NOTE TO and USERS: This is the same site. Your login will work here. Use the "forgot password" function if you need help recovering your password.

Get rid of this big black message box by joining here:

Obvious fact: You're not logged in.

Therefore, you're only seeing the tip of the iceberg of great discussion threads on this site. The frankest, most raw and truthful observations about employment and work life in the IT and engineering fields are in "members only" sections that are ONLY visible when you are registered and you log in.

If you're 35 or over, and work in IT, or are retired from IT, and you dislike the herd mentality and clueless, adolescent snobbery of forums such as "Hacker News", then you really should join this board. Why? Because you're too smart for Facebook. And everyone needs someone to gossip, commisserate, and chat with at their level.

Who we are:

A collection of IT, engineering and sciences professionals, in a variety of current circumstances with a variety of career backgrounds. Including:

  • System admins
  • Developers and programmers
  • Freelancers and "gig" entrepreneurs
  • Contract, job shopping and FTE-employed contract house IT workers
  • Web developers
  • Inventors
  • Artists and writers with tech backgrounds

This forum has its roots in the 1990s buildup of the IT field into what we know today and has been around since 2002. 10s of thousands of messages and threads about a variety of career, FTE, contract, and side gig issues and opportunities.

If you're as smart as the typical experienced IT professional, you have a critical mind that has a hard time staying engaged with pop culture and generic issues of the day. And you're WELL beyond the fanboy mentality of the young developer communities. Get some relief here.

Register on the board - your email is NEVER sold or provided to third parties. Then LOGIN FREQUENTLY to see new stuff daily. Note to long lost members: all politics have been marked as "opt in" only. You won't see anything political unless you ask for it.

Join by Registering here:

Author Topic: Your Resume  (Read 1953 times)

Jeremy Singer

  • Guest
Re: Resume length
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2003, 03:42:58 pm »
Recruiters have told me that they like my kitchen sink resume the best.  It it covers a professional career going back to 1976.  It is 7 pages long.

I have a capabilities document that takes 2 pages, containing tools, activities, languages, operating environments, databases, and industries I am familiar with.

The resume has each job with the tools highlighted.  There are 30 companies at which I have either been full time or on contract.

I'd like to shorten this up, but I've done a lot and I know how to do a lot of things.  The capability that I leave out might be the thing that gets me in the door.

So I'm wondering: how do I make it short, yet complete?

Dennis Nedry

  • Guest
A Resume at all?
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2003, 08:18:03 pm »
In the current environment (or any environment at all for that matter), I question the technique of using a resume at all.  I don't do it.  Leading with written marketing materials is a weak approach.  Better off picking up opportunities from cold calls. Anyways, these days responding to a written job requirement is guaranteed slim odds.

Your only differentiation is the 5 seconds it takes for a recruiter to make a snap judgement.

A better way is to build long term relationships, lots of them, HUNDREDS of them.  Know lots of people at lots of companies and follow up with them consistently.  Meet them by calling them from a list and saying "Hi, I'm Joe Blow, I program widgets".  Send a monthly or quarterly email saying "howdy".  Call twice a year.  Have lunch with them if you're in town.  THAT WAY, even if you're not the best qualified person, you're the person they KNOW, and no resume ever changes hands, at least not in a comparitive way.

Got off topic, sorry.....

Cynical Attitude

  • Guest
Re: Resume length
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2003, 01:35:34 am »
Imo, you should have several resumes customized to fit the situation. For example, you could send a short one to recruiters (that follows the general guidelines that AR mentioned previously) and make a longer one available to these recruiters online (i.e. on your web site).

You might even want to think about sending some people both versions (long and a short version). The reason a lot of people suggest a shorter version is that HR types:

* tend to have short attention spans
* tend to receive and read many resumes

You need to make sure these type of people can find the buzzwords that they feel are important quickly on your resume. Remember many recruiters don't know the difference between a hippo and HIPPA, however, they do know how to match buzzwords from a job order to those found on your resume.

Jeremy Singer

  • Guest
I've actually done that
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2003, 02:30:27 am »
I have 1 resume which is called "consultant resume" which describes a selection of contracts, with simply a list of companies at which I have been permanently employed.

I have a capabilities document.

I have a resume that just shows a selection of the most recent stuff, and a list of companies.

Which things to show? Which resume to send?  That's why I always try to talk to someone first before sending a resume.


  • Guest
Re: Career Retraining
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2003, 08:38:33 am »
My post gets listed in some strange places sometimes, perhaps I dont understand ezboard.

Anyway I saw a few critiques from AR in the last week that I thought were odd and wondered if he was reviewing peoples resumes here or what.

I then looked at all of his threads and was no clearer on this persona.

I was referring to him talking to me like I am a 12 year old leaving out my phone number and copying my neighbors work.

Whatever, I have been told people like my list of buzzwords at the top - he doesnt, heck I have been told everything so I dont pay that much attention to the magic formula anymore.

If AR can help us out great!

Thanks for the free advice AR!

David Cressey

  • Guest
Re: Career Retraining
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2003, 08:48:23 am »
My post gets listed in some strange places sometimes, perhaps I dont understand ezboard.

I almost never use the "Add Reply" button at the top.  Instead,  I use the "Reply" link to the left of the message I want to reply to.  Maybe that has something to do with it.

I was referring to him talking to me like I am a 12 year old leaving out my phone number and copying my neighbors work.

I am relieved that I'm not the one.  

Hey,  the guy's a crooter!  What more do you need to know?


