When you're a software engineer, the resume is a tricky beast. A resume can describe the technologies you've worked with, but can't say what you were able to do with them. For example, saying: "Used Selenium for record/playback" is very different from "Maintained the Selenium Web driver for <fill in the blank language>." Also, a resume can't tell a hiring manager how well-structured your code is, or how scalable your designs are. Like many of the hiring managers I know, I tend to use the resume to look at places you've worked and the kinds of projects you've been on, but not for technical skills. For technical skills, I'll either do a phone screen or an interview. And that's a very inefficient process — both for the hiring manager and the candidate. Surely there must be a better way!

Alternative Resume, Coding Portfolio

If your job is about producing software, the number one thing I need to know about you is how you produce software, preferably in an environment like the one I'm going to put you in. Additionally, I need to know you can write code well, understand how to work on a team, use source control, and that you can design and maintain code you haven't written. I need to know what your coding habits and whether they're compatible with my team. In other words, I want to see your work. That's your true resume. So why not make me a resume with your actual work in it? Designers have their portfolios with examples of the work they've done. Why not engineers, too? You can.

Github Glue

On your resume, provide your Github username so I can see the projects you work with and how you work with them. Then go to a hackfest or a user-group meeting and show me what you can do. Contribute to an open-source project, so I can see how you work with a team and whether you can handle having your code reviewed. That's a resume that lets me evaluate your technical skills. That's a resume that will get you a phone call, at least from me. I have a standing rule with HR at one client where I recruit: If the resume includes a Github account or a link to a technical portfolio, I receive it — regardless of what the automated screening says. I don't think I'm the only one with that kind of arrangement. How do you show off your technical skills?