Resume Critique Requested

Hey all!
I’d really appreciate some honest feedback on my resume, I’m under no impression that it’s a killer one, so please don’t pull the punches :wink:

A little background on me,
Before 2018 I had zero experience in tech. I started piddling around here with HTML and CSS. I’d done some simple things with HTML and CSS before, but nothing beyond. Then, I was able to win a scholarship to Udacity’s Nanodegree in Front End Development and go through that course.

I’ve been applying for at least a year now (probably over 200 apps), and in that time-frame, have been interviewed 4-5 times, but never received an offer due to little experience. I’ve tried several different resume formats, some graphic heavy, some text heavy like my current one (which is literally downloaded from Indeed)

Enough about me, here’s the link

Here’s a set of my recommendations.

  • What tech, skills, etc you know is buried too deeply in your experience section. Don’t make me or HR or anyone else try to find (Or miss) it. Either call them out within your experience or make a skill section near the top.
  • You’ve got some good starts for bullets in your exp, but they need work. In your first exp your last bullet is your strongest, but it’s missing how you did it. The rest of the bullets are regular dev things that pretty much all devs do. Create more that show what impact you had like reducing deployment.
  • You’ve got mixed verb cases between past and present tense. It may not seem like a big deal, but it stands out when reading it. Your resume is gonna get like 60-90 seconds of attention before they decide. Don’t give any excuse for them to pass on you with grammar mistakes.
  • Overall format is easy to read and simple.
  • In your links, you may want to look at those again. Show only things you want people to judge you for. You link to your github repos, but there are like 26 semi-abandoned ones. Move the ones to private repos that don’t show off what you’re capable.
1 Like

Excellent point about making those abandoned repos private.
Thanks for taking the time to look it over and give those recommendations, highly appreciated.

I think you’d get more responses in reddit’s r/cscareerquestions, but they probably won’t be very nice.

You should also take into account that looking for an entry level position right now is quite challenging (you know, the world is going down and stuff).

Anyway here’s my observations:

  • Your resume doesn’t tell a story - you were a frontend developer for 4 months? And now you’re working in two places simultaneously? Also for the last place you’ve been working only a month and you already have a laundry list of achievements :thinking:?
  • Let’s check your workplaces. Upper Limits page doesn’t look PWA ready. On WalletGyde page the questionnaire don’t even have basic validation (e.g. you can continue with invalid zip code).
  • On your LinkedIn you say that you worked 2 years at Upwork as a WebDeveloper. Did you really? Looking at your latest contributions on GitHub and CodePen I can’t really tell (I’m being diplomatic here).
  • I would remove a link to dyslexia page, even if you’re not the brother (bias etc.).
  • Udemy certificates mean nothing.
  • Also, I can’t really see what you know. Where are the list of keywords? Even when going through text I need to pick out stuff like React, SASS etc.

If my observations don’t sound too harsh to you, you could try to post your resume on reddit to probably get much deeper analysis.

Also read this: https://medium.com/javascript-scene/how-to-land-your-first-development-job-in-5-simple-steps-4e9fb73314c

I’ll probably post again later when I have more time to look at it, but a few things immediately jumped out:

  1. It’s way too long. Unless you have more than 10 years of work experience in general (and even that’s just a guideline), most resumes should be 1 page at most. You don’t need to have so many bullet points for each job. Just keep it to 2 or 3. The fewer the better so it’s more readable.
  2. “Education” should be limited to accredited institutions (i.e. real colleges & universities). Udemy is not, and you shouldn’t consider listing online courses as education. Plus, as someone who’s done Colt Steele’s Advanced Web Developer Bootcamp course, I can say it’s one of the worst courses I’ve done (no offense to Colt Steele intended). If you’ve done a Udacity Nanodegree that might be worth highlighting, but unless you’ve done a full Nanodegree, I’d recommend not mentioning that either.
  3. All of your contact info should be put together at the top - phone #, email, LinkedIn, and GitHub. You don’t need to put any other links on your resume. Everything else should be discoverable from either your LinkedIn or GitHub profiles.
  4. What’s the point of your GitHub Pages site? Make it serve a better purpose rather than regurgitating what should be on your resume.

