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How To List FOSS Experience On Your Resume 103

maximus1 writes "If you're selling skills gained in an open source project, you have additional opportunities to shine, say experts in this ITWorld article. But what is the best way to explain your FOSS experience? 'Someone stands out because of how they talk about the project, says Zack Grossbart, author of The One Minute Commute. His advice is to describe the project and discuss your contributions in detail: 'If you were a committer, what did you do to earn that status? What features did you work on? Did you design new areas, or just implement predefined functions? Did you lead meetings? Define new architecture? Set the project direction?' If the FOSS experience is part of your background but not a shining beacon or job equivalent, it's common to list it under 'other experience.' Andy Lester, author of Land The Tech Job You Love, says: 'Think of each project as a freelance job that you've worked on. Just as different freelance gigs have varying sizes and scopes, so too does each project to which you contribute. The key is to not lump all your projects under one "open source work" heading.' Good examples are worth a thousand words. Grossbart offers up his resume as a sound but not perfect example (PDF) that includes open source experience. (His article on how to format your resume might also be of interest.)"
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How To List FOSS Experience On Your Resume

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  • Re:Open source. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @08:34PM (#29781067)

    Big problem is that the resume is filtered by data mining software and HR types. Anything outside of standard keywords and job description might not make the cut to an interview. At interview is where you show them what you have done unless they have a specific style of Q&A.

  • Re:Make a portfolio (Score:3, Informative)

    by zgrossbart ( 535154 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @09:23PM (#29781277) Homepage
    Keeping a portfolio of your open source contributions is a wonderful idea. Creating a narrative really shows that you can speak well about your projects. This is what hiring managers are looking for, strong coders who can speak English and communicate well.
  • Re:"Meetings"? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ixitar ( 153040 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @11:58PM (#29781825) Homepage

    Oh, I spent many hours in meetings (I even "led" some). But that was long ago and far away, and definitely had nothing to do with Free Software.

    I am currently working on a open source project and do have conference calls from time to time. Please try to not make such overreaching statements.

  • by timmarhy ( 659436 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @12:27AM (#29781931)
    ... let me give you 3 rules.

    1. only list relevant experience, if your applying for a DBA position i don't want to waste time reading about how you enjoy cake decorating.

    2. put the good stuff first, i need to skim 100's of these resumes so having to read till page 10 isn't helping your chances that'll see your skills.

    3. keep the format clean and easy to read, don't make my eye's bleed because your going in the bin after page one with pink curly fonts.

  • by upuv ( 1201447 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @03:06AM (#29782425) Journal

    Why would FOSS or volunteer work be any different than work you did for a pay check?

    It goes on the Resume same as any other job. I treat them with the exactly the same.

    I read about data miners and other such rubbish filtering out FOSS and such type work. Well that is complete and total non-sense. Your resume is a record of your experience and accomplishments plain and simple.

    Hear is some advice.

    DO NOT MAKE YOUR RESUME OVERLY COMPLICATED. You do not need 20 headings highlighting the different views of your career. K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid is the rule to follow. Spend your effort on making sure that each piece of experience is effectively presented through a well written resume.

    I use this rule of thumb. I treat my resume/CV as a full time job for 1 week. I spend no less than 40 hours working on it before any potential employer will see it. That's nto for every employer. That's for each time I'm on the job market. In North America no more than 4 pages EVER. In other parts of the world they like to see as much as a page per year experience ( I know ridiculous ). So what if the agency filters it and puts into their format. Let them. You're bring fresh copies on PLAIN WHITE PAPER in B/W to the interview? Cause you should be slapped if you don't. Oh gee all of a sudden your resume stands out in the pile of identical resumes in the stack. Why? Because it is well formatted on quality WHITE paper.

    I read a lot of resumes. A LOT. I toss almost all of the resumes that have pictures / fancy paper / more heft than a phone book into the bin before turning the first page.

    Do NOT's
    - Put your picture on the resume. You are not that good looking.
    - Use colored paper. What are you 12?
    - Use textured paper. Again are you 12?
    - Use multiple fonts. Only use Helvetica. Why all printers have it and it looks clean and is easy to read.
    - Leave half empty pages. All pages should have a solid balance of text. Half pages are tossed pages.
    - Only use one recruiter. Where is there a law that states you can only use one recruiter?
    - Forget to shave. Guys Gals, it applies to both of you. Clean looks get the jobs and more money. Don't care if it's racist / prejudice or what ever complaint you have. Clean looks always win. Grow the pRon mustache after you get the job OK.

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