  • Guest
Re: Career Retraining
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2003, 12:55:00 pm »

ok - I'll just say no to 'add reply'

LOL - sorry if I offended anyone


A Murricun

  • Guest
Re: Your Resume
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2003, 02:56:55 pm »
AR, I think there are a few exceptions to your "rules".

First of all, you can have many different presentations of the same basic information.  Chronological, functional, technological, etc.  An intelligent recruiter will be able to tell you what will work best with his client.

For a human being to read it, you need to keep their attention and keep it focused on what makes you a good candidate for the job.  (And oh, yes, it's good practice to write a resume that highlights your skills that match the requirements.  This if you are lucky enough to get past the gatekeepers and mechanical screenings.

I have a problem with length.  20 years (umm, make that 22) of contract gigs just barely fits on 2 pages in 9-point type and 0.5" margins.  And that's extremely terse, with 2 to 5 sentences per gig.  And of course I make it as clear as I can that the history is incomplete.  AR, if you had a req for Flexowriter, would you be impressed that I used it in 1965?  Well, I s'pose you would if I was the only guy you could find that could spell it, but you would prefer to see recent experience.

OTOH, a rez to post on Dice, etc. should contain a maximum of buzzwords.  And no, I don't include what the guy in the next cube did, if I didn't do it also.  (Unlike the visa scammers who will list everything that anyone in the building ever heard of as a must-have in their compliance ads.)  

Giving client names is good and bad.  For a broadcast resume (using pm4hire's list, e. g.) I would definitely omit them.  For guys I know, I definitely give them.  In a very competitive market like Detroit, I'm careful who I give them to.  I have had the experience of giving a client name to a crooter and having him try to push some other guy to the client, directly in competition with me.  (That sumbitch better carry his own fire bucket, 'cuz I wouldn't piss on him if he caught fire, and I wouldn't let my dog do it either.  No hard feellings, though.)

References: never on a broadcast resume.  With a guy like AR, it's no risk, but he is, I promise you, the exception.  For a crooter I really feel comfortable with, I give them on request.  Mostly I offer to provide them to the client "upon establishment of a mutual interest".  Never on the resume, on a separate piece of paper.  If a crooter says the client requires him to check references (yes, I s'pose that does happen), I give them a list with the legend "You are authorized to contact these people pursuant to my candidacy for a position with XYZ Corp.  This authorization expires at 11:59 PM 5 business days from date".  Not only does that warn them that I don't want them to mine my references, it also creates some urgency to move the process along.

And of cors, I alwys chek sleping, punchewayshn adn gramer. :D

A Murricun

  • Guest
reply/add reply
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2003, 03:02:36 pm »
Once burnt, twice shy.

The "add reply" button puts the reply under the top level that you are viewing, unless you hit the "new topic" next to it.

If you click on "reply" under the poster's name, the reply will go in the tree under his/her name.  Always safer.


  • Guest
Resume Errors, Advice ... Etc
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2003, 11:36:42 am »

American Recruiter, It is kind of you to take time to give advice. I honestly think the most relevant is the "herbalife" omission, it does look out of place on a true techie resume. Many of us are doing alternative work (though in my case it is related to technology,,, just low on the scale.)

Perhaps what you see is that technical people did poorly in English and need a little help in their resume format/composure. I wonder how many excellent candidates you have overlooked by simply scanning for grammar and spelling.

What exactly is the value added by recruiters these days? Are you simply the gatekeeper/filter? Could this not be effectively replaced by ... say a computer program or perhaps a person in India? I remember several years ago that most of the recruiters I delt with would reformat/edit/embelish/correct resumes in preperation for a client. Now it seems the candidate is left to fill out a lengthy questionaire in order to pass a quantile rejection algorithm just to be top on the pile.

Do not get me wrong, I think it is good of you to pass along this advice. It does seem to be a trend where companies are posting their openings shortly after a listing by the myrad of recruiters working a local market. Mabyee the recruitement field had better take a quick look at themselves and ask if they are truely worth the 5%..15% premium they charge just to present a candidate which could easily be provided directly on a voluntary basis. This premium could easily be spent on a account where the line manager could perform a search for the candidate directly.

At first I found the silence rather insulting when applying to open position listings. Now some of the rejection letters are more insulting than the silence was. So it is not in "our mutual interest to further persue employment oportunities?" Gee whiz, go figure.

Let me say that I think the technology employment market will ... never ... ever ... recover. If it did those who have been seeking employment might seriously consider by-passing recruiters alltogether given the behavior of some out there. Certain recruiters are coping quite an attitude, though the majority have been nice to speak with. I do think that the online services like will very soon classify skill levels by testing and a single interview. You guys better get back to work actually digging through the rough rather than just sitting around wondering if a resume "flows" or lacks a particular "pet peive." Employers might consider by-passing you guys altogether and dont think it cant happen because thats the same thing we techies thought two years ago...

Why not just hire an English major anyway? They can compose that perfect resume you have been looking for. Give them a few tips about what you are looking for and you got a winner on your hands.

Thanks again though for taking the time to give advice. This market is VERY frustrating to seek in. It must be equally difficult to look through a torrent of pleas for employment.

PM Hired Gun

  • Guest
Re: Your Resume
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2003, 07:03:02 am »
Sorry to jump in so late, I've had to be out of touch for a while.

As a higher level PM, I actually have 2 documents that I am able to present.  One is the standard chronological (2 pages for 20 years) and a "profile" that lists all of the major projects with relevant info (budget, #of people, etc.).  The profile is now over 6 pages, but is only shipped to those that are able to appreciate it.