Friday, August 25, 2006

Technical Experience in your College Application

Here's a subject that just came up to me in conversation. What if Susie/Johnny has considerable IT talent and job experience, in High School, and wants to convincingly parlay that into worthwhile recognition and usefulness on his/her upcoming college application?

My first reaction is to be sure to get your story straight....are you going to college specifically for computer-related classes and experiences? Are you simply trying to get into a very prestigious Engineering or Science & Technology school? Are you looking for work-study opportunities supporting campus IT infrastructure? Is it all just another extra-curricular activity or hobby, or did you truly accomplish something unique, valuable or otherwise useful in your community (online or off)?

With your "storyline" and objectives in line, now it's time to illustrate you activities and acumen in a way that (1) clearly and accurately showcases the storyline, and (2) provides the best possible support in your objectives.

- Your activities should clearly show progress, learning and helpfulness to others

- Your IT experience should either be in industry-relevant areas, or particulary challenging ones.

- All your IT verbage must be absolutely accurate, with company names, copyrights, etc.

- Use hyperlinks only as a last resort - you don't want readers to navigate away from your story, don't want them to misinterpret things, and don't want them to get far off-topic or otherwise distracted from the world you're describing

- Be sure to indicate examples of teaching, teamwork, collaboration, ownership - i.e. anything that indicates responsibility to and for others

- Don't be hesitant to describe activities and capabilities with respect to avatars and a virtual world - but make sure to be solidly grounded in the real on, demonstrating how your virtual activities truly benefit real-life people and events.

- Unless you're gaming experience has a technical creation or business angle, try to avoid coming across as a real expert in "using" games, vs. creating or selling them.

Treat your college application IT information just like it might be treated on a resume, though modified to fit the overall context of the application!

If you need help, contact us at Dadministrator at Your college application with IT relevance IS a Technical Resume!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Get at least a quick review.....

Here's a scenario just in from the recruiting're an in-demand technical contractor, have submitted your resume to Dice, and are now speaking with a "tier 2" recruiting company who's shopping you to a "tier 1" recruiter, who's got several good matching opportunities with clients for you. You don't know about any of these "tiers", all you know is you're speaking with someone who's got a possible job offer. The problem is, once the "tier 2" company submits to the "tier 1", the "tier 1" may not find your resume good enough to submit to their client, and they'll go ahead and submit someone else in their "stable". Typically, the client needs are urgent, and the candidates move through so fast, that there's no time or initiative on the part of the recruiting organizations to do much resume tweaking or rewriting; they just try to sell over and around whatever keywords happen to be there. But you lose your edge, and, you lose out to someone with a better resume regardless of the efforts and salesmanship on the part of the person you're speaking with.

Get that resume tweaked, fixed, given the once-over, spiffed-up, buffed-out, whatever...and do it quick! is a quick and easy way to get timely, competent help, so your resume makes the great impression it should, all the way up the recruiting food chain.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

R0004: Legacy Systems Engineer

"Supervised Year 2000 Conversion Effort" - well, we know what kind of skills were in demand for that....

R0004 - Legacy Systems Engineer turned Independent Contractor/Business Owner

This resume, however, shows a very well-developed Systems Engineering background, albeit legacy (though complex) skillsets....moving into an "Independent period" (read: "re-tooling", perhaps staying home with the kids, etc.), then starting a related small business. The resume is very well-written and organized, though could use a little more highlighting of current technologies and buzzwords.

On the other hand, what's this person applying for? Seems like he/she could do a lot of things, plus they've already got existing work and a business. Probably want to add a blurb to reconcile this, like "seeking contract positions in xxx work to supplement existing activities" clear and honest, here.

More employers filling jobs simply through Resume searches

From our network of technical recruiters and contacts, it seems the trend is growing fast, and supported by commentary from such sites as - Many recruiters and employers fill jobs exclusively through a growing number of resume search services, boards, databases and postings on social network sites such as and (would you believe it?) This means a growing percentage of jobs aren't ever posted; they find you!.

