Recruiter Critiques Project Manager – Developer’s Resume

John, a veteran IT project manager and software developer from California, has been looking for a permanent, full-time position for the last five months. And although he’s submitted upwards of 50 resumes over the last two months alone, he’s only received 10 call backs.

Can John improve his approach? To find out, we paired him up with Karla Baierl, a hiring manager for information systems and consulting firm SysLogic in Brookfield, Wis. She critiqued John’s resume in a video conferencing session, as part of Dice News pilot program where real hiring managers critique the resumes of Dice readers.

Our full series on John’s resume critique:

John G and Fist Story

John’s Job Search

John found himself looking for work after his most recent contract — as project manager for a New Jersey technical company that serves the nuclear energy industry — came to a close. Before that, he held a permanent, full-time position as a senior software engineer and systems, network and database administrator with a Las Vegas technology company. He lost the job in a company-wide downsizing. John took advantage of the company’s outplacement services, and went as far as hiring  a professional service to redo his resume.

To date, the only feedback he’s received on his resume has been from one prospective employer. “He said he was expecting two pages (as opposed to one) given the level of my experience,” John says.

Deep Dive on John’s Resume

Indeed, that was one issue that Baierl noted. In sizing it up, she pointed to top things he needs to consider fixing: Lack of an overall accomplishment list, lack of focus, and a poor format. Because John listed himself as both a project manager and a software developer, the resume created confusion over the type of position he was seeking. An overuse of fonts, bold-face type, italics, underlines and different type sizes made the document look more mashed up than professional.

Here is Baierl’s marked up copy. We’ve numbered Baierl’s comments and expanded on them below:

The Details

John - Karla

1: List yourself as Project Manager or Software Developer, but not both.

If you’re skilled in both areas, have two separate resumes. Capture the prospective employer’s attention with the summary, but don’t go into great detail about your work history. The brief summary information you provide will be supported by your description of your professional experience. You want to entice the hiring manager to continue reading down the page to learn more about you.

2: Remove the bullet points from each job.

Instead, list those accomplishments under the relevant employers where they occurred.

3: Describe your specific contributions to the PG&E upgrade.

4: Is Senior Software Engineer, Systems/Network/Database Administrator an official title?

You should always use your official title. If they conduct an Internet search and find different titles for what you’ve done, a potential employer may think you’re embellishing. Also, a software verification system may kick out your resume if it doesn’t recognize the title.

5: ‘DOE’ is unnecessary, and acronyms can be distracting.

6: Note your accomplishments, and make the migration of the relational database results oriented.

7: Is 9Tb the right abbreviation for the size of the relational database?

“Terabyte” is TB and “terabit” is Tb.

8: With five years of experience, there should be a lot more information for your work in Las Vegas.

9: If you’re seeking a position as a software developer, play up your developer experience and skills. But if you’re focusing on a product manager position, downplay title of Vice President of Software Development.

10: How do these two bullets support either a software developer or product manager role?

11: These two time periods overlap.

It’s important to explain that one of the two companies was a startup you founded as a weekend pet project. Your startup experience shows you likely touched many parts of the development process.

12: List the outcomes of your work.

What was the result of developing the unique process for embedding provenance data?

13: How were the updated computer science curriculum guides received?

Were they implemented, and what was the result? For example, you could rephrase this to read: “Rewrote the 20-year old curriculum to bring it up to current standards.”

14: The programming languages should be listed with the particular companies where you put the skills to use.

Job candidates often create a laundry list of the skills they know, but often forget to list where and how they used them.

15: Same as No. 14, for your other technical skills.

16: Overall Review

The resume is disjointed. John should decide what role he is seeking in his next job and cite experience that supports that role. If he has valid experience, he should feel free to create a two-page resume. The lack of details in this one implies a lack of experience and/or ownership of the work.

RIP Resume

How did John react?

“Karla was great,” he says. “I need to detail my accomplishments and experiences in each of my jobs. And if I move my bullet point items to the job experience, my resume will be more cohesive.”

Expanding his resume to two pages is also among the things he plans to do based on  with Baierl’s advice – advice,we should note, that ran counter to the expensive resume writing service that John had previously used.

