Resume Makeovers

Tech Resume Makeover: Let Your Passion Shine Through

Regardless of where your IT career takes you, maintaining a focus on your ultimate professional goal is the key to an effective resume. In the latest installment of our makeover series, resume expert Caitlin Sampson helps a candidate find her focus and land a great IT job.

Tech Resume Makeover
Credit: ThinkStock

Lori Parks had all the right technical and business skills to land a great IT role, but those achievements were lost beneath a cascade of bullet points and overshadowed by stints in administrative positions.

Caitlin Sampson, a certified professional resume writer and career consultant with Regal Resumes, could see the obvious potential in Parks' resume. It was just a matter of unearthing the inherent value Parks brought to her IT roles through her extensive experience and her numerous certifications and credentials.

Identify the Goal

First on the agenda, Sampson had to determine Parks' true interest and intent in moving her career forward so she could better restructure the resume to reflect that focus.

"Lori's resume showed that she had a progressive career, but the blocks of text listing her responsibilities for each position weren't demonstrating how she was adding value in her current and previous roles. There was also a mix between administrative and IT roles and it wasn't clear to me which direction she wanted to take her career," Sampson says.

Link to Original Resume

During their consultations, it became clear to Sampson that Parks was interested in pursing an IT career, and set about creating a resume that emphasized IT roles, certifications, credentials and achievements without discounting the valuable experience Parks gained in administrative positions.

"Due to the administrative roles that Lori took on in between her IT-related positions, we had to change the focus of her resume to emphasize her IT experience and de-emphasize her administrative positions. It was important to keep the administrative positions on the resume in order to avoid questions about gaps of time, but at the same time, a targeted resume is a more effective resume," says Sampson.

Emphasize What Should Stand Out

To do just that, Sampson separated Parks' IT experience from her administrative roles and created two sections, with Parks' IT experience displayed first. This format change allowed Parks' more relevant experience to stand out so the reader didn't have to search to find it.

"Lori's IT certifications especially were lost among the bullet points of her summary of qualifications, and because she wanted to pursue an IT career, these should be highlighted," Sampson says.

Sampson also changed the format of the summary of qualifications, reworking it into a professional overview section, which provided the reader with a synopsis of Parks's background, core competencies, and recognition.

"This section is essential for drawing in the potential employer or recruiting manager. If written effectively and with a clear direction, the reader will want to read further to fully understand Lori's story," Sampson says.

Go Above and Beyond

Sampson and Parks worked together to determine the ways Parks went above and beyond her day-to-day responsibilities in all her previous roles. They also focused on highlighting how she contributed to her companies' growth, added value by saving time, money, modernizing technologies and creating more efficient workflows and processes.

Parks's ultimate goal was to land an analyst position with managerial responsibilities and by refocusing and restructuring the resume, Parks was better positioned to achieve that goal.

"The resume is now much more achievement-based. Lori was looking to progress into an analyst/managerial position, and we were able to position her accomplishments in a way that displayed her extensive IT background, systems analyst capabilities, and relevant education and certifications without discounting her valuable administrative experience," Sampson says.

Link to Final Resume

Nailed It

Sampson and Parks' work to refocus and reorganize the resume paid off in the best way possible: helping Parks land her ideal IT role.

"Lori was pleased with the final product," Sampson says. "In the following months, she was able to find a new role that was a vertical career move with a substantial pay increase," she says.

Related video: Don't ignore 'ancient history'

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