Help a boomer out would ya

New FGHU65
Dec 10, 2019 14 Comments

I have about 14 yoe, tc 250k as a SWE mainly in finance. I'm thinking about getting out of finance and applying to a FAANG etc. I have a few questions:

- In my companies, we don't have the same kind of level structure so how is that determined come interview time? Would it make sense to apply for L6? Or is L5 a better bet?

- Will I get hit with LC hards or will the focus be more on system design/behavioral? Like maybe 2 coding/2 system design interviews?

- My resume is long and has pointless jobs from when I first started 14 years ago. If you weren't in SF there really weren't many exciting tech jobs back then. Should I take these off and have a huge gap in work history after college?


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TOP 14 Comments
  • Unless you have rich experience working with large distributed systems (unlikely in finance), applying for L6 is setting yourself up for failure. L5 is more likely.
    You will need Leetcode and System Design.
    Don’t take things off your resume, but reduce the length of irrelevant stuff
    Dec 10, 2019 4
    • Netflix / Data ta63qKjutx
      Internet scraping? Consumer facing fintech?
      Dec 10, 2019
    • New FGHU65
      I'm trying hard to keep my resume one page, but they do say 1 page per 10 years experience is ok. With my old jobs, even with one single-line bullet point each, I can't compress it anymore and it just takes up space for stuff that honestly I don't even remember now.

      On the one hand, I have a solid one page resume where everything has impact but a gap that I can explain later, and on the other, a long 1.5 page resume with unremarkable experience for the sake of completeness.

      (Had to repost this on my phone so the username was the same)
      Dec 10, 2019
  • Google / Eng cloudy sky
    Most FAANG aren’t going to have you apply to a specific level. You’ll apply, and the recruiter will guess what level you should interview for based on YOE and what you did in those 12 years. The N in FAANG doesn’t even have levels.

    Then based on how you interview you could either be hired, hired at a lower level, or not hired.

    Edit: your interview questions will depend on target level, but probably a 50-50 mix of medium-hard coding and whiteboard system design based on yoe.
    Dec 10, 2019 0
  • New IHBr47
    Not SWE, but working on final stages of negotiations with google. My resume was 2 pages after 20 years of exp. Mostly focused on my last two employers (both 5+ years) along with any relevant awards received at previous employers (didn't even list them other than as awards). As we got into the process I told the recruiter I could provide a full CV if needed. Wasn't needed, last 2 jobs spoke to my experience fine.
    Dec 10, 2019 2
    • New FGHU65
      Congrats on the offer! So for your old roles, if you didn't receive an award, you left them out?
      Dec 10, 2019
    • New IHBr47
      Yeah. Unless there’s some super awesome notable thing I don’t think it matters.

      Like I didn’t put my 2.6gpa on my sub par state school because who cares that I liked to party more than study 20 years ago. 😂
      Dec 10, 2019
  • Prudential -asdf-
    How are you a boomer? With 14 yoe you must be in your later thirties which should make you a millennial.
    Dec 10, 2019 1
    • Instructure wowsers
      Not uncommon for people to change fields / industries.
      Dec 10, 2019
  • Focus on sharing your main accomplishments regardless of when they occured or how long it took you to do it. A resume needs to be no more than 2 pages for someone with 10-14 years, preferably one page. The bullets you speak of are critical in helping position you as L3 or L4, at least initially. After that, it is all about the mix of skills, experience, passion and perceived ability. Focus each bullet on describing what you accomplished. Each bullet should touch on 3 topics: 1. A word or two on the problem you were solving/working on. 2. A few words about exactly what you did that was so great. 3. Finish each bullet with what the outcome was (ie: reduced processing time by 10x, etc). Don't forget the buzzwords of tools and environments as you describe the accomplishment across 1,2 ,3. Yes it will be long if you focus on writing every insignificant project or a list of responsibilities which are boring at best. Most people who see your resume know full well what the "responsibilities" of a SWE are. The resume needs to show what you did as a result of all those responsibilities. One last tip, go easy on the buzzword list at the top of the resume. It is only useful if the buzzwords can be easily tracked to where you used them in your accomplishment bullets. Remember to pick what counts and don't add 5 bullets to your first job out of school, add one or two. Save the 5 bullet ones for your recent 2-3 jobs. Bonus tip: Do not forget to give the reader of your resume a good idea of what the company you work for is/was building. This can be done in one short sentence at the top of each company. This will be critical and will ensure people actually read your resume vs skimming. Good luck!
    Dec 10, 2019 0
  • Autolist gYVu20
    Resume is supposed to be one page. Try to keep it short and concise
    Dec 10, 2019 0
  • You can just switch "job experience" section to "relevant job experience" section, and keep the jobs that are most relevant to the new jobs you're applying to.
    Dec 10, 2019 0


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