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April 13, 2020

Resume Review - Jhon

Good experience. Needs to show himself as a more solid candidate.

First impression - 60 seconds review

  • Good layout, looks clean
  • Info is easy to digest
  • First page needs adjustment, too many distracting items (i.e. technical & soft skills)
  • I like the numbers in the bullets
  • My strongest feeling: candidate makes himself look too junior. He’s got very good things to show off, needs adjustment.
  • Resume is too large


I like that your cover is clear enough to make me easily understand what you do and what you’re good at. I’ll just try to remove distracting items like “applications that makes the life of people better” or “I would like to add DevOps experience”. As a recruiter, I want to know how well you’re going to fit in my team with your current expertise, not with what you want to do - I can always ask you that in the interview. I like it how you put it in AngelList as “DevOps enthusiast”. That’s much better.

I recommend being more specific on what sets you apart from the crowd. Try to think about this. This is the first impression you will give to your recruiter, you want to make yourself look special. You might also want to use power keywords. You can leverage the fact that you’ve worked with oil and gas which involves millions of dollars and a lot of pressure. I’d go with something along the lines of:

Full Stack Developer with experience building highly-reliable data pipelines for performance-sensitive systems (Oil & Gas). I’m experienced writing full stack web apps with Ruby on Rails and JavaScript. My software has been used to instrument and optimize processes worth +20M USD. DevOps enthusiast and ocassional software blogger.

That’s just an idea, you need to craft it as you see fit. For me, that looks a candidate I’d like to call for an interview. See that I completely removed the lines that didn’t add too much value. I’m also using your experience as a data engineer in the oil industry as a competitive advantage (you know how to deal with pressure, you know what it looks like to build reliable, fault-tolerant systems).

Important: I suggest removing the Soft Skills sections. Recruiters always skip that, without exception. Everybody is an excellent team player and have good communication, so let’s instead be aggresive to communicate what makes you special.

Note: I like the links to your portfolio and Github. But, what if they print the CV, though? I’d also put them below your name with an icon, like:

  • Github icon:
  • World icon:


I challenge you to make this resume 1 page only. People with less than 10 years of exp should have a 1-page resume, even more if you’re applying for top-tech companies. Normally, having a long resume doesn’t convey you have a lot of experience, but rather you don’t know how to communicate your achievements clearly.

Don’t take it personal, though. I struggle with this problem myself too :/

Work Experience

I think you need to shape your oil experience to be more software related. Your GitHub projects are also very relevant now that you don’t have too much professional experience, so they need to stand out even more. Your experience in Acme needs to convey what you contributed rather than what you learned.

Wherever possible, try following the format “Accomplished X by implementing Y which led to Z” (credits). Let’s run through some samples:

  • Acme Corporation

    • Helped customers run through data 2x faster by implementing paginated API responses in RoR and JavaScript.
    • Improved UX at sign up by configuring OAuth on Ruby and wired it up with React hooks. This resulted in a huge conversion increase.
    • Developed tens of screens with React as a team member of an international team spanned across 4 countries.
  • Globex

    • Instrumented and optimized oil drilling operations by building data pipelines in SQL. This resulted in +20M USD savings from risk and fault prevention.
    • Participated as a data engineer in more than 50 highly critical drilling operations.
    • Influenced multimillionare product decisions by analyzing data and presenting data reports.

Now, that’s just something I came up with very quickly, you’ll need to do your homework and work it out better. I guess you get the idea now.


Put a lot of emphasis in this section. This is important as you’re getting started in the software industry, make yourself look as you know what you’re doing. Stop thinking about yourself as a junior dev “just learning”; you are more like a “senior dev” in the making :D

I’d keep this section as is. Just try to hide the full GitHubs links and, instead, put a link like: (source).


Great education, you’re awesome. I’d leave this section as is, just remove the “Developed skills to communicate and reason positively”. We all get that in uni so that doesn’t set you apart. Remember the resume is about you telling me “I’m different, you want me in your team, give me at least a chance to interview”.


If you can still manage to fit this into 1 page, I’d add a small technical section with skills at the bottom and remove it from the top. Put your level of proficiency. I’d remove ‘git’ and ‘Github’. If I’m reviewing your CV and you showed all those projects, I infer you know git at least. Something like this:

  • JavaScript (ES6), CSS /SCSS, HTML: Proeficient
  • PostgreSQL, SQLite3: Expert
  • Ruby on Rails, React, Redux: Advanced

Now, I know those 3 words are confusing. “What’s better? Proeficient or Expert?“. Let’s just think that won’t matter for now. You put 3 powerful words which make me think “alright, you’re familiar with these technologies and you’re good at all of them, we’ll evaluate that in the interview”.

If you don’t feel proeficient in Javascript and HTML, don’t worry. Say it anyways. Prepare from now to be proeficient when the interview comes. Put a lot of hours upfront and you’ll get that proeficiency sooner than you think.

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I'm Carlos Roso. I'm a Software Engineer and digital nomad at Toptal. Previously Software Architect at Crossover. In love with open source and design.

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