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With A Resume Like This, Who Needs Enemies!

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 13 years ago
  • Author: Rob McGrew

With A Resume Like This, Who Needs Enemies!

When looking for your next opportunity, don’t be your own worst enemy! OK, you have been an IT professional for some time and you know your stuff and have good marketable technical skills that should land you a great job. But, you’re just not getting that many interviews. You could blame the market or just chalk it up to bad luck, but have you taken a good hard look at your resume? Maybe it worked in the past in what, well, could have been a stronger market, but now? 

Dates & Degrees

Just this week I was reviewing a candidate’s resume and they listed their educational dates from “1975 to 1985”. What does this mean? Did they graduate or just attend? After speaking to the candidate, they literally were in school for 10 years and then did get their degree in 1985. But why would you want to advertise the fact that it took 10 years to get a degree! Simply use the month and year of your graduation date - period! That said, if you do not have a degree, do not make it appear that you do. For most positions, a degree is simply not required and what hiring managers appreciate most is honesty and integrity.

Contracting vs. Full-time positions

Some of the sharpest IT pros gain experience fast by doing contract projects for a variety of organizations. If you have done contracting, you want to be sure this experience is noted as such on your resume. Few managers get excited about an individual whose job record is like a rolling stone. But, if these are 6+month contract positions, that looks better than if each was a full-time, permanent position. What is more, if you had a 1+year contract, this experience is often viewed positively. Most contract projects do not last a year. So the fact that the employer kept you around so long is a plus. Make sure you are clear on your resume which position was permanent and which was contract. 

Common Sense about your Job Title

Does your resume have a job title like Software Engineer II or Systems Analyst III? Does this title make any sense other than to those that worked in the same organization? Use more generic job titles that would make sense to anyone. For example, Java Developer or Senior Java Developer or Lead Java Developer. All of these make more sense than Software Engineer IV. 

Professionalism is Paramount

Before you start sending your resume to potential employers or recruiting agencies, take a minute to review your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles. Today hiring managers have access to more information about you before they even speak with you so be sure your online profiles represent you in a professional manner.