Resume time

ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
After much commenting on resumes here on TechExams, I've decided it is time to update my own resume, which I haven't really played with since 2010. Back then, I used a slightly different style then I recommend now, and I included what I would consider to be too much content. It's not that what I had wasn't valuable; it's simply too much.

With that in mind, I took my resume and reformatted it. I played with font sizes, spacing, fonts, etc. I added sections and my current job. I filled it all the way to two pages. You'll think I'm crazy, but now I want to get it back to one page.

Edit: Tl;dr. Skip to bottom posts to see current version.

Old, with minor updates in February: Systems_Engineer.pdf
New, with current job added: Systems_Engineer_2012.pdf
Newer, with complete formatting and style overhaul: Systems_Engineer_2012_summaries.pdf
Newest, Word format, font and formatting changes, content changes: Systems_Engineer_2012_summaries.doc
Big changes after some review by N2IT: System Engineer v2.doc
Working B.S., Computer Science
Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
In progress: CLEP US GOV,
Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340

Comments

  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    I didn't get a chance tonight, but I will get to it tomorrow.

    Sorry about that.
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    No problem! Thanks for your help.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Here we go:

    1. Looks to me that the formatting didnt come out right? I mean there's a lot of wasted white space in this pdf version. See how the bullets start almost half way through the line. Start the bullets under the position title with a bit of indent. I recommend Trebuchet MS or Garamond or even Verdana as the fonts to use for a resume. Just make it more professional I guess, but opinions will differ.

    2. I'd choose different bullets for the Skills section and the experience section.

    3. I'd recommend you incorporate the Skills section into the experience part. You have a wealth of experience already and dont need a separate Skil section to get the keyword hits. I'd also highly recommend what "Everyone" said, summarize your key responsibilities into a paragraph and they have a few bullet points highlighting your achievements. I've done the same to my resume and I can tell you that it looks wayyyy better.

    4. Put the education and certs part right after your Summary. It's languishing at the bottom at the moment.

    5. See how you describe some of your roles as being Contract, what were the others? Permanent, I guess? Put that there too.

    I like the Summary part you have, succinct and precise. Honestly, I expected one of TE's best resume to be there when I saw your thread. This version needs a bit of work. I'm sure N2 and Everyone will have more input into this.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    The white space was intentional; in fact, it was quite laborious to fill out two pages, and I would be dishonest to say formatting nonsense was not my primary methodology of accomplishing it. I feel like I have the experience to justify a two-page resume, but I wasn't able to get it there without basically cheating. Edit: The bullet thing your describing is also intentional. If you look at my "original" version, it looks a bit better. I've actually used that style for years, but I am finding it no longer suits my purposes.

    In the downtime, I ended up making a one-page edition.
    Systems_Engineer_2012_1_page.pdf

    This cuts out skills altogether, combines my two short-term contracts, and cuts out a lot of what I consider excessive content. I also feel like it cuts out a lot of relevant content, but maybe it's worth it. I tried to get the big technical skills in the bullets, but there are still some important ones that I'm not sure have been captured in this version.

    I had started doing a one-page version with job summaries followed by accomplishments, but something about my formatting made it not look good. I did move the bullets under job title, rather than in a table adjacent to it, but something was still wrong. Most likely I'm just tired. I definitely feel like separating the bullets out like that makes it much easier to write poignant bullets that can demonstrate tremendous value.

    I'm awaiting some further tips from N2 and anyone else who drops in, but I'm feeling like I might try to apply your (Essendon's) advice to the two page version. I'll incorporate the most pertinent skills into more extensive experience descriptions using the summary + accomplishments style, move my certs to the top (below summary), and see where things take me. I may also play with fonts more as suggested.

    It's a lot of work, but honestly I'm finding it kind of enjoyable to see different formats and styles in action on my own resume. It's very different than critiquing others.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • EveryoneEveryone Posts: 1,661Member
    ptilsen wrote: »
    First, I am thinking of completely **** the skills section. In updating it, it became a laundry list of relevant technologies. Great, I'm experienced in a lot of areas, but it's too much to look at. I would still probably interview me, but I would be annoyed by my own resume. I also got a little bit overwhelmed at this task of trying to list all of the technologies I'm comfortable with, and left plenty off. Realistically, I think I would modify certain lines based on the type of position I'd apply to. I would even change the summary to fit the type of position. If I drop the skill section I would be incorporating the key technologies into the Experience section. This is what "Everyone" recommends, and while I don't always agree with some of his resume advice, I've come to respect his opinion and can definitely see logic in it.

    I'm also considering changing my Experience section a bit. It would be more in this format:
    Company | date
    Title | Description summary paragraph, focus on job responsibilities (2-4 sentences)
    blank| Bullets of major accomplishments, notable projects, major technologies worked on

    Do this stuff. icon_cool.gif

    Obviously you've seen enough of my advice and understand some of my reasoning behind it, so I don't need to repeat it. Combine it with your own spin on things, and I think you'll end up with a resume you're very happy with.

