The Best Keywords To Have On A Tech Resume

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Want to know the most valuable keywords to have on a tech resume? This new study from the Brookings Institution claims to have all the answers.

These job openings data provide new evidence that, post-recession, STEM skills, particularly those associated with high levels of educational attainment, are in high demand among employers. Meanwhile, job seekers possessing neither STEM knowledge nor higher education face extraordinary levels of competition for a scarce number of jobs.
 

Dark Shade

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Puppet
Mongo
MySQL
Postgresql
Java
Python
Javascript
Networking
Administration
Troubleshooting
A number between 3 and 10 years

Oops I just flagged this post for every recruiter in America, be prepared for phone calls and emails for contract-for-hire positions in your local metro area!
 

lcpiper

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You missed the very bestest one of all.

Speaks Indian fluently.
 

lcpiper

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Excuse me Sir, but your not helping one bit.


Have you plugged in your Computer?
 

schizrade

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Yeah an every intern we have interviewed has put on their skills list everything they can think of, but none of them know anything about it when probed.

Lies, damned lies and statistics.

I second the comment on the need for synergy. And metrics... I need some fucking metrics.
 

kbrickley

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Best words ... slave, obsequious, loyal, unquestioning, dedicated to work, no homelife :D

A businessman was interviewing applicants for the position of divisional manager. He devised a simple test to select the most suitable person for the job. He asked each applicant the question, "What is two and two?" The first interviewee was a journalist. His answer was "Twenty-two." The second was a social worker. She said, "I don't know the answer but I'm glad we had time to discuss this important question." The third applicant was an engineer. He pulled out a slide rule and showed the answer to be between 3.999 and 4.001. The next person was a lawyer. He stated that in the case of Jenkins v. Commr of Stamp Duties (Qld), two and two was proven to be four. The last applicant was an accountant. The business man asked him, "How much is two and two?" The accountant got up from his chair, went over to the door and closed it, then came back and sat down. He leaned across the desk and said in a low voice, "How much do you want it to be?" He got the job.
 

Ur_Mom

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You missed the very bestest one of all.

Speaks Indian fluently.

That, or speaks English poorly. I hate calling tech support. At least most of it with Lenovo is US based, English speaking people. Everything else is Indian or Pakistani based. It makes it difficult. The lack of knowledge (they follow a script religiously) and the language barrier makes a simple 5 minute call into a 2 hour call. Nothing against Indians or Pakistani's, though. Good people. Just the language and knowledge barriers that make it hard. I'd have the same problem if it was a drunk guy from Texas running some tech forum... Wait... ;)
 

evilsofa

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So, putting "I have learned team leadership skills by running Worlds of Warcraft raids" in your resume doesn't work?
 

Aluisious

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Two years ago I was casting around for a job and I got something for repairing electron microscopes. It's like resume candy.

"What makes you confident you can fix our XYZ machine?"

"Well, I can troubleshoot the vacuum, electronics, and high voltage systems on scanning electron microscope to the component level."

"...

...you, uhh, job here now please?"
 

mdburkey

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Hmm...

I usually just put down:
25 years embedded programming; C/C++; assembly; Linux Kernel development; Linux Device Driver development; low level board bring-up (ARM DCD, bootloader porting and customization [barebox]); root files system deployment and optimization (PTXdist, Yocto, buildroot); Motor controller firmware development; 8051 derivative assembly and C; etc. -- and add to that 30 years of IT support on Windows and Linux.

After that, I usually don't have too much trouble finding job offers....
 

Burticus

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I always include "I do not use tobacco products" in the cover letter or somewhere on my resume. I always got comments on that. Smokers waste way too much time taking smoke breaks, and dipping is just disgusting in general. I've worked with people that were intelligent and decent workers except for the 20 times they disappeared to smoke their pack of crack every day.
 

Aluisious

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I always include "I do not use tobacco products" in the cover letter or somewhere on my resume. I always got comments on that. Smokers waste way too much time taking smoke breaks, and dipping is just disgusting in general. I've worked with people that were intelligent and decent workers except for the 20 times they disappeared to smoke their pack of crack every day.

I've never worked in a job where anyone would give a shit whether you smoke or not.
 

kbrickley

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I've never worked in a job where anyone would give a shit whether you smoke or not.

