I received a lot of great feedback after putting my resume online and asking for help. Thanks for the help everyone! As Kevin Kelly might say, “the universe is conspiring to help us.” Below I outline what I did and why.
- Name: no PhD—just Seth Michael Holloway. Since the PhD is not needed for the job, the consensus was that the suffix would do more harm than good.
- Retooled the summary to combine summary and objective. At first I removed the sections altogether because I thought it was wasted space that can hurt more than it can help. A friend convinced me that this one section grabs the reader’s attention and draws them in. Now that you have their attention, do something good with it, like tell them your relevant skills!
- I put the skills section below the new summary and broke skills into “technologies” and “general” subsections. A skills section allow busy people to determine my experience without having to read everything below. If the reader is interested in my skills after reading the summary, I’m doing well.
- I’m a recent grad so education stays up top and comes next. “So Seth’s summary matches our desired candidate as do his skills; he’s educated… where has he worked?” And that leads to work experience.
- I cleaned up bullet points and job experience as the resume constantly evolves!
- One big change in the experience section is the inclusion of “intern” in titles held during school. College kids are expected to have internship experience, so admitting a job was an internship does not hurt. These positions show that I balanced work and school. I had a hard time deciding on my most recent IBM job because I ended up owning a decent sized project that was important to several teams worldwide—hardly your standard internship! I felt like a part-timer, but intern is more self-explanatory.
- Everyone said to shorten, so I removed a couple jobs and moved the interesting bits into the skills and clubs sections. The awards and honors section is out.
- I’ve left publications because they don’t make a difference in length right now (over 2 pages with or without). Those publications show that I’m well on my way to my 10,000 hours of writing (Gladwell’s assertion that expertise takes 10,000 hours), and I’m proud of the quality. I need to work on a blog post or alternate resume that shows the number of hours I’ve put into various fields…
- That’s about it. The resume spills onto three pages, and I’m okay with that for now. I have something between a CV and a resume! I figure that later sections are just a cookie for anyone dedicated enough to read that far :) One day I’ll get down to 1 or 2 pages…
I hope my thought process makes sense and that people like the resume. I really appreciate the help and know that I’ll find a great job as a result. If you have any other suggestions or see a flaw in my logic, please let me know.