12 Replies - 1339 Views - Last Post: 14 March 2008 - 11:46 AM

#1 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

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Buzzwords in Resumes

Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:19 AM

At my day job, we have been looking over lots of resumes and I've been getting quite a good laugh out of some of them.

I don't use buzzwords in my resume. I'm concise, to the point, and list my skills with no fluff. But a lot of resumes we saw were FILLED with buzzwords. Some with so many that it was quite obvious they had just opened a thesaurus and put the word "leverage" in and used every possible synonym.

If you've hired people, what do you think when you see resumes packed with buzzwords? Would you rather see a resume that lists the skills, experience, and education with no extra fluff?

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#2 Amadeus  Icon User is offline

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Re: Buzzwords in Resumes

Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:31 AM

I would indeed. I hire anywhere from 10-30 people a year, and I have to look at a number of resumes, even after the HR folks do the initial vetting for me. I don't mind the odd buzzword here and there, but if the document is nothing but buzzwords, I'm usually of the mind that the submitter has constructed their sentences from commonly available job descriptions - often in an attempt to defeat the vetting process many HR departments use (and it works!). I still look at them and try to be objective, because I understand what it's like when looking for a job, but I often become a little jaded with those ones.
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#3 WolfCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Buzzwords in Resumes

Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:35 AM

What would be a great balance of straightforwardness and advertising techniques when writing a resume? - -"
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#4 Amadeus  Icon User is offline

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Re: Buzzwords in Resumes

Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:49 AM

It's a very tricky balance. To get past the initial look, you need to put enough commonly understood jargon to get to the end hiring resource, but not so much that the end hiring resource thinks the submitter is full of it. I always advise people to use some common resume templates - they help people structure properly. Another suggestion is to present your goals/experience/knowledge in the same way that you would to someone who knows the subject matter as well, or perhaps better than you. That usually creates the right level of standardized humility. :)

Of course, using the right amount of bullshit can work as well. I've gotten numerous jobs/contracts involving subjects with which I had no experience knowing full well I could teach myself to do it afterwards. :)
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#5 Nykc  Icon User is offline

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Re: Buzzwords in Resumes

Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:53 AM

Actually - I think a good idea would be to post a professional programming resume template on this site as a guide to create our own.
Can somebody do this for us? I need to redo my resume which I think is good, but I feel it is more general than anything. And since I am going to be looking for another job in the near future I would like to put a more programming specific resume together.
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#6 jjsaw5  Icon User is offline

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Re: Buzzwords in Resumes

Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:55 AM

It's really weird that you started this thread Hawk, because we recently(past couple weeks) have redesigned, so to speak, our interviewing process, we are including more people in the process.

Because I interned for a year and am now a full time employee they asked me to be apart of this "team".

We have a meetings and go over resumes and weed out potential candidates. The technical part of the organization is broken down into a lot of smaller groups, each with our own focus. Well each group gets to site down with the resumes and determine with ones we want to interview.

We got a resume last week and this girls objective statement was something like " i would like to obtain a position as a programmer yada yada yada"

The rest of her resume had ONE THING on it that even pertained to technology let alone programming!!!

The only technical reference she had on there was a Intro to Computer Science class she took, the rest of it was all filled with modeling stuff.

She models for this company and did this shot and that shot, and all this stuff that was totally irrelevant to the position she was applying for.

Brings me back to a point i made in another post...

Why did god give some people a brain?! they don't f'ing use it!
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#7 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Buzzwords in Resumes

Posted 13 March 2008 - 09:20 AM

Speaking from the applicant's point of view, it is sometimes difficult to appear both honest AND qualified.

For many years, my resume looked very, very sad. I had the programming education, but very little actual programming work.

Generally, every company looks for someone with experience, but no one wants to give you a chance to get the experience... a lovely little catch-22 for all those college kids expecting big bucks right out the door (word of advice to those college kids: take advantage of every internship, volunteer opportunity and part-time/temporary IT position you can get your hands on... the more geek you can show in your resume, the better your chances of scoring that interview).

Ultimately, I started doing volunteer work, coding bits and pieces here and there, offering to do websites for free, stepping up at my menial post-college, do-you-want-fries-with-that, food service job and offering to create things for them... a scheduling program, a request for time off program, a stock on hand tracking system, etc, etc... anything I could do to pad that resume with more than "Food Service Manager with a CS degree". And it has helped...

But, back to my original point, it can take a lot of time to build up details to fill in the resume. At least the model wasn't feeding you a line of bull about what she does and where her experience lies.

And, no, I do not work food service these days... haven't for many years. I now freelance (read:"pimp") my skills by groveling and sucking up to people who want a custom website for pennies.

For just pennies a day, you can feed a starving web designer and her family... don't wait, call now. Sally Struthers is standing by.

This post has been edited by BenignDesign: 13 March 2008 - 09:30 AM

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#8 1lacca  Icon User is offline

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Re: Buzzwords in Resumes

Posted 13 March 2008 - 09:29 AM

I'll be negative:
I must say I usually puke from buzzwords (everywhere, not just in a resume) - probably the punk deep inside of me. But I can get over it, and be objective afterwards, since people are expected to do so at many places, and it looks to be a plus at some HR departments, for reasons I can't justify.
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#9 Amadeus  Icon User is offline

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Re: Buzzwords in Resumes

Posted 13 March 2008 - 11:07 AM

http://www.dreaminco...wtopic46043.htm
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#10 1lacca  Icon User is offline

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Re: Buzzwords in Resumes

Posted 13 March 2008 - 11:36 AM

Quote

So your 1st step is to get through the HR "I don't really know but this is what I was told" gate.

I know, I know, I know, I just usually dodge the intrinsic HR, because I don't go after jobs myself, I am found ;) So this whole 'sell yourself' concept is a bit alien for me, but I know that this is how it usually works.
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#11 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Buzzwords in Resumes

Posted 13 March 2008 - 06:17 PM

Well I had a terrible time finding a job. Everyone said I had a great resume, but no one called. Part of this was probably the lack of Buzzwords to make the HR people drool. Part of this was my lack of professional experience.

After being in the programming world I begin to understand this view that most "programmers" can't program. I have had to work with several development teams that had a lot of dead weight (whats funny is that many times they don't seem to even know -- or at least admit it publicly :))

But in my mind I have this image of these good programmers struggling to get jobs while the market gets flooded with these "programmers" who are just smart enough to know that they need to switch jobs just before the project tanks (last project I was on, about half the team "moved on" -- my guess was because no one wanted to be associated with the coming storm -- which never came because we delivered (though it was scary)).
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#12 1lacca  Icon User is offline

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Re: Buzzwords in Resumes

Posted 14 March 2008 - 03:48 AM

Yup, actually I tend to associate this with the 'buzzword phenomenon'.
It is like writing a good resume is a different field of study, and not always those get through HR who should.
I've experienced a couple of times that a development team tenth of the size of another, but consisting of real programmers (not resume boffins) can deliver a much better product, and in much better time frames.
I do understand that at big corporations you can't put an able programmer into a place to filter out the resume of all those idiots, but I think there are a couple of solutions for that as well.
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#13 captainhampton  Icon User is offline

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Re: Buzzwords in Resumes

Posted 14 March 2008 - 11:46 AM

The lost art of writing the resume

The lost art of writing the resume
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