Sunday, May 21, 2006

8 Ways to make a good resume

Since I'm working all weekend I might as well write another blog post. I'm going to be sitting here anyway, and it's raining outside. Let's try and make this a boring, practical one.

The software industry is at the beginning of a hiring frenzy, which means people can switch jobs and probably get a raise/promotion/less boring job. It doesn't mean you can slack on your resume, because there are going to be a bunch of fakers out there trying to cash in on the employee scarcity. Here are 8 ways to write a resume that will get you job offers.
  1. Pack it with hard evidence.
    If you have every accomplished anything in your life you should be able to find some tiny shred of evidence to prove it. This shred is the cornerstone of your resume. The fact that you managed to keep a job at doesn't say much. Maybe your aunt is the CEO, maybe the company is too dumb to fire bad employees. You need to prove that you *did* something at the company/school/correctional facility.

  2. Make it a sales pitch.
    The purpose of a resume is not to give your potential boss a full picture of your history, you as a person, your goals and needs, your dreams. It is to get an interview. Delete every word that doesn't support the goal of getting an interview. (This might not be the stuff you expect, since interviews are sometimes requested based on unexpected factors, like a hobby or volunteer postion.)

  3. Concentrate on things the reader has heard of.
    My resume is Yahoo-heavy because everyone has heard of Yahoo. If you had a job at Bob's Web Design doing contract work for Microsoft then the biggest word on your resume should be Microsoft. When someone is scanning your resume nothing jumps out like a big company name, especially if it is in bold.

  4. Don't say you're a good communicator.
    If you're a good communicator it will come through in your resume. Similarly, saying you are "creative" is the least creative thing possible.

  5. Make it short.
    Nobody cares about you and your stupid resume. Make it short, bullet the text, highlight the pertinent points in yellow. When interviewing at Yahoo or Vodafone I would usually read the resume for the first time while walking to the interview. Now I give them a little more attention, but if a 5 page resume comes in I'm not going to read it.

  6. Show some examples.
    After you shorten you resume to one page, add five pages of examples. If you're a designer include huge images of your work. If you're a coder include a few pages of real code. If you're a plumber include some big photos of your favorite pipes. This is what people want to see, and unless you are bad at your job you should display your work front and center.

  7. Say what position you are looking for.
    Read the job description, then write the postion you are applying for at the top of your resume. Use the exact vocabulary the company uses. If the job is for an Interaction Designer don't list yourself as an Interactive Designer. If you don't know the difference you can't have the job.

  8. For the love of all things holy, please check your spelling.
    I have actually seen resumes with typos. Want to know where I've seen them? In the trash.

Monday, May 08, 2006

8 Free Web 2.0 Companies

Some guy named Boris* is buying domain names, creating one-paragraph business plans for them, and auctioning them off on ebay. People seem to be bidding, but mostly for less than the cost of buying a domain name. Either way, I'm never one to miss a hot new trend.

Here are 8 *Free* company ideas.
    This mashup maps every pot hole on every street throughout the world, using satellite technology or something. People can map out their trip ahead of time and avoid holes.

    If people don't like the results of an ebay auction (for example, your company sells for less than the cost of a domain name) you get a re-do on Re-bay.

    You feed it any URL and it re-renders that site with all the corners curved, saving thousands of web 2.0 development hours.

    I'm not sure what this one does, but it does it without AJAX.

    Similar to a distributed reputation management system. Users can enter what someone else is doing and the community votes on what the person should stop doing (by adding links from their blogs). Whenever someone joins the default request is "Please stop blogging."

    You can put a custom badge on your blog to inform readers that you'd like some ice cream.

    Search site for Boggle players.

    Madlibs for blogs. Pre-made blog posts, you fill in the half witty commentary and mundane details. I bet this one actually exists.

*Boris has some strange theories about gender relations and VC's. Read at your own risk.