I used THIS resume to get an Apple & Amazon technical interview!

Thursday June 24, 2021

Showcasing experience & skills to the big-wigs on a single page is… POSSIBLE. Bring on the Amazon interview.

Hashtag amazon-interview

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Writing a technical resume is HARD WORK — especially one that is well structured, readable, to-the-point, and FREE of FLUFF, considering the myriad of skillsets with different tools one might have.

Recruiters on average, spend no more than 3–4 seconds glancing over a single resume while sifting through the 1200 applications they received for the job posting from 3 days ago. And for a mega-titan company like Amazon, the Amazon interview process is EVEN more selective and fast-paced

Any resume that is hard to digest at a first glance might automatically go into the reject pile, while one that is well-structured and has a clean look has a higher chance of making it to the hiring manager’s inbox.

So what does it take to get your foot in the door for an Apple or Amazon interview while being in competition with HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of other applicants?

It takes strategy. Let me explain.

Setting aside your actual technical abilities as a programmer for a moment, you need to realize that having soft skills matters. What I mean by soft skills in this context is not just the ability to present yourself in a professional manner over a zoom call, but the ability to present yourself well on your resume.

Your resume is your FIRST IMPRESSION to the recruiter, the hiring manager, your potential future coworkers, and even the CEO of the company. The amount of effort you put into your resume to even GET into the door shows a lot about your actual work ethic.

Is this candidate willing to take the necessary time to triple-check their resume? Is it absolutely 100% free of grammatical errors (you can use a tool such as Grammarly’s automated tool to proofread your work here)? Is it well-formatted in a visual sense (and by this, I DO NOT mean fancy fonts, colors, and other useless graphics that just waste precious blank space), where the sections are segregated in a common-sensical order? These aspects have a direct correlation to the kind of work you will produce.

You have to keep in mind that recruiters will read your resume from the top half of the page, down. This means you need to put your most relevant, important skills, work history, and accomplishments front and center.

Now before we even talk any further about this, let me explain to you that even though COVID led to a more remote work culture where documents were being transported, interacted with and business decisions were being made through solely electronic means — the gradual transition back to the office means the return of printable resumes. Yes, that’s right — which means that you need to be mindful of adding funky colors to your resumes.

I know they look pretty, I know they help your resume stand out, BUT what happens when a recruiter prints your resume on the office printer that only spits out black & white? What happens if they forget to color-print it? That’s not to say that adding colors to your resume is a bad practice altogether… just be mindful of the design interchangeability of your resume. Can you quickly change that background color to white if you need to?

It’s all about being quick and agile with your resume. Kind of like the transformer — shape-shifting to meet the needs of the moment. Be smart.

This is EXACTLY what I did while re-designing my software developer resume. I took out ALL the extra fluff, narrowed it down from SIX pages to ONE. Which made most of the difference for me. However, I was still struggling jamming in 6 pages worth of skills, experience, and accomplishments onto one single page.

“NO WAY… is thing going to get me an Amazon interview” I thought… this would mean sacrificing/omitting a lot of things that were not particularly relevant. Instead of elaborating on side-projects and client projects, I simply elaborated on them on my GitHub and LinkedIn since I already had links to my social presence inside my resume’s header. See? A little common sense goes a long way.

So one day, while brainstorming for software developer resume ideas, I came across this amazing resume design, which by the way is written in a mark-down language called Latex:

Software Engineer Resume Template.

Neat right? Yea-ehh.

I was really impressed (and still am) by the structural segregation between the different sections and the clean font which the author used.

However:

I am of the belief that a resume should be organized as it should be easy on the eye. Titles such as SKILLS, WORK HISTORY should stand out because THAT is exactly what a recruiter is going to look for. Not to mention all that white space in the header. “I can improve on this,” I said, so without any further ado, I now present to you…

The self-created Front-End Developer resume template that got me interviews with Apple, Amazon, and a lot of other big companies (bring on the Amazon AND Apple interviews):

PJ Codes Software Developer Resume Template.

Notice the similarities… notice the differences. Let’s do a quick analysis of what I added, removed, and kept the same from the Latex template:

  • ADDED: Lines to discern sections, tabular-style skills with colors that are easily reversible to white backgrounds, emboldened section titles.
  • REMOVED: Extra white space.
  • KEPT THE SAME: Grid-style architecture, clean look, and emboldened last name (I really liked this little touch they added).

I liked this new resume so much that I decided to create a template out of it — just for you to use for FREE.

I created a table-based layout, which is extremely easy to edit — it is truly a full-time job trying to mess it up. And let’s say if you find yourself in a bend and the whole word document fell apart, just re-download it from my site!

Download your FREE resume from my website (link below):

Keep in mind that this template is extremely generic and can be used for virtually any job that requires a substantial set of skills in something. If you are reading this and are not a web developer, don’t worry — you can always replace JavaScript, React, Node.js, etc. with your own relevant skills! Edit it to fit YOUR needs. Edit it, add sections, remove sections… I want to see what you folks come up with.

www.pjcodes.com/shop

I even created an entire YouTube video on it:

AND if you need help building your resume, proofreading it, or tweaking it so that you can prepare for your next interview, send me a quick message at Pjcodesjs@gmail.com OR use Grammarly’s automated tool to proofread your work.

I hope this helped you! Thanks for reading and watching. Good luck with your Apple or Amazon interview!

*(Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links for which I might receive a small commission from Grammarly, at no extra cost to you if you choose to purchase through my links)**.

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