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Feedback on my CV please?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ashkanmh, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. ashkanmh

    ashkanmh

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    hello. could you guys and gals be kind and have a look at my CV and let me know what you think?
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7p5enJGCTeKRDFTT0U4cV9qVkE
    BTW i would love to connect with people with the same professional interest. so you can also follow me on twitter @MohseniAshkan

    EDIT: so after looking for jobs in a half-arsed manner and not being very optimistic, i got two interview and got accepted for an internship position with one of them. so my advice to you guys? well just follow the advice on the link at the bottom (which is written by a guy who hires people in the gaming industry) and do not worry so much about the layout. on top of that i would like to stress that make sure you have no spelling and grammar mistakes and also put the most important/relevant stuff first. also make sure you do it in no more than 2 pages. if you don't have much relevant experience (which i assume is the case since you are here!) then it is fine to take two pages, since you probably need to explain the things you have done and how it has prepared you for a job in the gaming industry and stuff like that, whereas people with experience just need to give their experience in bullet points format and therefore can do it in one page.
    here is the link:
    http://www.gameindustrycareerguide.com/how-to-build-a-great-resume/
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  2. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Random thoughts, I'm no recruiter by any means
    • Spelling, grammar and sentence structure are important. Get a local native English speaker to read it for you.
    • Its also traditional to start CVs with a short summary and statement of what work you are looking for.
    • I would send readers to a clean site to play your game. A 30 second ad could waste a lot of the recruiters patience.
    • Much of the CV is written in passive voice. Go for shorter, more active sentences.
    • Is favourite games really relevant? You are going to make games, not play them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
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  3. Teo

    Teo

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  4. ashkanmh

    ashkanmh

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    I avoided using "I" since when writing essays and stuff at university they always said use "it was done like that" rather than "I did it like that" if that is what you mean.
     
  5. ashkanmh

    ashkanmh

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    and thanks to both of you
     
  6. Marble

    Marble

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    As a writing instructor at a college, I say this is usually bad advice in practical writing.

    Passive voice is used by academics to present an (often false) impression of authority. This is because passive voice eliminates the individual actor from the discussion and focuses strictly on his or her ideas. However, a CV is all about you, the individual, and what you've done.
     
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  7. ashkanmh

    ashkanmh

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    always love a great and interesting piece of information :) TBH just as i left that comment i actually thought of the fact that it is about me and i am trying to sell my skills so probably i COULD use "I" but wasnt sure which way to go.
    thanks
     
  8. yoonitee

    yoonitee

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    Hi, I love commenting on these things! Here's my observations:

    1. Change font to Arial.
    2. Make headings black and bold
    3. "Familiarity with Blender" just sounds like you've just heard of it.
    4. Put "head of school council" nearer the top perhaps under a heading of leadership skills
    5. Put Education at the top. Put grade in bold after each subject e.g. English (A), Maths (B) etc.
    6. Put your name in big bold letters at the top. It helps people find your CV.
    7. Consider centring main headings.
    That's all for now. Make some changes and I could do some more comments.
     
  9. frosted

    frosted

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    The game is actually extremely cool.

    The audio synchronization shows some mastery of more complex logic. If this was a project you took on solo or played a key role in, then I would do more to highlight the project and what you did to implement it rather than "music and models were taken from elsewhere".

    You gotta consider that everyone and their mom is making platformers, and the skills you applied in this game may be extremely transferable to a platformer or an endless runner or a variety of games being made in huge numbers. That yours features an excellent execution, and features some more complex and esoteric logic - I think that you might be pretty a pretty desirable entry level candidate.

    It's worth noting that this is in spite of your resume, which is not great.

    Active or passive voice is not all that relevant. What you need to do is rapidly explain what you did and how it's applicable to a project that the hiring manager may be interested in.

    The point of a resume is just to screen a candidate, as a hiring manager - what I'm wondering looking at a resume is:
    "is he full of it / does he know how to code?"
    after that, the question is:
    "what can I have him do immediately after I hire him".

