0
Andy Lester, LandTheTech JobYou Love	

http://petdance.com/	

andy@petdance.com
Resumes and
Interviewing	

for Tech Jobs
Two key takeaways
#1
Your awesomeness
is not self-evident!
You have to
tell me
about your
awesomeness.



In detail.
#2
Follow principles,
not rules.
What it's like for me
I want to hire you.
You are a
unique & beautiful
snowflake.
... but this is my desk.
My three questions
about you
• "Can she do the job?"	

• "Do I want her working for me?"	

• "Do I want her on the team?"
Don't expect the 

hiring manager to
connect the dots.
Resumes
Common resume
questions
• Should I put skills first, or education?	

• Does it have to be only one page?	

• Should I list ...
Why do you write

a resume?
To get them to call you
in for an interview.
Common resume
questions
• Should I put skills first, or education?	

• Does it have to be only one page?	

• Should I list ...
Common resume
questions
• Should I put skills first, or education?	

• Does it have to be only one page?	

• Should I list ...
One page?
Two page?
"No good movie is too
long and no bad movie is
short enough."
-- Roger Ebert
If it's useful, put it in.	

!
If it's not, take it out.	

!
That may vary from
resume to resume.
There is no
Resume Police.
These clichés are
worse than meaningless
• Professional; business-oriented	

• Industrious; hard worker; dedicated	

• Goo...
Provide evidence,

not self-assessments.

Let the reader decide.
How do I get my resume
to stand out?
None of these work
• Magic fonts	

• Magic colors	

• Magic layouts	

• Magic "action words"
Nobody will read your entire
resume without a reason to
think it will be worth the time.
Start with a strong
summary.



This is the movie trailer

for your resume.
List the top 3-5 aspects
of your value.
21 years professional software development, most
recently in Perl and PHP
• Manage...
Show me,
don't tell me.
Use numbers!
• Numbers draw the eye.	

• Numbers give a sense of size.	

• Numbers are the language of business.	

• Numbe...
Boring & ambiguous
• Provide desktop support by phone or in
person as needed to minimize downtime	

• Maintained hardware ...
Interesting & precise
• Provide desktop support by phone or in
person. Averaged 8.2 calls/day with 92% of
user problems so...
July 2010-present
Night Operations Technician, Bug-Be-Gone Corp.
!
* Maintained insect population by applying
insecticides...
Principles, not rules!
NO! NO! NO!
• No lies	

• No fudging	

• No "objective" or "references available"	

• No salary history	

• Nothing illegal
Cover letters
Rule #1:
Write one.
Rule #2:
Write one for the
specific position.
Dear Prospective Employer,
!
Your Advertisement on jobs.perl.com for a
!
Sr. Prog. for library book wholesaler
!
caught my...
I am much more than a programmer. In my long and
varied work history, I have performed such jobs as
knife salesman, manage...
I am much more than a programmer. In my long and
varied work history, I have performed such jobs as
knife salesman, manage...
Your cover letter
• In plaintext in your email.	

• Explains relationship with contact, if any.	

• Explains what you're l...
A good cover letter
Dear Mr. Lester,
!
My colleague Richard Dice referred me to the job
recently posted on jobs.perl.org. ...
Interviews
Interviewer + candidate
want the same thing.
Hiring manager's task
• "Can this person do the job?"	

• "Do I want this person working for me?"	

• "Do I want this pers...
Candidate's task
• "Can I do the job?"	

• Convince the HM you can do the job.	

• Get a job offer, or move closer to it.
After the offer
• "Do I want to work for this guy?"	

• "Do I want to work on this team?"
Conversation,
not interrogation.
Your interview is your
first day on the job.
Preparing
the day before
Preparing
the day before
• Clear your schedule.	

• Prepare to get there.	

• Prepare what you're going to take with you.	...
Questions you'll
have to answer
Tell me about yourself.
Tell me about yourself.
• Did she do any research?	

• Is she prepared?	

• How does she speak?	

• Does she take pride in...
Where do you want to
be in five years?
Where do you want to
be in five years?
• Does he have any sort of plan?	

• Does he work on self-improvement?	

• Will I ha...
What is your greatest
weakness?
Why do you want to
work for us?
- and -
What do you know
about our company?
Why do you want to
work for us?
• Has she done research?	

• Is this just another job for her?	

• What drives her?
Tell me about a project
that didn't go well.
- or -
Tell me about a
teammate you've had
trouble with.
Tell me about a project
that didn't go well.
• Is he a blamer/whiner?	

• Can he learn from mistakes?	

• How are his pers...
Candidate questions
What's a day like?
What sorts of projects
will I be working on?
What will the first day be
like? First month?
Is this a new position, or
are you replacing?
What happened?
Tell me about the team
I'll be joining.
Can I meet the team I'll
be joining?
These questions show
that you are actually
interested in the job.
Show you can
do the job.
Show you can do it.
• Diagnose a dead PC.	

