Our Director of Career Services Charlyne has years of HR experience and a wealth of knowledge on how to attack your job hunt. Luckily for us, she puts her powers to use connecting our students with their new careers as developers. Char shares some advice for anyone looking to break into the world of tech with a new series focusing on rookie mistakes. Follow her advice, score a job and she'll do her coveted happy dance in your honour!
1. Resume not updated
If you are are applying for a job and your resume isn’t reflecting your entire skill set and experience this is the biggest disservice you can do for yourself! Make sure your resume is up to date and your most recent projects are reflected, otherwise how will your future employer know what you’re truly capable of?
2. Inaccurate contact information
Worse than a resume that isn’t current is old or missing contact info! If you change your email address (this is the most common mistake) make sure you reflect that on your resume. Also yes, people do still pick up the phone and call, make sure you have a phone number and voicemail set up so a potential employer can get a hold of you. If you change any of your contact information, please don’t be the person who crosses it off and writes it at the top of the page, and yes, trust me, every employer has received at least one of those.
& on that note:
Do take the extra two seconds to hyperlink your email, website, twitter handle, LinkedIn profile, etc. to make it easy to contact you!
4. Spelling, grammar, and other editing mistakes
Attention to detail is super important to a lot of jobs, including being a developer! It’s about putting your best foot forward from the start. I know some HR people who absolutely will throw away a resume based on a type or mismatched font…. harsh but their thought is if you don’t take the care and time to check your work on your resume when you’re submitting for a job, will you take the care and attention to check your work when you’re coding for them.
5. Broken links and ugly personal web pages
You mention in your cover letter that you’re a great dev who has a keen eye for design. You include a link to your personal webpage, which acts as your resume. What does it say about the kind of dev you are and your “keen” eye for design when there are broken links and your layout is messy and unorganized…
6. Not making it specific to the job posting
Yes resume writing is annoying, yes it is time consuming to change your resume ever so slightly for every single job postings… but it is important! You have a wide breadth of experience but at the end of the day the experience listed on the job posting is essentially what they are looking for as most important. Don’t make the resumes screener connect dots or hunt to see if you have the requirements they need, make it obvious at a glance. Many automated systems actually scan your resume for keywords from the job posting!
7. Prime resume real estate
It’s all about placement, baby. Make it really easy for someone to decide whether or not to call you. It's important to make the top half of your resume really stand out. Within the first 2 seconds that a hiring manager glances at your resume, they should be able be able to see your profile and the skills that make you an attractive candidate for the opportunity and/or company you are applying for.
8. Font choices
Make sure your font style is easy to read. There's nothing worse than an employer moving onto the next resume because yours was difficult to decipher. Something classy like Garamond, or tried and true fonts like Calibri, Helvetica, Verdana, and Tahoma are all solid choices.