    You should frame the resume around answering that question: "how am I useful?". If this is a game dev position, then you really want to put that game front and center.
     
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  10. minionnz

    minionnz

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    Less detail about the games/projects, more about the notable achievements and problems you solved.
     
  11. ashkanmh

    ashkanmh

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    jeez... writing a CV is almost as hard as making games and definitely less enjoyable. but u gotta do what u gotta do! i think i am gonna have to do it in two pages.
    thanks guys, really appreciate your help. i am gonna make more changes and upload it again
     
  12. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    I noticed a couple of times where you've explained things that feel like they shouldn't need explaining. You don't need to tell us that A is the highest grade (you'd hardly list low grades there, right?), or the details of the robot experiments (just tell us what specific part of the problem you were working on), and we don't care about the selection process for your school council (saying you were elected should suffice).

    When setting context don't use any more words than you absolutely need. People reading this want to hear about you, not about election processes or experiment conditions.

    In other places you're a bit vague. For the line following robot you helped "write code". What does that mean? What problems were you responsible for solving as a part of the group working on that robot. What role did the code you wrote play in that?

    Just knowing you can write code doesn't tell me why I should hire you over anyone else. Be specific and to the point, and focused on yourself.

    Combining those for the line following robot, it could be something like: "I was involved in a group project to design and build a robot to follow a path marked as a line as quickly as possible. I wrote an image processing algorithm which determined the direction of the visible line in relation to the robot, which was used as the basis of its pathfinding." A few of those will tell me the type of problem you have experience solving, and that's where your particular value is. It'll tell me why I want to hire you, instead of any other programmer who might happen by.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
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  13. ashkanmh

    ashkanmh

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    thank you angrypenguin. so i ended up changing a lot of things based on your feedback and others before you and uploaded the new version.
    the reason i have said that is because nowadays the highest grade is A*. still i changed it from "A is the highest achievable grade" to "A USED TO BE the highest achievable grade".
     
  14. Teo

    Teo

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    Still look super bad for me, I given you and advice and you seems to really don't care. Is still looking like a novel, and bad page formatting.

    Do yourself a favor and jump to LinkedIn and check some programmers CV's who work for some famous company's to see what you need to put in.

    "18 months* experience in C++" - REALLY? C++ is huge.. besides the fact that 2 years of C++ put you in rookie position, you should detail that as much as you can, like STL? Boost? frameworks? cross platform? and so on. But you put 1 single line here.
     
  15. ashkanmh

    ashkanmh

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    actually u are the only one who hasn't given any good advice. just saying it is bad and looks like a novel is 0 help.
    and yes i have just 18 months experience, i am rookie so what? doesn't mean i still shouldnt try for a job or an internship.
     
  16. Teo

    Teo

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    I am trying to make you to think. You try to sell a bug and say it's elephant, is not working.
     
  17. ashkanmh

    ashkanmh

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    what? in what way am i trying to sell a bug as an elephant? what ever i have put there are things i have done. no more no less.
     
  18. 3agle

    3agle

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    18 months C++ experience is fine for junior/graduate jobs. I would be more concerned about the 6 months in other languages, they are not really going to be taken seriously. You'd probably be better off saying you have a working knowledge of those languages and leaving it at that.
    It's worth noting that the 18 months experience you have in C++ appears to come from your degree work. That will be looked at by employers as valued much less than experience while in a production role. I know that probably isn't necessarily your fault having recently graduated, but you should know that that's how harsh employers are when looking at CV's.

    Like I said though, graduate/junior positions are fair game for a CV like this.
    I would probably suggest tweaking the format of your experience section, as it does come across as a wall of text. Cover the important points only, heck, bulletpoint it even. But make sure you have a part of the CV where you do talk about yourself, it's good to get a feel for your personality in some sense, even if just a sentence.

    Also, remove the footnotes, and make sure you are starting all sentences the same way (one bullet says knowledge, another says Knowledge). Small things, but they can be enough to make the fickle CV selector put it in the wrong pile.
     