I’ve been applying for at least a year now (probably over 200 apps), and in that time-frame, have been interviewed 4-5 times,

Sounds about right. Yeah, it’s tough.

First impressions on the resume …

“Authorized to work in the US for any employer”

I wouldn’t bother saying that. And it’s probably not true - there are jobs requiring top secret clearance and high level bonding. If you are applying for a US job then they will assume that you are allowed to work there until you tell them otherwise. It almost makes it sound like there is doubt - like you are a foreigner. There would be nothing wrong with that, but don’t give them a reason to discriminate before they even see you.

I would want a section just listing skills. I would probably put it above work experience - I would want that to be the first thing they notice.

The format is very top down - you’re not using horizontal space. I don’t think you should go crazy, but some of that data can be horizontal - like the job names, and the companies/dates. Search the web for other resume formats, especially other developers, to get ideas. This resume (visually) looks very 1993 to me. Again, I don’t think you should go crazy, but I think we could modernize it a bit.

I think this should be shorter. With someone with suck little experience, there is no reason for this to be more than one page. You have 5 seconds to convince the hiring manager to keep reading or skip this and go on to the other 127 resumes they need to check before lunch. Don’t waste their time. This isn’t a 4th grade book report to be padded out. Be short and to the point. Your job descriptions should be much shorter.

You were working as an intern and full stack developer at the same time? That’s confusing to me. It may be what is happening, but it seems odd. At the very least I would list the more prestigious one first.

Rather than just a bunch of links, I would chose your best three and provide a link and a small description.

At the risk of yet more self-promotion, I once wrote a doc with my thoughts on getting the first job, including ideas on resumes. Along that line, on youtube, Joshua Fluke often picks apart resumes. I don’t agree with everything he says, but he brings up a lot of great points. He does some with his HR-lady girlfriend so you get that perspective, too.

Thanks a bunch for your reply and for digging into my resume and my links as well. Really appreciate your time

“Your resume doesn’t tell a story - you were a frontend developer for 4 months? And now you’re working in two places simultaneously?”

Agreed. Not much going on as far as a story, and the way I’ve presented my work history is confusing.

“Let’s check your workplaces.”

Upper Limits is not PWA ready because I was let go (due to decrease in business from pandemic lockdown) before finishing. However, I see that I made it seem that I had finished it.

Thanks for catching the WalletGyde validation problem, I’ve removed that link until the site is more polished.

“On your LinkedIn you say that you worked 2 years at Upwork as a WebDeveloper”

That was supposed to mean that I did used the platform to do freelance work, can’t believe I never caught that it looks like I worked for Upwork.

I would remove a link to dyslexia page

Yeah, it is my sister. Always thought in the back of my mind that would look bad, but felt the pressure to pad my resume. Thanks for calling me out on it.

Udemy certificates mean nothing

Again, trying to pad the resume. Certificates are gone

Also, I can’t really see what you know

I’ve had differing advice on including a “skills” section. Been told that instead I should weave it into my work experience. Apparently did not do well with that, and as everyone here is saying it needs to be there, I’m adding the “skills” section back in.

Reading through the link again to take some notes where I think I need to improve.

Thanks again for going over all this!

Hey man, thanks for giving me your feedback, really appreciate it.

It’s way too long

Yup. Using the Indeed preset resume was just a bad idea. I think I’ve got everything on one page now.

You don’t need to have so many bullet points for each job.

I had been feeding my resume through an analyzer and it would score you on different things, and it kept telling me to add more bullet points . . . so I did.
I lopped off a bunch of them and it looks much better.

Education should be limited to accredited institutions

I know I’ve read that before, and for some reason completely forgot it. Putting those certs on their was probably me trying to pad it out a bit. Good call to remove them.

