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Resume advice for getting a Perl job

by blssu (Pilgrim)
on Nov 22, 2002 at 19:32 UTC ( #215232=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I've been going through a lot of resumes lately and I want to offer simple advice to anybody seeking a Perl job: try to appear in a google search for "Your Name perl" . Sorry if that's obvious, but it's the first thing I do when I get a resume.

It's absolutely amazing to me the number of people claiming "independent, self-motivated worker" and who have never asked a question on clpm. If all your community involvement is under a pseudonym, make sure to put your pseudonym on your resume!

I know this is a tough job market now. Any other advice for people seeking Perl jobs?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Resume advice for getting a Perl job
by theorbtwo (Prior) on Nov 22, 2002 at 20:53 UTC

    I have my perlmonks homenode and degree on my resumé. Since I'm a Pontiff now (I was a Bishop when last I updated), I think that's a decent recomendation. Even if they don't know what Perl Monks is, it at least shows that I keep up my programming skills.


    Warning: Unless otherwise stated, code is untested. Do not use without understanding. Code is posted in the hopes it is useful, but without warranty. All copyrights are relinquished into the public domain unless otherwise stated. I am not an angel. I am capable of error, and err on a fairly regular basis. If I made a mistake, please let me know (such as by replying to this node).

Re: Resume advice for getting a Perl job
by adrianh (Chancellor) on Nov 23, 2002 at 20:41 UTC

    I'm another one who has, as far as I can remember, never asked anything on clpm. I've been a professional coder for over fifteen years, most of it in perl for the last six or seven.

    The signal/noise ratio of usenet turned me off news many years ago now, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this. One of the reasons I've fallen for perlmonks in the last few months. Nice to come across a vaguely sane community ;-)

    I'm sure I am not the only one with that viewpoint so you might be cutting of some useful people.

    The same applies to looking for membership in perlmonks or similar communities. I've known and worked with some truly excellent developers who do not have the time or inclination to spend time with online communities - they tell me that they have these things called "real lives" and "families" when they're not at work :-)

    You can use the net as extra evidence that would encourage you to interview a particular person - but, personally, I would never use the lack of an online presence as a reason not to interview (absense of evidence is not evidence of absense and all that...)

    As for advice...

    Publish some good modules
    Being able to point to some useful CPAN modules that you've written is always impressive (again, not conclusive, I've only ever thrown a couple up since my past employers have been rather harsh on the IP front - one of the advantages of running your own business is that you can afford to be more generous).
    Think twice before you flame
    I always do a search on peoples e-mail address when I get a CV - but this is only to remove people who prove themselves idiots from their own posts (and I'm generous and ignore posts over two years old - some people do mature :-)
    Don't lie on your CV (or resume for the americans :-)
    Really. I mean it. Nothing pisses of an interviewer more. Don't write anything down that you can't backup with solid knowledge. We'll find out in the interview and laugh at you afterwards (or possibly during).
Re: Resume advice for getting a Perl job
by John M. Dlugosz (Monsignor) on Nov 22, 2002 at 21:28 UTC
    Maybe jcwren can add a column to his stats page showing how many hits Google returns on this. I got "about 984". Searching "blssu perl" gives 6 unique of 40. I suppose that using a PM pseudonym will give you only PM nodes, and people might go by different things on different forums. Someone with a name that is also a Perl keyword might have lots of false hits.
Re: Resume advice for getting a Perl job
by PodMaster (Abbot) on Nov 22, 2002 at 23:27 UTC
    What?!?!?!

    That is by no means obvious, or logical.

    What is the purpose of a resume if the first thing a potential employer is going to do is turn to google?


    MJD says you can't just make shit up and expect the computer to know what you mean, retardo!
    ** The Third rule of perl club is a statement of fact: pod is sexy.

      Sarcasm, PodMaster?
      It may not be obvious, however, it certainly IS logical.
      Why, to ensure that you are not just "making it up".
      -xtype

        And, moreover, if you do have writings on perl on the web, they can see how much sense they make.


        Warning: Unless otherwise stated, code is untested. Do not use without understanding. Code is posted in the hopes it is useful, but without warranty. All copyrights are relinquished into the public domain unless otherwise stated. I am not an angel. I am capable of error, and err on a fairly regular basis. If I made a mistake, please let me know (such as by replying to this node).

        No sarcasm here.

        If I list perl as skill on my resume, I'll most certainly list a url to my CPAN id, as well as my website, and any other url that hilights my perl knowledge (also known as my perl portfolio).

        Thats one way to ensure i'm not making it up, at least enough to get me a first interview.

        How the hell do you verify "independent, self-motivated worker" anyway?