    I actually need to sit down at some time and update my own again to fit the new job in there, although I don't intend on having to use it for a very long time (maybe not ever) now. ;)
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I'll be working on this a bit tonight, but I still haven't heard an argument one way or the other regarding page length. Any thoughts? I'll update once I have a draft with the updated format.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Okay, I have the version with summaries complete. I like how it turned out, but it seems like too much text, and I feel like something's missing on the formatting. Somewhere between the job title and the bullet points, I think there's room for improvement. I might think about changing some or most font to Trebuchet MS after trying it at Essendon's suggestion, but I'm unsure.

    Thoughts?
    Systems_Engineer_2012_summaries.pdf

    Edit: There are some tense inconsistencies and minor technical (as in English, not IT) errors I'll need to fix tomorrow (tonight). It's very late and I haven't had a chance to go through it with a fine-tooth comb. I'm more interested in overall format and content advice.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • EveryoneEveryone Posts: 1,661Member
    I think seeing it in Word format would be easier to critique. For some reason this PDF always opens up at 198% and I have to shrink it back down. :P Even at 100% the text still seems large to me on my screen.

    I think you could probably lose the header on the 2nd page.

    Side margins could probably drop down to 0.5" (Narrow margins).

    Something about having the section titles underlined bugs me.

    Good to see some accomplishment bullets added... however I think you still have too many bullets that read like responsibilities. The purpose of this format is to use the paragraph for responsibilities, so your bullets should only be accomplishments.

    Good progress though, you'll get there. ;)
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Much better as Josh just said. Your certs are kinda hard to follow (for lack of a better way to describe). Here's how I list my certs, saves me a few lines, looks better and is easier to read.



    You have done a heap of work at your current role, but arent there too many accomplishments listed. Are they all accomplishments, maybe you could get rid of some bullets and incorporate some others into the paragraph bit. Achievements should be only be 4-7 bullets maximum, otherwise kinda defeats the purpose?

    Decrease the margins, too much space wasted on the left and right.

    Try Tahoma as your font if you dont like Trebuchet MS, this one aint bad either.

    Otherwise great resume and great experience on there!
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Thanks for the feedback, gentlement. I'll move the margins (I did the margin change seven years ago... this is based on a template I created as a teenager.). I'll play around with fonts a bit, maybe the underlining. I'll see what I can do to list the certifications properly. I agree they're hard to follow, but I do want them all listed in full so the computers that will be screening my resumes find me.

    The experience section is tough because I want to capture all of the technologies I've worked with, yet maintain a 2-4 sentence job description. I will see about adding another line with products to the description, then maybe reword some of the experience lines to be more about what I accomplished with those products, rather than the mere fact that I "implemented, migrated, supported, configured, managed, had deep thoughts about them". Part of the reason I have so much text is the margin problem, so fixing that will force me to keep it reasonable.

    N2 has promised some feedback this evening, so I might wait until then to post yet another version. Thanks again for the feedback and support, everyone.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • daviddwsdaviddws Posts: 303Member
    Essendon wrote: »
    Much better as Josh just said. Your certs are kinda hard to follow (for lack of a better way to describe). Here's how I list my certs, saves me a few lines, looks better and is easier to read.


    I like the way you display your certs, however you put your Masters degree at the end?? I would seperate that from the certs and highlight that since it is your biggest accomplishment.
    ________________________________________
    M.I.S.M:
    Master of Information Systems Management
    M.B.A: Master of Business Administration
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    daviddws wrote: »
    I like the way you display your certs, however you put your Masters degree at the end?? I would separate that from the certs and highlight that since it is your biggest accomplishment.

    Yes I know it's a significant accomplishment, and I have different versions of me resume. One version lists the MS first, I just list it based on the job I'd apply for. If the job ad specifically asks that the candidate have a degree, I list it first otherwise I just choose.

    Very valid point though.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • EveryoneEveryone Posts: 1,661Member
    One thing you might consider, make several versions of your resume. Keep one master list of all accomplishments that is for your use only. Create versions of your resume tailored to the position you are applying to, only include accomplishments that fit the job you're trying to get.

    This will be very useful if you decide to specialize a little further.

    I'd say you could drop all the networking stuff. Your resume says "Systems Engineer" all over it... but you list quite a few things that lean very heavily into the Network realm. I guess that depends on what size environments you want to work in... if you want to stay in SMB, then that sector is probably more likely to want to see someone who can do it all. If you want to break into Mid-Large Enterprise more, those other skills become less important, and being able to demonstrate a depth of knowledge in a specific area becomes more important.
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Everyone wrote: »
    One thing you might consider, make several versions of your resume. Keep one master list of all accomplishments that is for your use only. Create versions of your resume tailored to the position you are applying to, only include accomplishments that fit the job you're trying to get.

