What I Learned Screening IT Resumes for CIO.com's Makeover

Here are the six most common mistakes IT professionals make trying to sell themselves on their resumes.

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4. They're repetitive. I came across one resume that included a "Professional Summary" that listed all of the positions one particular IT professional held at each of her employers and the dates she held these positions. This professional summary repeated all the information that was listed under the "Professional Experience" section of her resume, and it took up about a third of the first page of her otherwise strong resume. She could easily remove the "Professional Summary" and begin showcasing some of her impressive work experience on the first page of her resume.

Another IT professional devoted three out of 12 bullet points in the "Career Highlights" section of his resume to his project management experience. He could have condensed them into one bullet and thus saved precious real estate on his resume.

5. They're not tailored. Some IT professionals struggle with the length of their resume simply because they're trying to convey too much. Instead of communicating every detail of every project you've ever worked on, select the experiences that are most relevant to the job you want and leave everything else on the cutting room floor.

If you have a resume that's chock full of detail at five or more pages, that's ok. It's good to have a document that lists everything you've ever done for your own reference. But you don't want to submit that "resume" when you apply for a job. You want to customize a meta-resume for each job by removing responsibilities that aren't relevant.  

6. Their work experience doesn't back up their branding. Many IT professionals try to brand themselves as "leaders" and "strategic" and "visionary" and "innovative."  They use a "Summary" or "Profile" section of their resume to communicate such qualities. The problem is that the rest of their resumes often don't substantiate the claims they make about themselves, either because they simply aren't the strategic, innovative leaders they claim to be, or because they haven't selected, prioritized or articulated the work experiences that demonstrate those claims.


Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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