All of your contact info should be put together at the top

Again, using the Indeed template didn’t turn out so good.

What’s the point of your GitHub Pages site? Make it serve a better purpose rather than regurgitating what should be on your resume.

The second I published it, I knew it was wrong. But, I couldn’t just chuck it, and I didn’t have the time to change it again, so I just kept linking to it. Agreed that it just repeats what’s on my resume.

Thanks again for looking over everything and spending the extra time to critique more than just the resume.

Hey! Thanks for all the advice, blown away by the amount of detail everyone is putting into this.

“Authorized to work in the US for any employer”

Yeah, that’s a weird Indeed template thing. I didn’t even think about the clearance side of something like that.

I would want a section just listing skills.

I’ve had mixed advice on including a skills list, but the other guys have suggested it as well, so it’s back on!

The format is very top down . . . I think we could modernize it a bit.

Absolutely. I’ve tried different things in the past, but I suspect I overdid it. Hopefully this next draft is closer to the mark.

I think this should be shorter . . . This isn’t a 4th grade book report to be padded out. Be short and to the point. Your job descriptions should be much shorter.

Yeah, that’s exactly what I was doing, padding. Thanks for calling me out on it.
I had been feeding my resume through an analyzer and it would score you on different things, and it kept telling me to add more bullet points . . . so I did.

You were working as an intern and full stack developer at the same time? That’s confusing to me.

Agreed, I made that confusing. The full stack is just freelance work that I’ve done, but I definitely didn’t make that clear.

Rather than just a bunch of links, I would chose your best three and provide a link and a small description.

Again, I was just padding with all those links. Trimming those down for sure!

Thanks for the link to you doc, it’s always good to read someone else’s story that doesn’t involve overnight success. Reading again to take some notes for improving because there is some good stuff in there.

Thanks again for taking all the time to look over everything, really appreciated.

If any of you feel so inclined, I’ve implemented a bunch of your advice on my resume, and have included the link to it here. I realize the perfect resume doesn’t exist, so there’s gonna be stuff that can be improved on this one as well.
. . . Hopefully I didn’t over do it on the design :roll_eyes:

Also, are my example projects good enough to land a job? I have a more complex app that I could/should start working on again.

Updated Resume Link

@recursivefaults @jenovs @astv99 @kevinSmith

Thanks for all the advice, blown away by the amount of detail everyone is putting into this.

Sure. We’ve all been there.

Yeah, that’s exactly what I was doing, padding.

Yeah, they can smell that from a mile away and it gets annoying for them. They are looking for an excuse to skip your resume - don’t give it to them.

Looking at your new copy…

It certainly is pared down.

The design - it feels a little clunky, a little brutalist. I would either get rid of or thin down the box lines.

I might consider some other color(s) for the section titles.

Why are some section titles centered and some justified?

Why mention that you are self-taught? For some that will be a turnoff - I’d rather let them figure that out after they’ve invested a few seconds in finding out who you are.

Why is the top section’s text centered? Maybe I’m old-fashioned (OK, I definitely am) but that doesn’t look professional to me.

In the skills section - the centering works better here (it’s not text). But I would want it bigger. You did full-stack - did you use express? HTML? CSS? An HR person may not know to assume those. What else? To me, this is one of the most important sections. The other sections are important too, but if the skills section is done right, it will draw the eye. The HR person can do a quick mental checklist, “Hey, they lest 5 out of the 7 techs the engineers said they need - I should check this guy out.” I might consider making this a horizontal list and at least triple it. Don’t pad, but there must be some other libraries you’ve used. Think of the list of requirements you typically find on a job posting - how many of those can you honestly list?

I think someone mentioned tense mismatch before - in your Experience section the first two are in the past tense and the last is in present tense. I would put them in chron order, which would be Wallet, Freelance, Upper. I suppose for the present ones you could argue that they should be present.

I still think the design can be improved. I would check out here and here.

Once you get done perfecting your resume, I assume you’ll be working on a portfolio site - you need one of those.