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  19. Teo

    Teo

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    Dude, I've give you the Europass link as a starting point. This is almost a standard in EU. And is official EU site, free and help you a little. I've told you to check LinkedIn, because you will find a lot of useful things.

    I can't write the CV for you, you must do it.

    Not losing my time here anymore, sorry. And good luck!:)
     
  20. ashkanmh

    ashkanmh

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    much better o_O :) thanks
     
  21. yoonitee

    yoonitee

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    I think it's better but still a bit long winded. For example "18 months experience in C++" I would shorten to "C++ (18 months)". It's easier to read since it has the main keyword at the start. I'd change "Technical Skills" to "Experience" and "Experience" to "University Projects". I'd change "Basic knowledge of Blender" to "Blender (working knowledge)" or even just "Blender". Or even "Familiarity with the following tools: Blender, GIMP, ...."

    Plus also, it doesn't look like you've had any part time jobs or sports teams or other interests or hobbies outside gaming which is shame. But then again, you're getting a job in programming so that's not necessarily a downside. Say you like dungeons and dragons that might get you through the door! (I'm only half joking)

    Do you need to write about all your projects? Maybe just put links to some of them.

    Then you might be able to add a few lines about your interests.

    Also, I still don't like the font, but that's just me.
     
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  22. frosted

    frosted

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    Did you work on the music game solo or as part of a team?

    Did you actually write code or just do game design?

    What language did you write it in?

    If you're being intentionally vague because you had a minor role in this, then cool. If you had a major role in it, then highlight that.

    Did you write the poker bot solo or as part of a team?

    What parts of this were you responsible for?

    At least I know the bot was written in C++.

    The leadership thing is cool, since "students of opposite sexes had a place to meet and interact in a relatively conservative and religious society" can win points in a more progressive company, but I think you spend too much space on this relative to everything else. I would at minimum clip the first sentence and the last.

    Again, your two most relevant projects use the most passive language and have the least detail. This strikes me as weird.
     
  23. Uberpete

    Uberpete

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    Some bits of the list need capitalisation

    and it's kinda ambiguous as to whether you mean "Knowledge of Engineering and Mathematics" or "Knowledge of Engineering" "Mathematics" as separate skills (but forgetting the bullet point).

    • Try to add a personal statement
    • The other skills section could be replaced with an "Achievements" section - mention any competitions related to the job (Ludum Dare, for instance, if its in games) as well as the student council positions.
    • Perhaps you could link your group projects to how they make you a "dedicated team guy" (paraphrase).
    • Be careful about Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar.
     
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  24. ashkanmh

    ashkanmh

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    very good point with engineering maths. changed it to "Knowledge of mathematical topics of engineering" and indented the second line a bit to make it more clear
     
  25. GoesTo11

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    Wow you are getting some good feedback here.

    here is mine: White space, White space, White space. There isn't nearly enough. I probably wouldn't even try to read it if that was given to me.
     
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  26. ashkanmh

    ashkanmh

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    you mean more space between the lines?
     
  27. minionnz

    minionnz

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    I'd agree - need to space things out more, move into two pages if you have to.

    My CV is 6 pages long - and although I may have more experience so more content to fill it with, I've used the same format for the last 10 years and has worked out well so far. It may not be the best format and you probably should look at a few templates like Teo suggested, but it works for me:

    First page:
    Skills summary - bulleted list of skills and tools/technologies used )
    Subheadings + paragraphs with 2-3 sentences describing my experience in my major focus areas (ie: Programming experience, Web design, database)
    - Note: I will often customise this page depending on what type of job I'm applying for.

    Second page:
    Education background
    Personal Statement
    Career Goals

    Third+ page:
    Work experience broken down by company in chronological order, with each entry summarizing my key achievements and responsibilities for that particular company.
     
