Troubleshooting your resume with the OSI Model

August 19th, 2014
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

I’ve been meaning to publish this for a while as part of my ‘Troubleshooting various crap using the OSI Model’ so here is the first in this installment… Troubleshooting your resume with the OSI Model!  This is a bit circular in that you won’t exactly have to go from the top down, or the bottom up for this to work, in fact certain elements may apply more than others so troubleshoot as applicable!   Alright now lets get started! <3


This can be both the FIRST and the LAST layer for you it really depends on how you use it! When it comes to a resume though you have to ask yourself, “Sweet, I have this awesome resume… Where do I actually want to APPLY to?!” That’s a very viable and valid question.  For some people they can have the pick of the crops, and others they have to fight tooth and nail for the position they want.  Irrespective of which camp you fall in to, you should have an idea of both what you want to do, and ideally where you want to do it; Especially if that ‘where’ is your dream job, which you should fight for tooth and nail!

So how and where should you apply?  This can be done via the website of the company you’d love to work for, through posting your resume or applying for positions on sites like Dice and Monster, and to having an active social profile on sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Your resume or CV will be an invaluable tool when the time comes to apply yourself to these organizations as you look to advance your career to the next stage!


Presentation in this case will be broken down into two key areas, Presentation of your resume and Presentation of yourself when it comes to the interview!

Your resume are not pretty!

uglyResume! Ugly vs Pretty?PrettyResume!

You ever look at someone’s resume and go “oh my god, this is an ugly mess!” Alright, now seriously, is that YOUR Resume? If you look at your resume and it looks ugly from a distance, can you imagine if someone sat down and read it?  I know some people will say, “The information speaks for itself, I don’t need it to look nice” Yea, that’s right certain management tool vendors, people DO care what the product looks like.  Interesting fact, if your resume looks like EVERYONE ELSES RESUME, chances are it will get lost on a desk or in email somewhere to be forgotten.  Now am I saying this is all about vanity? Mostly. But it isn’t ALL about vanity, it’s also about accuracy.   Take these few bullet points to home about why Presentation is important.

  • Spelling errors say that you are not detail oriented and are less likely to get you hired
  • Inaccurate information says that you are not truthful and you are less likely to get you hired
  • An ugly resume says you lack creativity which can impact social or creative roles, ultimately impacting… Yes, getting hired :)
  • Formatting errors say that you are not consistent while this won’t exactly prevent you from getting hired, it may get noticed
  • Lengthy bullets denote that you have a hard time articulating what you mean, this can impact Sales or some Technical roles
  • Terse bullets express that you lack the vernacular to engage at a higher level of thinking, this impacts higher paying positions
  • Filler information is interpreted as not having enough content and padding the resume which can impact first impressions

So as you can see, if your resume is impacted with some of these errors, FIX THEM. It’s not that difficult, in fact the whole community is very supportive of others helping them grow, a caveat to that; We will help you by pointing out what is incorrect but we will not FIX it for you, If you can’t fix it yourself you lack the commitment to actually improve your station, so get on it! <3

Damn are you going to wear THAT?!

Would you go to an interview looking like crap? I certainly would hope not. First impressions can mean loads, and while I understand some responses like, “Well, in the valley, they expect me to wear a t-shirt, flip-flops and bring a poodle to the interview”, while it may be accurate, you should also dress for or above the position you’re interviewing for. It shows a sense of professionalism and that you also ‘clean up well’.   This carries itself a step further, in not only how you present yourself from your style of dress, but also in how you present yourself both physically and during the actual interview itself.

  • Do not slouch, you come off as a sloth, lazy and not exactly a ‘go-getter’ if you are indeed a sloth, keep it under wraps, or just better your posture
  • If you talk with your hands, talk with your hands; but be sure to use them to support whatever you’re talking about
    • The same applies for any other kind of physical movement you may make during the interview
  • It’s been said that leaning forward, making eye-contact and genuinely caring means a lot in an interview, it does because it is a relationship
  • Choose your words wisely, but at the same time also speak with proper english and your respective grammar.  Coming across ignorant or using words which do not exist like ‘irregardless’ will stick in a number of peoples craw
  • Do not lie during the interview. And going back to your resume preparation, if something is not true on your resume, REMOVE IT.
    • Little tip, anything (and I mean anything) which you provide on your resume or application can be focused on, so lets keep it honest, k?
  • Be comfortable, if you feel like it’s just two people talking you won’t be nervous and they’ll get to see the  better version of you vs the interview you
  • Ask questions.  You don’t get the opportunity too often to interview the company, and if you have questions, ask them so you know if it’s a good fit

This is not an exhaustive list but this is a start which can help make the presentation activity of your interview a better experience for all parties involved!


