You have a lot of technical experience, great skills, the latest technology. Yet your resume either generates no interviews, or you find yourself asked to go into the dark ages to work with technology that was current at the start of your career. Is it you?
No. It’s your resume.
When it comes time to send out the old resume, you need to float to the top of the pile. Here are some ways to do this:
Reformat the Resume
Most resumes are hard to scan. And that’s what HR departments and recruiters do: scan. So you need to get your skills and experience into a format that leaps out to the casual reader.
If your resume needs an overall face-lift, check out the article “Give Your Resume a Facelift” over at LifeClever. It is one of the best comprehensive makeovers I have ever seen.
List Your Skills
If your industry looks for certain abilities, put that at the top of the resume, clear and bulleted. For programmers, list your technologies, with the most cutting edge first.
But Take Off Anything You Don’t Want To Do
Sure, I am fluent in FORTRAN, but I don’t want to program in it. Same goes for FoxPro, Access and Visual Basic 6. I want to continue to work in my current (and cutting edge) skill set, so those are the only skills that appear in the top section.
Give Relevant Experience
Unless you are just starting out, and need to show that you are a solid employee, leave off the Joe’s Coffee Shop gig you did while in school. Likewise, leave off any experience that doesn’t highlight what you can do. Change the label of the section from “Experience” to “Relevant Experience”.
Limit Your Experience
If you work in a position where you move around (such as consulting), don’t list every last little project. Pick the ones that showcase your skills best.
Wherever possible, quantify and show the results of your work. Figure out what the return on investment of your ideas was, or the productivity gain. Quantify these with numbers. Sure, “replaced manual process” tells what you did, but “replaced manual process, saving the department 400 man-hours per month” is much better.
By making some simple adjustments to your resume, you can generate a lot of interest in yourself. Make it scannable, clear and current, and you will see calls come in.
Photo by N Maynard