I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful weekend. Over the past few weeks we've received a number of questions about writing resumes and performing well in technical interviews. I thought it best to summarize our advice in a short blog post. Other employers are welcome to contribute.
1. Show an interest in the company to which you are applying. Write a cover letter that describes why you are interested in that particular company, and why they should be interested in you. In any relationship (romantic, customer / vendor, employee / employer, etc.), showing that you have invested time in learning about the other party gets you a lot
2. Include a profile section at the top of your resume that sums up your experience in a sentence or two. People who screen resumes like candidates who make their jobs easier. I know, because I've screened thousands of resumes for previous employers and customers. If I'm looking for a QA manager for my software company, a resume with a profile at the top that reads, "Quality assurance manager with 10 years of experience in the enterprise software space" is going to get my attention.
In any relationship, showing that you have invested time in learning about the other party gets you a lot of mileage.
3. Don't be sloppy. Ensure your resume has no misspellings or grammatical errors. Get a friend or relative with strong writing skills to review your resume. If you can, get two. This document is the first impression a potential employer will have of you. Many engineers and IT people think this isn't important. I assure you, they are wrong.
4. Don't ramble. Describe each education and job entry with concise, clear language.
5. Sell yourself, but be honest. If you say ".NET expert" or "experienced .NET developer" on your resume, be prepared to answer hard questions about .NET.
6. Its OK to have a two page resume if you really have two pages worth of experience. Employers aren't interested in reading your four page resume unless you are a 247 year old elvish C++ programmer from Rivendell. Summarize.Interviews
1. An interview is a date. Look good, show interest, do your research and impress.
2. Research, research, research. Learn everything there is to know about the company interviewing you and their technology.
3. If you don't know the answer to an interview question, don't make one up
. Simply say, "I don't know, but I'm happy to research the answer." Interviewers don't like people who BS them.
4. Ask intelligent questions about your potential employer at the appropriate time during your interview. Remember that annoying narcissist you dated in college who talked about herself incessantly at every opportunity? Don't be her.
The best way to approach any company is through an introduction from a trusted employee or partner. If you can, network your way into the company. Attending techie events
is a good way to get started.
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