Preparing CV/Resume

noetsi

Fortran must die
#21
hlsmith, recruiters do NOT want to look at your life history. In business, they want to immediately know your worth to them and how to separate you from the other dozen or 500 candidates that are applying. A one page infographic is really where it's at lol

Noetsi, you make some good points about being able to describe what you've done, but you also need to water that down to line items they can read off easily. I just hate trying to make a list of software and **** as if that's the best thing. And btw, my last two jobs were partly sold on the fact that I'm an R user. It makes me stand out. If I knew SAS, I'd just be another SAS user they can look toward to point-and-click their way through the Enterprise Guide (which I hate that thing). Instead, they see me as an untouchable they can drop their problems on and produce analytics mathemagically lol
It depends on the organization you work for. At the company I work for I had to appeal a policy just to be able to install R. I am sure the vast majority of corporations have never heard of R and if they have not they won't value it unless you sell them on it (as I do here despite actually not knowing it well).
 

noetsi

Fortran must die
#22
@hlsmith, yeah whenever you do any explicit design structure, it should be limited. I could just keep the borders for each of those blocks, but that serves not additional purpose because alignment is sufficient (and implicit) to distinguish the block of text as subordinate to the job description. I never intended on keeping it. I was just toying around with the design.

@noetsi, I'm a fan of simplicity, too, except if you look at most resumes, they're designed to draw your eye to like 3 things: title, sections, bullets. That's it. Either you have too many bullets so that nothing stands out, then you have them as explicit design structures that should be the most **** important thing on your paper! Otherwise, you're relying on what? Section titles to keep the reader's interest? Even if you don't like my resume, the visual hierarchy is pretty direct: title, sections, job description, degrees. Even if you don't like it, you capture that information within seconds. You can put down my resume and know my degrees and what I've done. I'm even considering turning down the significance of the sections so. While they will stand out due to size, color always draws the eye more than any other contrast design structure (unless the text is really just that dominating in size!).
The key, I think we agree, is to draw attention to something that they value. Commonly that is some experience of some expertise they really need no one else has. That is what I looked for when we recently hired a data analyst (the fact that he had actually worked with ARIMA jumped out at me although his overall qualifications were the key).

Something critical to remember is that most people who make decisions are not going to know the methods or software you list at all. In most organizations (especially larger ones) the higher you go up the organization the more this will be true. Generalist dominate most corporations I believe. In govenment few will have had any access to stats or even advanced software in a long time if ever.
 

bryangoodrich

Probably A Mammal
#23
That is true. But I could also put down anything and not be sure that any of my interviewers will have any idea what it means. Hell, I know GIS and people know what it is, just not by name! So they'll see it on paper and have no idea what I'm capable of doing for them. Or I could tell them I can handle "Big Data" and perform "Data Mining" and yet they'll have in mind something completely not what those words mean, because these are things people toss around in business today without understanding what they actually entail. In any case, the only people that can prevent me from using R is IT, and frankly I can use a portable version they know nothing about (just install it on Windows and move the entire directory tree to your new computer. Done!). Nevertheless, my managers signed off on me using it and I just tell IT "It's a programming language that gives me the ability to do complex data analysis." They're always worried about giving people programming capabilities, but they'd be pretty stupid to think I couldn't just make a program at home and bring it to work. Part of the whole me not hacking their systems is part of my employment! Being worried that I'm going to use R or Python to do it is just ridiculous. Ironically, I keep a "Gray Hat Python" programming book at work lol
 

bryangoodrich

Probably A Mammal
#24
The key, I think we agree, is to draw attention to something that they value. Commonly that is some experience of some expertise they really need no one else has. That is what I looked for when we recently hired a data analyst (the fact that he had actually worked with ARIMA jumped out at me although his overall qualifications were the key).