The session layer is typically focused on opening, closing and maintaining a semi-permanent dialogue, and in our particular context this applies most specifically to dealing with a Hiring Manager, Recruiter (External) or Corporate Recruiter (Internal).   Historically it has been found that most recruiters, SUCK at communication.  Feel free to disagree with this point if you are one of the FEW good ones, but a lot of recruiters like to shot-gun blast a lot of candidates, latch on to one and unless you keep the dialogue open, You may never hear from them again (Referring back to the prior, Recruiters suck :))

How you are able to ‘crack that nut’ so to speak is through some simple relationship building techniques, not all will work with all elements so choose appropriately. If a recruiter or hiring manager asks you for information (Resume, Filled out Application, other information) Provide it to them, and then follow-up as appropriate.   We can make believe that recruiters will follow-up with us when they have a lead but that would be naive, so it’s important to make an appropriate follow-up.  No need to be stalker or annoying about it, but a simple, “Hey I sent that information to you, did you receive it”, or “Is there any follow-up information you need, and any status on the matter” can go a long way.  Sometimes they get forgetful or lose track of time, or a squirrel ran by… The options may vary, so follow-up is key, remember this is your career make an investment in it. :)

The next item, whether you’ve met with a hiring manager or other elements of the chain, is said the personalized note thanking them for their time.   No, not a typed up note form letter, YOU SUCK. Seriously, Get out a pen and paper, and hand-write it.   Not only does it say, “Hey, I’m committed and take personal care of my relationships”, it also says that, “Wow, they took the time to actually hand-write, envelope, stamp and send something”, That is follow-through and means a lot to people, I mean like a serious lot, it will often surprise many people that candidates own a pen, paper and know how to hand-write.

And lastly, very similar to the first point, do not be the bottleneck.  If something is expected of you, DO IT. Don’t leave anyone hanging, unless you’re juggling multiple opportunities and you’re intentionally slow-rolling it because you’re gaming one against the other, in those circumstances I advise you still to get’er done and be honest because I’ve seen people go the ‘game the employers’ route with multiple options and ended up losing BOTH of the options, this also reads as, “Don’t be a dick”.


This mainly applies to when you’re actually going to the Interview and less so specifically on your resume itself.   You might think, “Transport implies what I’ll be driving, right?” Well, not exactly. It certainly can mean that but it’s a little higher than that.  Just like Transport itself natively, this focuses on the elements of Reliability and Congestion Avoidance.   That is to say, know where you are going and get there EARLY not on time.  People who are on time are LATE.   You should arrive at your scheduled interview (Phone or In Person) at least 5 minutes or 15 minutes early respectively.   Will the people you’re meeting with be ready? Doubtful.  But showing that you respect their time also shows you are reliable and have good time management skills. If they’re late or keep you waiting it just goes to show how valuable YOU would be to an organization since they clearly have poor time management skills. :)

Flow Control rears its head here a bit as well, which encourages you to slow down and articulate yourself and not rush.  There are a few keys here when it comes to controlling your flow of information and sharing with your interviewers.

  • If they are inherently technical, feel free to let your geek-speed shine and talk fast if what you’re saying is something you know intimately and well, but it doesn’t hurt to slow down. It’s not a race
  • Refrain from using filler words like, “like, uh, um, so, really, definitely”
  • Refrain from using negative words like, “hate, expletives, etc…”
  • Refrain from bashing vendors or former employers (or employees)
  • Focus on yourself in the interview and what YOU can bring to the organization, not the team you were a part of (More “I” and less “We”)
    • Hint: They’re not hiring your former company, they’re hiring you
  • Use silence where appropriate.  This approach can work particularly well during Salary negotiations, the first person to speak will usually submit to fill the void and give up whatever compromise the situation calls for
    • Note: Hiring Managers often attend Negotiation training where Silence is one of many tactics, so you’re playing with the masters here!

Again, not a definitive list, but certainly will get you started in levering these capabilities within the Transport layer of the Resume model. :)


Network, or Networking plays especially relevant if you’re a member of any User Group organizations, Public or community groups, attend Conferences, etc.   Networking is how you meet people, get to know others, open up doors and opportunities for yourself and for others.   Sometimes you may meet someone and be, “Wow, they seem awesome, they’d be a great fit for MY organization”, and sometimes exactly the reverse happens.   So get out there and meet people, not just meet the same people you already know (That wouldn’t be networking… :)

Refer to a few of these past posts and their respective relevance; Recruiting Virtual Talent: Tips and Tricks to hire and get hired at #VMworld and Top Paying IT Certifications, Skills and Capabilities but to draw a few specific tips out.

  • Be a rockstar.   Be confident in WHO you are, even if WHO you are is not confident the least you can do is be you. :)   I mean you’re looking to change roles right? You should have an idea of who you are and what you want to do/be [It’s okay if you don’t…. a lot of people don’t, let me know and we can work on that! ;)}
  • Get to know other people.   You don’t have to be a social butterfly.   But you also need not be a social outcast or do something to make a fool of yourself (unless that works for you, I’m cool with that.  Side tip; wearing cat ears is not a fools game ;)
  • Show your Passion.    Why are you passionate about your job? Are you? Are you passionate about another job but not so much what you’re currently doing?  Please don’t let the jaded bits leak into things.   You’re in the craziest city on earth for the show… surrounded by the top minds in virtualization and the best businesses transforming the future of IT.    Show your passion. BE that Guy/Girl!
  • Be honest.    Be honest about who you are, about who you want to be if you’re not there yet.   You’re not a VCP because the class is too expensive? Totally understand that.  But don’t be this guy; “I’m not going to learn anything new unless my company invests in me to do that” Yea. I don’t want you, and neither will a lot of hiring managers because you become the guy who gets a LITTLE bit of training and jumps ship.    There is value in being opportunistic but invest in yourself and it will pay in loads
  • If you’re not the best public speaker or are weary of it, attend Toastmasters it will improve you like no other