That is starting to shift I think ... some companies ban smoking for their employees, even in their homes (due to health insurance costs) ... I don't know that it would help on a resume but I suspect as companies realize they can take more control of their employees lives to the benefit of the company we will see more of that (ban smoking or drinking, require weight loss, etc)
 

cortexodus

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That is starting to shift I think ... some companies ban smoking for their employees, even in their homes (due to health insurance costs) ... I don't know that it would help on a resume but I suspect as companies realize they can take more control of their employees lives to the benefit of the company we will see more of that (ban smoking or drinking, require weight loss, etc)

Not to mention that some people simply don't want to share the same physical air-space with smokers. The absolutely vile reek of their habit permeates everything on them leaving a foul wake everywhere they go. I smoked for a number of years and it's goddamn embarrassing to know that I smelled that bad at some point :(
 

dandirk

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I always include "I do not use tobacco products" in the cover letter or somewhere on my resume. I always got comments on that. Smokers waste way too much time taking smoke breaks, and dipping is just disgusting in general. I've worked with people that were intelligent and decent workers except for the 20 times they disappeared to smoke their pack of crack every day.

When I smoked those short breaks were great for problem solving. The change of pace helped me to get a new perspective on a particular problem.

lol gotta love the judgement about small breaks. Almost sounds like you were wasting company time monitoring them. If they got the job done does it matter? Did you sit over their desk and make sure they were cheating time? Are you sure they just weren't more efficient then even you?

Many people cheat time in many different ways, many people work very diligently. At the end of the day, did they do good work and meet their deadlines is what ultimately matters?

I am very loose on my work hours, I will leave early if I don't feel like working. I will also stay late to meet deadlines and work weekends and odd hours without complaint if the job requires it. Our whole team works this way and it is nice to not worry about something as arbitrary as being in the office at x and leaving at y.
 

dandirk

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Not to mention that some people simply don't want to share the same physical air-space with smokers. The absolutely vile reek of their habit permeates everything on them leaving a foul wake everywhere they go. I smoked for a number of years and it's goddamn embarrassing to know that I smelled that bad at some point :(

lol ex-smokers tend to be the really douchey smoke nazis. I found myself getting short with family at the airport the other week. Felt bad for it.

Yes it smells but get over it there are many other things that are much worse... but then again its all opinion and preference anyways.
 

nilepez

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Yeah an every intern we have interviewed has put on their skills list everything they can think of, but none of them know anything about it when probed.

Lies, damned lies and statistics.

I second the comment on the need for synergy. And metrics... I need some fucking metrics.

What exactly do you expect from an intern?
 
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Yeah an every intern we have interviewed has put on their skills list everything they can think of, but none of them know anything about it when probed.

Lies, damned lies and statistics.

I second the comment on the need for synergy. And metrics... I need some fucking metrics.

And I bet there were applications that came in from excellent students who had proven their ability to learn and were talking about how excited they were to learn these technologies on-the-internship and put their new skills to work for you. Then you promptly rejected them in favor of people you knew were lying because they were a better "cultural fit" for playing "the game" along with the rest of the employees at your office.

If that doesn't describe your office and hiring policies/procedures, then it certainly describes almost all the others these days. And few places is it worse than IT.
 

rudy

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That is starting to shift I think ... some companies ban smoking for their employees, even in their homes (due to health insurance costs) ... I don't know that it would help on a resume but I suspect as companies realize they can take more control of their employees lives to the benefit of the company we will see more of that (ban smoking or drinking, require weight loss, etc)

People have been saying this since the 80s it never materializes. First of all none of this shit would ever fly in America, you would get harassed by the ACLU endlessly. Second most employers are not in a position where eliminating people for smoking feasible. Low end jobs, you get what you get and lots smoke. High skill jobs, you have a limited number of applicants and the best one will take the job regardless of smoking habit. So the only place where employers can choose is in some weird low skill relatively high pay job were there is lots of applicants and little to separate them.
 

kbrickley

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People have been saying this since the 80s it never materializes. First of all none of this shit would ever fly in America, you would get harassed by the ACLU endlessly. Second most employers are not in a position where eliminating people for smoking feasible. Low end jobs, you get what you get and lots smoke. High skill jobs, you have a limited number of applicants and the best one will take the job regardless of smoking habit. So the only place where employers can choose is in some weird low skill relatively high pay job were there is lots of applicants and little to separate them.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/mone...-01-03/health-care-jobs-no-smoking/52394782/1 ... I didn't say it would happen everywhere, but the USA right now has a surplus of workers still (for many jobs) ... this puts the employers in the driving seat ... companies could slip it in subtly like during the mandatory drug tests that most companies currently have ... or they could change employee behavior in the good old fashioned way (charge smokers or over weight employees higher insurance premiums ... since most insurance companies do that to they anyway they can pass their costs onto the employee) ... we have enough protected classifications so there is no need to protect smokers or any other employee personal habits that companies wish to change
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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Not to mention that some people simply don't want to share the same physical air-space with smokers. The absolutely vile reek of their habit permeates everything on them leaving a foul wake everywhere they go. I smoked for a number of years and it's goddamn embarrassing to know that I smelled that bad at some point :(

