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Creating Killer Resumes

Forget paper! Eye-popping, modern resumes have the same characteristics as highly-effective agile teams: such as interactivity, lots of information at a glance, and fit for purpose.

With the right design and a little work, you can create a resume that will immediately get attention of any hiring manager or recruiter.

Modern resumes are not static anymore either! Resumes are data driven, and can be changed simply by changing the data in a data store. You can create them online, using desktop tools, and even start with a profile from a source (like LinkedIn). Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of experience in your field. Good hiring managers will look for your personality as well as your real world experience.

Some people do not call resumes “resumes” anymore. They actually call them CV’s, which stands for curriculum vitae. Curriculum vitae translates to “summary of life”, and some people say that a CV is just a summary of your work experience. In fact, curriculum vitae defined is:

A short account of one’s career and qualifications prepared typically by an applicant for a position – in other words, a résumé

Mirriam -Webster

Great eye catching resumes will give you the best of both worlds by grabbing the attention of the reader first and give you the necessary detail of your true experience.

The web is full of tools and examples of excellent resumes. The picture at the right is my resume. This link is my full resume. Notice what caught your eye immediately. Was it my picture? My certifications? My professional experience with the cascading bar graph? The big words in my proficiencies word cloud? Eye-catching details like these were by design. I wanted you to see these first. By the way, you can hover over any detail in my resume to get more information.

My resume was created with a tool called Tableau. Tableau is an excellent tool for creating info-graphs, and a resume is treated as a dashboard.

Those who know me well know that I talk with recruiters often , and I am always asking for feedback on the pulse of the IT market. I also ask them about what makes a good resume. Here are some tips that I have obtained from recruiters for a good resume.

  1. Catch the viewer’s attention immediately. The viewer must see your value immediately, just like any valuable product. According to the recruiters that I spoke with, resumes get between 10 and 15 seconds of attention. That’s it! So you have to make your resume stand out immediately. Creating an interactive resume can do this for your audience.
  2. Make your information concise: Glorious details right off the bat easily loses your reader’s interest, however, it’s difficult to write a resume for an experienced person without including a lot of detail. Using resume writing tools like Tableau can help you be concise but also provide the necessary detail for readers to get your experience and personality in one dashboard.
  3. Make your resume fit for purpose: Fit for purpose means that your resume must show your experience for the job that you want. Dashboards in Tableau can accomplish this feat by using the same data source and different dashboards for different jobs. For example, I created a dashboard for me as an instructor, but I can also create another dashboard as a developer using the same data source.

Of course, the recruiters I spoke with also say that there are some things you should avoid in your resume.

  1. Don’t use a comic sans font: A comic sans font has been the brunt of a lot of jokes, but more than one source has said specifically do not use this font. A CEO in one of my former companies actually joked in his presentations, “I can’t read this email! It must be written using a comic sans font.” In fact, if you look on the web, you will see several fonts that you should avoid but also some that you should use so that your resume gets the appropriate attention.
  2. Don’t make your resume long: In fact, your resume should be one page, even if you have a lot of experience.
  3. Don’t include an objective: No one ever reads them, and they are meaningless on a resume where you have limited space.

Resume should be fun! Resume should not be boring if you want to get the right job. With these few simple tips how are you can create a great resume, whether you have loads of experience or are just starting out in your field. Let me know if you have any questions as always.