Something critical to remember is that most people who make decisions are not going to know the methods or software you list at all. In most organizations (especially larger ones) the higher you go up the organization the more this will be true. Generalist dominate most corporations I believe. In govenment few will have had any access to stats or even advanced software in a long time if ever.
I agree. I was fortunate that my last two jobs always had somebody I would work directly with that is also going to have their hands dirty in statistics or analytics. This way, they have to have some idea about the tools out there and what needs to get done. Otherwise, wtf are they going to do with my skills? My supervisor transferred to a non-limited-term position in another business unit, so now my section basically threw me and the other analyst to the wolves. Nobody really knows what we can do for them, so we're basically defining the role of analytics in our business unit. It's a lot of power and responsibility, and we're still ****ing students! lol I don't know if I ever care to work in government again. They're a lazy ignorant bunch, most of them. Unless it was a really technical unit or something or was going to pay me really well.

In any case, what really makes a difference is knowing the right people. Networking makes you stand out. Otherwise, nobody is going to meaningfully drill through 500+ resumes to find 5 they want to interview. Most of them will be glanced at and tossed. That is why design is important. Even if they did that with mine, they would move passed it with something in mind instead of the usual headers and lines (I can go through 50 examples and that's the most prominent feature on the resume!). I like the design in my last example. I'll have to play around with it in print version, but now I need to start working on content and what to include. Throwing out ARIMA is as bad as saying GIS. They may know they want time series or trend analyses done, but have no idea what an ARIMA model is. Maybe I'll make a "key word" section at the bottom for words that 90% of the organization wouldn't even know what they mean, just for that other possibility that the one person that does know will see them on my resume lol
 

bryangoodrich

Probably A Mammal
#25
Has anybody ever used LinkedIn to their advantage?

I scarcely use the thing, but I figure it would be a good item to include on my resume. I know they sometimes have good job listings (Intel has a local campus and looking for a big data intern to study ways of analyzing NoSQL databases!! Requires graduate level CS stuff I don't have though--sad face lol). I just don't know how to leverage it. Did a quick Google search last night and turned up some interesting stuff, but it's something I'm going to look into more later.
 

noetsi

Fortran must die
#26
In any case, what really makes a difference is knowing the right people.
In my opinion that is 90 plus percent of getting hired in a private sector job. My first data analysis position, at a point I knew very little stats and no SQL but which paid two and a half times what I was earning, was tied primarily to my brother bringing my name to the attention of the person making the decision.

The tough hire rules make government different, but there finding out what is available is so complicated that it is a massive advantage to have people bring the existence of jobs to your attention.

Incidently it helps a lot to go to the federal and state job sites if you want a high skill job. They are a pain to apply for and the pay is not great commonly, but they hire a high preportion of high skill/high education individuals. This is likely especially true in statistics since most firms, even large ones, likely are not going to be hiring statisticians.
 

bryangoodrich

Probably A Mammal
#27
That depends on the firm. You can actually do a lot more with statistics in the private sectors. The jobs are just not going to be oriented as "statistics." If you're in finances, then you can get work as an actuary or related job, or a financial analyst, or a risk analysts, etc. In business it's generally going to be some sort of business intelligence or business analyst or one of varied IT positions. That's what makes it hard, though. Some firms want these jobs but have no idea what they entail, but if you go to a company like Monsanto, they **** well know what they're looking for! State and federal jobs are secure. While they don't pay as much up front (and they still pay well), they offer a lot more in compensation and benefits. You also have to **** up pretty badly to get fired lol We talk about going to state jobs to die, because that's like where you go when you don't care about the thrill of work anymore. If you want excitement, you go to business! And it's true. As an intern, I see a complete difference and I love the private industry. The real issue is getting intel on the inside, to know who is hiring for a position and that they know wtf they're asking for, so when you lay out your resume, you can do so to their level of comprehension. That's where networking is a must, and why I want to try and leverage LinkedIn a bit more if I can.
 

noetsi

Fortran must die
#30
sadly state and federal jobs are increasingly not secure. Budget cut backs are eliminating many positions.

In my personal experience the pay of the private organizations for data analysis so dwarfs the public sector that no amount of increased benefits comes close to balancing it. I am now a 'statistical consultant" about as high as it goes for statistics in my state and earning half what I was doing much less complex analysis in the private sector.

From my own experience, and admitedly its only that, you will run more advanced statistics in the public than private sector because the later has relatively narrow interest. But I don't consider what actuerials do statistics in any case :p (nor do they I suspect they consider it financial analysis not stats).
 
