Bret Emilia February 23, 2021 Resume
Keep it Relevant – In second grade, I played the role of a singing tree in my school play. As important an event as that was to me in my life, it is completely irrelevant to our discussion here about resume writing tips. You should follow the same advice on your resume. If it is not relevant or you can’t reword it so that it is relevant to the job or employer, leave it off. Focus your resume on the items that qualify you for the position you are seeking. In other words, get rid of the fluff. For example, I once received a resume from a programmer, however the only thing I remember from it was that they attended clown college and competed in national juggling competitions. Yes, that was interesting, but it completely trumped their qualifications for the programming position which I don’t even remember. Basically, limit items on your resume to those relevant to the position for which you are applying. Do not include irrelevant items to that position on the resume. If you haven’t figured this out yet, this means you will have multiple, fine-tuned versions of your resume for each type of position for which you apply.
Use Key Words – Computer programmers understand logic and algorithms. Use this to your advantage by applying this approach to your resume. The prescreening process is very methodical. In many cases, these screens are done using logic in software applications especially if you apply online. Additional screenings may be completed by human resources or other non-technical personnel who do not always understand the technologies required for the position for which you are applying but are merely using a checklist for resume screening. Hopefully you are beginning to see why it is so important to use key words on your resume. Let me clarify that, it is so important to use the RIGHT key words on your resume.
In writing about each of your previous jobs, discuss your results. Tell about what results were realized because of the work you performed. Be quantitative. Reviewers love to see numbers and results. Tell about how many desktops or users you supported, recount how many databases you administered, show a percentage of application or network uptime you maintained, provide a percent reduction of security incidents you achieved, etc. Get the idea? This is where you impress your reviewer.
A challenge for many people is knowing how to create an effective resume. You can conduct an Internet search and find literally hundreds of online articles and resources that provide fairly standard methods of creating a resume; however, that can become overwhelming in time. In addition, few people are highly skilled as a writer, and poorly written sentences with numerous spelling and grammatical errors can create a poor impression. You have to keep in mind the fact that when you send out a resume it is taking your place and represents you as a person, without the guarantee of securing an interview – and that means your resume can make or break your job prospects before you ever get to speak to someone about it.
Professional certifications from major vendors and professional associations typically carry the most weight and are well worth the investment of time and cost. They are definitely good things to have and can often give you an edge over other similar candidates being considered. In the computer programming area, certifications from Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and the like are definitely in demand. Highly sought after certifications from professional associations include A+, Network+, and Security + from Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA); Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) from International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)²; and Project Management Professional (PMP) from Project Management Institute.
Show a Skills Summary – Any IT type of resume needs to focus on specific technology experience. Why? Because recruiters, employers, resume reviewers, and application tracking systems all search resumes for keywords relevant to specific job postings. As you a programmer, I am sure you can imagine an algorithm designed to score your resume against the job posting based on similarity with keywords/skills in the posting. The reason you need a skills summary on your resume is to ensure you get all of those technologies and key words listed so you can score higher on these reviews.
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