Some Resume Advice

I realize I haven’t posted in a while. I hope I haven’t lost my place in anyone’s RSS reader! I’m working on several articles, but it’s been very busy at Planet Technologies, and I’ve struggled to find much “blog time”.  Smile

We’ve actually been so busy, I’m looking for consultants to join our team and help me out! Sadly, in my search for qualified individuals, I have been amazed at how many horrible resumes I have encountered!

I wanted to take a moment to pass along some pointers, for any of you looking for work in the fun and exciting field of Information Technology!!

Note: This is my personal rant opinion and not necessarily the opinions of my employer. 😉

Do: Understand a resume is a sales brochure; not a database of all facts about you.
Why: Look up the acronym: TLDNR
Don’t: List old irrelevant technologies (unless you invented them).
Why: It can make you seem out of touch; a horrible designation in the technology business.
Examples: Windows 95, DOS, LaserDisc
Don’t: List old certifications unless you also have the accompanying newish ones.
Why: It may suggest you are no longer motivated.
Examples: NT4 MCSE
Don’t: Try to stretch a single technology into many
Why: We may be proud of the new checkbox we learned about last week, but it by itself doesn’t warrant precious resume real estate. Besides, nobody is doing a resume search for “DHCP Administrator” anyway!
Examples: A simple “Windows Networking” is instead represented as: DNS, DHCP, WINS, Ethernet.
Don’t: List model numbers.
Why: This shows you are desperate to fill the page.  Additionally, they are likely to become obsolete quickly.
Examples: PowerEdge 1850, Cisco 2800
Do: Create multiple resumes for different purposes and understand what terms can be searched in wherever you’re submitting.
Why: You may be happy with a consulting gig or landing a nice comfy admin position. These resumes should not look alike.
Do: Offer to provide a project-based resume upon request.
Why: It shows you’re happy to talk shop with the right audience, but you acknowledge the person reading the resume may not appreciate the extra clutter.
Do: List your resume with multiple websites.
Why: Employers have to pay to use Monster, Career Builder, Dice, etc. and may not have multiple subscriptions.
Don’t: List the names of utilities on your resume.
Why: A constructor doesn’t list each tool on his tool belt and you shouldn’t be either.
Examples: ipconfig, msconfig, ADUC, etc.
Do: Understand there are no rules; despite what you learned in school or heard on TV.
Why: Employers are going to Google you, perhaps your address or school and form opinions based on the information you expose. This could be direct or indirect. Life isn’t fair, but you can be prepared and market yourself accordingly.
Do: Be aware, if submitting resume online, it doesn’t need to be visually striking. Crazy fonts, weird paragraph lines don’t help.
Why: It can make it difficult to read.
Do: List acronyms AND their full meaning.
Why: Employers may search for “System Center” and it’d be a shame if they missed you because you put “SCCM”.  The reverse is also true.
Examples: AD, Win2k8, E2k7


Below are some screenshots from a popular job search engine. As you can see, there is no leetspeak translation feature!  You may wish to consider this “employer view” when trying to optimize your resume for employer’s searches:




6 thoughts on “Some Resume Advice

    • Hey Ralph, thanks for the comment. You bring up a good point I’m not sure I really covered here. That is when people ‘sell’ themselves by putting skills or experience they don’t have on their resume. Another way of saying this is “lying”! Of course I do not advise that either.

  1. Well said! I will say that model number can be helpful for recruiters like myself if you have a position that requires experience with a certain piece of hardware but that is rare. I am going to re-post in my LinkedIn wall.

  2. Hey I worked my tail off for my NT4 MCSE, I am leaving it on there. I may have earned that one back in 98 but I think that also shows a true history of work. Anyone can say you worked in IT for 12 years or so but most people lie on a resume.

    I do agree that you need to have current certs too, if I did not have the evoultion of certs (NT4, 2000, 2003, MCITP EA, and so on) I think I would look like an old dude who does not care about being current. I may not list MCP’s but MCSE NT4 stays on 🙂

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