queens problem or rubix cubes or somesuch, both of which are good problems, but don't really display a wide range of skills. Any problem ideas from/for my fellow monks?

    No, but a better suggestion: find some open source project you are interested in, and start to contribute. This will be a much better indicator of real-life skills for a future employer than solving some more-or-less artificial mini problems.

    There are many skills you need as a programmer, and solving problems like the 8 queens problem or rubix cubes is just one of them.

    By participating in an open source effort, you demonstrate a broad range of skills, all directly relevant to real-life work. And of course, your effort will be much more useful for others.

    Christian Lemburg
    Brainbench MVP for Perl

      I have to whole-heartedly agree with contributing to OSS, and I would also include perlmonks in your list of professional organizations. I say this because I have just hired a monk mainly based on his/her contributions to perlmonks and OSS.

      Postings on perlmonk not only reveal your talent, but also (to a small degree) how you work with others. So if you are proud of your posts - Use Them.

      Sorry I can't tell you who

      grep> grep clue /home/users/*
Re: Resume Beef
by scottstef (Curate) on Feb 27, 2002 at 15:39 UTC
    I would hold off on adding code to a resume. Typically a hr-type person will screen a resume for keywords/skills. Since they are not technical they will not understand the code you are writing or even be able to tell what language it is in. You may- want to have some available for a second round interview or demonstartions of projects that you have done. If you are lacking "beef" try joining an open source/non-profit project and using that for beef. Working with others definitely helps and may give you additional skills that you didn't even know you had.

    "The social dynamics of the net are a direct consequence of the fact that nobody has yet developed a Remote Strangulation Protocol." -- Larry Wall

      Typically a hr-type person will screen a resume for keywords/skills
      And in fact if they have an automated process of scanning and OCR, they may be surprised at the "keywords" retrieved from your code: "kill", "warn", "die", ...

      P.S. How would a HR person interpret the phrase use strict ?


      Let me second this. Your resume is the wrong place to put code. It looks like noise to the hiring people and will be filtered out (and not just by HR, but engineering managers who have to go through dozens or hundreds of resumes too).
      Your resume should state your accomplishments as well as your skill-set. You should also keep it to one page, two at most.
Re: Resume Beef
by drewbie (Chaplain) on Feb 27, 2002 at 23:12 UTC
    I agree w/ everyone else that code on the resume itself is a bad idea. Your resume is where you sell yourself - code is not going to convince that manager that you are the best candidate for the job. Your skills, accomplishments, awards, education, and experience (not necessarily in that order) are what gets you the job. Put your code samples on your homepage - you'll most likely need them at some point.

    A resume is the time to boast (a little) about how great you are. As noted here and on that other site, real world experience counts for a lot. Even if it was not paid, ie. open source projects. Can you work w/ a team? Can you manage deadlines? Can you juggle multiple tasks? Can you handle intense pressure? Are you a self starter? These are the types of questions that seem to be coming up in my interviews. The better you can show the answer to these questions is "YES!", the easier it will be to find a job.

    Don't be afraid to trumpet your abilities. The trick is finding the line between a good sell and being an arrogant jerk. If you think you did something cool or unusual, say so. In interviews, I always seem to get asked "What was your favorite/most interesting project?". Have a good answer ready. It shows if you make it up on the spot, although improvisation is essential to tailor it to the wants of your interviewer.

    And NEVER turn down a chance for an interview, even if you don't think you'll get the job. You need the experience of interviewing. Each one can be a learning experience if you let it. You have an advantage over the guys who haven't had to interview in 10 years because they are so rusty. :-)

    Best of luck in finding a job. Things seem to be picking up somewhat here in Boston. I hope it's true for the rest of the country as well.

Re: Resume Beef
by talexb (Chancellor) on Feb 28, 2002 at 04:11 UTC
    You can always include links to your stuff -- or have a 'portfolio' link from your web page (I'm working on that myself, among other stuff).

    As an alternative to that, I E-Mailed a thank you note to a guy who interviewed me last Friday and included a link to some OO Perl code I wrote recently and posted here. To my surprise, that mode was frontpaged and is now my highest rate node. Go figure.

    Anyway, that piece of code nicely shows that I have a clue about OO, and also (I hope) have a dececnt coding style. Good things to show potential employers/clients.

    --t. alex

    "There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!" --Marvin the Martian

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