If you are an IT consultant who primarily works for one or two vendors, it is important to understand the differences between an IT consultant resume and a traditional IT resume. As you know, when you work with a vendor, you’ll most likely be working on very similar projects. While each project will have its own set of challenges, the work you describe will begin to sound repetitive and yes, boring.
On an IT consultant resume this should be avoided at all costs. You don’t want to appear to be a cookie-cutter consultant. Start by looking at each engagement from a different perspective. Here are some things to think about to generate some new thoughts about the work that you’ve performed.
Challenge your own experience.
Concentrate first on the differences, not on the similarities. Ask yourself what distinguishes this situation from those in the past. What is unusual or divergent from your experiences?
- What this a turnaround situation that required strong leadership skills to gain consensus for a new direction?
- Was the project deadline extremely tight, requiring that you take on a number of job roles to keep the project moving forward.
- Were there very difficult technical issues that needed to be addressed?
- Were the business users change resistant?
- Was it difficult to get the required resources?
- Was the IT manager an idiot?
In my role as a technical resume writer, you wouldn’t believe the stories I hear. While you never want to be disrespectful in your resume, you want to provide the context for the environment in which you worked. Think about how this can be addressed.
The primary things that are often missing in technical resumes are clear statements about the reason for the project and the challenges that occurred throughout the design, development, and implementation phases. Many deeply technical professionals, such as software developers, get wrapped up in describing the technologies and fall short in connecting with why the project was originally funded.
What is important to include in an IT consultant resume?
For IT consultants, in particular, it’s important to change the focus from technology to capabilities and to think in terms of what the business could do once the project was complete. Here are some general rules about the information that should be included.
- If you have a more generic title such as Solutions Architect, also include the job roles that you’ve performed such as a Data Architect, Integration Engineer, Application Developer, etc.
- Tell the reader what you were hired to do. I’ve seen any number of resumes where the actual project goal is either understated or poorly described.
- Overcoming challenges is at the core of every great story. Create an engaging resume by describing the challenges that you’ve faced and how you were able to overcome the obstacles.
What resume format should I use for my IT Consultant Resume?
There are a number of ways that your information can be presented. Here is an example that is very effective.
Client: General Motors, Jun 2014 – Present
Role: CRM Integration Architect and Senior Software Developer
Project: A robust, highly scalable CRM and lead generation solution for a project with very high visibility from top management.
Challenge: GM is going through a major transformation of its IT organization, from outsourcing to insourcing. The vendors being rolled off are unwilling to provide information about current processes so reengineering was required.
Results: Delivered a complete lead validation process that improved lead conversions by 40% with a Campaign and Lead Management system, expected to handle 200M leads every year, with a 23% conversion rate by dealers.
Actions: (include the technical activities you performed.)
If you want to be noticed, create a more interesting resume by telling a story about the project challenges and how issues were resolved. Get the reader engaged in the work you’ve done, otherwise you’ll bore them to tears with such statements as:
- Wrote necessary stored procedures and SQL queries for DB interaction.
- Core Architect for CA SiteMinder migration project and SecurID migration project.
- Lead Engineer for all SAML federation projects in JP Morgan.
Many technology professionals deploy solutions that, on the surface, may seem like very similar projects. But when you begin to look at the issues that arose and how they were resolved, then the individual’s strong leadership and technical skills will emerge and tell the real story. Be that storyteller.