Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > Life At Cisco

5 Resume Do’s and Don’ts from Cisco Recruiters

Grumpy Cat Resume Meme

Have you ever used the word “flibbertigibbet” on a resume? –You would be surprised with what resume faux pas come across a recruiter’s desk. Bad stories are often more memorable, but no one wants to be a part of those. Corporate recruiters are flooded with applications, so if you want yours to stand out (in a good way), it needs to be polished.

To help you perfect your resume, we asked Cisco recruiters about surprising mistakes that applicants make and should avoid. Here are the top five responses:


5) “When someone writes in the third person.”
-Cindy Brahney, Staffing & Recruitment Specialist (@CindyBrahney)

Why it’s a DON’T:

Referring to yourself in the third person is awkward. It sounds funny and looks bad, so don’t do it unless your name is Elmo.

What you can DO instead:

Write in bullet point format and use a variety of strong action verbs to start each line. Some of these words include: collaborated, managed, and created.


4) “Resumes that have many words in them but tell me nothing about what the person really has to offer. This is not the place to be a politician.”
-Griselle Paz, Talent Acquisition Manager (@growingacareer)

Why it’s a DON’T:

The point of a resume is to showcase your experience and talent in a succinct way. If recruiters want to read a mystery novel, they can go to the library.

What you can DO instead:

Be clear about your accomplishments and relate them to the job you are applying for. Every line should have a specific purpose and highlight one of your strengths.


3) “Resumes where you can tell that an applicant submitted it for a completely different job. These are unrelated to the job they want and do not list any skills applicable to the role.”
-April Welsh, Talent Acquisition Manager (@aprwelsh)

Why it’s a DON’T:

Do you enjoy feeling like someone’s second choice? An afterthought? Recruiters have feelings too and want to see that a candidate spent time on a resume for a specific position. Using a generic resume is a huge turn off.

What you can DO instead:

It is ok to have a “master resume,” but you must edit it for each job that you apply to. Only include the skills and talents that are most relevant to the job at hand.


2) “When candidates put their parents phone number and not their direct number. I have called a lot of parents!”

-Tara Kaverman, Talent Acquisition Program Specialist (@CiscoTara)

Why it’s a DON’T:

Unless you need your parent’s permission to leave the house, you should not be using their phone number. It is unprofessional to have someone else speak for you.

What you can DO instead:

The first few lines on a resume should be your name and contact information. If a recruiter wants to schedule an interview, then she will need a way to reach you directly. Be sure to include both your phone number and email address.


1) “Crazy, unprofessional email addresses!—are you going to be working in a bounce house?”
-Laura Coeburn, Staffing & Recruiting Specialist (@CoeburnLaura)

Why it’s a DON’T:

If you want to apply for a job at the local bounce house, go right ahead. I hear they have a few openings down the street… Otherwise, don’t waste your first impression with an unprofessional email address.

What you can DO instead:

It is easy to make a professional email address through Yahoo, Google, MSN, or any other free site. Something like YourName@email looks good and does the trick.

Now, use that awesome resume you’ve just updated using this advice and apply for a role at Cisco!

Tags: , ,

Cisco Networking Academy Students Take Home Top Prizes at WorldSkills Competition

Another amazing World Skills week has come to an end. Congratulations to all participants across the various skills areas, you are all winners!

Some highlights from the week of our Skill 39 competitors, who after months of training finally had the chance to put their hard work to the test during the 4-day competition.


More than 1,100 competitors attended WorldSkills from more than 60 countries and regions in the Americas, Europe, Asia, South Pacific and Africa.


Cisco mentors advised teams during the Digital Challenge at WorldSkills and helped students apply technology to the world’s social problems.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Proud to Be a Military Friendly Company

On Veterans Day, I want to acknowledge and honor the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces … as well as the families, friends, and coworkers who have supported them.

2015_MFE_Logo_150x150Cisco is a military friendly company and we are proud to be recognized today as a Military Friendly® Employer by Victory Media.

Cisco’s corporate veterans program started in June 2011. It 1is focused on helping veterans find meaningful jobs and providing access to career training resources. For example:

  • The IT Training and Certification program launched by Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers and First Lady Michelle Obama in April 2013. This pilot program fast-tracked transitioning military personnel through IT training and certifications from Cisco and similar companies, and then matched them to high-demand civilian jobs. Nearly 400 veterans enrolled in training as part of the pilot program and 59 percent of those who had transitioned out of the military say it helped them get a new job.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

The Internet of Employment – the workforce behind a connected future

By next year, it is estimated that 25 billion devices will already be connected to the internet, with that figure set to double to 50 billion by 2020. These connected ‘devices’ won’t simply be computers, they will range from alarm clocks, cars, coffee makers, fridges, baby monitors and smart watches, to street lighting, parking meters and planes.