        MJD says you can't just make shit up and expect the computer to know what you mean, retardo!
        ** The Third rule of perl club is a statement of fact: pod is sexy.

Re: Resume advice for getting a Perl job
by no_slogan (Deacon) on Nov 23, 2002 at 16:55 UTC
    It's absolutely amazing to me the number of people claiming "independent, self-motivated worker" and who have never asked a question on clpm.

    I have never asked a question on clpm, because I have never needed to. (I don't even read clpm, because the noise level is so high.) I've always been able to solve my problems on my own. If I need to, I can read and understand the source code for perl, and figure things out that way. Your selection procedure appears to screen out people like me in favor of less competent programmers. You might want to rethink that.

    If all your community involvement is under a pseudonym, make sure to put your pseudonym on your resume!

    Fair enough. But how many people like me are there who don't post to PerlMonks either?

      Shrug. I've asked a question on clpm once. I got a snippity reply from Abigail, and was scared off. That was a long time ago. But even though I don't ask questions much, I do post a fair bit here, and I've been on several mailing lists -- perl6-language and perl6-internals, most relevantly. I've even posted a couple times to p5p.

      Sure, it's perfectly possible to be a good programmer and never post anywhere. But consider it one more way to follow up on your references.


      Warning: Unless otherwise stated, code is untested. Do not use without understanding. Code is posted in the hopes it is useful, but without warranty. All copyrights are relinquished into the public domain unless otherwise stated. I am not an angel. I am capable of error, and err on a fairly regular basis. If I made a mistake, please let me know (such as by replying to this node).

      How do I know you are competent? I review your history of published work and community involvement. If you don't have a history, then you get dumped into the "check these out if I have time" pile. Or the circular file, depending on the resume. Resumes are mostly crap. Why should I wade through loads of resume-speak when I can read what you really said?

      I think it's great that you can figure things out on your own. That's not the only thing I look for though. It's more important to me that you (1) know when to ask for help, (2) know how to ask a question, and (3) listen carefully.

      In a highly connected, easily searchable world, depending on a resume alone might put you at a competitive disadvantage. You might want to rethink that.

      My wife is a science teacher. She routinely checks student work with google. She finds "unattributed quoted material" amazingly fast. Verifying Perl experience is a very similar problem.

        In a highly connected, easily searchable world, depending on a resume alone might put you at a competitive disadvantage. You might want to rethink that.

        If you happened to Google search me, you would find my CPAN directory and a few other things I've done. Is that good enough for you? This discussion is largely theoretical.

        It's more important to me that you (1) know when to ask for help, (2) know how to ask a question, and (3) listen carefully.

        Number 1 isn't answerable online, except for people who have few "real-world" acquaintances to ask. For those people, you can get a good idea of number 2. With number 3, you eliminate the real flaming idiots. For everyone else, you face something like Warnock's dilemma... did they listen carefully and understand, or ignore the answer and simply give up?

        I don't think that finding a bunch of meaningless "community involvement" in the form of newsgroup blather and such is very significant. I find it disturbing that employers want to base their decisions on something that's easy for them to check, whether or not it actually gives them any real information. How do you manage to hire any decent people at all? I realize you probably get a whole lot of resumes to look through, but that doesn't make me any happier about the situation.

        Obviously, whatever works well for you in the soul destroying (I've done it :-) task of finding decent coders is okay.

        That said some of the very best people I've hired in the past. The people who make or break projects. The ones you hire that are cleverer that you are. They would have failed your tests. Because they didn't want to spend the time and effort filtering the wheat from the chaff on usenet, or they don't want to touch a computer outside working hours, or they prefer to manage their online lives with various anonymous pseudonyms.

        Obviously I don't mind - coz I could hire them :-)

        Also, checking for copied work isn't really a similar problem.

        Checking for copied work cannot give you false positives. If they copied something from online then they copied it.

        Not participating in clmp does not guarantee that you are a bad perl coder :-)

Re: Resume advice for getting a Perl job
by lemming (Priest) on Nov 25, 2002 at 18:37 UTC

    Hmmm. I do most of my work in a QA enviroment. I just happen to use Perl to solve some of it. Also if you google for my name and psuedonum, you come up with a lot of false hits. Mark Morgan is a fairly common name. There are at least two other couples with my name and my wife's name, Jennifer Johnson, in Portland. I guess I have fewer worries if a terminator starts hunting me.

    Now if you search for '"Mark Lemming" Perl' you'll actually get 100% my posts. Of course, they don't say that much since I 've hardly posted any code. Most of my code is derived from others. Haven't had to invent any wheels of my own. Though I do like my comparison of the Hero Game System to Perl. They both have many ways to do one thing.

    I've also asked few questions, ironically because I can find most of my answers via google and cpan.

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