[Pdx-pm] OT: Resume Formats

Keith Lofstrom keithl at kl-ic.com
Tue Mar 28 11:56:08 PST 2006

On Tue, Mar 28, 2006 at 09:28:23AM -0800, Brendan Leber wrote:
> I've come to realize that my current resume is not helping me to find a
> job.  I'm getting lots of responses but not for the kind of jobs I would
> like.  So I'm rewriting it.  I've finished updating the content but I

Here is my resume online:  http://www.kl-ic.com/resume_khl.html
It is one page, with search phrases at the top, etc., designed to
be skimmed quickly by a busy manager (the best kind).  They will
probably make their decision to read more or give up on you in the
first 15 seconds.  More info?  That is what hyperlinks are for. 

If I am targeting a specific consulting job, I take the time to
write a specific version of the resume.  For the most part, I
try to put myself in the manager's mind - what do they want? -
and suppress my own ego for a while.  This never works perfectly,
but well enough that I can often sense their needs.

Some points about resumes and job-hunting in general.  Be true
to yourself and to your future employer.   Write your resume
and present yourself not to get A job, but to get YOUR job. 
And that means a frank assessment of your goals and your value
to yourself and to others.  If you have not developed your value,
if you have glaring personality or skill defects, work on those
and find something temporary that does not prevent your growth. 
Start with the assumption that there is a great job out there
for you, where you will love the people and be loved in return. 
You owe it to these wonderful people to find them, and be
found, and develop into the person your future team needs. 

You will have a very hard time finding them, there are 6 billion
people on this planet and you will not be working with 5.999
billion of them.  Chances are, if you are copasetic with them,
your "incompetence" at finding a job matches their "incompetence"
at finding you, so you will have to put in some extra effort.
Be creative searching for them - look at academic papers ("where
is THAT interesting person?"), products, etc., not just job
postings.  Talk to strangers.  Spread the network.  Listen to
your heart.

It shouldn't need to be said, but develop your reputation as an open
source contributor who finishes useful projects.  Software guys have
it easier than chip guys in this regard;  there are lots of small
contributions to make, that can be rolled out into the world for
under a thousand dollars cash outlay (chip protos cost tens of
thousands to tens of millions!).  Open source projects can be great
resume bullet points, and open source code that does something useful
makes a wonderful portfolio.

And populate http://www.hollyking.com !  A blank website does not
demonstrate competence.  A lot of my Perl friends complain about 
the demand for Java and the lack of demand for Perl.  If managers
are hiring for Java, some of that may be because Java is what they
see when they look at websites or applications they want to emulate.
If your Perl-driven website does something nifty, then it will
attract the attention of managers that want that kind of function,
and want the kind of person that can deliver it.

And if you are willing to do Java, or C sharp, or .NET/mono, put
some of that on the website, too.  Show what you are capable of.
"Years of experience" is second to "working code", at least for
the people you want to work with.

I am not saying I have mastered all the techniques above - far from
it.  But I am enough of an empiricist to see what works, and I
have been watching for decades.  It is the bitter, adversarial,
conspiracy-blinded grouches, the ones that blame their lack of
accomplishment on circumstances or the evil of others, that don't
get jobs (which includes me on bad days).  The team-compatable
producers, do.  While there are counterexamples out there, they
are relatively few. 

Good luck!


Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com         Voice (503)-520-1993
KLIC --- Keith Lofstrom Integrated Circuits --- "Your Ideas in Silicon"
Design Contracting in Bipolar and CMOS - Analog, Digital, and Scan ICs

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