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Thread: Can I get some advice for writing a resume?

  1. #1
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    Can I get some advice for writing a resume?

    I'm a second year computer engineering student putting together a resume, hopefully to get a summer internship. If I list one of my "skills" as being "C programming", what do you all think employers will expect my level of proficiency in C to be?

    On the one hand I don't want to set any unreasonable expectations (after all, I don't have all that much experience), but on the other hand I don't want to be too modest to the point where no one would ever hire me.

    So, any thoughts?

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    Re: Can I get some advice for writing a resume?

    The will ask you during the interview. You are a student, they wont expect much at all actually. My company hires temps every year. All we expect is a certain level GPA, your job duties will be department gofer. As in Go for this, go for that. Expect a lot of doing nothing you think an internship is really about. the most work you might see is proof reading code or being told to look up funny things on reddit/youtube. I think the most important task we ever gave an intern was keeping notes during a meeting.
    Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling.

  3. #3
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    Re: Can I get some advice for writing a resume?

    Quote Originally Posted by LowSky View Post
    The will ask you during the interview. You are a student, they wont expect much at all actually. My company hires temps every year. All we expect is a certain level GPA, your job duties will be department gofer. As in Go for this, go for that. Expect a lot of doing nothing you think an internship is really about. the most work you might see is proof reading code or being told to look up funny things on reddit/youtube. I think the most important task we ever gave an intern was keeping notes during a meeting.
    Uhhh... that's actually illegal.

    Edit: nevermind, it's illegal only if unpaid.
    Last edited by JDShu; December 9th, 2011 at 08:56 AM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Can I get some advice for writing a resume?

    Quote Originally Posted by JDShu View Post
    Uhhh... that's actually illegal.
    I'm no lawyer, but suspect that details can vary from country to country.....
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  5. #5
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    Re: Can I get some advice for writing a resume?

    Quote Originally Posted by lisati View Post
    I'm no lawyer, but suspect that details can vary from country to country.....
    Theres been outrage in the US regarding unpaid internships that treat students as gofers and since I was responding to a poster from NY, I thought it was applicable. Of course, I forgot the caveat that if minimum wage is paid, all bets are off - it's just a normal job

    More on topic @OP, make sure you know C well enough to answer basic questions. You don't necessarily need to know what a union data type is is but you should understand the basic control structures and types.. enough so that you can write a simple program in C. It's not hard to brush up - the wealth of open source projects out there gives you plenty of study material.

    I should also add that right now, companies are *starving* for (good) developers. And the best way for them to get people is to get them while they're still in college before other companies snap them up. Have some confidence

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    Re: Can I get some advice for writing a resume?

    Quote Originally Posted by JDShu View Post
    Theres been outrage in the US regarding unpaid internships that treat students as gofers and since I was responding to a poster from NY, I thought it was applicable.
    *blush*
    Good call: my spidey senses were a bit off.....
    Forum DOs and DON'Ts
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  7. #7
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    Re: Can I get some advice for writing a resume?

    Maybe it's just because I'm Canadian or because my school had a really good co-op program for computer science, but my experience with internship/co-op jobs was really, really good. They actually treated you like a real employee, with actual jobs. More than proof-reading code and fetching coffee. WAY more. One of my jobs was with the Department of National Defense as *the* programmer in the operational research department; the whole department was made up of mathematicians and statisticians, so they went out and hired a CS student from the university to write software for them. Pretty awesome job, really. But I digress.

    For your resume what found useful in school was to divide your technical skills into three categories: basic knowledge (i.e. you know the very basics, and know where to look when you are out of your depth, but don't expect miracle code), course knowledge (i.e. you took a course or two on this, but haven't used it much in the "real world"), and practical (or advanced) knowledge (i.e. you have used this on your own time or in a previous job; you may not be an "expert" but you're more than competent).