 

Comments

  1. BY Chad says:

    Interesting comments. I have the feeling that the real reason he isn’t getting hired is because his experience is jumpy more than using Tb instead of TB. He was a vice president of software development, then potentially took a step back for a job as a senior software developer engineer /systems/network (what does that even mean), then became a project manager. Thats not usually the path for a software engineer or a project manager. If a company is looking for a hands on software developer, then he isn’t your guy, he hasnt done it recently enough, also he was doing front end and back end development, again jack of all trades master of none . If they are looking for a project manager he only has 2 years of recent experience. He needs to make a resume more tailored to the position. he also doesnt have any continuty – he looks like he doesnt know what he wants to do.

  2. BY Cathy says:

    It is really important to write good resume in this economy. Even if you have some good skills ,and especially if you don’t, a good resume is a must have. I decided to rework my resume after i was getting few quality calls for interviews. I hired a professional , 86keys.com to help out, and they did a great job. They do a lot of IT resumes, including software engineers, PMs, network admins and more. My boss (the CTO) even used them when the company was closing down and he was impressed.

  3. BY Tom says:

    People do key word searches to find candidates. There is absolutely no detail on anything he has done. What skills has he worked with? What was his role? What tools was he using? What version were you working with? How big was the team? How much of the work was hands on? Four bullet points sum up the last seven years of his life. I’m surprised he got any calls.

    Details matter. The more detail you list the better your chances of getting hired. A resume that is too descriptive is much better than one with no details. Also if there are multiple projects at one company then these need to be split into different jobs so people know how much experience a candidate has with each project. The lack of detail is the main reason why this candidate got almost no calls.

  4. BY PM Hut says:

    I don’t consider getting 10 calls out of 50 of his CVs bad.

    Some issues with John’s CV:

    - His CV doesn’t have that much content for someone who worked close to 20 years
    - There are overlapping dates
    - The part “Select Technical Skills” shouldn’t be there, he should mention how he used what language where.
    - His project management experience is weak and he is most likely applying for PM jobs all the time.

    He might receive a few more calls with an enhanced CV, but the real problem lies with his experience.

  5. BY Ron says:

    I have a lot of respect and admiration for people who work in field that require SKILLS, such as software developers, engineers, air traffic controllers, surgeons, ethical hackers, astrophysicists, etc. The commenters here are very good at criticizing others. One commenter above states the following: “Even if you have some good skills ,and especially if you don’t, a good resume is a must have.” In other words, she understands that what is on your resume is actually more important than your skill level. But the problem with this approach is that you end up hiring the “prettiest” resume, not necessarily the most skilled engineer. But I believe that to the HR, the prettiest resume IS the most skilled employee – even if that resume was written by someone that the applicant hired to write it.

    • BY Gregor says:

      YEA, what Ron said !

    • BY Allison Gaynor says:

      Ron, it occurs to me that the mutual disrespect between marketing and engineering reveals itself again. Think Dilbert. Lol!

      Seriously, this is a core problem in technical recruiting. It is a rare bird that has equally strong technical and marketing skills. When I was a project lead, I needed my developers to code. It was a plus if they had great social skills and could spell, but it was my job to be the “marketing” face of the team. 

      A resume judges a technical person on the wrong skill set. Frankly, I would rather see a sample application. Point me to a website that the prospective employee built. But this takes time. And at least a basic familiarity with coding and testing.

      A friend (a software developer) posted this quote by Albert Einstein:  “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life thinking it is stupid.” Or, in this case, unemployable.

      The economy will recover. And the same folks who are nitpicking “TB” vs “Tb” will start focusing on technical skills again when the Johns of the IT world retire and there’s a shortage of technically skilled workers.

      I’m getting a lot of emails from recruiters lately desperately seeking Java developers. (I get these emails because I managed Java development projects and they don’t bother to read my resume.) The smart recruiters are fixing the typos and forwarding the resumes to their clients.

