I've seen an interesting - but, I think, mistaken - trend over the last couple of months, on LinkedIn and various career blogs.
That's a tendency to ignore skills as a clear, necessary factor both in IT resumes, and in the broader job search. I've been seeing posts suggesting that people are hired because of motivation, cultural fit, dedication - but that skills just aren't important these days.
There are, of course, variations on this theme. "I've been trying to write my resume for weeks, and it's just not working." "I'm a good writer, but I have no idea how to get my career down on paper."
This list goes on.
As one of the few specialized IT Resume Writers in the careers industry, I see a number of common problems in the initial IT resumes my clients send me.
One of the most common of these is a resume that has grown - without any real change in strategy or direction - for my client's entire career.
When prospective clients call me, they're often frustrated - frustrated in their current job and frustrated with the challenges of the job search.
After all, if a prospective client loved their current job, they wouldn't email me. That's why, in my initial conversation with a prospective client, I always want to get a strong feel for what's going on in their current job - what prompted them to pick up the phone - and what their concerns are about the job search.
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'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.
Should I Include an Objective on My Technical Resume?
In my technical resume service, I hear this question a lot. The fact is, there was a time when common wisdom dictated listing your employment goals at the top of your resume. However, over the past couple of decades, the objective has gradually devolved from being a vital resume component to being antiquated and hopelessly outdated -- particularly in the ways that most people incorporate them.
"The Modern Resume, How to Move to the Top of the Stack" is a post on the website of the University of Washington’s Office of Professional and Continuing Education, a site that offers much good advice for job seekers. I agree with most of what the post has to offer, which I’ll summarize for you here. But I disagree strongly with two points - and think that a third piece of advice needs to be used with a lot of caution.
There's an old saying, "You never get a second chance to make a good first impression." That's why the first section of your technical resume is so critical. This initial resume content is known by several names, including the Professional Profile, Executive Summary, Career Summary, and many more. But regardless of title, the importance of this segment of the resume cannot be overstated.
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.
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!"
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.
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.
One of the most common misconceptions about resumes in general - and technical resumes in particular - is the question of length.