Yet Another Resume Feedback Request

Hi folks, if anyone has the chance to offer some feedback on a version of my resume, I’d appreciate it.

The resume in question.

The job this is targeting is a local entry level position seeking candidates with little to no tech industry experience, some form of software development experience with examples, experience with data structures and algorithms, and would prefer experience with two or more languages along with the interest and ability to learn additional coding languages.

The goal with this resume was to, of course, highlight that I have the minimum qualifications, demonstrate that I am am dedicated to learning code and am continuing to do so, and that I possess a number of general purpose soft skills from past experiences.

The current worry spots I have are:

  • Is it too dense? I’m aware there’s a lot going on and am unsure how well it would fair in a skim test.
  • Is it too irrelevant or reaching? I worry that it might seem like I’m padding my resume too much and detracting from lack of specific coding experience.
  • Specifically, I worry if listing my LeetCode is a bad idea. I included it as a way to quickly and concretely show that I have experience with DS and algos and am committed to improvement/learning, but worry it may come off as me trying to cheese the process or some such.

If you’ve made it this far–thank you for taking the time to look at this! I’m of course open to any other feedback, however do assume that this isn’t a final version and any typo/grammar/wording oddities will get ironed out.

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Hi @dialectrical !

I think the section title of programming experience is a little misleading.

When I think of programming experience, I immediately think of job experience.
But everything you have listed there are personal projects or courses you have taken.

I would personally change it to have a section with personal projects and education.

I would personally leave out the leetcode section.

I know you want to show that you can do coding challenges but you can show those skills off in the technical interview.

I think the star of your resume should be your projects.
Right now it seems a little bit buried in your resume because there is a lot of information.

Hope that helps!

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Thanks for the reply!

My rationale behind including LeetCode was something along the lines of giving HR something that would respond to the job posting’s requirement about data structures/algos. I thought about removing it in favor of another project or two, but I worry one of two things might happen then, assuming my project description includes the algorithms/data structures.

In the first case, I could imagine a scenario where I say, “used a matrix/breadth first search algorithim/etc. to…” in the description and the HR person doesn’t necessarily know that whatever I mention pertains to DS/Algos (I don’t really know exactly what HR knows, tbf) or my projects don’t adequately showcase enough DS/algo breadth and I’m stuck highlighting a whole lot of matrices and arrays doing relatively simple procedures.

I agree that it would be ideal to include more projects, I just worry the projects I have lying around don’t necessarily showcase enough and am not sure if I can come up with a handful of good projects in time to meet this particular application deadline, but it’s certainly something I have in mind for the future.

I never understood why algorithms and data structures are mentioned in job postings.

I feel like that is an essential part of programming.
So there is not need to include that in a job posting because it should just be a given.

That’s like having a job post for a music teacher and including “Must be able to read music”
That should just be a given :sweat_smile:

But maybe other devs think the leetcode section is fine.

For me personally, I don’t think it adds to the resume :grinning:

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I agree with Jessica that the leet code section shouldn’t be there. It shouldn’t be “Programming Experience”, it should be work experience. If you don’t have programming work experience, then just have projects.

I may repeat some of what Jessica has said, but let me just run through it…

It is too wordy. And they’re often the wrong words. You don’t need 9 lines to say that you got an MA in an unrelated field. They don’t care. This should be two lines at most.

My philosophy of resumes is that it’s some HR person that has a stack of 300 resumes to read through - you have 5 seconds to convince them to consider you for the “keep” pile. In 5 seconds I should be able to tell what you are looking for, what you can do, and what your experience is. Everything else is a distraction and an excuse to put yours in the bin.

I agree with Jessica that the projects section should be more prominent. Do you have a third?

I might add things like FCC to the Education section. But the description should be 1 line, if that. Don’t say what you’re working on - you either know it or you don’t. List your certs if you like - those are good keywords.

Past work experience - you don’t have to explain to them what a barista does - it insults their intelligence and wastes their valuable attention. Any job that is not related to coding should be a one-liner.

What techs do you work with? I have to dig to find them. The HR person has a list that says, “React, Redux, SASS” and they are trying desperately to find those keywords. Make it easy for them. After you free up some space, I would add a “Skills” section and list your techs.

I would have your first section be “Objectives” - a 1-2 sentence saying what type of position you are looking for. Then I would have the Skills - that’s the next thing they’re going to want to know - if it’s even worth continuing to read. Next I would have Projects - the next thing they’re going to want to see.

After that, Education and Work. I know you’re proud of your MA - I was proud of mine. But my MA was also in an unrelated field so it was a one-liner. And they don’t need a link to your thesis. If you were applying for a job in communications or rhetorical studies or something to related to that, sure, they’d want it perhaps. They may ask you about it in the interview - that’s great, but here, it’s just filler.

I would also say that things like “Demo deployed on Netlify” should just be “Demo” - same with “Repo…” - just “Repo”. You can include “Netlify” in the expl;anation of what you used. But the text can be tightened up. If the title is “Troika Roleplaying Game System Reference Document”, then “Built reference documentation website fo a tabletop roleplaying game” is redundant - they could get all that from the title. The techs you used and the “retweeted” thing is what you need. They don’t care what “Troika”.

Do you have another project? I think three is a good number.

In general, don’t write filler. All things being equal, I’d rather have some whitespace than filler. At least the whitespace would allow their eyes to be drawn to what is important. You have a limited amount of space and a limited amount of attention of the person reading (or often skimming) it. Use them wisely.

Do you have a portfolio site? A linkedin page?

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It’s probably just people looking at other job postings. Or maybe an engineer made an offhand remark to the HR person. But yeah, it’s like posting a job for a SCUBA instructor and saying, “Must be comfortable in the water.”

I once had and interview and the lady asked me “If you won a million dollars, what would you do?” I got the job and about a week after the interview I asked her why she asked that. She said that she had heard that that was a good question to ask in an interview. I asked her why, she said she had no idea. I teasingly asked her if she remembered my answer. She bashfully admitted that she wasn’t even really listening.

Don’t assume that everyone has it all figured out. Most people are faking it a lot more often than we realize.

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  • I agree the resume is way too wordy. You need to shorten your sentences overall.

  • I also agree that you need to ditch your “Programming Experience” section. Don’t unnecessarily use the word “experience” in anything other than a work experience context, as it can be misleading. As far as “data structures & algorithms” knowledge, you’re going to be quizzed on it in interviews regardless. Putting LeetCode on your resume won’t make a difference either way.

  • It’s great that you have a lot of practice through FCC and Frontend Mentor, but in the end, neither of these are really something useful on your resume. Think of FCC and Frontend Mentor as exercises, because that’s what they are. To land a developer job, you need to demonstrate that you have the knowledge to build a substantial front-end, back-end, or full-stack application on your own. Put only your biggest and best projects on your resume. Ideally they should solve a business problem.

  • You have missing content (i.e. your technical skills), and your order of sections makes no sense. I’d suggest a different order of sections from Kevin: Technical Skills, Projects (if you have space), Work Experience, then Education.

  • You also need to improve your formatting to make it easier to scan. Use spacing to separate things that need it (i.e., job positions, dates, locations). You can also use bold text, or alternate colors, to help too.

  • Lastly add a LinkedIn profile.

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