  28. minionnz

    minionnz

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    I should also point out that people (eg: friends, family) have told me my CV is too long. I disagree - I look at it as if it is a sales letter, length is mostly irrelevant if you can hook the recruiter with your first page. The rest of the pages simply expand on that information presented on the front page.

    I've never had a potential employer/recruiter tell me that my CV is too long. But I have had them tell me that I am putting in too much detail - (this was before I changed the format). They didn't want to know all about the projects I've worked on and how amazing they were (I even included screenshots back then :)), they wanted to know about me

    Although if I had worked on some popular AAA title, I'd definitely be pointing that out.
     
  29. Samuel411

    Samuel411

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    Are grades something worth putting on your CV? I've always been told by people in the tech field that they've never been asked for their grades from college or high school ever. This is just a question of mine, none of it is to offend you, Ashkanmh, or anything just asking.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
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  30. frosted

    frosted

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    I think the importance of grades depends on country, I was told that listing out grades and stuff is common in the UK (although this is second hand info and many years ago, so I'm not sure).

    These things are super subjective, but I would actually look at a 6 page resume as a point against a potential hire. I think that many recruiters would probably edit down your resume before sending it to client. IIRC a lot of recruiters will dump resumes through their own templates to make them standardized.
     
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  31. Azmar

    Azmar

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    I read it over, honestly I don't see how this would get you a job over anyone else...you went to school for 4 years (only posted your school projects) and I see you didn't get a job so you been working with unity for a few months ( and posted those projects) and added that to your resume. You also put a random thing from 11th grade as your other skills, I don't know how that would be relevant anymore.

    There is nothing on there that even remotely shows that you worked an honest job once in your life, and shows you did nothing during your summers. Sorry to sound rude and critical, but your potential employers will be worse than us, and they will just throw it away without telling you why.

    Don't forget you got potential hundreds of people infront and ahead of you on any job interview that have more experience, show that you are better than them in that CV. Everyone has a freaken robot they made in college that's on their resume lol..you showcase it as the only thing really done.

    Good luck!
     
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  32. minionnz

    minionnz

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    The recruiter editing part makes sense, though I can't understand why more pages would be a negative thing. I could probably compress it into 2-3 pages with some editing etc, but I like the white space.
    I don't expect the entire thing will be read and I've spaced it out so that the important content is at the top, but I think "how" I got to this point is worth mentioning as well.

    It is definitely a personal/subjective thing for me though. If recruiters/employers edit (or reject) my application, that's fine - but I wouldn't cut it down myself.. It feels a little like being asked which kid is your favourite :)

    Anyway, the recommended length is 2, maybe 3 pages (from what I've read). 1 is definitely too short.
     
  33. 3agle

    3agle

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    Haha 6 pages?? It may have worked out for you, but that's not good advice, I guarantee you that the last 5 pages were not read by anyone. It's pretty much an unwritten rule in recruitment that you only skim the first page. remember recruiters usually have to sift through hundreds of applicants just to decide who to take to the next stage.

    Cram everything onto 1 page, that way only the important stuff remains, and it ensures it gets noticed. Have a second page with more detail, sure, but the only way that's getting read is if you get to interviews and they need ammo for questions.
     
  34. 3agle

    3agle

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    That is a bit harsh, there's a time in everyone's life where they have no work experience. Graduate/junior positions wouldn't be looking at much more than what skills you picked up in your course. Sure you need to stand out, but that's mostly going to be a good personal statement. There are plenty of employers looking to give graduates a go, especially when the job is marked as such.
    Having had a summer job at McDonalds would hardly have helped.
     
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  35. minionnz

    minionnz

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    The initial process is automated (at least according to the recruiters I've talked to). It's why they often ask for Word format.
    I'll stick with my original statement - I don't think it is the size that matters, it's the content. The main keywords/phrases should be on the front page, sure - but if you have 40+ applications with the same keywords, how could you possible select from that without more detail? In my case, the second page goes into that detail, then the third+ breaks everything down role by role.
    If nobody reads those pages, I don't care - but the information is there in case they need it.

