Hiring managers are putting John, a veteran IT project manager and software developer from California, through his second round of resume critiques, as part of a Dice News pilot program that offers free resume critiques to Dice readers.
Today, Erik Wieland, director of IT services for the University of California San Francisco’s Department of Medicine, offers John some feedback. Wieland is a 15-year veteran of UCSF’s IT department and currently manages a staff of a dozen people.
We are beginning to see a common thread emerging as recruiters and managers review John’s resume: He could easily expand his one-page resume into two pages to capture the scope of his experience.
Our full series on John’s resume critique:
- Part I: Karla Baierl, Hiring Manager for SysLogic
- Part II: Erik Wieland, IT Services Dir., UCSF Dept. of Medicine
- Part III: Azaleos’ Vice President of Engineering, Program Management Director and Senior Recruiter
“Resumes are like an elevator pitch: Tell me quickly and clearly who you are and what you can do for me,” says Wieland. “When I read your resume, I’m trying to map your experience, skills and qualifications to positions I’m trying to fill. This means that you need to be clear and complete.”
In summing up John’s resume, Wieland says he likes John’s breadth and depth of experience, but one page resume doesn’t give him the room he needs to completely describe himself. “Go to two pages, but no more than two,” he suggests. “Also, make sure your experience tells a story. I’m looking for a progression of roles and responsibilities. Make sure there are no unexplained gaps, and if you left a job after less than two years please tell me why.”
With that, Wieland offered John a detailed critique in a face-to-face meeting at the UCSF campus. Here’s what he had to say:
And here are his notes, by the numbers.
1: State in first paragraph who you are and what skills you bring to the table.
That will specifically address the key needs or problems that this particular organization is facing.
2: The two roles of IT Project Manager and Software Developer can actually be described as a Product Manager.
“Project manager and software developer is a great package to have. It shows that you not only get code but you’ve managed it as well,” says Wieland. By labeling the combination “Product Manager,” John would be able to emphasize the package.
3: This first paragraph should be used like a mini cover letter
4: Tb is for Terabit, but TB is for Terabyte.
It’s critical to be accurate when applying for a technical job.
5: This bullet point is too vague and needs to be expanded on.
It should be moved to the relevant job and position described under Professional Experience.
6: Ditto. See No. 5
7: Move each bullet to the relevant job and position held under Professional Experience.
Additionally, be more specific with your experience. For example, “.NET platform” can mean a lot of different things.
8: Add context and description around each of the positions held and companies you worked for, such as how large was your budget, types of customers and size of your team.
This information will be weighed against the job opening to see if your scope of experience is similar. Says Wieland: “Give context around where you worked and who it was for and your achievements there.”
9: Need to reverse the order for Team Leader, Research Associate 2003-2005, with Vice president of Software Development, 2003-2004.
“Showing overlap in jobs is good. It shows you have initiative and can manage priorities,” Wieland observes. He notes that it’s also good for John to state under his work experience as a vice president for software development that it was with a company he started.
10: Remove the word “Select”
11: If applying for a software developer position, use the word “Platform” to list Linux, Solaris, Windows 2003 Server, Windows XP and Windows 7.
However, if applying for a network systems position, it’s better to use “Operating Systems” to list Linux, Solaris, etc.
12: Languages/Technologies should include all versions of the software that you are experienced in using.
For example, John’s listing of CSS should note it is CSS2, or HTML should be reflected as HTML5.
13: Each degree in computer science from the University of Nevada should be distinct and on its own line.
Graduate dates should be placed to the far right of the page.
14: The resume needs to be extended to two pages and should also include:
A section that lists affiliations, committees that you have served on, certifications earned and links to personal websites, social networking sites and other sites where prospective employers can learn more about you and what you can do for their organization.
“You need to show you are worth more to an organization thant being a code monkey,” Wieland says. “You want to be sticky and give them places where they can get more information about you.”
After the session, John said he learned that “I need to describe my experience beyond what I did, but who I worked for and who were my customers, as well as listing my accomplishments while there.” He also noted that he needs to provide more information about himself on social networks and coding forums.
Wieland, meanwhile, encouraged John to consider a position in the public sector, noting that differences exist between government and private organizations when it comes to hiring technology staff.