#31
Just a quick 2 cents.

I second earlier suggestions about multiple resumes. Especially if the first resume filter a business uses is automated and is scanning for key words that may have appeared in the job description.

Instead of listing responsibilities for your job summaries, note your accomplishments in the position. And I would use bullets instead of a paragraph-style format. White space is good and people want the highlights fast.

No gimmicks, especially since many application sites will want resumes uploaded in Word format or pasted as plain text -- since this is how their auto-scanning software can handle it. Worst case scenario, a resume in a format they don't want just gets thrown out. Best case, the candidate looks annoying.

Who you interview with and how much stats they know will depend on the position, but HR will not be your main interviewer. They may have veto power with regard to hiring over certain non-position-specific things (e.g., you fail a background check), but the hiring manager will be making the decision. If you are interviewing for a position on a team that is data-oriented, people will be at least generally familiar with stats.

And a great resource for jobs/job-hunting is askamanager.org.
 

bryangoodrich

Probably A Mammal
#32
If you are interviewing for a position on a team that is data-oriented, people will be at least generally familiar with stats.
Totally not true! Two of my last three jobs were data-oriented and out of the 12 people that were involved in those interviews, only two of them truly understood stats or data and were the reason I was hired lol

You make some lucid points about dealing with automated scanning.
 
#33
Totally not true! Two of my last three jobs were data-oriented and out of the 12 people that were involved in those interviews, only two of them truly understood stats or data and were the reason I was hired lol

You make some lucid points about dealing with automated scanning.
Well, that's unfortunate. Here's hoping your next job has people better acquainted with statistics.

Incidentally, if you are willing to move to Chicago, my team has openings.
 

bryangoodrich

Probably A Mammal
#34
Here's my latest rendition: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/72101655/Mockup.pdf

My aim is to make this the third page (alongside a cover letter and profile that will include summary of qualifications and notable accomplishments). As such, I can use the full page real estate for more CV items.

I still leveraged a lot of the design principals from before (alignment, size, contrast, space) and think it does well to manage the visual hierarchy, focusing on bringing important things to the eye (viz., degree and job titles). I made sure to keep things in a linear fashion so any automated scanning should not run into problems with columned pages or sections. I still like to include color, but (1) the blue came out horrible in print that I was using, and (2) the lack of it makes the document more "professional," easier on print, and the bold still performs the same affect. I did use 60% gray on the section headers, though. Again, this is to mitigate the fact that they're still larger text and I don't want them to necessarily dominate the visual hierarchy (use of figure-ground). However, in print, the gray did not have the right appearance, so I might have to tweak that (printed colors need a little exaggeration when tone is involved).

I still need to (a) come up with the actual content of my profile, and (b) figure out a layout that doesn't make it a dismal list of bullets while also not being verbose.
 

noetsi

Fortran must die
#37
In the jobs I was hired to do data analysis only one person (in the three occasions total) knew anything about statistics.
 

bryangoodrich

Probably A Mammal
#38
Modeling/segmentation/forecasting for a marketing company. I can send a link to the jobs page if you are interested.
Sure, I'd like to take a look. Turns out the fact I'm going to have like 60 hours left (to July!) after this week as a student, my managers are scrambling to get me hired back into basically my same position through a temp agency they always use for similar purposes. In 3 months, they'll be able to just laterally transfer me into a limited term position (most of the company is limited term; easier since regular positions are civil service positions). The prospect of over 70K a year is nice. However, with no certainty something won't change months from now, I'm still going to start looking around the country once I finish my profile. One of the primary things I'm considering wherever I go is universities. As long as there's a good campus in the area, I'll move there! I still plan to at least work toward my masters in something.
 

bryangoodrich

Probably A Mammal
#39
In the jobs I was hired to do data analysis only one person (in the three occasions total) knew anything about statistics.
Yeah, my current position only one person was really tech savvy, and she was also getting her 2nd doctorate lol She could understand the skill set I could bring given that I've got real analysis experience, know the software and the field, have a stats background, can handle IT stuff and especially databases, and my new found GIS skills was just icing on the cake! I'm this educated and this talented and have averaged maybe 11K a year over the past decade. I am so done with California lol