    Secondly, I never suggested that he/she should use 6 pages. I said use two pages if needed. Length isn't as important as people make it out to be.
     
  36. 3agle

    3agle

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    It's not automated for us (I recruit for my department). I and the recruiters for the rest of my company, won't read more than a page unless it's a very promising first page. If that first page nails our requirements, we'll probably read the rest, but by that point you've already gotten an interview, so really the extra stuff is irrelevant.
    I agree that 1/2 pages is fine, but any more than that honestly is a waste of time, and may be throwing away jobs you could have gotten. Content is key, but you should make sure the important content is right there at the start.

    As to if larger companies automate the first round, well, maybe. But I've never heard of that before. To be fair, it may make sense to do so, we're a company of about 70 people and we get anywhere from 50-200 CV's per position (varies greatly based on role, though), any more and it'd start getting really time consuming.

    Also, this hasn't been mentioned yet, but you should probably be tailoring your CV to each job you apply to, give emphasis to skills and qualities you have that relate closely to the job you're trying to get. This, and a good personal statement, are probably the best things for catching the eye of someone reading.
     
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  37. minionnz

    minionnz

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    Fair enough - I wasn't arguing by the way, just trying to clarify my original point. I may look at cutting it back, though I don't really want to.. Maybe I'll just do it per-job, and cut out most of the irrelevant info. I often modify the front page to suit the job, but that's about it.

    Oh well - I guess now I can't say that "I've never had a potential employer/recruiter tell me that my CV is too long" :)
     
  38. Kiwasi

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    Education and grades are important. If you only have your degree, throw your entire transcript on page two or three. If you have post degree experience, condense your degree down to title, institution, and any special awards.

    Do it, if it's true. I was specifically asked in my last interview for game dev what board games I liked to play. Just don't try and fake being a D&D player, that can be seen right through.

    From my time on the other side of the recruitment desk, one of the things you will be judged on is your technical writing skills, as presented in your CV. A good portion of many technical jobs is writing documentation, proposals, design docs, manuals ect for non technical people. One of the keys to good technical writing is removing as many words as possible. The less words the better.

    You also want to include any jobs you have worked. Even if its just delivering papers or washing bottles or volunteer work. Proving you can turn up and hold a job, even a part time one is useful. And you'll be surprised what sort of experience people value.

    Also what the heck is knowledge of 'mathematical topics of engineering'? Engineering has no specific associated mathematics. Split this off into mathematics and whatever specific discipline of engineering you have had exposure too.

    To be honest you're improvements haven't made much of a difference. I would suggest getting hold of a local recruitment agency. Introduce yourself. Send them this CV. Get an interview with the agency. Once you have a decent connection with an agent they should help getting your CV inline.
     
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  39. 3agle

    3agle

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    I didn't assume you were arguing, don't worry :)
    As long as the front page has all the info you want them to see on it, there isn't a huge problem with any length. But you have to be prepared for the fact that some may not read any more than the first page.

    Usually by the end of the first page I'd have made my mind up as to whether it would go on the good or bad pile.

    A tailored CV for the type of work the job is for is a big plus. It shows fore-thought and dedication, it takes time and effort, but that is usually recognised by an employer.

    God, being called a potential employer sounds terrifying. I clearly have far too much responsibility...
     
  40. yoonitee

    yoonitee

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    Yes grades are definitely important in the UK as most jobs as for GCSE English grade A-C.

    There is a big difference with passing with an A* than with an E which is just about being able to write your name on the exam paper.
     
  41. 3agle

    3agle

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    They only matter if you have no higher qualifications.
    If you have a degree in a relevant field, GCSEs and A-Levels don't matter.
    If you only have A-Levels, GCSEs rarely matter (unless in an area that your A-Levels don't cover).
    At that point though, your portfolio will matter much more than grades.

    Given that this particular CV is for a programmer, the degree is the only relevant thing (and required), for almost all related jobs.
     
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  42. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    This. Everyone cares about whatever you have done most recently. The more years that have past since you did something, the less relevant it is to potential employers.

