Roast my Resume - Poker Pro to Cloud Engineer

Hi all,

I posted a while back and got a ton of great feedback on my resume! The changes I made got me more interviews with recruiters, but not necessarily moving on to companies (other than 2-3 times). I did land a freelance python job. I would love another round of feedback on my updated resume!

Few things to note:

  • I understand that it’s more difficult to land a cloud type job directly as a career transition, but it is something I am passionate about
  • I have some certifications in the pipeline to add. I should be passing the AWS SysOps in ~2-3 weeks. After that, I plan to get the Red Hat Certified System Administrator to get more skills in a Linux environment (long term, hope for the Certified Developer Associate, even longer-term and I really hope I have a job by this point, Solutions Architect Professional)
  • I am focusing on building projects for my resume. Next up is the ACloudGuru Python ETL
  • For more professional experience, I plan to continue looking for Freelance Python work. Also, I hope to contribute to some Open Source
  • These are all the things I plan to add to my resume until I can get some level of professional experience. If I land a job, I will push that all back into the longer term

I really appreciate any feedback you can give! It’s amazing to get different perspectives

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Hi @erhallow!

My big question is, What kind of jobs have you been applying to?

That could play a factor in why you are not getting many interviews.

Right now, your resume if heavily tailored to AWS.

So, if you are also trying to apply for react, javascript developer or python jobs, then your resume and projects need to focus more on those areas.

Hope that helps!

I would leave out the poker job because it’s not super relevant to your current path. If you end up getting in an interview for a position at a fin-tech or crypto place, it may be useful to bring up in person to show that you’re good at probabilities. I would highlight your education. While it’s been 8 years, it does set you apart to have a masters (even if it’s not CS). I would try Certifications - Education - Projects - Technical Skills.

Hey! Thanks for the great feedback! I am already planning out what projects to add to my resume.

One question, on the poker experience. If I take that out, I have a 7 year gap on my resume. Is it better to have the gap or the non-related experience?

I know that some career switchers have left the years of their college experience in order to not give hints at age. Any thoughts on that? I just heard about someone doing that the other day

I leave the graduation date out of my resume, otherwise potential employers would never call. haha.

I’d keep the poker experience personally. It’s cool for one, plus I think the experience you listed is pretty relevant in my opinion.

I second keeping the poker experience on. I was a teacher and leaving it on is a great talking point in most interviews. I put almost no description though (so to keep my resume 1 page and leave space for the tech stuff!)

Jumping directly into anything is hypothetically possible, but Im skeptical that you are applying to the right jobs to land a ‘first gig’ though. You gotta be loose about expectations in this phase, because you gotta just get a single job on your resume. Once you have that year+ experience, ooof, man, you will easily get interviews.
Also, your resume does not speak ‘cloud engineer’, it feels a little more like a web dev who can push deploys to aws. Which, to be honest, exists as a job, and you might want to target that instead. There are jobs that expect a react engineer + someone who can do the basics of AWS. My last gig was exactly that. In fact, lots of jobs are quite flexible, and if you got hired as a react dev, but were clear that you wanted to be digested by the devops team, you could feasibly get moved based on need, or even in downtime pick up small tasks. My first gig was largely jquery based, but i had enough opportunities with react in downtimes that i wound up being able to grow those skills enough to get a react based gig afterwards.

Some recommendations on the resume in general:

  • Personal pet peeve of mine is when people put html/css on their skills list. Im a web dev and i dont even list either as a skill. First, id argue that they are assumed if you are in web and take much needed real estate. Second, I often use the job description to list tools that i’ve used, and i list in my tech skills section the skills that i know im competent in. This way if someone asks about my ember experience (in a job desc) i can explain that i only used it for about a month, so im not super fluent. Alternatively, if i put ember in my tech list, they might be assuming a certain level of mastery. In short, your resume is a cheat sheet for them to interview you, make sure it’s painfully clear what you want to talk about. Im sure you arent ready to disucss the nuances of css animations. sorry if im mistaken.
  • I also would strongly suggest that if you can make the real estate for it, break apart your skills. For example,
    Languages: Python, ES6
    Front end: react, html/css
    Devops: aws, ci/cd
    Tooling: git
  • Also what ci/cd tools do you use? i wouldnt just put ‘ci/cd’, id say jenkins or whatever tool you know. Im not a devops person so if thats not relevant then my bad
  • whats the deal with the python gig? You did it for literally a month? you gotta use more business jargon in this description. What tools did you use? What frameworks did you digest? What libraries were used? Did you use git(you gotta flex that)? Did you use a kanban board or jira to divide tasks? Did you work with a team? If you can say yes to all of those, then put them in the desc. That is the bread and butter of what people want. 'I worked on a team of project managers, UI/UX, and web engineers to …" “Used pythons library to scrape data from schools” “Used git to collaborate on a team of engineers”. (yes a team is more than 1, use the word team ALWAYS)

some thoughts on the projects:

  • If you wanna do the cloud thing, it might be wise to consider scrapping this third project from the list. It seems like a web dev project. Replace it with another aws thing
  • There is something in these projects that is giving me the vibe like these are the projects that they walk you through while learning AWS. Am i wrong? If thats the case, you gotta customize them enough where they are no longer the same (or just write your own homegrown things) and rename them. Thats not the vibe you want on a resume.

A note from one self taught to another:
I spent over 6mo’s trying to get interviews. The only one i got was an internship, which i failed the prescreening code tests (math centric alg’s. my weakness). I applied to a bunch, but literally silence for months. It was rough. Truly. about 4 months into my search, i met a guy who worked as a manager/senior dev at my eventual first job, but it took them OVER THREE MONTHS to interview me. Why? Because im self taught, and everyone applying now has been to a boot camp or has a degree. In other words, im literally the ‘ok i guess since there is no one else’ guy, the bottom of the barrel type. How do you fix this? You gotta network. I can’t stress this enough, i dont mean like go to meetups and shake hands. I mean like meet someone who befriends you, sympathises with you, and wants to stick their neck out for you. Thats going to get you in the door faster than another tweak to your resume. And even then, like in my case, they might proceed with severe caution haha. But, by then, you gotta know your stuff like the back of your hand. So yea, after covid, every new person you meet better know you do dev ops. Friends of friends man, its going to save you.

p.s.
Have you heard of chingu.io? It might be a good way for you to get more team experience on your resume. Albeit…web dev’y stuff :frowning: Sorry, not hip to the self taught dev ops world. Maybe you could do a chingu thing and ask if there is room to do some aws ci/cd pipeline stuff for the team. I could see it happening, its a pretty flexible place. OR just commit to the web work and just set up the AWS infrastructure without talking to people to get their permission. No one says no to a functioning new car :slight_smile:

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