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May 13, 2020

Resume review - Ibrahim

Great experience, strong candidate, needs more formality

First impression - 60 seconds review

  • Vocabulary needs to sound more serious
  • Professional skills taking way too much space
  • Candidate with great experience
  • Might just be too long
  • Not sure about the 2 column layout. It’s visually distracting, for me.
  • Description on projects can be a lot more succint
  • Summary needs adjustment
  • I want more numbers in the work experience, something that triggers me a lot more to keep reading.

Cover

First thing’s first, I recommend you to use more formal vocab in here. It’s ok to use “weapon of choice” or “we can create anything” for covers on LinkedIn or as a bio in your blog/about. But, for a resume, this is your entry point and you need to sound like a true pro.

I recommend being more specific on what sets you apart from the crowd. This is the first impression your recruiter will have on you, you want to make yourself look special. You might also want to use power keywords and numbers. I’d go with something along the lines of:

Software engineer with over 5 years of experience building pixel-perfect Frontend apps. Passionate for impact, I’ve shipped robust Angular apps for tens of thousands of users worldwide. I have experience leading engineering teams (+5 frontend engineers) and having direct communication with C-level executives. I have built mobile solutions for medium-load (+1k daily users) riding apps on Ionic and Firestore.

That’s just an idea, you need to craft it as you see fit. For me, that gives me a clear idea of the candidate and triggers me to keep on reading. See that I’m using numbers and power words to stick in the recruiters mind.

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 find it hard to communicate your achievements clearly.

Work Experience

I recommend putting super specific data on those bullets. Put more numbers to make it more appealing to the recruiter. Don’t tell me what you have done in these companies; tell me what have you achieved instead. Your experience needs to convey what you contributed rather than what you simply did. I explain this in depth here.

Avoid using acronyms which might not be familiar to the recruiter. For instance, I don’t understand what is CP (for Circle) or AFIT-FFS. Finally, keep each work experience limited to 2 or 3 important bullets. Recruiters will probably not remember more than 1.

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

  • Circle

    • Helped founders do +5 high-profile demos by building and packing an offline version of the system.
    • Reduced time-to-market in +400% by setting up Continuos Integration on Jenkins. This resulted in much faster (~2x) scrum iterations.
    • Helped admins manage hundreds of sales and customers by building a fully-featured admin dashboard (+35 pages) on Angular.
  • CrossOver

    • Helped +20 customers evaluate ideas in record time by building fast UI prototypes in Angular. This resulted in a time-to-market reduction of 400%.
    • Improved development time (~4 hours per project in savings) by building 5 Angular components used across dozens of projects company-wide.
    • Built +50 screens for the main Angular product which allowed admins to manage +5000 developers company wide.

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.

Education

Great education, you’re awesome. I’d just recommend leaving one or two bullets in there. Something like:

  • Awarded best graduation project (out of +150). GPA: 3.35/4.
  • Thesis: Facebook interaction analysis using Machine Learning and Data mining

Skills

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 sidebar. Keep the level of proficiency, that’s great. I’d avoid things like “problem solving” as that’s something everybody has. Something like this could make the trick:

  • JavaScript, Angular, TypeScript, HTML: Expert
  • React, Java, SQL: Intermediate

If you don’t feel proeficient in some technology, 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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