Mosab Sasi recently received his bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from the Metropolitan State College of Denver. He’d like to work in software development, preferably with Java or databases. He was shot gunning the job market with little success but now, after meeting with his college career center hearing from two IT hiring managers with Azaleos, he’s taking a more strategic approach, which includes customizing his resume to fit each opportunity.
Mosab met the hiring managers by participating in our resume makeover series.
Seattle-based Azaleos provides managed email, collaboration and unified communications services in private cloud, on-premise or mixed deployment architectures. John Allan, director of Product Management and did Patrick Naughton, vice president of Engineering, separately reviewed Mosab’s resume to make their critiques. Their findings were relayed to us by Azaleos Senior Recruiter Christine Novak.
The 10,000-Foot View
At first glance, Mosab’s resume looked crowded, said Novak. There were too many bullets and the font seemed small. She suggested he create a visually appealing document by eliminating extraneous information, inserting white space between sections and using 10- or 11-point type.
Reviewers assume job seekers want to work in a professional environment, says Novak, so Mosab should mention specific goals and the position he is seeking in his objective statement. And since IT reviewers automatically assume that recent grads have limited hands-on experience, she suggested he emphasize the technologies he knows best and eliminate words like “exposure,” which could make him seem tentative or unsure of his skills.
Some other observations:
- Ask someone who knows grammar to proofread your resume.
- Any tech skills in your summary should also be included with your work experience, to show how you put them to use.
- Omit unrelated skills and experience like typing speed and add more bullets to your IT jobs.
Here’s John Allan’s marked-up copy of Mosab’s resume, with the key comments below it.
- Kudos for including a QR code.
- By listing multiple jobs in his objective, Mosab seems unclear about his goals and the position he is seeking. His resume lacks focus. Instead, he should tailor it toward the company and specific job opening.
- Cross-reference the skills in your summary with your work experience, so the hiring manager can see how you’ve used a particular program. For example, HTML/CSS is listed in Mosab’s work history but not in his technical skills summary. Also, VS 2010 is misclassified as a programming language and DOS should be omitted since it’s no longer relevant.
- This experience bullet should begin with an action verb like “implemented.” Other bullets in this section need rewording as well.
- This business title is unclear. Were you a computer lab technician, a computer lab technical associate, or an assistant?
- This section contains too much information. Highlight your promotions and the skills that apply to the job you’re seeking and omit irrelevant experience like cold calling and invoice processing.
- Will you really be a new business marketing consultant until January 20010, or is that a typo?
- This sentence is full of jargon, rambles and doesn’t make sense. Provide a clear, concise summary of your responsibilities.
- When did Mosab start college as well as when he finished.
- Include honors and memberships to organizations that are notable or relevant to employers, and offer an explanation of what they are.
- Note key contacts or recommendations — quotes are acceptable.
Another Set of Eyes
Here’s Patrick Naughton’s view.
- Use a specific job title like “software developer” or “DBA.”
- Classify sales experience as “people skills” or “persuasiveness” to make it relevant.
- Only list the programs you know best. Indicating that you have “exposure” shows a lack of confidence.
- Start bullets with an action verb.
- There’s no such thing as “basic” HTML.
- Highlight relevant experience in tech support.
- Uh oh, busted. Don’t copy directly from the company website. Use your own words to describe the company and your role.
- Unrelated and grammatically incorrect.
- Eliminate honor roll and stick with your GPA.
“I was a bit taken back by how many errors they found, but it was very helpful to see what I was doing wrong,” says Mosab. “Every new grad should jump at the chance to have their resume critiqued by a recruiter.” Since these reviews, Mosab’s incorporated many of the comments into his resume.
You can see the latest version of Mosab’s resume in Dice tech talk.