Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Crafting Your Resume (Part One): Applying for Technical Positions in High-Tech Start-ups

Part One – Getting Started

You are ready to look for a new job and would like to work at a Start-Up, but your resume needs some work.  Where should you begin?  You can get off to a good start by following our “Crafting Your Resume” blog entries!  Today we will list 3 basic steps you can use to get started on your resume, and in the coming weeks we will follow-up with blog entries listing more detailed advice on topics such as: length, format, and what to include/what not to include.

(1) Starting Over
  Hiring managers will get their first glimpse of you from your resume – make sure that you do everything you can to make that first impression a good one!  We can’t emphasize enough just how important this is, but we can tell you that an outstanding resume can quickly get a candidate in for an interview, while a good candidate with a mediocre resume can easily be passed over. 
• Come on strong with your resume!  Showing solid drive and motivation to both do the work required and join a particular company will help you to craft a winning resume.
• Start Fresh – You have an old resume, but you are looking for a new job.  You can use your old resume as a reference, but don’t just do a bit of editing and submit it.  Your resume will feel more authentic if you write a new one.  This will also give you the chance to create a more engaging format and make sure that you have taken out older information that is less relevant today.

(2) Make Them Interested
• Does your resume draw the reader in and make them want to learn more about you? If not, it’s time to work on crafting a new one!
• The top-half of your first page is critical here – you have limited space to captivate the reader’s interest and make them intrigued enough to want to meet with you and continue the conversation.
• Make sure all your highlights are on the first page – then read it and ask yourself why someone would want to meet you based on this information.
• Make sure your resume projects the image of yourself that you want people to see, and one that will make them curious to learn more.
• Realize that not all readers are “technically” minded, so craft your resume so that even a non-technical person will be interested in speaking with you.

(3) Think About your Reader
• Make your resume easy to read -- use a legible font, choose a consistent, easy-to-follow format, and leave some white space on your resume -- packing the information in too tightly will not please your audience.
• Be clear in what you are trying to say.
• Keep it concise, but not too short!  You still have to capture people’s attention and make them want to meet you and learn more about you.
• While length is important, we don’t have an exact recommendation.  We will address this topic in more detail in an upcoming blog entry.
• Again, consider the non-technical reader, and carefully explain your projects and achievements in a way that will impress this person as well.

We hope that these steps will provide a helpful framework in crafting your new resume.  Please let us know if there is a specific topic you would like us to address.  And please look for the following topics coming soon: length, format, what to include/what not to include, and more!

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