  6. BY Gregor says:

    Funny how multiple people poo-poo’ed on his wearing of multiple hats, and having a resume that reflects it. Corporate downsizing decisions often revolve around who can be adaptable, and play multiple roles to help keep a company alive and functioning during tough times. I personally had to make some difficult decisions in deciding which %40 of my development staff to lay-off after 911. Guess what, these are still tough times, and versatility, communication skills, and attitude still rank high on my hiring criteria! I do agree in having a focused resume for the job submission at hand, but I would also find a way to indicate you were required to take on additional responsibilities, beyond your specific job title.

    It’s sad that often talented people like John get their resumes filtered out by people who don’t even remotely have the qualifications or skills to understand what really goes on in technology jobs today. Instead, they rely on petty ideas passed onto them by archaic HR managers. Pick up the phone, talk to them, you’ll be surprised what you’ll learn.

    • BY Bill says:

      Thats if they can figure out how to dial the desk phone using their thumbs!

      I agree, the real issue seems to be with the so called recruiter experts…

  7. BY Bill says:

    The multitude of differing comments by these recruiters hints at the real issue here. Employers most often HAVE NO IDEA of what a new hires skills should be, and they are therefore unable to adequately pass on those needs to a recruiter. I tried an experiment recently, using the exact role descriptions as posted by recruiters, then tailoring my resume to the posted descriptions. Keywords included…in all I posted 45 resumes over one week…NOT ONE RESPONSE !
    I have in excess of 30 years in IT, some recruiters want a one page summary resume! some then say for 30 years experience, you should have at least two pages…other recruiters indicate they read a resume for less than 30 seconds…

    Seems the problem is not with the content of this gentlemans resume, but with the professional minds sifting through the chaff in 30 seconds per review, looking for that one resume that may suit their mood at that particular moment.

    I suggest that John prepare 15 different resumes, each tailored to a specific career path…the fact that he has a wide variety of experience shows his versatility and willingness to undertake any job…perhaps some of the expert recruiters should take a quick look at their own career paths…what was it,,,McDonalds in High School, Drink Waiter until they dropped out of college, then BINGO…Careers recruiter with the gall to assume they know what constitutes a poorly written resume.

    TB and Tb aside (what an inane comment for a typo) …would the reviewer, Karla Baierl, Hiring Manager for SysLogic, care to actually explain the difference between the two units…without the benefit of Google…

    The comments relating to overlapping dates shows me that John was willing to undertake different tasks during his tenure with company X…to pick on that point shows a distinct lack of immaturity.

    In case anyone is interested, I would hire John in an instant, despite his age…which I truly suspect is the real reason these 20 something so called professional recruiters are not calling him back.

    30 years in IT, and I thought I had seen it all…until I read this garbage.

    • BY Mark Feffer says:

      I’ve got disagree with you about the TB/Tb point, Bill. If they mean two different things, they mean two different things, and I’d expect a candidate to know which was which.

      • BY Bill says:

        And you, an Editor for Dice, makes a simple typo in your reply and you expect me not to respond…”Bill. If they mean two different things, they mean to different things, and I’d expect a candidate to know which was which.”

        1/ You used the incorrect “to” in the second reference.
        2/ If you are a technical recruiter, you had better know the difference between a TB and a Tb….otherwise, how would you even suspect its not correct. If you do not know the difference, find out !

        “For Pete’s sake”, this is exactly the mind numblingly stupid rhetoric that pervades the recruiting industry and has done so for years.

        • BY Mark Feffer says:

          Well, you’re right about the “to” — I was typing too fast. Thanks for pointing it out. (And, for the record, I took the liberty of fixing it.)

          But I think you’re missing the point. It’s not the recruiter who has to demonstrate their knowledge here — it’s the candidate. Just as my mistake hurt my credibility with you, a candidate’s mistake is going to hurt his or her credibility with the recruiter or hiring manager.

          It’s too bad you think this is “mind numbingly stupid.” I hope people here don’t take you too seriously — or all the other folks piling on recruiters, whether it’s Karla or in general. I’ve seen job seekers go into interviews with this kind of attitude, and they never get called back. The critique here is intelligent and John found it useful. I don’t see why there’s a problem with that.