    This gives you the ability to qualify your skills a little bit better. For example, if you regularly write your own software at home in Python and PHP, but you've only dabbled in C and C++ for a course or two you'd say something like:

    Basic knowledge of: Java, Assembly (i386, MIPS, ARM)
    Course knowledge of: C, C++
    Practical knowledge of: Python, PHP

    Fill in the blanks as necessary.

    Everyone has their own resume style. It takes a while to find one that works for you. If you want you can post a censored version of your resume on here once it's written so that you can get some feedback on that too.
    GCS/O d+(-@) s: a-->? C(++) UL P+ L+++@ E@
    W++$ N++ !o K++ w(++) !O M(-) !V PS+(++)
    PE-() Y+ PGP++ t++(+++@)* 5++ X++@ R+++@
    tv+ b++(+++) DI++ D+ G+ e++>++++ h- r y?

  8. #8
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    Re: Can I get some advice for writing a resume?

    Quote Originally Posted by LowSky View Post
    The will ask you during the interview.
    This. A resume/CV is solely there to get you to the interview. Employers use it to screen out those who are totally unsuitable. You get the actual job from the interview, where you'll get a chance to discus and possibly demonstrate the depth of your skills.

    Your level of experience will probably be fairly obvious from the other stuff on your CV. As a student they'll probably have a reasonable idea of your fluency and you'll only get to the interview stage if that's what they're looking for.

    In short, be honest and don't sweat it. The main qualification for jobs at that level is enthusiasm.

    Oh, and for lols, check out this and this. Just to remind you that no matter how bad your CV or interview is, someone else is doing it worse

  9. #9
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    Re: Can I get some advice for writing a resume?

    Speaking from experience of having internships at the company I worked for. We did pay actually pretty well above minimum wage. I'm not saying every department did this but in the IT department an intern would be spending more time on Reddit or YouTube than doing any busy work. Note most of these were summer interns, so you get maybe 3-4 months of use out of them. And when your company runs programs built from scratch and hardware that runs a Utility company you don't want some kid writing code or pulling wires when it needs to be up and running 24/7.

    I will also note that the outrage is mostly from non-citizen students in the US on student-visas. Many do not go to school in the States and these students apply for jobs thinking they will get to see the cool parts of America like NYC or LA, but end up in Buffalo or Bakersfield instead. Then they get here expecting a job doing IT work and instead they are doing simple data entry or reception work for nothing but a small stipend and a bunk to sleep on.

    I will say far too many students go into these jobs thinking its going to be great. Often it isn't. There don't realize they are the bottom of the totem poll. If your an IT major expect to do things the normal employees hate. We had kids capping Cat5, reorganize the part closet, do basic desktop support, basic trouble shooting, etc. No way were we going to hand the keys of some big project to some kid still in school. Heck we didn't give projects to guys there 2-3 years with master degrees.

    This wasn't just an IT phenomenon. Interns for the Accounting department found themselves in the same boat. I'm not saying no one learned anything new but many were bored quite a good deal. Looking busy can be hard work. I cannot say that is the way it is everywhere, but i would say this should be what is expected. You will learn more practical uses than any class you will ever be in but your hands on experience will be no where close to a normal full-time employee.

    I never had to do the internship. I worked my way through school and was able to apply that to my course load requirements. I'm actually glad I didn't have to work for a grade so to speak.
    Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling.

  10. #10
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    Re: Can I get some advice for writing a resume?

    hi Liiim,
    I wouldn't worry about overselling yourself (in fact i don't think that's really possible in a CV). If you do know C, put it in, even if you arn't amazingly proficient at it. If you like Linux, you put that in too. any knowledge or interests you have in the field you're applying for you should put in.

    then comes the hard part: keeping it short. mine is two pages, which i think is a good length.

    i based my cv on this guy's http://www.gratisoft.us/todd/resume.html if you know (or don't mind learning Latex) it could be a good way to go.

    i guess just avoid doing one like this one:
    http://curriculumvitiate.wordpress.com/the-cv/
    although it is a good read.

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