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3/5/2014
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IT Resume Revamp: Goodbye, Contract Work

Many contractors see the improving economy as a lure back to full-time work. See how our expert remade one IT consultant's resume to help him stand out in a sea of candidates.

Glenn Wilder has held a mix of contract and full-time work over the past decade. Most recently, he wrapped up a four-month project manager consultant gig with Time Warner Media. He told us he wants a full-time position next, ideally in a project manager position with business analyst responsibilities.

"I've used contracting as a fill-in-the-blanks approach," he said. "When the economy is tight, contracting is a great way to stay busy and learn a new trick along the way."

Wilder met with Felix Fermin, recruitment manager with IT recruiting firm Mondo, to fine-tune his resume for making the leap from consulting to full-time work. Here's a look at the resume's positives and negatives, plus how they reworked it to better show his experience and strengths.

[ What are the must lucrative IT jobs? Read IT Jobs: Best Paying Titles Of 2014. ]

The good
Fermin commended Wilder's overall resume design. His use of all-caps subheads, bold fonts, and bullet points made the abundance of information in his resume easier to read.

Wilder's overview of qualifications used buzzwords that hiring managers look for in project managers, Fermin said, as well as achievement-oriented details, such as his high customer-satisfaction rate and revenue goals.

[View the original resume.]

In his experience section, Wilder differentiated between full-time and consulting work with different uses of bullet points. He grouped consecutive consulting engagements together under one bullet point and described each one in more detail below. Full-time work was called out separately in its own bullet point. Fermin said that clearly differentiating the two -- and specifically calling out full-time experience -- is an effective way to approach a work history with a mix of the two.

Fermin also gave Wilder high marks for his use of strong action verbs such as "deployed" and "coordinated," and for including plenty of detail in describing his various roles.

The bad
At nearly four pages long, Fermin said that Wilder's resume is much too long. "IT resumes tend to be longer than an accountant's or marketing manager's, for example, but you still want to keep them at two to three pages," he said. "Especially when you have a lot of contract work, you're tempted to put in every single engagement. But you don't want to do that."

Fermin said that a project manager's attention to detail at work transfers to a resume, which contributed to the resume's long length. It also included

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
3/5/2014 | 3:50:12 PM
Ideal IT resume length?
Interesting discussion of resume length. I think many applicants list every skill because they are afraid of weed-out by automated software tools -- but this recruiter didn't advocate that approach.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
3/5/2014 | 8:30:49 PM
Re: Ideal IT resume length?
You're right -- you do want those buzzwords in there if you're submitting your resume through an automated service but you also need to be prepared to back them up in your interview. If you're not an expert in them, don't list them.
infosecxx
IW Pick
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infosecxx,
User Rank: Strategist
3/5/2014 | 6:55:57 PM
Excellent insight on how to frame an IT Resume
Past strategies I have used to construct an IT Resume was to search "Professional IT Resume" and reverse-engineer and tailor it to my needs with my experience.  Of course, I have read many articles on how to construct a resume, but they seemed to focus on more general professional positions when offering advice.  I incorporated the advice where relevant but resumes for IT Professionals are very different.  I did not think to visually distinguish contract work from permanent positions held.  I will be taking advantage of the insight written in this article to potentially construct my best personal resume yet!  Thank you for providing such a well written article regarding Professional IT Resumes.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
3/5/2014 | 8:56:38 PM
Your thoughts?
Readers, is there any area in particular that you struggle with when it comes to writing or updating your resume? What is hardest for you? Would love to hear your thoughts.
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