          • BY Bill says:

            It seems that we have reached the section of the conversation where some real content is manifesting itself.
            1/ You, as Editor, have the ability to correct your mistakes and cudos for your quick correction. I realized your mistake was almost certainly a typo, as it could have been in John’s case of Tb against TB. The issue remains one of credibility…and it is not the applicants credibility I am referring to.
            2/ Even if the recruiter questioned the Tb against TB, what technical qualifications do these recruiters hold to enable an informed and educated critique of an applicants resume? In most cases that I have encountered, sadly, NO.
            3/ Can the recruiter display an understanding of the complexity of most current technical roles, relay this understanding into a viable role description, then determine what their client really needs? Sadly, from my direct experiences of late, a definite NO.
            4/ You made mention of “all the other folks” piling on the recruiters, then you switch the focus of that point to “I have seen applicants take that attitude to an interview…” In a majority rules environment which we refer to as a democracy, the people have a voice. If you dont like what they are saying, perhaps you need to investigate why they are saying it and not attempt to change the subject.

            Last point…after all the critiques of his resume, I certainly hope “John” has found a suitable role. He deserves much better than he received from those so-called “recruiting experts”. His resmue shows him to be multi talented, creative, hard working and dedicated. There are many ways to critique someones work, their methods in general seem more focussed on creating hype for your story, rather than making creative criticisms.

            Did John find work ?

    • BY James Griffin says:

      Go Bill, Bill Go. Your critique of is dead on, I’m surprised your comment were through and your weren’t banned for Dice more making them.

      • BY James Griffin says:

        Opps made a couple of typos earlier, I meant to say I’m surprised your comments went through and you weren’t banned from dice for making them.

        • BY Bill says:

          Thanks for the support James…I have a reputation in my part of the world (DC) for saying exactly whats on my mind and most of my co-workers appreciate the honesty.

          To get back to John’s resume issue, we are all at the mercy of the market forces, but this does not excuse the actions of those recruiters that fail miserably at the most basic of tasks…adequate business communications with their clients…both the client seeking a new employee and more importantly, those that spend an enormous amount of time “tailoring” their resumes in the hope that the reviewing recruiter will like their presentation.

          Bill will forever be Bill…warts and all…but at least I respond to those that spend their precious time to correspond to me. Why is it nowadays that even this most basic business courtesy is a non event? Why do recruiters NEVER respond to phone calls, voice mail or emails?

    • BY Glenn says:

      You would hire him in an instant? Crazy. You are not rationally looking at his experience as it is written. Read my review of his resume above. Yes he has dabbled in a lot of technologies and has PM experience but that is *not* being a Jack-of-all-Trades.

      • BY Bill says:

        I don’t believe I am being “crazy”…I am reading the resume and forming the image in my mind of the individual…I spent 5-6 minutes reading his resume…sure it needs some refinement and work etc, but only to suit those recruiters that want to spend only 5-10 seconds reviewing an applicants experience…is this really fair, to either the applicant or the hiring client….

  8. BY Mikey says:

    Interesting note regarding the two pages and details, details, details, if necessary, because many “career advisory notes” state one page, one page, one page and insist that details be reduced and summarized.

  9. BY Thaddeus says:

    I would consider 10 call backs out of 50 (20%) very good in this market.

    Two-page, one-page resume/CV – to decide it can depend the kind of company, role, and level of experience that is likely expected. I use both for identical job postings, depending on the hiring organization. Such people as John are often forced to greatly dumb-down their resumes/CVs to improve their chances of being noticed. One reason to stick with a one-page resume/CV in some cases. Maybe why John here used one?

    I always appreciate open critiques of resumes/CVs. Unfortunately for John, he appears to be like too many of the most-experienced, skilled, versatile, and in the long-run VALUABLE potential employees. Who sadly, are increasingly the long-term unemployed as they are too good to be hired. Such people as John are too often passed-by because what they offer goes far beyond some cookie-cutter mold made by an HR Department to quickly go through resumes/CVs and conclude the process with the hiring of a warm body.

    Best of luck to John and all of the over-qualified people in his shoes….

