Earlier this week, Roberta Fricker, who recently earned a certificate in computer science from Santa Barbara City College in California, had her resume critiqued by a senior IT recruiter. Today, she hears from Erik Wieland, director of IT services for the University of California at San Francisco’s Department of Medicine.
Roberta is undergoing her second round of resume critiques, as part of our ongoing series of Resume Makeovers, where we connect job seekers with hiring managers and recruiters to get their feedback on what’s working, and what could use improvement.
Wieland, a 15-year veteran of UCSF’s IT department who currently manages a staff of a dozen people, offered Roberta feedback via a video conference call.
See our full series on Roberta’s resume critique:
- Part I: Robert Watson, Senior Recruiter, International Solutions Group
- Part II: Erik Wieland, IT Services Dir., UCSF Dept. Medicine
- Part III: Rita Gordon, Corp. Recruiting Manager, Electronics Arts
The Big Picture
Wieland’s first recommendation was for Roberta to substantially restructure her resume. The introductory paragraph, currently labeled “Junior Level Programmer,” needs to be recast as “Summary,” or as a mini cover letter, he said.
After crafting the Summary and Key Qualifications sections, he thinks Roberta should move up the Education section and drop her Professional Experience to the third section. He also suggested Roberta include affiliations as her fourth section. “You want to build a picture of the complete package.”
He also proposed shortening the Key Qualifications section by using bullet points, and weaving her core competences — like time management and project management — into the bullet points.
The Deep Dive
Here’s Wieland’s detailed critique:
1: Remove the words “email” and “Web site.”
“(It’s like) saying you’re cool because you know people don’t need those words to figure it out and it tells (hiring managers) they’re cool too, because they can figure it out.”
2: Move page numbers to the bottom.
3: At the top of the resume, swap out the words “Junior Level Programmer” for “Summary.” The summary would serve as a mini cover letter.
“Make it about what you want to do, based on your experience, and not so much about what you have done,” says Wieland. In general, he says this is a good strategy for college grads to take, given that they often have little professional experience.
The summary should also include something like: “Team-player and motivated life learner who is interested in a software programming position that calls for Java and C++ based languages.”
Wieland recommended removing the phrase “junior level” from the resume. “You diminish yourself in their eyes by using those words. Don’t worry. They’ll do it for you,” he said, noting that hiring managers will figure this out based on her level of experience.
4: Tell a prospective employer “what you can do for them” in the summary.
Move the computer science certificate and bachelor’s degree into the Education section.
5: Restructure resume: Summary; Key Qualifications first section; Education second section; Professional Experience, third section; and Affiliations fourth section.
6: Key Qualifications, or hard skills, should include soft skills from core competencies area.
7: Remove “coursework” from key skills.
8: Include screenshots of current projects.
9: Key Qualifications should include App/Web developer
10: List versions of HTML, CSS and Adobe Photoshop skills.
11: Remove Flash reference, because industry is moving away from it.
12: Remove “coursework” from SQL Server and Web Applications skills.
13, 14: Shorten Key Qualifications section and use bullet points.
15, 16, 17 & 18: Make “Technical Skills” just three bullets – Design skills; Web developer skills; and Platform Developer skills. Put appropriate languages and platform skills in one of the three bullets .
19: Professional Experience becomes third section.
“I really like her format of listing her company and role and noting her key accomplishments (per entry).”
20, 21: Coursework goes under Education section, not Professional Experience.
Gaps in professional experience can be addressed by simply noting you were “enrolled in school” and listing the dates.
22: Move page numbers to bottom of page
23: Consolidate Aetna experience, because it’s the same title and role.
24, 25, 26: Combine Core Competencies with hard skills in Key Qualifications section. Eliminate Core Competencies area.
Combine communication, organization and project management skills as one bullet point and includes an example of either an achievements that included all three, or one that demonstrates the strongest of the three.
27: Education becomes second section.
28: Move technology course to Education section.
29: Remove link to LinkedIn profile, because it has only four connections. Or, build up your social network.
People will judge you based on the size of your network and who your affiliations are, Wieland said.
30: Make Affiliations your fourth resume section.
Roberta’s Major Takeaways
“One of the biggest takeaways is that in the public sector I don’t need to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science to get a job,” Roberta said. She noted that Wieland thought her resume content was good — his theme was to rearrange it.
One bit of Wieland’s advice Roberta plans to pass on is removing the Flash video she created, even though Flash is falling out of favor in the industry. “I went to a lot of effort to make the Flash video,” she said, though she will, however, create a resume based on his other suggestions.
In Part III, Roberta hears from Rita Gordon, corporate talent acquisition manager of Electronics Arts.