Christine Léane January 19, 2021 Resume
Spend the Most Time on the Most-Read Part of Your Resume – Contrary to what you might think, the most-read part of your resume is not your name. When there are hundreds of resumes to review, names matter little in initial evaluations. The most read part of your resume is your Profile or Experience Summary. If your resume is missing this section, you are losing your best opportunity to create interest. It used to be common to put an Objective at the top of your resume. However, the Profile or Experience Summary section has completely replaced the Objective section. Why? It is a quick 3-4 sentence overview of your qualifications. This acts as an Executive Summary for a reviewer where you clearly point out why you are the best candidate for this specific position. If you don’t generate interest in this section, your chances of further review or even an interview are slim.
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.
If you don’t have certifications, why not begin training for the one most applicable to you? These can ease a career transition proving your knowledge in new areas where you may not have as much work experience. There are many great online or in-person training programs to prepare you for the certification exams.
Avoid Flowery Language That Diminishes Your Achievements – You could have a comedy show with some of the statements people make on their resumes. You don’t want your resume to stand out for the wrong reasons. Avoid creative writing. Avoid big words and uncommon vocabulary. Avoid over the top statements that make you sound like you saved the universe. They immediately call your credibility immediately into question. Resume writer Don Goodman shares one of his favorite claims as ”Rocketed performance to stellar heights.” Says Goodman, ”People don’t speak like that; I have never heard an executive tell the HR person that they needed someone who could rocket performance to stellar heights. Remember, people hire people they like, so don’t make your resume read like an amateur poet wrote it.”
Finally, make sure each job history write-up in your experience history (your job summaries) includes these details as well. When I get into a detailed resume review, one of the first things I do is map the summary to the details. I try to determine where and when you had the required experience for the computer programmer job. If I can’t find it called out in the details, I will assume you don’t have that experience, regardless of what your summary says. It is very important that you to pay attention to these details because, as a reviewer, I most certainly do. The job summaries are the key to getting past the initial resume screening. Take time to make sure the details line up with what you said in your experience summary and technical skills list.
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.
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