    • BY Glenn says:

      You read that and got “Over qualified”?! The resume might lack details but what is there speaks volumes. He graduated with a CS degree but it was apparently 2 years before he got a computer job, well not really, he taught computer classes at a school for 5 years. He wanted a change though and got a Masters in CS. Very good. I like that, but then his next job is VP of Software Development? Where he did all the coding? Okay it was a small startup probably nothing wrong with that. And his other job was “Team Lead, Research Associate” but the bullet point doesn’t make clear whether he was a non-technical PM or doing Java development. But neither of those jobs lasted. Then the next job was another very small shop where he was the developer, sys, net, and db admin. In other words he was the whole IT department except for possibly a PC tech. Is he a fantastic Jack of all Trades? The bullet points say no. 1) he figured out they needed to upgrade X on people’s PCs – that’s one of his 3 victories in 5 years?, 2) he planned and migrated a 9TB DB with no data loss or outage? Out of the blue he is a database wiz? Or was it a simple move to a new machine? Likely the latter. 3) Legit experience but formatting text files isn’t rocket science. And lastly he was a PM responsible for some good documentation. Well okay.

      That is my impression after reading this resume. Possibly I am completely wrong about his qualifications, but why would I take the time to find out when there are so many good resumes in the pile?

      I’m an IT pro with about the same number of years as him working with many of the same technologies who vets resumes and helps interview technical candidates. I would either toss this resume or put it on the absolute bottom of the pile.

  10. BY Lakshmi Viswanathan says:

    What Karla Baierl has critiqued is all BS and full of c**p. If she takes a look at the job requirement skills of the majority of hiring organizations, she will find a whole laundry list of skill set, which no experienced engineer can accomplish in a short span of a 6-month contract job. Example: A typical electrical engineer’s required qual: 10 years experience, C, C+, Java, FPGA/ASIC design top down design experience, board level experience, SW and Pear scripting, project management, managed 5 or more individuals, DFT experience, back end design and a whole truck load of c**p etc. A person with 15 to 20 years experience will be doomed in the present environment to get a job especially in middle life. Hiring organizations usually advertise in a wired fashion, so that someone who is inexperienced within the company will despaerately accept for a lower pay or otherwise he will be pushed out and be in the streets.

  11. BY Chris says:

    As someone who has similar career experience as John, formerly a project lead for software projects and now a senior software engineer, I can certainly relate to his experience. In October of last year I was laid-off from the company I had worked for over 10 years and on the same govt. contract. At that time, I made it my full-time job to find another full-time job. I cannot tell you how many recruiters called/emailed me concerning a position requiring skills that I had not used for over 10 years. I’ve even had emails from recruiters asking if I’d be interested in an admin assistant position. As my resume clearly describes what type of position I was looking for as well as what skills I used while at particular jobs in my past, I could only conclude that these recruiters were not really reading my resume. They were using “dirty word searches” to bring candidate resumes to the top of their list. I believe the reason I got calls for admin assistant positions was because at the beginning of my IT career, I held a position as a Network Admin. I can also relate to the possibility of John not being called because the length of his career might indicate that he is an older worker. I’ve run into that one personally but unless companies tell you that you’re not a good candidate for the job because of your age, there’s very little you can do about it. Good luck John. It took me seven months to finally find a job, the longest I’ve ever been unemployed in my adult life. It’s tough out there but you have to be very determined. The fact that you hired a firm to redo your resume and now have Dice.com helping you with it proves that you’re determined.

    • BY Dawn Kawamoto says:

      Hi Chris and others who have chimed in,

      The purpose of these three stories regarding John is to not only help him learn about some changes he may want to consider making to his resume, but also give you all some ideas, based on the hiring mangers’ comments, on what you may consider doing to your resumes.

      Hopefully, you all have also checked out the comments that IT services director, Erik, has made and will loop back on Friday to see what the VP of engineering from Azaleos has to say.

      I’m curious if you all find it more useful to have only one hiring manager review a reader’s resume, rather than several hiring mangers chime in on one resume. Does it create more confusion with multiple opinions on a single resume, thereby giving you less useful information on how to retool your resume?

      I’m currently working on another reader’s resume who has three sets of hiring managers who have weighed in. We also have a couple more readers who will have only one hiring manager critique their resume. But your comments on this issue will be helpful for us going forward.