And you’ll note I also included the Top Paying IT Certification post as well.  Yes, your network will often grow by association and by certification.   The Certification and certified communities are often closely knit together and opportunities often overlap among them.   As you join the ranks of new and interesting certifications you’ll find your network continue to grow in that respect.  Leverage those networks respectively to lay those seeds for that future role of you being a rockstar. :)

Data Link

I’ll be honest, this section is likely to be a stretch so bear with me and maybe something viable will come from it. ;)  So when it comes to the Data Link layer there are so many possible avenues which have NOTHING to do with Jobs, Interviews, and respectively your resume so let’s focus as best as we can on some elements of it.   Some elements of Layer 2 are Quality of Service, Error control and Scheduling, we’ll hit on these items.

Quality of Service and Error Control are hand in hand when it comes to actually ensuring that the tactics and approach you’re taking to your resume and job hunt correctly.  Allow for an anecdote.   A friend had a resume which he was sending out, hundreds of resumes sent out but not a call back, or when he would receive a call back he would not get a second call back (sounds like dating, right?!).   While reviewing his resume I found that the information in his resume was ‘okay’, but the layout was terrible. I guided him towards a slightly better layout (keeping all of the information identical) and after ensuring that his resume had appropriate quality and quite frankly all of the errors were removed, he resumed sending out this new resume.  Within a DAY he received 3 interviews, and had two offers by the end of that week.   

Let’s cover a few points. The information was the SAME.  Nothing was different about it, just the way it was laid out (See Presentation above).   Sometimes all it takes is for your resume to ‘pop’, which is an iterative process.   One of validating that the actions you HAVE been taking have been working, if they haven’t it’s a matter of trying something new.   Additionally to that, if what you’re doing isn’t working, run it past someone else outside of your comfort zone so you can get feedback you otherwise might not get.    You can also request feedback from Interviewers about why it didn’t go the direction you were looking (They do not have to provide you feedback, but insightful and requested constructive feedback goes a long way to building a relationship and fixing what is ‘wrong’ with whatever isn’t working)  Oh, as a disclaimer and note, if you cannot accept feedback do not ask for it, because clearly you are not ready for self-discovery and repair as applicable.

And lastly, Scheduling.   Whether by phone, in person, in person taking a flight / etc, be sure you know WHERE you are going, WHEN you are supposed to be there, and if there is a specific dress code (See Presentation and how to dress) that you are appropriate for the matter. :)


This honestly is the lowest layer of the OSI model and it all really begins and ends with You.   None of the information above makes any difference if you are not healthy in body and mind and able to act accordingly on these matters.   Sometimes that involves taking a personal step back and looking at what it is you want, what it is you need, and what it will take to fulfill that.   

Does work stress you out? What if you love what you do, Does it stress you out then?  “Find something that you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life”.    While not everyone can find something to do that they absolutely love, sometimes your love will change as you grow and you evolve, listen to your heart, your body and your capabilities and if something is out of reach, figure out what will make it within reach and go for it.   *I* can’t make you do a damn thing, it’s really entirely up to you, it’s your choice. A decision.   Make one. And go for it.

Figure out what is most important to you in a job, “x miles away from home” “y salary” “z vacation days” Whatever the particular elements for you happen to be, some people really like titles, some people like working with people (others HATE working with people).  There are jobs for everyone, it’s just a matter of finding it, oh and be passionate about it.   You ever seen a passionate McDonalds worker? (Or McDowels – Coming to America).    It doesn’t matter what the JOB is, it is what and how you bring yourself to it.   I’m surrounded by laziness and complacency as I’m sure you are as well, don’t be that guy; be that example, Be the rockstar.   A little bit of passion, and I mean a LITTLE bit actually makes you stand head and shoulders above the rest. Seriously, the amount of complacency in this world sets the bar VERY low. It’s actually kind of sad.  Please don’t make me sad, Make me go, “Wow, you’re awesome” :)

Oh, and sometimes this also involves getting involved in your own personal health, diet, fitness regime and all of that. I won’t go into too much details on it, but if you’ve seen the successes of the Virtual Fitness groups, and how ripped and awesome so many within the Tech Community have become, it’s clearly possible you know it is, it’s just about making those little decisions to invest in your health and well-being.


I figure I may as well draw this to a close as I’ve been writing this over the past few weeks and I’m about to leave on R&R to head to VMworld in 15 hours.   Hopefully you find this valuable, useful, and ridiculously cute as it applies to the OSI Model.  If you have other tips do not hesitate to share them. :)

See you at VMworld, and of course back in the Americas… If only for a few weeks! <3

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