    This will be very useful if you decide to specialize a little further.

    I'd say you could drop all the networking stuff. Your resume says "Systems Engineer" all over it... but you list quite a few things that lean very heavily into the Network realm. I guess that depends on what size environments you want to work in... if you want to stay in SMB, then that sector is probably more likely to want to see someone who can do it all. If you want to break into Mid-Large Enterprise more, those other skills become less important, and being able to demonstrate a depth of knowledge in a specific area becomes more important.
    This is a great tip. I was already prepared to make minor modifications as needed, but I think this is great advice. If I'm applying for an enterprise systems engineer position I want to come off as a MS specialist. If I'm applying for a more generalist or SMB role, I can reduce the volume of heavy MS stuff, keep some networking stuff, and keep it more general. Obviously it makes a lot of sense to not have things like SonicWALL or VLANs if I were applying for, say, an MS PFE position.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Okay, lots of updates here. Body text is now Trebuchet MS 12. Headings for companies, etc. are in Tahoma. Diction in the bullet points has been updated to highlight how I brought value both through specific technologies and business improvements. I still haven't figured out a way to list certifications that actually looks any better. I do like how much space they take up because I still think it's a little bit too much text. But, I'm getting happier with the content itself and the format. Also removed header from 2nd page.

    Systems_Engineer_2012_summaries.doc
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • onesaintonesaint Posts: 801Member
    It's looking good. I might agree with you about the amount of text. I would adjust the paragraph alignment with that of the bullet points in the experience area. Right now, the position summaries seem to be hanging off. Otherwise, keep up the great work.

    ETA: Dropping in 2 or 3 pt of space after each line (paragraph/line spacing) might alleviate some of the "too much text" feeling.
    Work in progress: picking up Postgres, elastisearch, redis, Cloudera, & AWS.
    Next up: eventually the RHCE and to start blogging again.

    Control Protocol; my blog of exam notes and IT randomness
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Cant see much wrong with this version. But here's what I'd suggest anyway:

    1. Dunno if it's just me, but isnt the margin on the right more than the left. If you set that right, you may be be able to save a few lines all up.

    2. I'd list the Microsoft certs first and then CompTIA. Higher level I guess?

    3. Give Tahoma a go for everything or even Garamond. See if you like it. Also dunno why the text appears all bold to me? Maybe it's my eyes from staring at the 'puter all day.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • EveryoneEveryone Posts: 1,661Member
    Essendon wrote: »
    2. I'd list the Microsoft certs first and then CompTIA. Higher level I guess?

    ^^ Yes, I would list highest level certs first, as they will get read first. Draw attention to your highest qualifications.

    I am not liking the fonts. Everything seems bold to me with this font choice.

    I have a friend who swears by using a Serif font for the paragraphs, and a San-Serif font for everything else (see Serif - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia if you don't know the difference here).

    Personally I prefer to use the same font with different sizes through out. I used Calibri (yeah I know it is the latest MS default font, but I like it), in 12, 11, and 10. Calibri is a Sans-Serif font. IMHO it is easy to read on screen as well as in print.

    Main Headings size 12 and bold.
    Sub Heading size 11 and bold.
    Titles 11 and italic.
    All other text 10.

    I changed your resume to follow that, and came up with about 16 extra lines of space. This font has more spacing between lines, so it helps reduce that "too much text" feeling you were talking about.


    One other side note... obviously [email protected] isn't your real e-mail address... if you are using a free e-mail service like Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail, make sure you have a somewhat professional looking alias. Having something like [email protected] could kill your resume. ;)
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Okay, big updates. N2 sent me a version he made based on a template he's used. I really thinking it's captured some of the missing pieces. The main changes are formatting and the addition of numerical data in much of the accomplishment bullets. I think it's much better on the eyes and much more substantive with these changes. I took his version and added in some changes based on the advise in this thread, including going with all Calibri, almost exactly to the specifications recommended by Everyone. I've always liked Calibri, and I feel like MS went with it for a reason.

    My email address is my [email protected]. Nothing to worry about there.

    We've gone back and forth on the location of experience and certifications. For now, I have experience ahead of certifications and education. Although I think they all have value, right now my last four years have experience are highly valuable whilst my certifications and education are of moderate value, relative to my career level. Perhaps more importantly, everything fits perfectly, without have to split any of the jobs at the page break.

    Anyhow, I'm still open to any more suggestions, big or small. I'm probably not going to change font again unless I'm hearing that it looks truly bad in the current design.

    System Engineer v2.doc

    Sidenote: Apparently, TE doesn't like .docx (I use .Doc anyway, just in case people are still on old Office or something), and .Doc adds 29KB to the file size, nearly doubling it. Just something I found interesting.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    Nice updates! Looks sharp you really added to the document.
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