Creating a compelling technology resume that stands out but more importantly elicits the type of job you’re focused on requires knowing what you want and telling your story quickly, clearly and concisely in a way that highlights what you bring to the table. Whether you’re an entry level IT worker, a mid-level tech employee or c-level executive, it’s no easy task. There are so many nuances, it’s tough to nail them all. So to help you create a resume that will get you hired and advance your IT career, we’ve assembled some of the greatest IT and technology resumes samples from our recurring article series the IT Resume Makeover.
It can be daunting to craft a resume that lists years -- maybe even decades -- of career accomplishments, all while keeping the document succinct. In the case of this resume makeover, Van Vreede helped a senior technical writer establish his audience, focus his overall message, and ultimately shorten his resume from five pages to two.
Vreede felt the biggest resume issues this job seeker needed to work on were brevity, focus and flow. The first step was to determine the resume makeover recipient’s target audience, which included directors and vice presidents.
Next, Vreede wanted to ensure the resume stayed on message by eliminating extraneous details and highlighting the most important aspects of the makeover recipient’s career. Finally, Vreede consolidated the recipient’s freelance and contracting experience under his personal business. In the end, the resume makeover recipient was surprised to see how fast Vreede was able to trim the fat to create a lean, concise, and impressive resume.
Crafting a solid resume that highlights your accomplishments might feel like bragging, but your resume isn’t the place to be humble. At least, that’s the approach that career expert Donald Burns took when he helped Gayle Lewis take her resume from eight pages of disorganized text to a concise three-page summary highlighting her career, skills, and accomplishments.
You might scratch your head at the idea of an eight-page resume, but it’s pretty common in countries such as Australia – where Lewis hails from – to see upwards of 20 pages for a resume. To go from eight to three pages, Burns first emphasized the importance of a one page bio and introduction that could be used for networking.
Next, he moved onto clarifying Lewis’ impressive career history and making sure her accomplishments stood out. Finally, Burns focused on highlighting strengths that would appeal directly to recruiters and hiring managers, which included “cleaning up messes other people made.” In the end, Lewis was left with a powerful three-page resume that was concise, organized, and demonstrated her proven success.
The first rule of resume writing is to keep it short, so when Rob Sorensen reached out for a resume makeover, career consultant Caitlin Sampson’s first goal was to tackle the length of his resume. While Sorenson included an impressive list of his accomplishments, Sampson felt his resume lacked focus and flow.
Sampson first discarded any extraneous details that didn’t emphasize Sorensen’s experience as an IT manager and director. She also focused on including Sorensen’s managerial experience in IT within the first third of the resume, which is where most hiring managers and recruiters look first. In the end, Sorensen’s resume demonstrated his most impressive accomplishments, skills, and relevant experience at the top of his resume to catch the eyes of recruiters and hiring managers.
After years of working in a corporate environment, this ex-CIO ventured into consulting, and after four years he decided to get back into IT management within the corporate world. However, when he reentered the job market, recruiters and hiring managers saw his four years of consulting as a four year unemployment gap on his resume.
Even with the well-rounded experience this resume makeover recipient gained in those four years of consulting, he wasn’t getting the responses he’d hoped for from recruiters and hiring managers. Executive career coach and resume writer, Donald Burns, felt that while his resume was okay, “it wasn’t competitive.”
Burns’ first approach was to solidify the ex-CIO’s consulting experience as a career on par with his past executive experience. Burns reworked his resume to demonstrate how his four years as a consultant would make him a well-rounded IT manager, since he gained experience outside of his role as a CIO.
Henry Cole had spent nearly a year-and-a-half searching for the right executive position to move his IT career forward, but he had to keep it quiet because his company did not take kindly to people leaving. He also felt his resume was hindering his job search, which even he admitted wasn’t an “attention-getter.”
After months of radio silence from potential employers, Cole looked to Ross Macpherson, a certified professional resume writer, to help him recraft his resume as an IT manager. Macpherson identified three major issues with Cole’s resume. First, it didn’t make an impression on the reader, good or bad. Second, it didn’t emphasize Cole’s executive potential, which led Macpherson to rework the language to reflect an executive-level employee. Finally, he eliminated a number of unnecessary details to deliver a short and “easily digestible” final product.
In this resume makeover, the recipient felt he was ready for a C-level position in IT, but didn’t feel that his resume reflected his potential for such a role. Albeit his networking efforts, numerous applications, and phone interviews, he hadn’t been able to land an offer. Cheryl Simpson, president of Executive Resume Rescue, was tasked with reformatting what she described as a “fractured resume.”
Simpson tackled the most important element of his resume first by creating a strong introduction and summary at the top of the first page with relevant keywords and core competencies. She described it as creating a brand for yourself, and delivering all the most pertinent and relevant information in the first one third of the resume.
Next, she restricted the recipient’s most recent role, since that is the role most hiring managers will be most interested in. Finally, she emphasized the recipient’s experience, because she felt he was selling himself short. By introducing the applicant at the beginning of the resume, strengthening and defining his most recent role, and emphasizing his accomplishments, Macpherson helped this makeover recipient craft, in his words, a “wonderful and concise” resume.
This story, "6 examples of effective IT resumes" was originally published by CIO.