• Write some code.	

• Assess design problems on a web page.	

• Participate i...
Closing
Always ask for the job.
Debrief after.
• Thoughts	

• Impressions	

• Stories	

• Follow-up
Key takeaways
• Your awesomeness is not self-evident.	

• Give evidence, not self-assessments.	

• Use numbers to give det...
andy@petdance.com
http://petdance.com
Bonus slides
15 ways to
kill an interview
• Show up late	

• Be unprepared	

• Chew gum, bring a drink	

• Have bad breath or body odor...
15 ways to
kill an interview
• Come underdressed	

• Speak ill of anyone, including especially
past employers	

• Complain...
15 ways to
kill an interview
• Appear uninterested	

• Appear overenthusiastic or desperate	

• Fail to ask your own quest...
Resumes and job interviews for tech jobs
Resumes and job interviews for tech jobs
Resumes and job interviews for tech jobs
Resumes and job interviews for tech jobs
Resumes and job interviews for tech jobs
Resumes and job interviews for tech jobs
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Transcript of "Resumes and job interviews for tech jobs"

  1. 1. Andy Lester, LandTheTech JobYou Love http://petdance.com/ andy@petdance.com Resumes and Interviewing for Tech Jobs
  2. 2. Two key takeaways
  3. 3. #1
  4. 4. Your awesomeness is not self-evident!
  5. 5. You have to tell me about your awesomeness.
 
 In detail.
  6. 6. #2
  7. 7. Follow principles, not rules.
  8. 8. What it's like for me
  9. 9. I want to hire you.
  10. 10. You are a unique & beautiful snowflake.
  11. 11. ... but this is my desk.
  12. 12. My three questions about you • "Can she do the job?" • "Do I want her working for me?" • "Do I want her on the team?"
  13. 13. Don't expect the 
 hiring manager to connect the dots.
  14. 14. Resumes
  15. 15. Common resume questions • Should I put skills first, or education? • Does it have to be only one page? • Should I list extra-curriculars? • Should I leave off ... • Should I tell about my ...
  16. 16. Why do you write
 a resume?
  17. 17. To get them to call you in for an interview.
  18. 18. Common resume questions • Should I put skills first, or education? • Does it have to be only one page? • Should I list extra-curriculars? • Should I leave off ... • Should I tell about my ...
  19. 19. Common resume questions • Should I put skills first, or education? • Does it have to be only one page? • Should I list extra-curriculars? • Should I leave off ... • Should I tell about my ... Will it make the reader want to call you in for an interview?
  20. 20. One page? Two page?
  21. 21. "No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough." -- Roger Ebert
  22. 22. If it's useful, put it in. ! If it's not, take it out. ! That may vary from resume to resume.
  23. 23. There is no Resume Police.
  24. 24. These clichés are worse than meaningless • Professional; business-oriented • Industrious; hard worker; dedicated • Good people person; team player • Motivated; self-starter; makes things happen • Strong communication skills
  25. 25. Provide evidence,
 not self-assessments.
 Let the reader decide.
  26. 26. How do I get my resume to stand out?
  27. 27. None of these work • Magic fonts • Magic colors • Magic layouts • Magic "action words"
  28. 28. Nobody will read your entire resume without a reason to think it will be worth the time.
  29. 29. Start with a strong summary.
 
