Thursday, January 10, 2013

Resume Visualization: What does your resume look like?

my resume, according to Tagxedo
I like to keep my resume up to date. Every time some new task comes along, I'll add that in there somewhere. Then if a new job comes up, I'll just edit out the old stuff, make a quick attempt at removing the irrelevant things, and mail it out. 

So what is my resume saying? 

Well on the advice of my wife I threw my resume into a word cloud generator. There are a few of them, but I picked tagxedo

So what does it say about me? Well not a whole lot about the technologies that I use, but a bunch about "management", "product", "design". I suppose that would be great if I were mostly focused on more management. Or if I were a product manager. But I'm probably not.

Now lets look at some of the jobs that I might be interested it.

I just took a stab in the dark: I like kindle, I like enterprise software, so I threw in the first job description from the kindle team that caught my eye. The result: a very different word cloud.
A Kindle SDE Job Description

Now I'm not saying you should lie on your resume: that will always come back to bite you very quickly. But your resume is basically just the sign on the front of a restaurant. I've done a bunch of things, and they'll all be reflected on my resume, but I am clearly spending much more time talking about things I've done that aren't relevant to the jobs I want than I should.

Because I'm in software and everybody needs them I get reasonably good responses when I apply for jobs, but I suspect now, that I'm getting this traction in-spite of my resume, not because of it.

Time to update.


Ert said...

This is pretty cool. I think you need something that denominates on overall job-posting word frequency, though to get the more differentiating items popping out.

Mason Bryant said...

Yeah, I agree. Would be nice to be able to weight words based on some normalized value of what you'd expect in the average posting. Still, tagxedo seems that best that we can do without writing code...