Eight resume tips for the experienced IT pro

The resumes of many experienced IT professional do not properly showcase their qualifications for higher-level IT jobs. Here are eight resume tips that he learned from this experience.

Most of the standard rules for building a resume still apply: Make sure you have a readable format, proofread for spelling and grammar errors, and keep it simple. However, experienced IT pros need to follow some more specialized guidelines. A few of these tips may actually contradict your previous notions of what to include (and exclude) on your resume.

1. Keep your list of “core skills” short and sweet. When you’ve worked with a lot of different technologies, you want to show the world all you’ve done. However, having a long list of core skills actually gives the impression that you know only a little bit about most of those things and that you’re a generalist, not the specialist that the potential client/employer needs. Keep this list to a handful of key skills or possibly eliminate the list altogether.

2. Don’t list certifi cation exams. At the very least, minimize the impact of this list. The average IT pro might want to list exams passed to build up a resume, but for the IT veteran, this actually marginalizes realworld
experience and accomplishments.

3. Quantify projects and results. For example, if you do an Active Directory implementation, specify how
many sites, domains, and servers were involved. If you design an e-commerce system, specify the increased
percentage of sales that resulted from the project. Tell the potential client/employer exactly how you helped a previous company that you worked for.

4. Bullets, bullets, bullets. Don’t use paragraph style writing to describe your projects, tasks, and duties.
Bullet-point every major accomplishment or project and leave out the minor things. (Your resume is already
going to be too big.

5. Include examples of work, if possible. For instance, maybe you’ve written articles for an online magazine,
or perhaps you built an e-commerce site. Include links to pertinent examples so potential employers can see
firsthand what you do. 6. Highlight major accomplishments. If you’re a hightech consultant, you may have a lot of smaller projects and clients. Maybe you were hired as a “grunt” for a couple of short-term assignments but had a major project last year. You can’t exclude the small stuff, or potential employers will question what you’ve been doing. But you can minimize the impact by focusing attention on the bigger things. Some ways of doing this include using a slightly larger font, boldface, or italics, or even drawing a thin border around the major accomplishments. Just don’t go overboard—subtlety is still key.

7. Seek advice from actual managers. Recruiters, agents, brokers, and human resource personnel are all
different from managers. Managers want to see results, and they usually know how to spot a weak candidate.
If managers think your resume refl ects someone who can’t do the job, you’ll never get the interview. Run
your resume by some managers you know and have them critique it for you.

8. Know when to stop. If you list all your experience from all the jobs, contracts, or projects you’ve handled,
your resume will quickly become a book. Find a place to stop listing your experience. If you feel you must at least acknowledge all previous experience, try making a separate section and just bullet-point where you worked and what your title/function was. Of course, you’ll usually want to do this only for the less accomplished
jobs that you don’t want to highlight on your resume.