      Take care, Dawn

      • BY Bill says:

        Hello Dawn,

        The “human element” in the recruiting scenario means that for every recruiter who has one thought on how the perfect resume should be laid out, there will be a muititude of others that have differing opinions. One thing for certain though, any recruiter that reads a resume for less than 5 minutes, is not doing their job. I have occasionally used recruiters to find employees, and I have one explicit instruction for those recruiters, that being, I expect to be provided with each and every submitted resume, along with a notation against each and every resume as to where the recruiter felt the applicant had strengths and weaknesses. Yes, I went through several firms before I found some willing to do this, but I will never use a recruitment firm that will not provide me with this level of evidence of their efforts.

        I have to assume from the unwritten content in your response, that John is still unemployed and is now incurring further costs for “professional review and update” of his resume. What a sad day it is when we have to play follow the leader like a group of lemmings leaping off of a cliff.

        As to whether the public in general likes multiple critiques or single ones, the fact remains that for the most part, that non technical recruiters are reviewing initial applicants for technical positions.

        As for the hiring managers, perhaps if some of these folk adopted a “prove you have done the work” attitude to the recruitment firms, then we may be starting down the right path.

        I wish John well in his search, but seriously, he should not get his hopes up too much…

        • BY Dawn Kawamoto says:

          Hi Bill,

          Yes, John is still looking for a permanent, full-time position. But, he plans on using the comments from these hiring managers to retool his resume himself.

          As you will see in the critique from UCSF IT services director Erik Wieland, he thought John’s Jack-of-all-trades skills would do especially well in the public sector. He had noted that the public sector is often tight on financial resources, so they tend to be keenly interested in people who can play a variety of roles.

          Personally, I think once he takes their advice about expanding his resume to two pages and includes his achievements within each of the employers where he has worked and also creating two separate resumes (one for project management jobs, and one for software developer positions) his success in call-backs and interviews will dramatically increase.

          Take care, Dawn

      • BY Allison Gaynor says:

        Dawn, it is an invaluable service you are providing here. And having feedback on John’s resume from people in a variety of positions provides an in-depth perspective that few people receive on their resumes.

        Chris, I have had a similar experience to yours in being contacted by several recruiters who clearly have not read my resume. One recruiter, who like the others did not notice that my current position is running my own company, called me a second time. When reminded, she did recall our first discussion where she advised that I was likely too “entrepreneurial” to place in a direct position.

        Finally, thank you Bill for your heretic comment that a recruiter should spend at least 5 minutes reading a resume. I recently read an article that said a survey of hiring managers revealed that the average time spent “reading” a resume was measured in scant seconds; not minutes. 

        So, it is an interesting dichotomy that so much time, money and effort is spent on something that receives so little attention. 

  12. BY Brandon says:

    I totally agree with the recruiter’s critique. I worked in IT for 10 years and now work in the recruiting industry. In one year, I have probably reviewed around 2000 resumes, but what I can say confidently is that a resume, above all else, must do the job of conveying to the prospective employer what you actually did and can do. The second most important thing that it should convey is a consistent and progressive job history that falls in line with the position that is being applied for. If you have multiple skill sets (which many of us with IT backgrounds do), you must tailor your resume to the job that you are applying for. A good recruiter should know how to help you set it up to speak the language that the hiring manager is looking for. Hopefully, a good recruiter can also, “sell around” the resume if that is an option, but in many cases, recruiters do not have direct contact with the managers and must make the resume be the sales tool.

    The above resume fails in that it does not go into depth about what the candidate did at each position and that it has some inconsistencies in titles and timelines. As a recruiter, I would hesitate to even call someone with the above resume unless I was really struggling to find other candidates, they were a referral from someone I trusted, or the companies they worked at were well known or respected. The lack of depth and the varied titles might have scared me off…however, I do like the fact they have a Master of Computer Science. Most of my clients that hire developers love to see the formal education. Hope this was helpful!

  13. BY Ken says:

    John’s problem may not be his resume or his experience but his intended audience. Dice and other big job boards seem to be dominated by recruiters who place people in the Fortune 500. While large corporations need and use “versatile” people all the time, they tend to do things in big teams, which favors specialization. And to summarize what others have said, large corp HR departments will never have the expertise to compensate breadth for depth.

