It's a rare week that I don't see a blog post or article with the 3, 5, 7, or 10 things that a job seeker MUST or MUST NOT include on a resume.
There's one big problem with articles like this. They go on the assumption that every career is the same, and that there's an simple template - a cookie cutter approach - that works for every career, every IT resume, every job seeker.
Life would be much easier if there were a universal solution to everyone's IT resume needs.
But, unfortunately, that's just not the case.
Every career - especially every IT career - is different. Each candidate is unique, and the job of the IT resume (and the IT resume writer) is to determine the unique value proposition of each candidate, and build an IT resume package that clearly communicates - and is consistent with - that brand.
Obviously, there are best practices in the resume industry - as there are in any industry.
But there just aren't absolute rules.
Let me take two examples from an article that was making the rounds on LinkedIn:
"The home address. Who mails anymore? If you are concerned about relocation, just put a city, state and zip code."
Sounds reasonable, doesn't it? The problem is that recruiters want to know location to be able to qualify candidates. Zip code gives some idea - but some zip codes can be extensive enough to impact a commute in a major metro.
But there's no point for a recruiter to pitch an opportunity to an executive if that opportunity is going to lengthen a commute in DC, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, NYC, LA. If there are legitimate concerns about security? Then you may want to omit the address. But there are times when including that address can mean the right call from the right recruiter about the right opportunity.
Again, every IT resume project is different. One size does not fit all.
"Quotes. No quotes! No religious quotes. No inspirational quotes! No recommendation quotes! Just no more quotes, please."
I see this one often. Another absolute! Unfortunately, it's just not true. Quotations from a previous boss can make a huge difference in defining your brand. Now, they have to be the right quote - and have to positioned judiciously and effectively. Do I include quotations from previous bosses often? No. But in two cases, they've gotten my clients interviews - and jobs.
Now, I don't want to take two much time arguing with examples. That's not my goal here.
My point is to reinforce that your IT career is unique, so your resume has to be unique.
Of course, that makes the process harder. If you could just use a magic, technology executive resume template, and get a job? Life would indeed be simple.