Resumés are funny things because the one thing they don’t tell you is the one thing you want to know. As an employer, what I suspect I really want is a way to separate wheat from chaff. I want a way to say “Yes, fine, you have all the necessary checkboxes in place, but are you one of the good ones?” Even if you allow yourself the confidence necessary to believe that you are indeed one of the good ones, a resume is a terrible medium since, stylistically, it tends to force people down the path of enumeration-sans-substance. What is needed is a shibboleth. Don’t tell me which certifications you have, tell me that you are part of the culture. Don’t tell me what programming languages you know, tell me that you can kick ass and take names. Everyone who isn’t a bozo (seriously, go read that if you’re ever hiring someone) should be trying to hire the brightest lights in the building, so show them how you roll, or find another job to apply for.
That is how I would like things to go down, but even very hip HR folk would have trouble with a shibboleth resumé, I’m guessing. If I were applying for a job tomorrow, it would probably be something involving usability, security, and overall technology development. The resumé I’d send to a shibboleth-friendly company might read like this (standard disclaimers about the fact that any decent resumé almost automatically sounds boastful and egocentric; my apologies): Continue reading →