Finding a new job can often be a daunting experience for a developer. Even very qualified professionals may jump through multiple hoops to get their resumes in front of the right people. Most of the smart applicants have figured out that the only realistic and pain-free way to get someone to see your resume is through a professional referral. However, even then you have to make your resume stand out among the masses. So everyone comes up with unique ways to grab the attention of the person looking at our resume. A colleague and fellow .NET developer recently asked me to review his resume prior to beginning a new job search. Here are two of his previous job descriptions as listed on his resume sans personal details:
Tech Company – Dallas, TX
Performed an architectural review of the existing BizTalk Server 2004 solution and made recommendations to improve performance, stability and manageability.
Consulted on several .NET projects to lend expertise in code-generation, unit testing, and object design.
Languages: C#, VB.NET, T-SQL
Server Products: BizTalk Server 2004, BizTalk Server 2006, SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2000
Misc Technologies: XML, XSL, XSD, HTML, CSS, GIS, COM+, MTS, MSMQ
Tech Company 2 – Dallas, TX
Provide primary technical leadership for a small but growing company employing several contractors on a variety of projects.
.NET Framework (1.1 and 2.0) business viability analysis.
Technical consulting working with the .NET Framework
Server Products: BizTalk Server 2000/2002/2004/2006, SQL Server 2000/2005, FoxPro
Misc Technologies: AJAX, XML, XSL, XSD, HTML, CSS, COM+, MTS, NUnit
My immediate comments back to him mentioned that I felt he had too many acronyms on his resume to make his job descriptions readable. Additionally he was repeating the same acronyms multiple times and the developer inside me is screaming "Don’t Repeat Yourself". The response I got back was that this is now an accepted practice for developer resumes and recruiters/hiring managers prefer this format. Recruiters often scan for keywords and acronyms so seeing them multiple times somehow incites a more positive response with them. Another colleague reaffirmed this opinion, however he also added that it’s just a game that we have to play these days and that its a necessary evil.
Apparently, tech acronyms have now become a software developer’s pieces of flair. I can think of only one quote that comes to mind: Doesn’t it bother you that you have to get up in the morning and you have to put on a bunch of pieces of flair? Thoughts?