Posts Tagged ‘executive resume’
All too often data in resumes is presented quite vaguely, leaving the hiring manager to wonder what the candidate really knows and what skills s/he actually has. This is especially true regarding computer skills, whether the applicant is an office worker or an IT professional.
For example, an office worker may feel it’s enough to list skills in this manner: Technically proficient in Microsoft Office and other software.
After reading the above, the hiring manager may very well wonder what other software? What part of Microsoft Office—all or only Word and Excel? And, what version?
When your data raises more questions than it answers, it’s no longer effective. To maximize your information, be specific. For example, the previous statement should say this:
Technically proficient in Microsoft Office (Premium 2000), including Word, Excel, Outlook, Publisher, Access, PowerPoint, Front Page, and Photo Draw. Additional expertise in Word Perfect, Quicken, Peachtree Accounting, Lexis-Nexus, and Westlaw.
At a glance, the above provides instant and specific data to a hiring manager. However, a candidate—especially in the IT field—should go one step further by providing years or months of experience.
In today’s competitive job market, hiring managers demand that information on resumes be well-prioritized and specific. It’s not enough to state that you have proficiency in Microsoft Word. You must state how many months or years of experience you have or your level of expertise, whether it’s beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Hiring managers will not call you for an interview, nor will they test your skills unless they are first provided this essential data.
The nature of IT is ever-evolving. Therefore, an IT professional should showcase relevant skills as specifically and completely as possible.
Organize technical data into subheadings such as:
- Operating Systems
- Programming Languages
- Software Packages
- Any other technical proficiencies
One way to present this data would be a simple listing. For example:
- LAN Administration: Windows 2000 Server, Windows NT 3.51/4.0, Novell 3.12/4.1
- Operating Systems: Windows 2000/NT/XP, Windows 98/95, Macintosh OS
- Software: Microsoft SQL, SNA, SMS , Site Server & IIS, CA XCOM, SAS, Microsoft Visual Studio, Source Safe, Cognos Enterprise Server, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange, AS/400-Windows Connectivity Applications, cc:Mail , Multiple Windows Communications Applications
- Productivity Software: Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Project
- Hardware: PCs, Compaq Servers, HP NetServers, IBM NetFinity Servers, AS400 20, SCO Unix OpenServer, Macintosh
- Certifications: Candidate for MCDBA, Candidate for CCNA/CCDA, Candidate for MCSE, Microsoft Certified System Administrator, Novell Certified Administrator, Novell Certified Engineer
An even more effective way to maximize technical data is to provide specific information in an easy-to-read format. For example:
Oracle 8/8i/9i, 4 years
SQL Server 6.5/7.0/2000, 6 years
Microsoft Access, 6 years
MySQL, 6 months
UNIX , 4 years
LINUX, 4 years
Windows Operating Systems, 12 years
DOS, 12 years
Macintosh, 4 years
ShellScript, 3 years
PL/SQL, 4 years
ASP, 5 years
JAVA/JSP, 1 year
DHTML, 3 years
SQL Navigator, 4 years
TOAD, 2 years
Oracle *Net, 4 years
Import/Export, 3 years
SQL *Loader, 3 years
Enterprise Manager, 3 years
Performance Manager, 2 years
The above example is specific yet easy to read and understand quickly and enhances an applicant’s candidacy for an IT position.
Sometimes your resume can hurt more than help you. In today’s job-search market, you are often competing against large numbers of applicants, and your resume has to be good enough to make it past the first screening.
The first people to view your resume are often lower-level staff looking for a quick way to weed candidates out of consideration. You can minimize the chances of your resume being eliminated during this round by following three simple rules.
LESS IS MORE
Don’t tell too much. A good resume should leave the prospective employer with a whetted appetite, a desire to know more. They will be likely to call and phone-screen you. So don’t fill in all the details just yet. Save that for the interview. Do, however, paint a big picture of who you are and what you can offer.
For example, you may have worked several years at your present employer. Certainly you could fill up several paragraphs with all that you’ve done. Instead, think of the one or two most critical projects, duties or functions that you provide. List the most important and give them no more than a sentence or two each.
Here is an example:
EXPERIENCE: Mar 2003 to Present: XYZ Company, Their City, CA Senior staff design engineer. Products designed/Projects involved: A, B, C. Description of Most Important Project and why Description of 2nd most important project and why
Skip the hobbies and personal info. Avoid mind-numbing detail that will cause a reader’s eyes to glaze over. One page is ideal — two pages only if you are a 15- to 20-year veteran with a significant growth and promotion history.
You want the computers to flag your resume for closer examination. Do this by including as many keywords as possible that are relevant to your job and your job skills, as well as specific industry words that may be appropriate. A convenient method to accomplish this is to include a separate “Keywords” section on your resume just below the “Objective”. Think of this as an important catchall specifically for the computers to “see”.
Here is an example from a candidate employed as a medical quality assurance auditor:
KEYWORDS: Quality System, QA, QS, Audit, Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), International Standards (ISO), Corrective and Preventive Action Programs (CAPA), training, QSR, Medical Device, calibration, 510K, TQM, PMA, FDA.
Also, include the names of major companies you worked with or for, as this often is important to employers. Include those in the “Experience” section.
Don’t just tell them what you did. Move beyond that and tell the benefit of your accomplishment. A good way to do this is to include several specific ways you helped your employer make money or save money. Remember, the only benefit you can bring to the table is past performance. When you interview (either phone or in person) this is what will be discussed.
Think of all your jobs in the past and bring forth examples of some of your best work. How can an employer think of you as a problem solver? If at all possible, try to “monetize” your accomplishments (state them in terms of money). At the interview, you will be prepared to enlarge upon these successes.
Building an effective resume doesn’t have to be drudgery. Using the above three guidelines will keep your resume lean and to the point standing a greater chance of landing on the “to call” stack and getting you a phone screen.