Friday, November 18, 2005

Sanitising your Resume...

I was going thru a set of resumes for test engineer position. Following are few things that I really find un-appealing and takes off my interest. I suggest to my fellow test professionals (others in general) - watch out for these (irritants) and if you are convinced that what I am saying makes sense - Clear your resume TODAY....

1. Open your resume in Word and search (Ctrl F) for words like "Involved", "Participated" etc. and delete the sentences containing them. The recruiter is not interested in what all are you were involved or participated - but he/she would like see "what you achieved" by doing that. Here is a way to rate your resume - Give one negative mark every time you encounter such word in your resume. How much did your resume score? Now do you understand why you are not getting enough interview calls?

2. I will not press very hard for this one - but if you do it is better. Get rid of words like "was Responsible for" or any variant of "Responsibility". What attracts recruiter is action word - "Achieved zero Downtime for systems I was responsible for" v/s "I was responsible for maintaining systems and ensure that downtime was low”. Notice the power of action. You will be delivering the same message but in a power packed way. That catches eyes of who "matter" in getting you a new "dream "Job. It is very important that you load your resume with these power packed action words, lots of them - especially in first 1-2 pages.

3. This one is the most "useless" part of resume if it is present. Writing paragraphs about the application that you tested with the names, versions, modules, detailed functionalities. Looks like a copy paste from functional specifications or SRS (System Requirement Specification) of the software product that tested. Watch out, some times this might land you in legal issues with your employer dragging you to court for leaking strategic product information to public - via your resume. This is big TURN OFF for the reader - especially a recruiter who would process and see thousands of resumes in a day.

Don’t forget the thumb rule – 1 page of resume for every 2 years of experience. So a person with 8-10 years of experience should not have a resume that exceeds 5 pages. Less and crisp is better and easier to read.

Enough? Open your resume and sanitize it TODAY.
May God bless you with job offers and interview calls pouring all the way !!!

Update: 21 Nov 2007 -- I referred this post to someone and at the same time happened to read another related but useful post on the same topic ...



SrinivasRadaram said...


Thanks for sharing great info.

I have few questions if you don’t mind clarifying.

1. Would it not be good to have a brief info about the product that I am working for?

2. It also would have been great if you had written what makes an interviewer look for in a resume.

3. What if you were an interviewer would look in resume?

4. Last question “Why do you feel those words, words you have mentioned, irritate an interviewer?”

Thanks in advance.


Lohit said...

Hi Shrini
This may be a delayed comment on an old post, I ran your suggestions on my resume (dusted it up after ages) and saw that you were right, especially the part wrt Responsibilities
Thanks for sharing this