    Particularly with education. Only list your highest degree in each relevant topic.
     
  43. frosted

    frosted

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    I think the thing is, for every quirk a resume has, someone is likely to use it as a point against you as much as in favor of you.

    To some people a 6 page resume might be a plus: attention to detail, verbose, lots of white space.
    To other people a 6 page resume might be a minus: can't prioritize, unable to separate important info from non important info.

    Me personally, I would look at a 6 page resume as a point against a hire, as @BoredMormon said, technical writing is also an important part of the job, and if your resume is 6 pages, I'd hate to see your docs.

    Others might find it as a positive, sure.

    But the thing is, resumes are a bit premature for that stuff. I think it's better to go with something very, very conventional in resume form and then let the personality fitting stuff happen on a phone interview where both parties are getting a slightly more holistic view of the other.
     
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  44. Teo

    Teo

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    Frankly, a 6 pages CV, sounds dubious on so many level.
     
  45. Azmar

    Azmar

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    It does matter...there are skills to be learned at working with McDonalds, or any job. Working in a fast paced environment and working under pressure would be a skill that you could learn at McDonalds. But reading that CV looks like OP has never worked a job in his life, which would raise a ton of questions with employers. How can they figure out what type of work ethic's he has without ever having any jobs? Sadly when reading it, it kind of comes off like "rich spoiled kid that never needed a job and did nothing during summers". But who knows maybe employers don't care if you put no past jobs on your CV / Resume.

    P.S. I may have some deep inner hatred against rich University kids that never paid a single dollar on their tuition.
     
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  46. 3agle

    3agle

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    Why does having had a job mean you have good work ethic?
    While I see the point you are trying to make, I feel that it really doesn't apply to the kinds of jobs the OP will be applying for.

    Here, we make a point of employing graduates, it has worked out pretty well, it lets us sculpt our employees into the roles we require, rather than having picked up bad habits from other environments.

    If every job required you to have already had a job, no-one would be working at all...
     
  47. ashkanmh

    ashkanmh

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    first of all thank you all so much for your all your input. what i have found out is that there are a lot of contradictory information and there are no hard and fast rules especially on formatting. hell, even employers themselves seem to be looking for different things when looking at your CV.
    first of all i appreciate your input. but thats assuming quite a bit in the uk, the government gives you lone for your tuition fee, and extra loan on top of that so you dont have to be rich or work and can only concentrate on your studies. also since my grades were good i got a lot of bursaries, so no, i definitely didnt have to work. but still i HAVE worked. i just wasn't sure whether to put them in my CV. otherwise i am as working-class as you get.
    and yes i also have a hatred of spoiled rich kids :). not all of them just the spoiled ones.which is a great percentage of them btw.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  48. frosted

    frosted

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Posts:
    3,556
    I think this is part of my point about keeping resumes as standardized as possible - a lot of people have particular hangups or quirks. The fewer 'weird' things about a resume, the broader your potential audience.

    It's easy to say "well I wouldn't want to work for a company that would filter my resume like that" but the reality is that a lot of times what makes a person put a resume into the 'phone interview' category or the 'garbage bin' category is often like a split second decision that can be as arbitrary as how big the stack of resumes are, or if it happens to be the first or 30th resume they've looked at today or if they are about to take a lunch break. It's usually best to at least try to get to the phone discussion to start really feeling out fit.
     
  49. ashkanmh

    ashkanmh

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Posts:
    70
    i mean every website that gives tips on writing CVs says that even the most experienced applicants can do their CVs in one page, so for some one that has just finished uni, i should definetly be able to do it in one page. and they all say that 3 pages is the absolute maximum. but then again there are a lot of conflicting views when it comes to CVs.
    and yes i think i have to spread my CVs over two pages, because its kinda cluttered and too compact.
     
  50. frosted

    frosted

    Joined:
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    If you never had an actual job, one page should really be adequate man!
     
    Gigiwoo, 3agle and ashkanmh like this.