Flavien Bessede, a hiring manager and analytics engineer with mobile game advertising-platform company Chartboost, recently agreed to critique a tech resume and offer one-on-one advice to a job seeker, per a request from Dice News. The job seeker is a Silicon Valley IT marketing veteran, who’s allowing us to post her resume (with her personal information and previous employers blacked out). Here’s how the conversation went.
Our job seeker’s been on the hunt for the past three months, looking for a director or senior management position in marketing, product management or strategic alliance. Her experience includes work at Fortune 500 IT companies and overseas assignments.
From 10,000 Feet
“It’s a confusing resume,” Bessede said at the start. “Some of the work was done here, some abroad. Some of the school was done here, some abroad. It’s hard to get a sense of when and where your work experience was done.”
Some other observations:
- Limit resume to one page, unless applying for a C-level position. Hiring managers spend about one minute — often much less — scanning the document for keywords that are applicable to the job description.
- Present the resume in a chronological fashion, and Company, title, date.
- Limit job history to 15 years or less. Technology advancements move fast and experience beyond 15 years is dated. For older candidates concerned about competing with younger people, there’s an upside to this: It masks your age.
Here’s a marked up copy of the resume. Dice News numbered his comments and expanded on them below.
1: Put brackets around area code
2: Keep summary length to two to four lines
3: Move bullet point up. It’s more important to show your accomplishments in handling a task.
4: Condense three dashes into a quick recap that reads: “Led developer outreach by growing online communities through blogs and forums; engaged developers at conferences and events; and managed trade show booth and presented at CTIA, JavaOne and Mobile World Congress.
5: It’s OK to list self-employment. In fact, it indicates an entrepreneurial spirit that may make you the right person for a startup.
6: “Sabbatical” has wrong connotation. Remove second semi-colon typo.
7: Add “study” after Mandarin.
8: Remove product line names, because they’re unnecessary.
9: “Frustrated” is negative, so replace it with a neutral word. Reduce four bullet points to two.
10: Remove work experience from 1996 and beyond. It’s dated.
11: If you’re concerned about age screening, don’t include the year of a college degree.
12: Remove additional space between “Lieutenant” and “Commanded.”
Our job seeker found several nuggets in Bessede’s critique particularly valuable.
“Three of his comments were precious,” she said. “One was to shorten the introduction. I thought it was already short enough. But for someone who looks at a lot of resumes, I can now see how it would seem too long.”
She also agreed “frustrated” should not be in a resume. Previously, a career consultant had advised her to use “frustrated” because it reflected a situation between two people that she resolved and it didn’t reflect poorly on her employer.
Finally, Bessede’s observation that some of her experience pre-dated his birth that called out the need to keep her resume current.
Overall, “I feel pretty good about my resume. I think he expected a really bad one,” she said.
Want Your Own Resume Critiqued?
Obviously, we want to give you the firepower you need to land a job. So between now and May 31, send us an email if you’d like your resume critiqued. We’ll select a couple from the people we hear from. Here’s what we need:
- Send an email to email@example.com. In the subject line, say “Resume,” followed by your industry, occupation sought, and the number of IT jobs you’ve held.
- In the body of the email, tell us if you can meet one-on-one in the San Francisco Bay area with a hiring manager. If you live outside the Bay Area, can you do a Skype interview?
- Are you willing to have your resume posted on Dice site, as we’ve done here? We’ll black out your personal information.
- Are you willing to be interviewed after the critique?
- We’ll ask you to send a copy of your resume once we select our participants and line up an appropriate hiring manager.
Again, send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and the deadline is May 31.