Randy Guthrie – Microsoft Academic Relations Manager
I just found a fantastic blog post on Guy Kawasaki’s blog by guest poster Glenn Kelman, who is the CEO of Redfin, an online brokerage firm for buying & selling houses. Gary has reviewed hundreds (if not thousands) of resumes in his career, and he shares his resume advice. I am always gratified to find someone with practical experience who agrees with me 🙂 . I definitely recommend reading the entire blog post, but I’ll provide Gary’s main points here (and I’m quoting):
Here’s What I Like:
- A direct style: use blunt, short words. Most resumes are scanned, not read.
- Looks: like a middle-aged man’s apartment. Nice and tidy.
- Objective: be direct; your objective is the job you’re applying for.
- Verbs ending in “d”: shipped, launched, built, sold.
- Results: not responsibilities or experience — but what responsibilities and experience helped you accomplish.
- Bullets: 3 - 4 results per job.
- Numbers: increased traffic from Google 230%, decreased ad spending 40%.
- Grades: your GPA, even if it was ten years ago, if it’s over 3.5.
- Reviews: ratings from your last review, especially useful if you worked for a tough grader like Microsoft
- Honors: we’ll interview an employee-of-the-quarter, every time.
- Promotions: if your role changes, highlight that as two jobs.
- LinkedIn endorsements: persuasive, even from your friends; excerpted & linked.
- A link to your blog: a blog gives you online street cred. For some, it is your resume .
- Themes: whether you care about customer service or agile software, tell a consistent story from job to job.
- Hobbies: I always want to meet people with fun hobbies. And that’s all a resume is: a request for a meeting. At Plumtree, we received a resume from a Playboy model. A colleague forwarded it to me with a note reading, “I’ve never asked you for anything before Ö” I feel the same way about cyclists.
- Two pages, max: if you’re under 30, one page.
- Anything you did that showed initiative or passion. Eagle Scout. Math Olympics.
- Email to the CEO: it takes chutzpah & resourcefulness to go straight to the top. The email address is easy to guess.
- Customization: tailor your resume & especially the cover letter to the job.
- Completed degrees: I’ve hired plenty of folks a few credits shy of a degree. Some were great; many couldn’t finish what they started. If you have time now, finish your degree.
- Gmail address: or your own domain. Nothing says “totally out of it” like an AOL address.
Here’s What I Don’t Like:
- Churn: stints at two or more employers of less than two years.
- List of generic skills: just show what you actually accomplished at each job.
- Typos or misspellings: About half the resumes I get are addressed to “RedFin.” For the other words, spell-check!
- Photos: my favorite was of a candidate in tennis whites with a racket.
- “Proven”: as in “proven leadership.” We all still have something to prove.
- Printed resumes: email a Word document, web page or PDF.
- Buzzwords: search bots love it, actual people don’t.
- Wordiness: yes, this is the pot calling the kettle black…
Read more: "How to Change the World: Guest Post: Memo from Kafka's Castle and What Employers Want to See on Your Resume" - http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2009/02/guest-post-memo.html#ixzz0897HuqPe