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If you’re entering a career in CS, or looking to accelerate your path to success, where do you start and how do you get noticed?
“Other industries like accounting, finance, human resources, and managerial positions do not have this luxury of using a more unique resume design.” Though much of the resume might seem to be filled with rote information, such as degrees, certifications and specializations, experience matters a great deal as well – and if you can show innovative thinking during a project, unique work-arounds and significant problem-solving skills, you’re ahead of the pack.
Every computer science grad has strong math skills; showcasing them is a must. Don’t just list math prowess in certain areas; instead, present them in context, such as “well-versed in algorithm development.” Interviewing with a company that is well-versed in computer science requires a straightforward, clear-cut resume; however, many employers simply know that they need “an IT person” to handle a variety of tasks for the company, but they don’t really know what those tasks are.
To illustrate the important differences in resumes for computer science experts, we’ve created examples for three different educational and experience levels: The undergrad, the graduate and the professional. Throughout college, test the waters in a variety of concentrations until you find the one that really lights your fire; then drill down hard to specialize in that particular area.
Employers who are looking for a database administrator want just that; they aren’t looking for a systems analyst.
Saying you’re “a backend engineer seeking to leverage analytical, coding and leadership skills as a project manager” is far better.
Human resources expert Steve Wang points out that computer science jobs are quite unique.“Front office jobs, like receptionists and nurses, interact with clients face-to-face.Excelling in these roles requires someone with soft skills such as having a likable personality and being an effective communicator,” Wang said.College Resume Template #1: Microsoft Word or Google Docs College Resume Template #2: Microsoft Word or Google Docs College Resume Template #3: Microsoft Word or Google Docs College Resume Template #4: Microsoft Word or Google Docs College Resume Template #5: Microsoft Word or Google Docs. You’ll need to know a few things about yourself before we begin (hint: all these will go in your resume): — but feel free to use any of the others. Maybe your essay last year received second prize in the school-wide writing competition, or your science fair project or miniature pony got you best-in-show.Choosing the right template is kind of like choosing the right outfit for an interview. Ultimately, though, the outfit (or template) doesn’t guarantee success — it’s how you rock what you’ve got that matters the most. Maybe you’re an Eagle Scout and you earned (yes, it’s possible! Maybe your ball-handling skillz got you Most Improved Player on your JV basketball team.For instance, seeing a nice chunk of experience with software development on the resume of someone specializing in network architecture can be a very nice touch.Versatility is great, but not at the expense of expertise in a specific area.Did you revamp a website that saw a huge burst of growth immediately afterward – and is still going strong? Get serious with metrics, such as “Six months after completion, website scaled from 500 views/day to over 10,000 views/day.” Just because the tone is straightforward doesn’t mean there isn’t wiggle room for original thinking.“Similar to marketing resumes, it’s not uncommon for computer science resumes to be formatted using more modern templates or infographic designs as long as the resume is compatible with resume scanners (applicant tracking systems),” Wang said.How do you know if it’s starting to get ridiculous? If you can afford it, go to your local office supply store and buy some thick, white or off-white resume paper. As you gain new experience, skills and awards, add them!Give it to at least one person (but no more than three) to edit before you send it out. Grab a professional-looking folder while you’re at it (no folders with kittens or polka-dots). When you ask teachers for letters of recommendation, give them a copy. If you stay on top of your resume, sending it out in will be a snap (after all, you’ll be in college — you’ve got better things to do).