Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Longer the CV, The Better

[for part 1 of this series, click here]

As we said, the prevailing Whiz-dumb thinks a long CV sucks.

But this is wrong on several fronts.

To see a real CV, and simply to demonstrate that TheHackerCIO never "Makes Shit Up", please click here, to see a real CV. This is Donald Knuth's example.  Academics understand what makes up a real CV. They live and die by them. They are an essential tool.

Now, is Donald Knuth an idiot for having a 40 page CV?

Or, are these Recruitment Pundits who tell us to keep it down to one page missing something?

Short answer: it's the pundits who are wrong.

Yes, Donald Knuth needs a CV. A long one! He needs to catalog everything he has done in the course of his career. Every book, video, audio, and paper he has written needs to be stated, whether refereed or not. That's hundreds of papers!

Now, maybe you're saying at this point, "But I'm not an academic. I haven't written three or four hundred papers. I have no need to itemize all of this." And I'm sure that's probably true. But if you're a senior technologist, you have worked on hundreds of projects. And every single one indicates  your unique skills, learned context, and achievements. All of that has contributed to make you the technologist you are. Why should it be ignored or forgotten? Is what contributed to making you the technologist you are now unimportant?

Far from it.

I know that this series is starting out as a bit of a teaser, but bear with me ...

Next time, we'll look at further reasons why all this detail is MANDATORY, for your own personal career development.

Until then, I Remain,


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The CV for Americans

Americans don't write CVs. They write a "Resume."  Especially technology professionals. In fact, the conventional, generally-accepted, "consensus," Whiz-Dumb holds that a resume, or even a CV should be one or, at most, two pages! For example see this, and that. But this is a huge mistake, and a long, detailed CV is important for everyone.

The essence of the brevity argument is that recruiters and hiring managers are too dumb or lazy to read much. They phrase it in euphemisms, but that's what they mean. For example, in the article above, they spoke of these inDUHviduals having "short attention spans." In other words, they are mental cripples, or too lazy to read more than one page.

TheHackerCIO begs to differ. I write what I want. What the reader does with it is his business and his problem. I can accommodate the recruiter's and manager's laziness, stupidity, and brain deficit by writing in the "reverse pyramid style" of the newspaper writer, where everything important comes first, and less and less important content follows later. In short, the reverse-chronology ordering tactic fits perfectly. I start with my most recent experience and work backwards.

But these are issues of scope and arrangement. This is all just formatting!

The more important issues are personal and substantive.

Since many readers don't know what a CV is, and almost no-one knows its meaning, advantages, and utility, I'm going to start off the year by explaining a bit about the good old Curriculum Vitae, why you need a long, detailed one, and the benefits that come from the exercise of producing one.

This is an excellent time to work with me through this exercise, so you can be ready in the new year for any new job searches that may arise. Or, just be ready so that you can take your career to the next level.

We'll see why the CV is crucial to this ..... in the next post.

I Remain,