How to Create a Great Resume 📋
What to write, how to write it, a review of all the sections, useful tools, and my very own resume!
Because of layoffs and uncertainty, I have several friends who are on the market right now.
I speak with them often, and sometimes they send me their resumes for feedback — which, of course, I am happy to give.
In my career I have seen thousands of resumes. I started hiring engineers about 10 years ago, when I was a 24-ish CTO, and I stopped just last year, when I went full-time on Refactoring.
So, I have opinions.
The goal of your resume is to get you to the first interview call, which is likely the screening. Then, of course, it’s on you — but a good CV can easily bring you 3x the interviews than a mediocre one.
I know otherwise formidable engineers whose CVs are a complete disaster. I would have passed on them, which is a tragedy.
In this article I will tell you my exact thought process when going through a CV as a hiring manager. I will cover the main sections, comment on their usefulness, and give my advice on how to write them.
I will also include my own CV at the end—created for the occasion—that you can use as a template.
So here is what we will cover:
🎨 Format — length and structure.
✉️ Cover letter — is it that useful?
📋 Personal summary — your short bio.
🖼️ Picture — should you include it or not?
💼 Work experience — the heart of your CV.
🎓 Education — does your degree matter?
💻 Skills — how you should list your tech chops.
📣 Testimonials — people who can speak highly of you.
🕹️ Side projects — blogs, open source contributions, and your garage band.
📃 My Resume — which you can use as a template.
📚 Resources — the best readings to learn more.
Let’s dive in!