Having this quantity of connected devices has the potential to change and improve the way we live our lives. It is already possible to adjust your central heating remotely, but imagine being able to tell your coffee maker to turn on, on the way home from work? Or have your GP assess you remotely via the data coming from your health monitor or even smart watch?

In fact, according to the 2014 Cisco Connected World Technology Report (CCWTR), launched today, roughly 8 in 10 professionals even believe middle income workers will have robots that can assist them with various work related activities at some point in the future.  The possibilities are endless. However, for this to become a reality, we need a workforce of technicians and engineers capable of building such a connected network. Imagine the skills needed to manage and maintain an army of connected robot assistants!

Internet of Employment

First of all, the networks needed to create the Internet of Everything (IoE) on such a large scale needs to be built, creating job opportunities for those with specialist IoE networking skills. Fifty billion plus connected devices (not to mention the robots) will create an incredible amount of data – leading to a pressing demand for data scientists to make sense of this information.  Security will also be front of mind, creating jobs for IoE security specialists.  This is not to mention the applications we haven’t even dreamt of yet which will suddenly become possible in an IoE-enabled world, opening up innumerable opportunities for IoE entrepreneurs to flourish.

Technology isn’t just shaping the jobs of the future and the skills we need to fulfil them, it’s shaping the way we work too. The CCWTR also reveals that the majority of Generation X and Y professionals believe that smartphones and wearable devices will be the workforce’s most important ‘connected’ device.  This will enable new ways of working; such as creating ‘supertaskers’ – people who can successfully do more than two things at once, and do them well.

Wanted: 900,000 IT Pros

However, today’s global ICT skills shortage could seriously hamper this connected vision. Realising this potential depends on the individuals and having the skills and knowledge to harness the opportunities IoE provides. Currently the outlook is bleak, with the EU already expecting that there will be up to 900,000 ICT vacancies by 2015.

This is why I, and many of our education partners were in Barcelona last month to launch the first global IoE curriculum, introduced by the Cisco Networking Academy.  The new curriculum seeks to help close the broadening ICT skills gap and empower a new generation of innovators to embrace the IoE’s full possibilities. Cisco Networking Academy also recently launched an IoE ‘Smart Grid’ curriculum, which gives electricians the Internet Protocol (IP) skills to service the millions of potential new intelligent smart grid devices that are due to be installed in EU households by 2020.

Smarter teaching – smarter living

Initiatives like Cisco Networking Academy, and support for ICT related skill development, can make a massive difference and create employment on a large scale in both the short and long term. Barcelona’s Smart City programme provides a great example of the positive potential of IoE, creating 47,000 new jobs through innovations from smart bus shelters to a smart waste management system.

Europe has a chance to grasp the opportunities IoE can bring – by equipping people with the skills required to meet the soaring demand for the new jobs created in a world where everything is connected.  Five million students have already enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy in the last 17 years, with over 9000 academies present in 170 countries. With the new IoE courses in place, Networking Academy students now have the chance to gain the skills needed to drive the workforce of the future – and be an integral part of the IoE journey.


Tags: , , , ,

A New Day For the Next Generation of Tech Leaders in Canada

NPower_Canada_StephanieCuskleyCEO_thumbThis post written by guest blogger Stephanie Cuskley, CEO of NPower

Today marks the first day of NPower Canada’s Technology Service Corps (TSC) class in Toronto, Canada, a program that will provide underserved youth with proven, no-cost training for skilled, in-demand information technology (IT) jobs.

As the CEO of NPower, Inc., the U.S.-based nonprofit that developed the TSC program, I am extremely proud to announce this expansion and I want to thank Cisco for being a part of the group of partners that made it possible.

NPower was founded in the United States in 2000, and since then has provided individuals, nonprofits, and schools access and opportunity to build tech skills and achieve their potential. The TSC program is one of NPower’s signature programs and to date has served over 1200 young adults and veterans, with more than 80% of alumni being employed or pursuing higher education within 1 year of graduation.

A TSC class in New York City

Daniel White, Tishaya Ervin, Dina Razafy and Alexander Mendez, Technology Service Corps New York, Class 31 in Harlem

When someone from Cisco Canada called my office one morning and alerted me to the fact that youth unemployment in Toronto stands among the highest in the country, with nearly a quarter of jobless youth reporting that their biggest barrier to employment is a lack of marketable skills, I knew there was no question we had to expand north of the border.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,