markdown guide
 

Oh, Jesus, don't make it long. :)

The job of your resume is to wow the person/program scanning it in ~15 seconds or less.

The best ones I see are 1-2 pages.

Format

  • Brief blurb about yourself
  • Scannable list of tech you're proficient at. I don't care that you did 'Hello World' in Erlang once. Don't list that.
  • Actual CV section. List your duration at the company (I want to see if you job-hop), your title, and a bulleted list of projects in this format.
    • Built (what's it called) in (techology) leading/on team of (how big) that (measurable result)
    • Example:

I built a customer relationship portal in Node + Angular leading a team of 3 engineers and one QA that resulted in a 50% reduction in our returns year-on-year.

If something has no result, do not list it.

  • Education. Leave of the year, because as you get older this leaves you vulnerable to age discrimination.

Things to absolutely omit

  • Interests outside work. I don't care.
  • Volunteer things, unless you're doing pro-bono stuff related to tech.
 

I disagree about not listing "outwide of work" activities. Sure, I don't want to hear about what clubs you belong to, or that you like knitting. However, if you've achieved something notable in those activities then I absolutely do want to hear about it.

For example, if you founded a local outreach program, that's a notable achievement. Or for example if your knitting YouTube channel has avid 10K following, that says something very positive about you as an employee. I don't care if not's tech related. Achievements are achievements and reflect positively on the candidate.

I like knowing the people I hire exist outside of their job, that they have interests and things that drive them. I want well-rounded people, not just tech-heads. It won't offset skills needed for the job, but when I have to choose between candidates having something more than tech will definitely sway my decision.

 

Point taken. "I don't care" is a bit strong, I agree. I do care.

There's a bit more sinister reason.

People put stuff in these sections that allow employers to discriminate without with perfect deniability. Don't give them that opportunity. For example:

  • "Coach of my son's soccer team"
  • "Leader of African Americans in Business Group."
  • "Volunteer at the Catholic Shelter"
  • "Meditation teacher at temple XYZ"

I'm trained (and bound by law) to avoid asking you about any of that in an interview. However, you're handing it to the prospective employer on a platter.

Not a comforting subject to talk about, but it can happen.

 

For my own resume (assorted dev roles since 1999), I aim for:

  • two pages: one physical page when printed duplex
  • font size of 10/11pt: it needs to be readable without a magnifying glass
  • line-spacing of at least 115%: ditto above...legibility!
  • no-frills font face: I'm partial to the PT Serif/Sans families
  • highlight one or two recent projects in a section of their own: not necessarily wrapped up with employment history
  • limit employment history to the last 10 years: got an irrelevant job in the middle of that spread, list it to show you were employed, but don't bother elaborating on the particulars.
  • skip the "Objective" statement: it's a waste of space; besides, that's what your cover letter is for... You did write a cover letter, right?!

I also prepare a second document which may or may not accompany the resume depending on the nature of the job I'm interested in. That second document is an exclusive Project Summary. Again, it's limited to two pages and follows the same formatting rules as my resume; however, its purpose is to expand on specific projects--dates, role, tech stack, etc.--that I've been involved with recently (or in the past if a particularly proud accomplishment).

Now that's the way I do things as a "seasoned" developer (I hate the "junior", "intermediate", "senior" pigeon holes!)...

In my time, however, I've seen great resumes and crap resumes from potential hires. The great resumes are (1) legible and (2) concise. The crap resumes usually (1) look/read like they came from a MS Word 2000 resume template, (2) require a microscope to read and/or (3) cover the applicant's entire life history...I'm talking a dozen+ pages!

In a nutshell:

  • Be clear
  • Be concise
  • Be legible
  • Skip the buzzwords
  • Be yourself!
 

I tend to give people a one page resume. It highlights some of my recent work and achievements I'd like to note. You can see my most recent, though now quite outdated one, here.

Granted, a lot of times my resume may be more of a formality. Many of the introductions I've gotten, or interview requests, were not via my resume. It was asked for later in the process, but still, I like to have something that looks good lying around.

 

I've been coding for 20yrs too, I think your CV is light on details, a good LinkedIn profile would do a lot to back your History, Qualifications and Achievements. This is mine:linkedin.com/in/jeremy-lecky-thomp...

 

I don’t believe in CVs for senior devs nowadays, nor in Linkedin nor in any other social networks profiles.

For any senior position candidate I personally check github profile, stack overflow profile, and an education. That’s mostly it.

“Talk is cheap, show me the code.”— L. T.

That's kind of why I keep my CV light. I have so much online that a simple search would yield lots.

I think just checking online is nonetheless unfair to people that haven't had a lot of public presence. Even most of my jobs will have nothing about them online. It's only my most recent position where my work is actually public, prior to that everything was all private coding. The stuff online is just extra to that.

We are talking about senior position, not about hiring a software developer in general, right?

I get it simple: no public activities ⇒ no senior position. Period.

 

I think Elon CV is a good starting point. Here you can see: brief, easy to read, concise and elegant (less is more). The article is in spanish, but not too dificult to understand...
entrepreneur.com/article/305208

 

I am a senior dev. At least, I think so; I've been doing this since 1995. What I can tell you is that my resume is 2 pages long, and encompasses perhaps half of my actual experience.

I'm not sure there's an actual principle of diminishing specificity, but if there is, my resume is it. I have the most detail attached to my most recent jobs. What I did, what I used to do it, and most importantly, something about the real-world effects of whatever it was I did. Did I save the company money? Did I make users' lives easier? Did I streamline a process, making developers more productive? Did I help a major United States military organization track and catalog the social media efforts of international terrorist organizations?* It's in the resume - at least for the most recent 4 or 5 positions.

Beyond that, feel free to collapse things - it's ok to remove the "how" or the "why" of a given accomplishment. A senior dev is just a junior dev with experience, and the ability to explain that experience. Always make the resume about experience, and adjust for the passage of time.

*Yes. Yes, I did.

 

I've been doing software development since 1988 so my work history is on the long side, especially since I've worked a combination of long term perm jobs as well as shorter term contracts. My resume usually runs about 2 pages, sometimes 3 if I think I need to add in additional details for a particular potential employer.

The way I keep it small is to put the most emphasis on my last 3 jobs. On them, I give more detail, for example: ("Project XYZ involved creating a single page web labor management application using C# ASP.NET MVC with Angular. This application, designed with a facade pattern, coordinated the management of labor between several complex systems resulting in a 20% reduction in labor costs."). Past those first few jobs, the descriptions become more terse, mostly a list of technologies used and the project type ("CRM system: C#, ASP.NET, SQL Server").

I also never do a cover letter unless a potential employer indicates in their job listing that they would like one with specific content. Why? Because, since resumes went electronic nearly 20 years ago, when I've been hiring someone for a team, I've never received a resume from HR or a recruiter that included this letter.

 

You'll be able to tell a senior developer's resume in seconds. In most cases there will be a list of languages and technologies, but more importantly the jobs will detail specific technologies used to accomplish a reasonably specific task. Experience takes time, so seeing a list of jobs that can be measured in weeks should be a red flag... that doesn't mean someone can't gain experience quickly, but most cases the depth of knowledge doesn't come in weeks. A job hopper can be a good or bad thing, depending on the description: If someone is an in-depth problem solver ("hired-gun") for extremely complex problems, the description will make it obvious.

I'm more of a "long term employee" (10+ years with few employers), but I know some people that are contractors with extreme depth of knowledge that haven't had a job last more than 6 months. But when you read our resumes, it's obvious that we are experienced senior level developers across a large number of technologies. In many cases the language used to describe the jobs or even the technologies can be an indicator. It's almost a case of "you'll know it when you see it, but until then it will be a bit of a mystery".

I agree with the 1-2 page length, anything more just becomes "blah, blah...". A list of languages (more than 5, because languages are easy, libraries are hard), a list of technologies (usually large, but "clustered" based on the solutions developed), and then a summary of jobs with short details of which technology/language combination used to accomplish specific tasks.

Slight digression:
It really becomes obvious during an interview when a prospect asks a question about your question. A simple question like "how do you find memory leaks" shouldn't be answerable in a short response, and the questions coming back shouldn't be "what do you mean?", they will always be leading questions indicating more depth of knowledge and the direction you want to take the discussion.

The prospect will also know when the interviewer is clueless when they start getting questions like: "Explain the 3 pillars of OO" (a trick/stupid question), or equally stupid "Show us how you program a Singleton". Both are examples of someone with less knowledge that a good prospect and can either make the salary demand higher or a flat out refusal of an offer "because the interviewer was an idiot".

Also note that a job advertisement with terms that hint that the employer has no idea what they want (fishing) or asking for the impossible (e.g. 10+ years of a language that is only 5 years old) will immediately turn off the less desperate developer and you'll never even see their resume. In an Ad, make sure you mention things like "we have 3 teams, using a mixture of tech X, Y, Z" rather than listing "proficient in tech X, Y, Z" when the technologies are rarely/difficult to use in a single team.

 

I've been in the industry for twelve or so years. My CV clocks in at five pages which is about as long as I'd go. Here's how it breaks down:

Contact info and one-paragraph professional summary: <1/2 page
Work experience (date range, employer, location, title, 3+ bullet points describing responsibilities): 1 page
Major projects (name, technologies used, who for, and a brief paragraph description): 2 pages
Presentations and workshops (name, where/when, brief paragraph description): 1/2 page
The obligatory list of skills, organized and classified to not be a total mess: 1/2 page

As I've done more I've been more particular about what qualifies for the projects section but it's honestly still a little longer than I'd like.

 

If you're in EU you should make a longer CV, 2 3 pages, each country has it's twists and perks, check them out before applying. Some can and will discriminate if the laws permit it, and some ask for many details including a serious photo.

In US there are resumes, one page by definition I guess. I've seen a few gorgeous ones for seniors, I don't have the links now but all of them participated in very success projects over the years, is like if you write 3y at google search engine, you don't need to write a lot more beside it.

 

Probably the best thing I've read on technical resumes is from Rands In Repose: randsinrepose.com/archives/a-glimp...

I'm an intermediate dev, but more focused on applied skills via marketing. Not sure if it's helpful, but here's a link: drive.google.com/file/d/0B3AtZpHVZ...

I modified a Google Drive template for it.

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