Resume Opens Doors

A Great Resume Opens Doors


  1. Let’s start with ALWAYS be honest, accurate and consistent. Your online profile will need to match exactly to what is on your resume. Many candidates get eliminated when things such as title and work dates are different online than what is on the resume. Also, most hiring processes include a background check where former employment is verified. Returned discrepancies from your resume may be reason to rescind a job offer.
  2. Now, start with the right structure. IT resumes will have 4 basic components(sections) in this order: Summary, Skills, Job Experience and Education & Certifications. This will allow you to quickly represent yourself to all prospective employers.
  3. Avoid all the fancy stuff. A very straightforward Word document in a simple font works best. Do not use graphics, do not add columns. Do not hide text. Never put a photo on it!
  4. Include only pertinent contact information and always put it at the top of page 1: Full name, cell number, email address, home city and state. Optionally adding the link to your LinkedIn profile is helpful.
  5. Length. This is the biggest question and usually the biggest concern from someone receiving a resume. Depending on the length of your career, a two-page resume is optimal. A four-page resume is the absolute top end for length, never go longer. No one will read much past the second page!
  6. What to do with old or irrelevant stuff? Older jobs can be listed with just title, company and dates worked. Job details from twenty years ago don’t really matter much. They could be eliminated completely as well.
  7. The Summary Section is key to describing to the hiring manager who you are and why you fit the job you are applying to. It should be one paragraph or no more than six (6) bullet points. Remember this is a summary, not a laundry list of everything you’ve ever done.
  8. Skills Section: Should be divided up into sections such as Languages, Scripting, Security, etc., for easy reading. Also, only list skills that you can discuss technically on an interview. Many interviews have been botched on questions about an older skill on a resume. Make this section current. More is not better.
  9. Job Experience Section: For each job you’ve had you’ll want to list (most current on top): Company name, City, state, date started, date ended, your title, and then a BRIEF list of job responsibilities. No more than 12 bullet points per job. Make it the 12 most important things you did at that job.
  10. Education Section – Include all of your degrees with the most recent on top. If you graduated, then put the degree you earned. If you did not graduate, simply say how long you attended. A high percentage of IT jobs no longer require a degree in order to get hired, so always be transparent.
  11. Certifications – These go in the Educations section after any degrees. You should list the most current and relevant ones first.
  12. Bolding – Just Bold the section headings and the heading for each job. Anything more will make your resume hard to read. Spelling & Grammar – There is zero reason for typos on resumes. It is unprofessional and a poor reflection of the candidate’s work quality. You should always have someone else read over your resume before you send it out.
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