Smoking is exceptionally yucky and it hurts people more than just in jobs. As a nonsmoker, one of the first major turn offs about a person in general is whether or not they smoke. I mean, there are other things that make a person pretty gross, like facial hair, using profanity, owning a motorcycle, using Google for internet searches and Chrome as a web browser, but smoking is, I think, slightly above that and I can understand why people don't want to hire smokers. Their personal presentation just isn't a clean and some really do waste a ton of time taking smoke breaks. I think that a lot of times, they feel entitled to smoking and those breaks which demonstrates a certain underlying attitude or mental state that would be unfavorable in most work settings where people need to be mentally or physically fit to be cost effective employees.
 
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And I bet there were applications that came in from excellent students who had proven their ability to learn and were talking about how excited they were to learn these technologies on-the-internship and put their new skills to work for you. Then you promptly rejected them in favor of people you knew were lying because they were a better "cultural fit" for playing "the game" along with the rest of the employees at your office.

If that doesn't describe your office and hiring policies/procedures, then it certainly describes almost all the others these days. And few places is it worse than IT.

AMEN brotha. Our latest intern didn't even ask to "work" with us. My boss offered him a well-paid internship after meeting him at some random tech seminar. He talks the talk, but then spends about half the day napping, and the other half texting with friends. You can not imagine my level of aggravation at the fact that there are smart hard-working kids out there who would do ANYTHING to get this gig. :mad:
 

GaryS

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Interrupting my otherwise busy day because I read something wrong on the internet...

1) Never trust anything from an "institute" or "think-tank": It's crap and propaganda. They have an agenda and odds are it ain't yours. Most of that shlock about "not enough workers" is fallout on recent, revamped efforts on the immigration agenda. It's paid-for bullshit.

2) If you value your worth, don't "shot-gun" your resume to the world with a "key word" list. That's very, very bad practice and leads towards you getting thrown into the pigeon hole of cheap, low-budget workers.

Best approach is to:
- find and build some trust with reputable recruiters
- write resumes to fit per-job (or internship)
- practice what's on your resume
- prove your skill via open-source contribution, blog, etc... It's damn obvious if you've lied on your resume during the interview when you fail your technical questions. Practicing the shit on your own blog/web-site entrenches your ability - it shows... trusty me it shows.
- avoid "job-mills". Avoid: large, shady recruiters, big companies. Avoid getting stuck in a tiny sliver of a large project working on esoteric, dead technologies.
- Never send your resume to crap-recruiters. Most of the "spam" recruiters are also stealing your identity.... This is why you must talk to and meet your reputable placement team.

Do what-ever it takes to secure the phone-screen and in-person interview.
- if you're rock-solid on technology "xyz"... then it's OK to stretch the truth regarding "years experience". Recruiters don't know jack about shit... It's all about a set of rules/constraints filtering their resume bucket. But, DO NOT list "5 years" on a technology of which you can't answer a single damn tech' question. Once you're caught out-right lying on a resume... it's really all-over. You get dumped into the "BS" bucket and added to the "exclude" list. Your name ends up on the "didn't you talk to this person?" question... Technical screening is a shared responsibility at most good companies. Though stretching the "years" experience is now part-of-the trade (due in-part to BS recruiters), you must avoid your name being associated with, "BS'd resume - doesn't know shit".
- practice your interview! Practice with a white-board. Be able to both LISTEN and ANSWER questions! If you end up getting screened by a senior company representative... and you kick-ass, you end up on the short-list of the next big project. Interview for the BIG job - even though you get placed on a BS first position, be prepared to quickly move up if your skills/know-how are strong.
 

Benzino

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I've worked at places that cut you a discount on health premiums if you were a non-tobacco user/using a smoking cessation program/been tobacco free for a year. More money for hookers and blow.
 

lcpiper

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That is starting to shift I think ... some companies ban smoking for their employees, even in their homes (due to health insurance costs) ... I don't know that it would help on a resume but I suspect as companies realize they can take more control of their employees lives to the benefit of the company we will see more of that (ban smoking or drinking, require weight loss, etc)

kbrickley, you might be right, but I have never even heard of this before. I think you might have some companies trying to do this, but I think in the end it will get shoved back down their throats in a law suite and eventually a SCOTUS Decision.