    Does that “doom” John to the mom-and-pop shops of the world? Maybe. I have an experience profile similar to John’s — what a baseball fan might call a “utility infielder / pinch hitter” profile — and every team — on the diamond or in the conference room — needs a couple if for no other reason than to let the specialists focus on their best work.

    Finding those teams in need of versatility has become my mission. And I will build a resume for that purpose.

  14. BY Mark Hope says:

    If I had listened to the advise of all these IT recruiters, I would have 100 different formatted CV’s. Regardless, the primary issue here is that I have been in the IT business since 1986, primarily in the B.I. and O.C.M. fields. Without creating a 32 page resume, it would be impossible to document every project achievement in detail covering that time span in a formal CV, let alone a 3 page detailed Skills Matrix.
    In the IT business, although I appreciate the prospective employers MUST HAVES, HAVE TO HAVES, NICE TO HAVE positional portal, this planet will never produce an IT candidate that is adverse in EVERYTHING or have the skill set/ experience/expertise in EVERYTHING either. Dead end and boring jobs are those that have one IT functionality in one area only….i.e. Java Programmer.
    With 30+ years experience in numerous projects, impossible to have a 2 page CV and the ” I want to see what you did, what you used, how you used it, the process, the outcome and ROI results” on 2 pages!!
    So this is what I did. I have formulated a good foundation CV stating the nuts and bolts of my expertise ( hardware/software familiarity, types of businesses that I did projects for…i.e.retail, manufacturing,etc., education credentials, etc.)and put together a separate MS Word Doc that can easily be attached to any e-mail that documents every project achievement and all the pertinent details associated with each project. In addition to that., a separate MS Word Doc has a very detailed Skills Matrix, outlining detailed specs. on hardware software knowledge, level of knowledge/expertise, proficiency scale and last time used/initiated.
    With respect to “position specific” it makes it much easier for me to put together a “position specific” CV by pull and abstract via cut and paste the applicable information from my CV and structure it to meet the employers positional portal. This way it dramatically cuts back on all the other IT related info that is not applicable to the position. This way I can also include projects that are associated with the position I am applying for.
    It may seem to be a lot of work for some people, but I can put together an applicable CV in about 30 minutes that is structured specifically to the employers needs, wants and desires and relates to their positional portal outline. I made sure that the CV flowed with some continuity, with no overlaps or inconsistencies.
    Conclusion: increased my inquiries by 25%, resulting in more telephone interviews and in less then 17 days, have two (2) written job offers.
    Yes, I may be the exception to the rule in most cases, but the positions were in the $100K+ range, and a 30 minute critiqued CV worked out to be a good ROI.

  15. BY xerxel says:

    Grateful for your blog since I had learn various ideas on how I’ll gonna have my resume presented in a way that my client would be impressed but regarding with project manager I thin your standards needs to be meet and must have work on it.

  16. BY B.H. says:

    Interesting how all the posts/comments are nine months old for a high tech firm.
    If one is actively reading any of the multitudes of articles on the ‘do & do not” appropriateness on resume and cv’s for the years 2012-13, they will find an overwhelming list of words to use and not to use as well as formats and document length. If one is over fifty, they are advised not to use dates of employment. Many companies are still requiring illegal information from applicants as required questions. If a knowledgeable applicant is aware of these and doesn’t respond, they cannot submit the application for a position for which they may be a perfect match. It is also advised not to list experience over ten years old. Too bad if the experience from years prior is in direct relation to the posted position. Are these recruiters even aware of legal record retention laws which permit a company to destroy employment documents after X years – meaning a person’s employment history can’t be verified unless done through social security? How about all the dual false postings – external and internal postings (even by the government) for positions that are merit positions where a real position isn’t even open externally but only to the one person qualified who already holds the position. Let’s not overlook the fact that many of these recruiters for a firm/web posting are not English proficient or have no B.A. or M.A. degrees to which they are to be placing people. And the list could go on and on…. just sign me as a highly skilled academic and corporate librarian, over fifty, who has been searching for a position for 4 1/2 years to get re-employed !!

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