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  • 11th Jun, 2005 at 7:07 PM

I have read a lot of résumés in my life. I've done critiques with EngSoc. I've picked co-ops to interview for Delano, a company I used to sysadmin for. And I go through résumés for co-ops and full-time positions at NITI.

There are some very good résumés and some very bad ones. I have to note that résumés from Waterloo students or graduates seem, on average, far more polished than their competitors. I don't know if this is because I'm biased to seeing the kinds of résumés coming from Waterloo, or if it because co-op students get so much practise writing them.

I certainly did. I probably spent more time writing and editing résumés than most people I know. Why is that? Well, one of the reasons is because people ask me to go over their résumés and improve them. Typically what we do is use their old one and write a new one from scratch. But the second, and more important, reason is because I started procrastinating when writing mine.

Which implies that I went and wrote a résumé programme that typesets and posts it for me. I figure that it's pretty eye-catching to people who've seen Computer Modern before. Plus, it was incredibly fun to write at the time.

But more seriously, I do want to note that some Waterloo students do put out horrible résumés. And they really shouldn't. After all, there are résumé critique sessions run by the student societies that you really should attend. And failing that, you can do a little research on the Internet for a tutorial. Do try to write a personalised cover letter for companies you really like. We almost always interview the funny ones.

I hope never again to read something that makes my eyes bleed. For one thing, it's bad marketing for yourself; you do want a crack at a job, right? Secondly, you do want to be nice to me: It really helps to have eyesight to work as a programmer, and my glasses are already thick enough.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
11th Jun, 2005 23:13 (UTC)
Remember that awesome resume that we filed as "craptacular"?
11th Jun, 2005 23:19 (UTC)
Indeed. It was so bad that it integer-overflowed into awesome.

But I don't think we interviewed the applicant. I do think we should have framed it.
12th Jun, 2005 01:21 (UTC)
I hope my résumé is not in the "bad" category. That's why I borrowed your TeX source ;)
12th Jun, 2005 01:53 (UTC)
No wonder yours looked so familiar...

Surprising corollation: all résumés that is derived from that work has gotten their authors an interview.

I don't expect this to be a general trend, though; more like a happy coincidence that makes me feel good.
12th Jun, 2005 21:53 (UTC)
I credited you in the TeX source ;)

An interviewer told me the other day that one of the things on my résumé that caught his eye was that I mentioned TeX, which is apparently a topic close to his heart. He didn't click the link to get to the PDF version though.
12th Jun, 2005 07:18 (UTC)
Thanks for the tips!
13th Jun, 2005 19:45 (UTC)
Back in the day at least, CECS used to offer free resume critique sessions, and I found this extremely useful. The person who went over my resume really knew her stuff, was interesting and fun, and gave me a lot of helpful tips. Anyone at Waterloo who is at all concerned about their resume should sign up for one of these.
13th Jun, 2005 23:08 (UTC)
I am something of an exception.

I haven't updated my resume since 2A, and even then it was bad enough that it needed to be rewritten. (And the most terms I've done at a single place is *two*, and I've only done that once.) This is probably something I should finally correct this fall.

The "GUI Vigilante" description appeals to the overflowing feelings of frustration I've been experiencing lately. I imagine the job would be particularly rewarding if one were permitted to fire Death Rays upon a Cannonball or two when given just cause.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )