Resume

Once you have a resume, use it. Keep it up to date, interview around casually (at least once a quarter), and try to get a new job offer once every 6 months. You don’t need to accept the job offer, and you can always tell the interviewer that you’re just practicing or looking around.

What you don’t want to have happen, however, is getting stuck somewhere without a backup job or not realizing that you’re underpaid. Another good reason to casually look is that the career field changes and you probably don’t want to find yourself 15 years in and 15 years behind the curve.

Impact

Go back through your previous projects, and try to ballpark the impact your work made. You very much want a number for this - number of hours saved for the company/team, or number of dollars saved in ongoing costs (generally expressed as Annual Recurring Revenue, or ARR; “My widget allowed us to move datacenters and realize $120k/yr in savings)

If you can’t put a number to that line-item on your resume, strongly consider getting rid of it

This cuts through the tech buzzword-bullshit, and makes it really easy to bypass non-technical gatekeepers. HR almost assuredly doesn’t know or care what ‘a kubernetes’ is or why it’s important to the business. They (and everyone else) can certainly understand “Oh this person saved hundreds of hours of engineering-labor by implementing a flugalschnobitz!”

Some impact number ideas:

  • You managed k8s clusters? how many k8s clusters?
  • You transitioned from harness to spinnaker? How much time/money saved with harness vs spinnaker?
  • On-call: did you work to reduce on-call as a result of being on-call? how many less pages as a %?
  • Wrote on-call docs or runbooks? Do you have metrics on how much faster these scenarios were resolved as a result of your docs?
  • Added tests? what was your test coverage before / after?
  • Did any product work you do result in an xxx% increase in customers?

Keywords

Have a “keywords” section that is fodder for the AI/pattern-matching gatekeepers. That’s where you put things in list/bullet form like:

  • Cloud platforms: AWS, GCP, VMWare, Openstack, Proxmox, Bob’s Weird Side Project, etc etc
  • “Core competencies”: Development, Architecture, Design, Tools

Everything else, you want a 1-3 sentence summary in plain english around what you did, and then bulletpoint sentences for projects/context where you hit ’em with the numbers (dollars/hours saved, etc). Having a keywords section means your bullet points don’t need to be peppered with jargon and can instead maximize readability to a non technical audience.

Formatting

Another tip, don’t do fancy formatting on your resume. it fucks with AI/ML pattern-matching something fierce. Rewrite your resume in plain text, using whitespace and punctuation to get an aesthetically pleasing layout. Only then convert it to rich-text, and use very light italics, bold, etc, to help further delineate.

Length

Don’t try to keep things to one length. It’ll naturally be one length if you don’t have much/any experience.

Tips

  • Don’t mix abbreviating and not for anything (except for maybe writing out some alphasoup the first time - Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)). Be consistent throughout with whatever you pick.
  • Misc is never a good category - Pick a header that’s more targeted.
  • A 1-2 sentence “goal/objective/desired position” bit at the top (especially if it’s markedly different from your overall experience) goes a long way. Particulary for career transitions or emphasizing what you want to focus on if it’s otherwise lacking in your resume.
  • For programming languages, list them idiomatically:
    • major language pivots should be separated. eg Python 2 vs 3, Golang 1.11+ vs prev, ECMAScript 2018+ or Node 8+ vs “javascript”.

Format

  • personal info, contact info, media platforms/presence/website, etc.
    • Name big and bold in middle of top row
  • Employment and professional experience
    • 1-2 sentence professional summary, career goal/objective/desired position, etc.
    • List of companies (recent to old)
      • title, company, timeframe
      • 3-5 sentences about the company, anything special about their stack, and the overall “how these people are better for my involvement there” summary.
      • Bullet-points go here, each with ‘a number’ attached. No number? No bullet-point. As many as needed to get the point across
    • List of projects, OSS, etc., that you’ve done, if any. Only include projects you want to maybe be asked about.
  • Education
    • One line per college, if you graduated/made progress. Omit the education section otherwise.
      • List your GPA if it’s 3.8+ and you want to.
    • Nobody cares if you have a GED or not if you can do the work.
    • College experience only shows that you stuck to something hard for 4 years and did the redtape paperwork.
  • Buzzword skills section
    • Relevant functional technical skills (eg languages)
    • Relevant cross-functional technical skills
    • Relevant soft skills, personality traits, or whatever.