Honest.  Every resume that comes in, I’m looking to reject.  Let me repeat: I am trying to break your heart rule you out.  It’s not that I don’t like you – I have no reason to feel one way or another for you (unless you send me presents – there’s a chance that may change my opinion).  The sad fact is: we’re flooded with applicants right now.  I say sad, because I feel for you (a little – I’m not all that nice, so take that as a big deal).  It’s very hard to get noticed in a time like this, and any little mistake will probably cost you an interview.

Like: the 13 page resume I just got from a software engineer with 5 years of experience (and, no, it’s 5 – despite your claim otherwise, I’m not counting that two year gap you left off your resume).  I don’t care if you’re Obama post saving the world (or, grinding it under your heel – either way it’s gonna be a ride).  You don’t need a 13 page freaking resume.  My dad, with his PhD’s and papers and books and all that crap, kept it to 5, and that was only for conferences and stuff where he had to puff his academic chest out a bit.

Oh, and, if you send your resume to a friend to review (highly recommended, btw) – make sure you click “Accept all changes” after they mark it up with red lines and crap.  Don’t send it to me like that.  FAIL.

Lose is spelled “l-o-s-e”.  Not “l-o-o-s-e”.  Spell Check is not your friend.  Old, classic trick of proofreaders (of which I am gleefully not one): Read your resume backwards.  By that, I mean literally – start with the last word in it, and read right to left, bottom to top.  If you read it naturally it will flow and your sneaky, sneaky eyes will play tricks on you.  Going backwards foils those bastards.

Include a cover letter.  Understand that a cover letter is more than: “This sounds interested – I’m in!”

Don’t fall for my damned tricks: Just because I write in this (some would call it “cheeky”) style, and my job postings area  bit, mmm, left of center, doesn’t mean your cover letter should resemble a love note (seriously – I just got one of those: FAIL).  It needs to either brilliantly straddle the line between boring and “I’d love to drink with that guy, but there’s no way in hell I’m letting him in the building”, or be a basic professional “here’s why you want to hire me” kind of thing.

Don’t expect to land an interview in this economy if you’re not a dead-on fit for a job. Now is not the time to change careers – sorry.  I wish it was always that time, and we could all fly and be free to be you and me, but when firms are laying off and only filling strategic roles they get really, really picky.  Think about it: they make a decision to lay off.  They do so.  They still have some skills that are missing, and none of their former employees had.  Is it fair to the people that got fired if the company then hires somebody else who: “doesn’t have quite your desired skill-set, but I am eager to learn and this is a field I’ve always found fascinating, and my background as a high school gym teacher and private investigator makes me an ideal fit for a software engineering role”  (I wish, wish the last bit of that quote wasn’t direct….)?

(Btw: to my subscribers – those of you who are left – I”M BAAAACK!!! Sorry for the hiatus, life/ work/ insert lame excuses here got in the way.  Oh, screw it: I blame Santa).

And now, for something completely diferent: http://fuckyoupenguin.blogspot.com/