The Resume

Even though you may have the most in-demand expertise and you're sure the CIC client will "love" you once you're working on the assignment, you have one major obstacle that you first have to overcome.

You have to make a positive impression on the recruiter or hiring manager offering the job in order to land the interview and that begins with a written resume. Below, CIC has listed some tips for you to follow that will give you an edge to obtain that crucial first interview.

1.0   Are different versions of your resume necessary?

While it may have been acceptable in past years to maintain one master or "all-purpose" resume to use when applying for assignments, it is no longer the case today. As many computer consultants know, technology changes much too rapidly for a resume that proudly touts several years of COBOL skills to be noteworthy.

Depending upon your years of experience as an IT consultant, different versions of your resume may be necessary in order to avoid producing one which is many pages long. This will allow you to tailor each one to include information which is best applicable to a particular job.

2.0  How much is too much information to list?

If you're new to the IT consulting industry, listing each and every detail about your past assignments will only bore hiring managers and recruiters. This is especially true if you choose to digress into long and involved detail about the technical intricacies of each job you've held.

Technical detail is best saved for the technical interview, during which you'll either take a computer-based test or be quizzed by a senior consultant who is heavily skilled in your technological background.

Either way, your first and foremost goal is to land the interview, so simpler is indeed better.

In the past, we've analyzed what information makes a good resume. We have learned there are certain rules which all good resume writers regularly follow.

3.0  Functional Layout

Include a summary section for each position worked. Ideally, this should be a brief description (three to four sentences) in which you give recruiters and hiring managers a capsule look at your role on each assignment.

Also, be sure to mention the technologies upon which you focused and the technical strengths you possess that were most beneficial to solving the needs of the project. You may want to list a brief description (denoted above) then list the "technologies used" directly below the description.

4.0  Functional Layout

List only the versions of certain hardware and software with which you do have experience. While this may seem an obvious rule to follow, many consultants-in the interest of giving themselves a leg up on the competition for assignments-fall prey to the urge to list skills and expertise they do not possess.

Some do not believe they are doing anything wrong, as they may claim to have skills in more recent versions of software when they have expertise in prior editions.

However, these candidates later learn the severity of their mistakes when they are given a technical test and are not able to "fudge" their way through a portion with which they're not familiar.

As a result, they've not only lost the opportunity for getting that particular assignment, but they are now recognized as candidates who do not honestly represent their technical background. So, being caught in that "one little lie" may cost you many opportunities in the future.

5.0  Format

Format your resume in an easy-to-read style. If you decide to submit your resume in the traditional hard-copy format via mail, don't feel compelled to use special paper or fancy graphics.

And, whether you apply via regular mail, via fax, or now more popular method of e-mail, use standard fonts (e.g., Times, Courier) and sizes or type (10pt.,12pt.) for better legibility.

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