And you should hope so.

This thinking is no less as terrible as the thinking that brought about the ridiculous levels of taxation levied against smokers. That shit is fucking criminal. You can argue all you want about all the good it does but when the ends are justifying the means to this degree it's wrong. It won't be long, the same people who pulled this one off will eventually hit on something that directly effects you and then you'll see it for what it is.

Naked Oppression.

It was never about what was good for us, it was always about what is good for them.
 

Grimlaking

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technical skills are important. List them. But also list HOW you used them in your career. And how good you are with them insinuated in the use of the skills. Anything less is a waste of a recruiters time.

If you put down you know languages a b and c. Put down the experience you have with the languages in question. Not just that you have them.
 

Thuleman

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Look at the concept of performance based hiring and realize that listing skills will put your resume right into the electronic equivalent of a shredder. Especially those guys who boast about doing something for 15, 20, 25, 30 years because you certainly can write code for 30 years doing the absolute minimum required to not get fired, but that doesn't make you a good hire.
 

Thuleman

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- prove your skill via open-source contribution, blog, etc... It's damn obvious if you've lied on your resume during the interview when you fail your technical questions. Practicing the shit on your own blog/web-site entrenches your ability - it shows... trusty me it shows.

To me open-source contributions and/or blogging just shows that the person has too much time on their hands and will likely use company time to engage in those activities. No thanks.
 

lcpiper

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Here is the first problem with your mental picture of smokers.

As a nonsmoker, one of the first major turn offs about a person in general is whether or not they smoke.

Yea, but for the other half of the population, the smoking half, it's not the smokers that bother them. It's the "holier then thou" ass hats that think they have a god given right to make other people eat shit because they choose to smoke.

.... where people need to be mentally or physically fit to be cost effective employees.
Like in the Army right? That place where at 30 years old I smoked two packs a day and could run 2 miles in 12 minutes, sing cadence like a god damn soprano, I was a monster and there was nothing wrong with my mental fitness either. Slobs are slobs whether they smoke or not, and slow witted people are slow witted because they don't exercise their minds, not because they smoke cigarettes.

Still, it does smell and it's worse if they are smoking in unventilated areas or blow the smoke into the wind so it washes right back over themselves. I quit about three years ago, hell I forgot when I quit. Nothing I ever did before, no amount of coercion, or crap that anyone gave me about smoking ever compelled me to quit until they started taxing me lake a Midevil Barron's peasant. I simply decided that I didn't smoke any more and stopped, 100% never one puff since that day.

But I hate the fuckers that stole all that fucking money from me. The people who believe it was right to do this are a scourge on a free society.
 

Thuleman

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Yea, but for the other half of the population, the smoking half, it's not the smokers that bother them. It's the "holier then thou" ass hats that think they have a god given right to make other people eat shit because they choose to smoke.

The issue is that your smoking affects my health, and even if it doesn't affect my health it still affects my pocketbook if we work at the same place because my health insurance premium is more expensive because of your smoking.
 

lcpiper

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Look at the concept of performance based hiring and realize that listing skills will put your resume right into the electronic equivalent of a shredder. Especially those guys who boast about doing something for 15, 20, 25, 30 years because you certainly can write code for 30 years doing the absolute minimum required to not get fired, but that doesn't make you a good hire.

Damn, and somehow I keep right on getting hired. Hell, I get hired more then most and I suspect I am getting quit good at landing a job. Maybe it's just different working on Military Contracts. Maybe companies look for different things and expect different things from a resume. In the last 17 years since I retired from the Army I have worked for L3 Communications, Northrop Grumman, CSC, Oberon/Stanley, Raytheon, and NCI. I have worked on 9 different contracts in this time.

I would say that their are no absolutes, that you need to know what your target employer expects to see on your resume, and that when you do get their attention whether in personal Interview or telephonic, you need to know your shit and how to talk to them and that means you have to know who they are. Don't go to an interview blind deaf and dumb about what their work is all about. Research the company, their divisions, their services, and if applicable the contract, position, and customer that you will be working for or with. Be competent and comfortable and be ready to show them that if there is something they need from you that you can and will go and get it. Whether it's a skill, a certification, any requisite need they have you will go get. It's best if you can communicate this easily and without too much fanfare.
 
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