Expert Advice for a College Grad’s Programmer Resume

Roberta Fricker considers herself a “new nerd.”

She began calling herself that after earning a certificate in computer science from Santa Barbara City College. Even while she looks for work, she codes every day to keep her skills up. She’s created a mock advertisement using Flash and has built her website using HTML 4.01, XHTML, CSS 2.1 and Adobe Photoshop. Still, her job search has been challenging.

To help out, we paired Roberta with an internal recruiter from Electronic Arts, an IT hiring manager from the University of California at San Francisco, and an outside recruiter. Each of them reviewed and marked up her resume, arming Roberta with real world feedback.

Some of their advise could apply to you. To see, check out each of sessions with Roberta.

5 Responses to “Expert Advice for a College Grad’s Programmer Resume”

  1. As a 63 year old software developer, with 42 years experience, and an MS in Comp Sci, I believe I’m the expert here.

    Opinions from recruiters and reporters who have never written a line of code, is not wisdom. It’s recycled BS.

    Change your resume, reword it, be someone other than yourself. Because some micro-manager pin head is too blind to read, or too deaf to listen.

    The real deal is that IT as a career is DEAD. It’s been converted to a cube farm job, cut up into pieces that can be outsourced to any other consulting firm or third world country. Baby-sitting ancient, poorly written, ERP/MRP systems.

    This gal would be better off finding some real lifetime career that can be integrated into her life.

    • I completely agree with Doug. The I.T. of the company I work in had been outsourced so many times that heads are still spinning dizzy. I got into the computer support role in the worst time possible. The outsourcing company has been squeezing every little ounce of energy out of each I.T. employee like a tube of toothpaste, let it be support folks or applications programmers. Everyone is overworked, and underpaid.

      My desktop support job is the first I.T. I’ve ever had, and I feel that it should be the last. I’ve always loved computers as a hobby, and am currently self-studying web programming but I’ve decided that it will be on my own time and not as a job.

  2. Dawn,
    Glad to see my suggestion to request feedback from more than one recruiter is being used. Now, are there similarities in the critiques? Differences? Care to do a comparitive analysis and post it?

      • Dawn Kawamoto

        Hi Mike/RMS,

        Thanks again for your fabulous suggestion about expanding the critiques to just more than one person. I would be interested to see how useful it was for you to have three opinions on her resume. I’ve also been reading the comments from all of you to assess how we might handle these critiques going forward.

        In regard to your suggestion about a comparative post, I did include a section on that in Roberta’s Part III critique. At the end of the Part III review with EA, I wrote a major takeaways section, which included the common threads from all three critiques.

        Here’s what it said:

        Roberta’s three critiques have yielded several common threads.

        The largest task is a major restructuring of her resume, which includes changing the first paragraph to “Summary” and fine tuning its content to include both hard and soft skills.

        She needs to articulate in both the resume and job interviews her love of learning and her desire to continue coding in her free time.

        Her Education section should be moved up toward the top of the resume, and fold in some of the information now listed under Professional Experience.

        I figured the differences among each of the three critiques would be fairly evident, so I didn’t delve into it. I would be interested to see what you and others think.

        Take care, Dawn