Senior IT consultants face unique challenges in keeping resumes concise. Here's how an expert remade one professional's resume, plus tips to polish yours.

Kristin Burnham, Senior Editor,

November 10, 2014

6 Min Read

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Meet Rohit Thukral, an IT consultant from Portland, Ore., with more than 25 years of experience specializing in management and IT consulting services.

Thukral's career has included stints at Accenture, Unisys, Netscape, and, most recently, Tealeaf Associates, where he has focused on business process improvements, IT strategy, and program governance in the healthcare industry.

He met with Felix Fermin, senior technical recruiter at the IT recruiting firm Mondo, to polish his resume for his next consulting gig. Here's a look at how they reworked it to showcase his achievements, plus tips for other career consultants looking to fine-tune their resumes.

The good
Like many IT consultant resumes that come across Fermin's desk, Thukral's was on the right track. His professional summary featured five bullet points that highlighted his managerial and technical skills, as well as his experience working in international markets, a quality that's important to note because it sets him apart from other management consultants, Fermin said.

[Employers see a talent shortage. Job hunters see a broken hiring process. Read our related article, The IT Talent Shortage Debate.]

Overall, the design of Thukral's resume was on point: His subheads were effective in calling out his work experience, education, and training, and his bullet points -- though numerous -- helped to break out his responsibilities and accomplishments.

[View the original resume.]

Thukral's language was effective, too, Fermin said. He worked in appropriate buzzwords that hiring managers might seek, and he used strong verbs to describe his past experiences.

"His resume was pretty good -- maybe one of the best I've seen in terms of being clear at what he did at every single job," Fermin said. "But there's always room for improvement."

The bad
Like many career consultants, Thukral had a resume that was too long, registering at three full pages, Fermin said.

Figure 1:

"People who have spent years consulting think that they need to list every position they've held and every responsibility and accomplishment they've had there," he said. "As a result, consultant resumes tend to be much longer than they should be."

Fermin also said many of Thukral's bullet points under each job focused on responsibilities and tasks, rather than solutions and achievements, which are more important to hiring managers.

"Right now, his resume reads of what he's done, rather than the problems he's solved," Fermin said. "A hiring manager is going to hire you because of a problem they have that they need to fix, which is why it's important to touch on the solutions that you brought to a company."

The better
The first thing Fermin and Thukral focused on was cutting the length of the resume. Fermin suggested that Thukral cut the five bullet points in his professional summary section to three, which he did by eliminating two that contained redundant information.

Thukral and Fermin then worked on cutting down the size of his work experience section.

"A resume that's three pages long isn't horrible, but our goal was to get it to two," Fermin said. "He's a very senior guy, so he had a lot of work experience

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that he was hesitant to leave out. As someone who is responsible for hiring, he was able to acknowledge that he rarely reads past the second page [in resumes he reviews], which made it easier for him to see that length does matter."

Fermin suggested that he cut out his three work experiences from 1981 through 1988, because his more recent experience is more important. They agreed to keep in his tenure at Accenture, which lasted from 1988 to 1991, because Accenture is an important name in consulting.

Next, Fermin and Thukral worked to reshape the information under each job title to focus on his achievements.

[See the updated resume.]

For example, Thukral changed one bullet point from "Assisted Provider Services with development of a business case to implement comprehensive network performance management & contracting processes across the enterprise" to "Developed a business case and design to implement comprehensive network performance management & contracting processes for Provider Services."

Fermin's pointers and editing suggestions helped Thukral condense his resume from three pages to two. Thukral said he's pleased with his updated resume.

"I was worried about leaving out important information, which is why my resume was longer," Thukral said. "He had good advice for cutting it down. I think the resume looks and reads better. It's a lot more concise."

IT consultant resumes: Four tips
Because IT consultants hop from project to project, they need to approach their resume a little differently from their counterparts in full-time roles. Here are four tips from Mondo's director of recruitment, Vik Nath.

  • Call out teamwork. "Consultants have to partner with internal client stakeholders and full-time employees," Nath said. "As such, consultants should highlight specific situations where they've effectively partnered and how they've accomplished project milestones."

  • Use metrics. As was the case with Thukral's resume, IT consultants need to focus details on accomplishments, rather than responsibilities. "Traditional resumes used to focus on what you're responsible for versus what you've accomplished. Trends have recently changed where hiring managers want to see specific results," Nath said. "Some IT metrics are hard to quantify, but generally IT consultants can highlight increased efficiencies, reduced defects, and successful implementations."

  • Be wary of skills. Though it might be tempting to fill your resume with skills and technologies that you've used, be sure to include only the ones you're an expert with, Nath advised. "Candidates in the IT space generally list a variety of technologies they've touched on but aren't able to discuss these in depth during an interview. Resumes should be double-checked to remove technologies that aren't truly areas of expertise and where no prior practical experience exists."

  • Tailor your resume. Though it might be time consuming to tailor your resume to each consulting opportunity that you apply for, doing so will increase your chances of being hired. "Consultants tend to have one resume that's sent out for all of the roles they are targeting in their job search," Nath said. "The main challenge is that tailoring resumes for specific positions and clients is time-sensitive, which leads consultants to having one version that is broad rather than specific."

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About the Author(s)

Kristin Burnham

Senior Editor,

Kristin Burnham currently serves as'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, most recently as senior writer. Kristin's writing has earned an ASBPE Gold Award in 2010 for her Facebook coverage and a Min Editorial and Design Award in 2011 for "Single Online Article." She is a graduate of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

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