As a professional resume writer, there are some issues that I see over and over again in the initial client IT resumes that cross my desk.
One of the most common is to see every job described in an almost identical number of words, the same number of bullets, the same visual space on the page - whether that job is current, or was a decade and a half ago. On the face of it, this seems like a perfectly reasonable idea - to ensure that every job is given it's due in the resume.
But it's not the best or most effective strategic to create an IT resume that will make you stand out from the thundering herd, and be the person that a hiring authority HAS to call.
Because in an IT resume, as in so many areas in life, one of the key questions that the reader is asking is, "So, what have you done lately?"That's why every strong resume needs to be written as an inverted pyramid.
What I mean by that is that your most recent experience is by far the most critical. That's the experience that needs the most space, the most detail, the highest wordcount - and, of course, the most impressive bulleted accomplishments.
This doesn't mean that you should overwhelm the reader with excessive detail - especially technical detail if you're an IT leader -but you do need to show that you've done some really impressive things in your current position. You need to demonstrate clearly that you're at the top of your game - and not that your best years are behind you.
As you move towards your earlier career achievements, those are the better place to save space with streamlined descriptions. After all, if you're currently a CIO, the fact that you did some great development early in your career is interesting - and does show that you have real technical chops. But that's not what you're going to be hired for.
So keep the early career experience short, streamlined, and to the point, and put the bulk of your content into your last job or two.Of course, there are no hard and fast rules here. As readers of this blog and my website know, I don't write cookie cutter IT resumes - no two are going to be alike, because no two of my clients are alike.
But I do have a strong, intuitive sense - from my many years doing this - of how much visual and verbal weight each job on one of my IT resumes will require.
That intuitive sense - based on years of experience reading and writing thousands of IT resumes - enables me to craft projects that have strong balance, and a clear flow to demonstrate consistent career advancement, growing scope, and deepening responsibilities.