 This is the movie trailer
 for your resume.
  30. 30. List the top 3-5 aspects of your value. 21 years professional software development, most recently in Perl and PHP • Manager and senior engineer for e-commerce site (3+ years) • Develop object-oriented Perl and PHP, interfacing with Oracle and MySQL (8 years) • Create intranet database applications with ColdFusion, Access & VBA (5 years)
  31. 31. Show me, don't tell me.
  32. 32. Use numbers! • Numbers draw the eye. • Numbers give a sense of size. • Numbers are the language of business. • Numbers express dollars and time.
  33. 33. Boring & ambiguous • Provide desktop support by phone or in person as needed to minimize downtime • Maintained hardware inventory and software licensing for office computers.
  34. 34. Interesting & precise • Provide desktop support by phone or in person. Averaged 8.2 calls/day with 92% of user problems solved in under 30 minutes. • Maintained hardware inventory for 120 office computers and software licensing of 45 different applications across the enterprise.
  35. 35. July 2010-present Night Operations Technician, Bug-Be-Gone Corp. ! * Maintained insect population by applying insecticides with truck-mounted sprayer. ! * Precisely tracked assigned paths through areas served. It came from my inbox
  36. 36. Principles, not rules!
  37. 37. NO! NO! NO! • No lies • No fudging • No "objective" or "references available" • No salary history • Nothing illegal
  38. 38. Cover letters
  39. 39. Rule #1: Write one.
  40. 40. Rule #2: Write one for the specific position.
  41. 41. Dear Prospective Employer, ! Your Advertisement on jobs.perl.com for a ! Sr. Prog. for library book wholesaler ! caught my attention. I would like to apply. I am confident that I can perform the job effectively. My background and career goal, seem to match the job requirements well. It came from my inbox
  42. 42. I am much more than a programmer. In my long and varied work history, I have performed such jobs as knife salesman, manager of a hardware store, extracting retinas from bovine eyes as a neurological lab assistant, flower delivery driver and retirement home activities director, all of which make me a well- rounded candidate. It came from my inbox
  43. 43. I am much more than a programmer. In my long and varied work history, I have performed such jobs as knife salesman, manager of a hardware store, extracting retinas from bovine eyes as a cow eye sucker, cow eye sucker and cow eye sucker, all of which make me a well-rounded cow eye sucker. It came from my inbox
  44. 44. Your cover letter • In plaintext in your email. • Explains relationship with contact, if any. • Explains what you're looking for, and what you can bring to the company. • Shows that you care enough to send a personalized cover letter. • Shows that you know about the company.
  45. 45. A good cover letter Dear Mr. Lester, ! My colleague Richard Dice referred me to the job recently posted on jobs.perl.org. I believe that I can help Elsinore Publishing with my skills, including: • 4 years of database apps for MyCo, including.... • 3 years Perl experience, including two CPAN modules (http://...) that extend DBI.... • A BS in CS from UIUC, with a 3.7 GPA. • Experience in the book industry, and a natural love of books. ! I look forward for a chance to meet with you to discuss your needs and how I can help you and Elsinore.
  46. 46. Interviews
  47. 47. Interviewer + candidate want the same thing.
  48. 48. Hiring manager's task • "Can this person do the job?" • "Do I want this person working for me?" • "Do I want this person on my team?" • Convince candidate that yours is a company to work for.
  49. 49. Candidate's task • "Can I do the job?" • Convince the HM you can do the job. • Get a job offer, or move closer to it.
  50. 50. After the offer • "Do I want to work for this guy?" • "Do I want to work on this team?"
  51. 51. Conversation, not interrogation.
  52. 52. Your interview is your first day on the job.
  53. 53. Preparing the day before
  54. 54. Preparing the day before • Clear your schedule. • Prepare to get there. • Prepare what you're going to take with you. • Include a portfolio of work if you can. • Prepare your own questions.
  55. 55. Questions you'll have to answer
  56. 56. Tell me about yourself.
  57. 57. Tell me about yourself. • Did she do any research? • Is she prepared? • How does she speak? • Does she take pride in her work? • What else should I ask about?
  58. 58. Where do you want to be in five years?
  59. 59. Where do you want to be in five years? • Does he have any sort of plan? • Does he work on self-improvement? • Will I have a place for him?
  60. 60. What is your greatest weakness?
  61. 61. Why do you want to work for us? - and - What do you know about our company?
  62. 62. Why do you want to work for us? • Has she done research? • Is this just another job for her? • What drives her?
  63. 63. Tell me about a project that didn't go well. - or - Tell me about a teammate you've had trouble with.
  64. 64. Tell me about a project that didn't go well. • Is he a blamer/whiner? • Can he learn from mistakes? • How are his personal skills?
  65. 65. Candidate questions
  66. 66. What's a day like?
  67. 67. What sorts of projects will I be working on?
  68. 68. What will the first day be like? First month?
  69. 69. Is this a new position, or are you replacing? What happened?
  70. 70. Tell me about the team I'll be joining.
  71. 71. Can I meet the team I'll be joining?
  72. 72. These questions show that you are actually interested in the job.
  73. 73. Show you can do the job.
  74. 74. Show you can do it. • Diagnose a dead PC. • Write some code. • Assess design problems on a web page. • Participate in a code review. • Critique a network diagram.
  75. 75. Closing
  76. 76. Always ask for the job.
  77. 77. Debrief after. • Thoughts • Impressions • Stories • Follow-up
  78. 78. Key takeaways • Your awesomeness is not self-evident. • Give evidence, not self-assessments. • Use numbers to give detail. • Think like the hiring manager. You both want the same thing.
  79. 79. andy@petdance.com http://petdance.com
  80. 80. Bonus slides
  81. 81. 15 ways to kill an interview • Show up late • Be unprepared • Chew gum, bring a drink • Have bad breath or body odor • Smell like smoke
  82. 82. 15 ways to kill an interview • Come underdressed • Speak ill of anyone, including especially past employers • Complain or discuss your problems • Bring up your needs: Money, benefits • Lie
  83. 83. 15 ways to kill an interview • Appear uninterested • Appear overenthusiastic or desperate • Fail to ask your own questions • Leave your phone on • Cut the interview short
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