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I’ve been very busy since posting the incredible tech resume you created for me. The number of actual HR managers, directors and in house recruiters that contacted me was outstanding. As such, I’ve recently accepted potentially the best position of my career.
The fact that the HR director sought me out and followed me for a long period of time attests to the quality of your resume. He mentioned several times how great my resume was as did the hiring manager and his manager.
This new position offers a 28% salary increase, the best benefit package I have ever had including a potential 15% annual bonus. This opportunity is truly more than I could ever ask or imagine, and I feel that your resume was a large part of that.
Since having you create my first resume in 2011, I’ve had one offer with a 42% increase and now a 28% increase as well as an unmatched benefit package — a nearly immediate 5000% return on investment. IT Program Manager
Mistake #1: Too Much TechnologyMany job seekers flood their IT resumes with so many deep technical details, tools, and technologies that it’s difficult to distinguish their achievements separate from the technology they used. While it’s important to include your technical capabilities, you’ll want both technical hiring managers and nontechnical HR managers to understand what you’ve done.
A good practice is to select your top 5-6 tools that are most important in your job search and then integrate those tools into your professional development section. Add your remaining tools and technologies to a section titled “Technical Profile” or “Technology Skills.”
Here are examples of robust achievement statements.
♦ Developed a hybrid strategy to keep costs down; used data center hardware with SAN deployment for high-availability data, and cloud-based storage with Amazon S3 and Box.com for backup and archival.
♦ Applied analytical process, as Site Manager, to plan and design new components for complex, multi-tier application suite with $1.6 million annual budget. Enabled administrative staff to perform technical activities such as data manipulation, data management, and data exchange.
Mistake #2: Resume LengthWhen writing their resume, IT professionals will often rely on the advice they read for nontechnical resumes, advice that doesn’t necessarily relate to their circumstances. One case in point relates to the length of their resume. For IT professionals, it’s often not realistic to limit a resume to 2 pages.
Technical Detail: Your resume needs to appeal to both HR managers and technical hiring managers. For HR, you should include what you did and why you did it. For technical hiring managers, you should include how you did the work, and the technical processes that you used.
Certifications and Professional Development: There are few industries where ongoing certifications and professional development are as crucial.
Technology Profile: Hiring managers want to know with which technologies you have current skills and recent experience. Even if you remove the old technologies, most IT professionals still have a long list of tools, processes, and methodologies to include.
Career Directors International , a noted career association, found that 3 pages are fine as long as the content is valid. If the reader likes what they read on page 1, they’ll move on page 2, and so on. You may irritate a small minority of resume readers but you can’t make everyone happy. Furthermore, applicant tracking systems don’t care about the length of your resume.
Mistake #3: A Dated Career Brand in Your IT ResumeAll too often, I see technical resumes that still focus around the theme of saving time, money, and other resources. Although this might have been a persuasive way of branding yourself several years ago, that is no longer the case. IT is “expected” to save money, and lots of it, by streamlining processes, consolidating databases, and eliminating redundancies. So why would you want to make it the primary theme in your resume?
Within the current competitive marketplace, businesses want to be agile and responsive to rapid change. They want IT to be a partner in enabling them to identify new market opportunities, identify new innovations, and develop a competitive strategy. This means that an IT professional who can go beyond the standard value statements — improve business processes, fix hardware and software issues, and improve security to mitigate threats — differentiates themselves from the pack.
To stay at the forefront of the IT industry, job seekers need to continually reevaluate their career brand. Now, more than ever before, their resume needs to demonstrate how they provide the value that truly matters to a business.
Mistake #4: Outdated Tools and Technologies in Your IT ResumeOne of the most common mistakes I see is when IT professionals leave really old technology in their resume because they aren’t sure what to remove. The obvious answer is to remove anything that is no longer used. After that, it becomes less obvious.
There are 3 primary career paths for IT professionals:
- ♦ those that focus on emerging or very current technologies
- ♦ those that focus on high-legacy technologies, such as COBOL
- ♦ those that are somewhere in between, bridging the gap between high legacy and emerging.
The technologies that you include in your resume depend on your current path. Some older technologies are still widely used today. Where these technologies overlap with your experience and ability, you’ll need to give it some careful thought. There are employers who do care about your ability to program in COBOL. But do you want to be a COBOL programmer again? Most companies have legacy systems that someone has to operate, maintain, and enhance. If you decide to stop chasing technologies and step back from technology’s leading edge, that someone could be you. It’s a choice, but be clear about your motivations. It will impact your career.
Mistake #5: The Wrong Format for Your IT ResumeThere are two resume formats that can be used for technical resumes — chronological and hybrid. IT hiring managers want to know what you did, for whom, and during what time frame, and they’re typically focused on the last 7-8 years of employment. They want to understand the technical environment in which you worked, including the size and complexity of the IT department. This means that functional resume formats that are designed to minimize any existing job and skills gaps are not a good choice for technical positions.
The reasoning behind this is that there are few industries that have changed as radically as technology, so describing an achievement in 2013 has a completely different technical and business context than something that was achieved years earlier. For those of us who remember Y2K, it was about bit sizes for storing dates; nowadays, we’re taking about the real-time analysis of big data with the velocity and volume of unstructured data in the gigabits.