What’s Up With Huge Resumes?

What’s up with huge resumes these days? The company I work for has been hiring lately and so I usually end up interviewing one to two people a week. Lately I’ve been seeing huge resumes from developers. I mean like 9, 10, and 11 pages for guys with maybe 7-9 years of experience. I have 12 years of experience and my resume is at 3 pages or so. It might have gotten in to 4 but I’m going to start removing stuff from jobs beyond 10 years I think. They’re not relevant and just make the resume go on and on.

Anyways, back to the relevant stuff. These resumes just go on and on (and ON) with mind numbing detail such as, “Configured log4j properties files”. What??? Why would I care about that. Great, you can use log4j, I must want to hire you now. But seriously, they put way too much detail about what they have worked on and I want to take a nap before I get through 2 years of experience. I just want bulleted items of the important things they actually did and/or were responsible for. These people are also the ones that didn’t run spell check on their resume usually. Hint: Education is not spelled with two Ts. What’s worse is that most of these resumes come from recruiters. I actually think it’s the recruiters that tell these people to fluff up their resumes. The recruiters should get dinged for not even proof-reading the resumes. Or at least lose a few % of commission. It’s just pathetic.

And last, people, get your resume right! Contrary to the belief of some, Struts is not a methodology. Neither is UML. UML is a modeling language, folks. The RUP is a methodology.

Another fun little tidbit: In Microsoft Office, if you type “JBos” instead of “JBoss” it will correct it to “jobs”. Proofread please!

7 thoughts on “What’s Up With Huge Resumes?

  1. I started seeing long resumes show up around 2002. Candidates do it so that almost every conceivable keyword search done by recruiters picks up their resume. Needless to say once they hit the company with these resumes, it looks bad, often because they often don’t know (or can’t remember) a fraction of what they had written down. But who’s to say this isn’t smart on the candidates part? After all, how many 1-2 page resumes do we really see coming from recruiters?

  2. I am brutal when it comes to spelling and grammar errors in resumes. When I come across a spelling or grammar error, unless the resume so far has been blowing my socks off, that resume lands in the trash. I don’t have time to deal with people who can’t be bothered to present themselves properly. And if these errors are the fault of the recruiter, then they are doing their candidates a disservice.

  3. Joey Gibson – You may want to tone down the “big head” complex about grammer. You in your own post above use “And” to start a sentence and “and” is correctly used as a conjunction to join sentences not as a sentence beggining.

    From you: “I don’t have time to deal with people who can’t be bothered to present themselves properly. And if these errors are the fault of the recruiter, then they are doing their candidates a disservice.”

    See that “And if….” It’s after a period….

    You may want to actually look and understand what people can do instead of just writing them off when you yourself can’t be bothered in the much larger forum of the web to “present yourself” in a professional manner….

    Anyway, loose the “hollier than thou” attitude and you may find through life that there are many people for whom “bugs” in thier resume are no different that the bugs you undoubtably have in your most polished code. Should you be written off as a crappy programmer because you have bugs in your code even when you present it as being done and polished. I think not and you should give that same kind of thought to someone who is looking for a job. Try to assume they are trying to do there best. Maybe they didn’t make the mistake, maybe a recruiter editted thier resume (happens quite often), maybe they were asked to rush out changes and just typed it into an email for a recruiter to paste into there resume before sending it to you, there are all kinds of reasons this can happen, but that doesn’t take away from a candidates skill or knowledge.

    Eat some crow and start looking at the realitiy of you in comparision to other people and you may find yourself no better overall than they are. Your post and lack of correct grammer just make the case for you to maybe step back and do this. Think of it as an oppertunity to grow up a bit and see others in a better and more humble light.

    Thanks for you time,

    Sam Griffith Jr.

  4. Long resumes are also useful if the person truely does have lots of expierence. For example my resume is 13 pages long and it would be double that if I did what your complaining about. It is long because I have been a consultant since 1988. I have been doing OO work since then including training, mentoring, coding, architecture, etc. at many different clients using many different tools. I will not just turn my resume into a keyword fest, nor will I just put some generalizations about what I did either. Nethere differenciates me from other candidates, which is part of what a resume is supposed to do. I include concise overviews of each client and when and what work I did followed by a short list of the technologies used. This sitll forces a lot of space to be used.

    I do think that it is usefull for a person looking at my resume to have all that information. I have worked in many different industries, taught and used all the major methodologies over the years, many, many different toolsets and languages, and on many different problem domains. It is useful for a client to be able to see that varied background and it has time and again helped for clients and other team members to know that information.

    Looking for people isn’t supposed to be a quick browse at the conveniance store, but a quest for someone who can really do the whole job. And just like with programming the more data to base the decision on the better.


    Sam Griffith

  5. One final not to anyone who like Joey writes off people due to grammer or spelling mistakes. When all blog posting systems offer grammer checkers and spelling checkers then complain about it. Till then cut people some slack. They are usually just trying to get out an opinion or idea much like we would if we were in a face to face conversation. If we were in a face to face conversation then you’d cut them slack if they fumbled in trying to talk or express an idea. Do the same with blogs.

    And yes, I have grammer and spelling errors in my posts above. Like “there” when I meant “thier”…. One example anyway…


    Sam Griffith

  6. Sam,

    Grammar and spelling errors in a blog entry are much more tolerable than those in a resume. A resume is your one shot at making a good first impression. A blog entry is not generally the way you pitch yourself for a job nor do you proofread it the way you would a resume. If a person is trying to make a good first impression and can’t be bothered to even clean up spelling mistakes, how can I trust them to write maintainable code and be conscientious developers? Simple grammar mistakes I can tolerate and one or two spelling mistakes where a spell checker didn’t flag it because the mispelled word is a different word spelled correctly are one thing but when I see the words like education mispelled it really makes me skeptical from the beginning.

    While your resume may or may not be justifiably long the point I was making was the long resumes that I have been seeing have been fluffed upped purposefully and I think that was the point that some earlier posters had been talking about.

    Thanks for the comments everyone, I always like a good discussion and to hear other’s viewpoints!

    For my personal viewpoint, I don’t like to go to extremes in either direction since it generally puts one in an indefensible position.


  7. I have over 30 years nontrivial software development experience,
    on varied platforms and domains, as a contractor and employee for both large and well known as well as small and defunct organizations.

    My resume is one page. I boil things down to essentials.
    It tends to generate calls and initerviews.

    I’ve also been on the hiring and screening side,
    and I agree with the above expressed sentiments about too long, too much of the wrong detail, and good presentation.

    Resumes should be succinct and emphasize quality over quantity. Details can be discussed at the interview.

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