I wrote this to web405 in response to a thread on the job market and resumes, here’s a replay, with minor edits:
A college degree does not make a person able. And lack of a degree does not make one incapable. If you have “mad skillz” then by all means show them off — and show what a great person you are to work with. The quality of resumes that I see (yes, sometimes I’m in a position to judge resumes) is generally mediocre – they all look like grocery lists: (ASP Programmer, SQL Server, IIS, SourceSafe, BS in Computer Science, Pound of sugar, Stick of Butter).
Doesn’t every darn resume book say to use action verbs on resumes to actually try and *communicate* what you do? Like “wrote a kick ass banner management system for dot com which subsequently went belly up.” or “Managed team of 15 while fighting off clueless Due Diligence Nazis from our funders” or “fought to put proper software development cycle in place before getting canned.”
There’s a lot of great job experience out there. I think that the resumes people use to display their talents, though, are filtered, deboned, and whitewashed in such a way as to hide the experience and personality of the author.
In my opinion, resumes should strike a balance between simple communication and letting some real mojo shine through.