What does that mean to you? It means you need to better manage your Resume as "online content" - keeping it accurate, updated, available, highly-regarded and relevant. It also means your resume can quickly become an advertisement for incompetence, bad communication skills or just plain carelessness. Think of it as a big web page advertisement - needs to look great and sell effectively.

Get it quickly reviewed here!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Great Java Candidate

Full Resume: R0003 at:

"Self Starter, highly motivated in problem-solving and learning skills as well as a keen interest in the emerging technologies." Don't we all...

This one's got the works, Hibernate, Swing, Spring, all the App servers, plus all the good productivity/CM tools like ClearCase, TOAD, Rational, Test Director...I especially like the bold of the individual technologies and tools, plus they're all spelled and capitalized right! Don't find many Vignette alumni around these days, either. Couple of issues:

1 - all those bulleted lists that basically support usage/knowledge of a tool or technology - perhaps condense into a short paragraph, if not already included in a summary technology list...we'd like to know a little more of what your functional/team roles were, plus you wouldn't have to use words like "extensively" and "developed" 50 times!

2 - the long list of technologies under 'Environment' doesn't seem to match the list of things you did in that environment, plus the "long list" seems to be quite a grab bag and not necessarily relevant - you could probably summarize the environment description a bit...

3 - little bombs keep popping up regarding "non-americanized" English and grammar issues; this isn't really a problem, probably, for getting the job done - but as a hiring manager for an American firm, I'd probably like to see that extra care taken with the resume....don't use "keen", ever, and make sure your singular/plurals match!

4 - although it may be tough to validate, most reviewers like to know where the education was received (even if it was in East JBIP!), plus not clear on "post-graduate diploma" vs. "Masters".

5 - is anyone still "highly experienced" on AS/400? Give him a raise!

All in all, a pretty decent resume, but 30% too much content.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Too many projects and acronyms

Here's a resume submitted for review, that would probably work well with resume keyword scanners, but the reader would be hard-pressed to keep reading after the first "world tour" entries!

Full Resume: R0002 at:

Certificate Girl (Extract)

Over 9 years of hands-on experience in all phases of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Extensive experience in Systems Analysis and Design using (UML), Development (C, C++, Smalltalk, Oracle, and Java), User Interface Design, Software Quality Assurance and Software Testing of Client/Server, UNIX and Web based applications and Project Management. >(yeah, but no Project Management roles described....)

World Tour from October 2005 – May 2006.

XXXXX, April 2002 – August 2005, Programmer

The XXXXX Migration was a long term programme (world tour, remember!), being implemented as a six phased approach to migrate applications and functionality from the XXXXX (Wanganui Computer) to open systems such as XXXXX and Lotus Notes. Commenced in April 2002 through to July 2005, the strategy proposed in six phases, was developed in VisualAge Smalltalk, Wepshere, C, C++, JavaScript, HTML, Java and VAGen languages to meet the user requirements.

EDUCATION (go ahead, Google those "education centers"...who the heck knows what they are!)
- Associates Degree, Information Systems Technology, Programming Specialization, Northern Virginia Community College, XXXXX. GPA: 3.8
- Certificate training in Project Management, ISEC, USA.
- Certificate training in Developing a Web Site, Learning Tree, USA.
- Completed the 10-week Boot Camp training in Object Oriented Analysis, Design and Development using Smalltalk, ObjectShare, USA.
- Certificate training in DB2, which included Relational Databases, DB2 Databases, Accessing DB2 data and maintaining DB2 data.
- Certificate training in Joint Application Design (JAD)
- Certificate training in .Net, India.
- Diploma in C++ programming language, Informatics Computer Institute, India.
- Diploma in C programming language, Informatics Computer Institute, India.
- Advanced studies in Oracle 7.1 with Developers 2000, Aptech Computer Institute, India.
- Diploma in advanced learning courses in MS-Office, Windows 95, India Education Center, India.
- Diploma in Business Oriented Software Applications, India Education Center, India.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Technical Resume Reviews

This is a straightforward, honest appraisal forum for your technical resume. Simply send your resume to us, and we'll post a redacted copy for comment - including our own.