Wednesday, 24 November 2010

CVs, resumes and outright fiction

If there's one thing that I've learnt the hard way from interviewing software developers, it's the ability for a resume to tell you so much more than the person writing it ever could about themselves, mostly because quite often a lot of the competence these documents convey seem to be finely crafted works of fiction.

Warning signs that the person that you're about to consider entrusting lots of responsibility to might not be the best candidate you could hope for, seem to be 4 words: "I was involved in...". This fantastic phrase could actually mean anything from "I single-handedly wrote every last line of code " to "I occasionally made the guy doing the work a cup of tea", but I'm coming to the conclusion that more often than not, the facts are more likely to involve boiling water and milk than saving the day against all odds.

Other things that I've learnt to raise an eyebrow at, include listing internal awards handed out by an organisation that have no meaning outside of the internal company politics ("Won best documentation award" being one of my favourites) and writing more about what a company does for a living than what a person actually did during their time there.

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