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I have a question in writing my resume. I am looking for a career in Java/J2EE etc., I had worked as a teaching assistant for Data Structures in Java. This was from Aug 2009-May 2010. I got internship on PHP during May 2010 and as PHP developer in my univ as RA during Jan 2011 to May 2011.

Since I am looking for a long term career in java should I mention the teaching assistant position i.e., Aug 2009- may 2010 at the top or the most recent experience at the top in my experience list.


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You'll be better off talking to your schools career counselor. That said, I prefer seeing resumes in reverse chronological order. Being a TA for Datastuctures isn't that important, imo (I was a TA for that class as well). The fact that you have an internship is way more important. It sounds like you are coming in as a new-grad hire, thus coursework in datastructures etc is more important than language specific skills. You will be expected to learn languages on the job. Emphasize that in your resume, and good luck. –  Alan Jun 7 '11 at 21:35
If you want to bolster your java resume, start contributing to open source java projects asap! –  Alan Jun 7 '11 at 21:36
Alan: Can you suggest me any links where I can contribute to the opensource development. I am not an expert at java, the code I write may not be as good as what experts write, can I still be able to contribute to such projects ? –  user525146 Jun 7 '11 at 21:53

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would recommend listing all your experiences in reverse chronological order (most recent job at the top). For an entry-level position in the private sector, I recommend that you keep your resume to one page. If listing all of your work makes it go over a page, I would suggest trimming out the least relevant work experiences first, but maintaining a reverse chronological order. If you are applying for government work, it's recommended that you be more thorough in your resume, but I wouldn't exceed two pages (my government resume is two pages, after completing a BS in Software Engineering, ~21 months of employment in the field at various internships/co-ops, and a couple of TA and volunteer positions related to software development) for an entry level position.

My ultimate suggestion is very similar to Alan's comment. Write your resume in as much detail as you think is necessary. A lot of universities that I've seen have various career counseling services, so show them your resume and talk about it with them. They'll help you focus it down. But it helps starting out with too much and needing to trim it than trying to add more on the spot.


If you are just coming out of collage have limited experience. I would organize my resume in the order that would be most interesting/important to the potential employer.

I would include the TA job, as well all work experience that you have had in the past below the top items. Anyone hiring someone right out of college will know that they are taking a gamble, and anything extra will help them to determine your character.

I work one summer for a congressional campaign that I considered not including on my resume, fearing that it might bias some people. But the reverse was true, it really got conversations started plus it highlight some people skill.


Only put things on your resume that are going to be relevant to the person who will be reading it to make a decision whether or not to interview you.

You have a very limited window of attention from hiring managers, so don't waste it on anything that doesn't sell you as a candidate. If you think the RA job helps your cause, then include it. Otherwise don't.


The resume should be targetted. Meaning, that it should be suitable for the job you are aiming for, but also you will need to ensure that it is also culturally suitable. Eg, this may not be relevant for you, but in Germany, the resumes expected to be many pages thick outlining every single experiences (relevant or not).

For your specific question, I would definitely include your experiences as a teaching assistance. It may not add any technical experiences to your skill set, but it will definitely add soft skill experiences to your skill set. Dealing with humans is much harder than dealing with computers!


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