Resumes and job interviews for tech jobs

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  • 1. Andy Lester, LandTheTech JobYou Love http://petdance.com/ andy@petdance.com Resumes and Interviewing for Tech Jobs
  • 2. Two key takeaways
  • 3. #1
  • 4. Your awesomeness is not self-evident!
  • 5. You have to tell me about your awesomeness.
 
 In detail.
  • 6. #2
  • 7. Follow principles, not rules.
  • 8. What it's like for me
  • 9. I want to hire you.
  • 10. You are a unique & beautiful snowflake.
  • 11. ... but this is my desk.
  • 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. Don't expect the 
 hiring manager to connect the dots.
  • 14. Resumes
  • 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. Why do you write
 a resume?
  • 17. To get them to call you in for an interview.
  • 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. 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. One page? Two page?
  • 21. "No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough." -- Roger Ebert
  • 22. If it's useful, put it in. ! If it's not, take it out. ! That may vary from resume to resume.
  • 23. There is no Resume Police.
  • 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. Provide evidence,
 not self-assessments.
 Let the reader decide.
  • 26. How do I get my resume to stand out?
  • 27. None of these work • Magic fonts • Magic colors • Magic layouts • Magic "action words"
  • 28. Nobody will read your entire resume without a reason to think it will be worth the time.
  • 29. Start with a strong summary.
 
 This is the movie trailer
 for your resume.
  • 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. Show me, don't tell me.
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. Principles, not rules!
  • 37. NO! NO! NO! • No lies • No fudging • No "objective" or "references available" • No salary history • Nothing illegal
  • 38. Cover letters
  • 39. Rule #1: Write one.
  • 40. Rule #2: Write one for the specific position.
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Interviews
  • 47. Interviewer + candidate want the same thing.
  • 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. 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. After the offer • "Do I want to work for this guy?" • "Do I want to work on this team?"
  • 51. Conversation, not interrogation.
  • 52. Your interview is your first day on the job.
  • 53. Preparing the day before
  • 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. Questions you'll have to answer
  • 56. Tell me about yourself.
  • 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. Where do you want to be in five years?
  • 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. What is your greatest weakness?
  • 61. Why do you want to work for us? - and - What do you know about our company?
  • 62. Why do you want to work for us? • Has she done research? • Is this just another job for her? • What drives her?
  • 63. Tell me about a project that didn't go well. - or - Tell me about a teammate you've had trouble with.
  • 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. Candidate questions
  • 66. What's a day like?
  • 67. What sorts of projects will I be working on?
  • 68. What will the first day be like? First month?
  • 69. Is this a new position, or are you replacing? What happened?
  • 70. Tell me about the team I'll be joining.
  • 71. Can I meet the team I'll be joining?
  • 72. These questions show that you are actually interested in the job.
  • 73. Show you can do the job.
  • 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. Closing
  • 76. Always ask for the job.
  • 77. Debrief after. • Thoughts • Impressions • Stories • Follow-up
  • 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. andy@petdance.com http://petdance.com
  • 80. Bonus slides
  • 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. 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. 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