creative writing on CV

Hi Shanyou,

Sharing my observations…

Creative resume writing is an “art”. Over the years I have worked out some rules of thumb.

  • Be careful with the dates in the CV, as they can be used as evidence of cheating.
    • o I sometimes specify only the year without month. If recruiter asks for the month, I would say, it means entire year is on that project
    • o I don’t massage the dates in the last 7 years, but earlier than that, I’m more creative
    • o I’m more careful with *perm employee* project dates as the employer often has a compliance requirement to release the dates when requested
    • o Contract agencies may close down or change name. The account managers in charge of my assignment often change job. The dates they have in their system is less reliable.
      • Also, Under one agency, I could have 2 assignments at two sites, so the dates are fuzzy.
    • o Since I changed jobs too many times, I sometimes combine the earliest 3 jobs into one, when I know the employer is already gone, and it’s 12 years ago.
  • Job duty is really up to me to write, esp. with my contract jobs. Also jobs done 7 years ago are not so relevant, so the background checkers are less concerned. I often shift or copy my “job duties” section from one job to another job.
  • The technical experience or domain experience are up to me to write.
    • o I used to mention java swing in 5 out of 7 past jobs. This way, my resume looked like a java swing veteran.
    • o I used to mention connectivity in 5 out of 7 past jobs.
    • o I used to mention c# in all of my past jobs.
    • o I used to mention Forex in 4 out of 6 past jobs (To create an impression of “Forex focus” I delete all jobs that are unrelated to forex. If recruiter ask about the gap, I say it’s irrelevant or I say I was jobless). Actually, only 2 jobs had some forex element.
  • I keep 3 versions of resume. I create a temporary version when a job application requires it. I don’t spend more than 20 minutes creating each version, as the effort is unlikely to pay dividends.

This is a trial-and-error process. I sometimes become over-creative and test the market. If no one notices or questions me over a few (10?) job interviews, then it’s considered very safe creativity. If they do spot any inconsistency, then I back off and admit a typo mistake.

I now think some hiring managers are suspicious or very perceptive so they could see through my creativity but won’t say anything, so I am completely unaware.

I see the resume as advertisement. The goal is an initial interview. If I ace the interview, they basically accept the resume as is.


sticky~most widely useful content on my blog

The 2 major + some minor categories

#1 tech tips, observations, experiences —
#2 finance/trading/quant knowledge
# wall st tech workplace realities

I feel #1 is more widely useful. My #2 content is often amateurish.

Introductory topics are more widely useful, but there are often good explanations online and in print, so you may need to specialize on a niche topic. Most importantly, you need to develop a communication style to reach out to beginners, using clear English.

labels: original_content ^ _orig

original_content — should be original AND worthwhile

good enough to show on don’t be too strict. Most readers only look those few posts on first page.

I don’t want to “contrive” for the short term. My labels, once applied, should slowly build up like a snowball.
Over the long run, when we have 600 original_content posts, the defining feature would be “original”

— _orig label
If too many items pending “promotion/approval”, then perhaps move to “orig2”??

sticky~resist publishing ..

— before publishing
* check labels
* check dates
* check title

draft status means … need refresh, or not finalized…
drafts are easier to edit
drafts are easier backdate
drafts serve as refreshers
Resist temptation to publish drafts. You can mass publish drafts but not reverse.

too many posts in draft –> may lose data? nah