201 — Resume — Just press play

A turn on the first question is often asking people about the only weapon that you bring with you to the interview room. Nope, not the Odwalla that you have been lugging around — its your resume.

Resume or Play?

Its criminal if you can’t speak knowledgeably about your resume. You wrote the fucking thing! I mean hopefully with help and a little spellcheck.

The people interviewing you will usually find things out of your resume that jump out to them.

Its usually something interesting, which brings us to the cardinal rule of resumes.

DO NOT LIE on your resume

Only put things in there that you can defend. And the second you try to be too ambitious, things have taken a turn for the worse. Walking back something you have put in writing is bad. To reiterate — don’t fucking lie on your resume. If you have added a second language and say that you have working proficiency in Spanish — don’t assume that ordering your favorite burrito qualifies you.

The hook

This sounds gimmicky but you need a hook. Every song has a hook. Your resume also deserves a hook. Hooks are what can draw the interviewer in. It is typically a thing that you have experience in or a tool that you have spent considerable time in. It is also unique to a job. So to summarize,

- Your hook is Uniquely stated. It should be its own bullet point on the resume

So for example, if people are hiring for marketing, you should highlight marketing projects and toolkits that you have used.

- Directly related to the job (SQL for Data analysis)

Don’t talk about your HTML skills in a data analyst job. Be relevant.

- Easily defensible (You have experience here or some project, hell even a MOOC will do)

Really draws you in like a hook

If you have added something technical like Map Reduce or Stochastic modeling, you should know that shit like its the back of your hand. Do not put things in there that are rusty or you are not comfortable with.

The layaway

This is risky. You have to find something spectacular from your experience or your college days and put it on your resume. This is a talking point and is intended to get your interviewer talking. It could be a project in a space that was interesting to them or it could be a class that they have heard about through Coursera. It could literally be anything. The goal is that when the interviewer is out of their stock questions, you give them something to latch on to and ask you about.

Warm and Fuzzy

Kind of like a nice warm fuzzy feeling to round off the interview.

The layout et al

It doesn’t have to be pretty, it doesn’t have to have your photo. Actually, don’t add your photo. It doesn’t need pretty formatting and you sure as fuck don’t need a pretty CV. Its important to be memorable but you will stand out in a bad way because you came up with a pie chart of your competencies.

My old boss used to tell me — its not ok to get an A at a B job. Loosely translated, don’t put in more effort on something that is not worth it. It is a Pass/Fail criteria, you don’t get extra credit for being a rockstar. Your time is valuable, you are better off building your portfolio than choosing a new font for your resume. Prioritize — there’s more shit to do than you have time for.

The Bold and the Italics

Ideally, your resume should be scannable. Which means that you should put your degree right on top if you are getting out of college. Put your projects there behind the academic creds. People will ask you about your projects and you can talk knowledgeably about them lending credibility to you. This is all on the assumption that you did not just git clone a repo. So please don’t git clone repos and pass them off as your own.