Jennifer Hay is an expert in Resume and LinkedIn Profile writing for IT professionals / executives. Jennifer has earned the CPRW and ACRW certifications and is the world’s first nationwide resume writer for information technology (CRS+IT). Recently, Jennifer has been honored as the 2013 Toast of the Resume Industry (TORI) Judge and Resume/Careers Conference Presenter; 2012 Career Innovation Award from Career Directors International and the 2011 Toast of the Resume Industry (TORI) award in technical category (2nd Pl).
For those job seekers who have returned to school, the secret to creating a uniquely powerful resume is to highlight education in combination with work experience. Traditionally, people treat education as a single event on their resume — the graduation date or date that they completed a certificate program. But it is a lost opportunity … Read more
It‘s a bit tempting in today’s competitive job market to stretch the truth on your resume. Times are tough and getting your foot in the door is a significant challenge. It’s easy to think that you can add technologies or projects that will get you through the keyword search. You figure that you’ve always interviewed well, so it seems pretty harmless in the overall scheme of things. Think again.
Having a technical background, I know how easy it is to fall back on technical descriptions of my achievements. But unlike other industries, IT resumes have two entirely different readers. Each reader brings their own perspective, knowledge, and experiences to the task of finding highly skilled technical professionals to fill vacant positions.
What do you do when your title doesn’t accurately describe your role and responsibilities? Suppose you hired on to perform a particular set of activities but over time what you actually do has morphed into something entirely different. This is not at all uncommon in small departments where project demands don’t always fit the current skill set of available employees. Opportunities arise for those willing to learn new skills on the job and little or no consideration is given to how these changes might affect future employment. No worries―there are options available to circumvent a less than desirable title on your resume.
Determining how you want to position yourself in your resume is the first step toward deciding what technology to include. As an IT professional, you may be hesitant to remove lagging tools and technologies for fear of losing an opportunity but it is this indecision that can impact your chances of finding just the right position. The “I want it all” attitude can be confusing and leads the reader to make certain assumptions about the role and responsibilities that are a best fit for you. This may not be a good match for what you really want to do.
In the past, the purpose of a resume was to get a job interview. Beyond that, it was up to the applicant to sell themselves during the interview by describing their role and responsibilities for each of the positions they’d held. For the IT professional, the process was straight-forward and easy to understand; you listed all the technologies you’d used, how you’d used them, and the types of projects in which you’d used them. In light of increased competition and staffing reductions, the whole process of getting interviews and receiving job offers has changed.
Resumes continue to take a beating even after the recession has ended. It is common for IT professionals to start their own consulting firms to mask lapses in employment and to put the best face on a series of short-term projects. It’s a necessary survival skill to show that you’ve kept your experience up-to-date in the quickly changing world of information technology.