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.
As an IT Executive Resume Writer, one challenge my clients often face is the maze of titles that can be used to define "top-of-the-food-chain" IT executives.
Shakespeare said "What's in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
I recently read this excellent article, "CIOs Must Innovate Or Go Home" by Rob Preston. He argues compellingly against the "trendy pessimism" on macroeconomic levels in the media and general culture.
Rob also discusses the microeconomic challenges to innovation, and sees one primary issue
As a professional IT Resume Writer, a significant part of my job is keeping my finger on the pulse of technology - and technology hiring - trends. That's why I found this article on ZDNet to be extremely valuable.
I've been thinking a lot about agility and nimbleness lately. As an entrepreneur, nimbleness is a primary requirement for both short and long term success. And as a student of Wing Chun Kung Fu, the need to respond rapidly to every changing tactical situations is constantly brought home to me in our remarkable exercise of Chi Sau or Sticky Hands.
Earlier this month on the PBS Newshour website, headhunter Nick Corcodilos encouraged job hunters to commit “Resume Blasphemy” by ignoring traditional resume rules and not employing the services of a professional resume writer. Mr. Corcodilos has been a headhunter for over 30 years and is obviously successful, so I respect him for that. However, I think his advice on this subject should be taken cautiously for several reasons.
Calvin Coolidge may be an odd character to appear in this technology resume blog. I doubt that the man dubbed "Silent Cal" would understand our word driven culture. Hard to see him having an active twitter account, eh? Let alone blogging.
We now live in a sea of words. Silent Cal may have said little. But his comment that "The business of America is business" resonated strongly with me as I was considering the rapidly evolving role of the CIO.
Tired of the results an average resume is getting you? Contact J.M. to learn what "beat the competition" could look like.
I'm going to continue with my thoughts on CIO Career Suicide Threats - inspired by Bob Evan's excellent blog.
In my previous post, I discussed a key CIO career suicide threat. To summarize: don't wait until you need your resume! Instead, you need to proactively have your resume prepared.
I'd highly recommend the post; it's well worth reading. But I wanted to riff on Bob Evan's ideas a bit, and discuss some potentially career-suicidal - or at least strategically unwise - challenges in the creating a strong CIO resume and cover letter.
There's much advice on the net - good and less good - on creating the "perfect resume."
I don't, personally, believe that there is a "perfect" resume. I believe that there are a number of approaches that can work effectively for any strong candidate.
The CAR - Challenge Action Results - approach makes it far easier to see the major themes of your career - rather than getting in lost in the weeds.
In an earlier post, I discussed the value of the CAR - Challenge Action Result Resume format.
As with so many resume issues, there are a number of opinions on whether or not to include hobbies and interests in a technical leadership resume.
Those opinions range from "absolutely not, under no circumstances, never!" to "sure!"
As your career advances to the VP or CIO / CTO level, the challenge in writing a strong technical leadership resume shifts.
Earlier in your career, the issue is primarily what to include. At the IT Manager or even IT Director level - the goal is often to present a clear, and complete picture both of business value and of technical depth.
There are several strategies to ensure that your resume value proposition is absolutely clear to the reader. I discussed that one reason an IT leadership resume may not get the right calls back is that there may be an ineffective headline - or none at all. Today, I'd like to address the resume headline or branding statement. Here are a couple of options for a headline that are direct, and clearly let the hiring authority know your next career step and your current career level.
One common issue that I hear from clients in my technical resume writing service is that my clients are getting calls back from their resume - but not the right kind of calls.
Usually, this means that a client - an IT Manager or even Director - is getting calls that would be more appropriate for a hands-on technologist.
The first question I ask clients in my technical resume writing service is simple.
What do you do better?
What are your differentiators? What do you differently? What do you bring to the table, that your competition may not?
Needless to say, in my technical resume writing service, I see a LOT of resumes - as I did when I was recruiting. I've discussed a number of major issues to help build powerful, targeted technical resumes in previous blogs, and I'll continue to in the future. But today, I'm going to mention something that may seem minor - but can make a significant difference in ensuring that your resume is easily found by a hiring authority.
Technical resumes may seem pretty dry...
Resumes - particularly technically resumes - can seem like rather dry documents. But however dry the resume may appear, the resume has to tell a clear, compelling story. That is, ideally, a story of clear, consistent career progress - leading to the irresistible conclusion for the hiring authority that "I need to interview this person to fill a critical position."
Should I Tailor my Technical Resume for Every Job?
In my technical resume service, I'm frequently asked this question. As with many technical resume issues, there are a range of opinions. Several authoritative websites suggest that tailoring your resume for every job is a good idea.
I recently had a resume cross my desk from a prospective client. My process is always to review the existing resume thoroughly, to see what works - and what may need to be improved.
My first thought was that the resume was pretty solid - I could definitely see areas that I could make stronger, but on the whole, it was pretty good.