Creating an effective resume can be difficult for the inexperienced writer. But if you want to give it a try on your own anyway, here are a few resume writing tips and traps to consider.
Whether you are a technical executive (CIO, CTO, or tech firm CEO) already or a technical manager or director looking to advance into an executive role, there are 3 common and potentially fatal mistakes that are made when preparing a resume.
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.