When thinking about resumes - especially IT resumes - plot is not, generally, the first things that come to one's mind.
But it most definitely should be.
Because a resume is, first and foremost, a story. The story of your career, your achievements, your success. And what you can bring to a new opportunity.
That can be a great story. But if the hiring authority can't clearly follow your story. Can't see that you've progressed in your career. Can't understand - from beginning to end of your resume - that you're the best fit, most logical candidate for his or her opportunity?
Then your resume just hasn't done the job.
Because that's the only thing a IT resume really needs to do. To make it obvious to the hiring authority that he or she simply has to get in touch with you to schedule a first interview.
But how do you make your IT resume into an interesting, compelling story?
I won't lie to you. It's not easy. I've been mastering my craft now for many years - and can't easily pass that along in a few sentences. But here are a few tips.
- Challenge. One critical element in every good story is the overcoming of challenges. And that's one of the most crucial parts of great IT resumes, as well. That's why the CAR format - Challenge Action Results - can help turn a dry list of technologies into a story that will trap - and hold - the hiring authority's attention. A successful IT career is nothing if not challenging. Whether you're a CIO, a CTO, an IT Director or Manager, or a Software Architect, it doesn't matter. You spend your work day solving problems so hard, so complex, and so critical that most people would just walk away, and find an easier job.But it's what you thrive on. So make it clear to the hiring authority that you love challenges. That the buck stops with you. That get things done. Because those are the sort of people that get interviews.
- Progress. Think of the stories that have most impacted you. I'm willing to bet that, in all of them, the protagonist didn't end in the same position in which he or she began. The hero learns something, grows. Reaches a new place. So it's important that your IT resume show that progress. Not only in job scope - but by making it clear that, as a CIO or CTO, for example, your doing qualitatively different things than you were doing as an IT Director or Manager - and not just doing "more of the same. Because hiring authorities want people who are going to embrace new challenges, and provide real value.
- Make the reader want more. Every good story leaves the reader wanting more - often a sequel. And in an IT resume? The sequel is straightforward. Providing enough information - and the right kind of information - about the story of your career so that the hiring authority wants to learn more about the main character. You. By calling you in for a first interview.