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April 17, 2020

Resume Review - Henry

Excellent experience. Resume needs to be more concise.

First impression - 60 seconds review

  • My strongest feeling: candidate should be more direct communicating what he does. Needs to be more concise.
  • I see too much information upfront. It’s hard for me to understand what’s his main strength.
  • The summary/cover needs to go straight to the point.
  • Good layout, but the sidebar is distracting. Too much data.
  • Resume needs to be 1 page only
  • I like the strong bolds for keywords

Cover

I wrote a short post summing up my feelings on summaries and covers. Please read it and see how you can adapt your cover.

I recommend being more specific on what sets you apart from the crowd. All candidates will have strong work ethic, communication skills and empathy. In paper, all of them bring accuracy and efficiency to the table. But, what is it that sets you apart?

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. I’d go with something along the lines of:

Full Stack Developer with extensive experience building client and server apps with JavaScript. I’ve deployed more than 5 reliable, scalable APIs on NodeJS and ExpressJS for thousands of users worldwide. Experience builing React and Angular apps for retail and data sectors. As a DevOps enthusiast, I’ve leveraged AWS and CI systems to increase dev teams efficiency by 300%. Occasional tutor, I’ve taught over 30 people about JavaScript, HTML and CSS.

That’s just an idea, you need to craft it as you see fit. Look that I completely removed the lines that didn’t add too much value.

Length

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 suggest not having more than 3 bullets per work experience. Your experience in Payhive and Sharejoy contains too many bullets. A recruiter will barely remember 1 or 2, so let’s try to make it dead easy for them to understand what you achieved.

This is important: don’t tell me what you did; tell me what you achieved. Instead of saying “I wrote bash scripts to automate tasks”, I’d suggest saying “Improved dev-to-prod time in 500% by writing bash scripts to automate React builds which resulted in 10x faster iterations”.

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

  • Payhive

    • Helped +100s of small businesses manage their payroll by building 2 scalable APIs on NodeJS and Azure Pipelines.
    • Achieved 90% test coverage and proper error logging using Jest and Wiston. This resulted in a 3x reduction in regressions and 5x faster fault recovery.
    • Increased tax calculation speed by 600% by writing a novel algorithm in NodeJS.
  • Sharejoy (you definitely need to summarize those 17 points)

    • Increased user engagement 100% (from 1% to 2%) by implementing a custom email marketing system in NodeJS and Express.
    • Improved dev-to-prod time in 500% by writing bash scripts to automate React builds which resulted in 10x faster scrum iterations

Now, that’s just some mock bullets 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.

Projects

Put this before education, in case you have something good to show off. I like the tutoring stuff and the hackatons. I’d put them here before your education.

Education

I like this section. I’d just try to put some brief highlight wherever appropriate. Something like “Final project: built a fruit classifier using a convolutional neural network”.

Skills

This needs good rework, in my opinion. I see way too many skills. I suggest you to only put the technologies you’re fluent and really strong with. If I offer you chicken, egg, indian food, chinese food, vegetarian, meat, burgers and pasta, you will not be able to tell whether I’m a excellent at one thing or so-so at many.

Put your proficiency in front of each skill:

  • React, Angular: Expert
  • NodeJS, Express, Python, AWS: Advanced
  • Docker, Kubernetes: Familiar

Focus on foundation technologies. Recruiters and managers know you can learn variations relatively easy.

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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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