by Sarah K. White

IT Resume Makeover: How to write a detail-oriented CV

May 09, 2017
Careers IT Jobs IT Skills

Creating a compelling resume isn't easy, even when you're at the C-level. That was the case with this month's CV makeover, where one IT leader transformed his resume from jargon-filled to clear and concise (resume examples included).

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No matter your level of experience, writing a resume isn’t an easy task. With decades of experience as a CIO and CTO, Kenneth Smith — named changed for this article — knew that his resume didn’t “qualify or quantify” his past C-suite roles. And it’s not uncommon — most job seekers find it difficult to step back and objectively evaluate their own careers.

Andrew Ysasi, president of Admovio and executive director of Kent Record Management, stepped up to the task and helped Smith highlight his C-level roles and outline his extensive experience and success.

Ysasi quickly found that Smith was selling himself short — a common theme in the Resume Makeover series — and decided to revamp Smith’s resume to showcase his accomplished career. Ysasi dug into his career history to help Smith reformat his resume to better reflect his qualifications as a CTO and CIO.

[ Download the original CIO’s resume example ]

Tech lingo and missing information

One of the most common resume mistakes that IT professionals make is including too much tech jargon. Instead, you should think about writing your resume for the recruiter or hiring manager who will read it first. HR reps and recruiters serve multiple business units, so you can’t expect them to understand every technical term in your industry — and it’s something you can showcase in the interview.

Ysasi found that Smith’s resume relied heavily on technical jargon and that he also omitted valuable experience and skills. He decided to focus on highlighting Smith’s experience “working with cloud technologies such as Amazon and Azure,” which are both valuable skills in today’s hiring market.

He also notes that Smith’s “original resume did not directly indicate his valuable C-level work experience in multiple industries.” Ysasi clearly laid out Smith’s versatility as CIO and CTO, emphasizing the different industries and companies where he’s held executive roles since the early 90s.

[ Related story: Tech resume samples and resources: Examples, expert advice, formatting and more ]

Keep it concise

The longer your career, the more difficult it is to keep your resume to a tidy one or two-page document. Smith’s resume was past the recommended two-pages, but Ysasi was first able to eliminate some of the gaps between sections. He also tightened up the content, moving more into the executive summary at the top of the page, and focusing on specific accomplishments below.

He started by tackling the “top of the fold” information — which is where your executive summary and skills reside. On Smith’s resume, his executive summary and skills “were not succinct and did not accurately reflect the depth of his knowledge,” says Ysasi.

By consolidating his skills to the top of the page, it’s easy for a recruiter to see they’re applicable to all the jobs listed below. And the executive summary acts as a first impression, emphasizing your professional brand and career story.

[ Related story: Tech Resume Makeover 101: How to move forward with your job search ]

Devils in the details

After writing and re-reading your resume, it’s easy to miss minor spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and inconsistencies. Ysasi went through to make sure these were cleaned up, including small formatting details.

“It is my experience that he had limited references to the terms CIO and CTO and, with the grammar and formatting issues, they may have limited interested parties from qualifying him as a CIO or CTO candidate,” says Ysasi.

Ysasi also recommended that Smith change his email from a Hotmail account to an Outlook account. It’s a small detail most people might overlook, but it can give your resume a fresh, updated feel. Creating a professional email account isn’t just good for your resume, it’s also a great way to consolidate your job search to one inbox so you’ll never miss an email from recruiter.

The final product

[ Download the final CIO’s resume example]

Ysasi focused on cutting down the technical jargon and connecting Smith’s experience and achievements to create a career story for Smith. One that tells recruiters and future employers everything that Smith can bring to the C-suite.

In the end, what surprised Smith the most about the process is that it “didn’t take long” to transform his resume — just 10 days from start to finish. And Smith says he was “quite pleased with the outcome,” and happy to walk away with a resume he now describes as “outstanding.”

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