Taking Your Tech Résumé from Good to Great

Thursday, July 13th, 2017 - Resume

What does your résumé say about you? Does it paint a picture of you as an average worker, or as an exceptional candidate with a lot to offer?

Fortunately, you have total control over how your résumé presents your experience and accomplishments. Here are some changes you can make to take it from so-so to super.

Contact Information

Streamline your contact section by ditching the street address and just listing your city and state, mobile phone number, and professional email address.

Include a shortened descriptive link to your best online profile or website, as well as your GitHub account (if you maintain one); make it easy for employers to find your contact information by judiciously placing links to personal websites and blogs near the end of the document. Remember, applicant-tracking systems will skip over information contained in headers, footers or tables—so don’t inundate your résumé with certification buttons or company logos.

When writing, always keep in mind where you want the reader’s eye to go. “Use color and bold face type selectively; when you want to draw the reader’s attention to a specific section of your résumé,” said Kevin Morris, an executive IT résumé writer.

Headline and Summary Section

Position your résumé for the job you want—not the jobs you’ve had—and make it more searchable by adding relevant keywords and areas of expertise to your headline.

Example of a keyword-loaded headline:

Database Developer / Administrator

Big Data | Cloud Services | Business Intelligence | In-Memory | SQL Server

 

That’s a good start, but where do you go from there? “The most impactful change you can make is to focus your résumé on business, not technology,” Morris said.

Start that “focusing” with your opening summary. Explain how you intend to use your previous experience, technical expertise and knowledge to add business value to an organization.

Here’s an example of a business-focused summary:

Senior Director | VP

Information Systems | Corporate Infrastructure | Support Services | Technology Integration

Creative Technology Director who evolved ABC Company’s fledgling IT function into a world-class business support organization, growth enabler, and value creator | Serve as the Voice of IT to all clients and business stakeholders, championing infrastructure solutions that facilitate corporate growth and customer success | Recruit, develop, and challenge high-performance teams | Strong financial/business perspective and engineering skill set | MS in Computer Science.

Consensus Builder | Problem Solver | Crisis Manager | Negotiator

 

Your technical skills are a key part of your sales pitch. Instead of repeating your core skills over and over throughout the résumé, place them in a table, or briefly list them in your “Experience” section.

“Mention them once and focus the rest of your résumé on achievements and the role you are interested in,” said Fatemah Mirza, professional résumé writer, career coach and owner of CareerTuners. “Otherwise, your résumé will look just like everyone else’s and it won’t engage the reviewer.”

Professional Experience Section

Replace non-descriptive job titles with relevant ones to show why you’re qualified for a position, or place keywords in parentheses to explain an unclear job title. For example:

XYZ Company, Monroeville, PA, 2016 – Present
Purchasing & Maintenance Stream Lead (Senior Systems Analyst)

Insert captions below each job title to summarize your key contributions or to illustrate career progression if you’ve held several roles at the same company:

Director, Corporate Information Services, 2007 – 2009
Positioned technology organization as a value-added partner to the business units

 

Create short job descriptions for each position to show the reader what you’ve accomplished, and to support the information in your opening summary. What was your original mission? Why were you hired, and how did things improve? Tell a story to draw in the reader.

“Focus on the results you achieved to make your résumé standout and easier to read,” Mirza said.

Here’s an example of an effective job description:

Business Analyst (Senior Analyst, Solutions Design Architect)

Promoted following corporate divestiture/restructuring to define SAP Procure to Pay (PTP) integration strategy and maintain legacy systems | Serve as PTP SAP team lead, perform gap analysis on procurement and inventory systems, recommend and implement system enhancements, and lead regression testing activities to ensure compliance with corporate policies, controls, and procedures | Manage cross-functional team supporting 13 E-Procurement interfaces, 14 locations, and 28 key business stakeholders.

Finally, offer just three to five quantified achievement bullets to support each job description, and front-load them whenever possible so they convey business value. Here’s an example of a business-focused achievement bullet:

  • Improved development processes enabling MegaDigital to deliver 3 major releases within the first 20-months | Subsequently able to release product updates every 3 months.

If you’re interested in taking your résumé from good to great, check out these additional “before and after” examples from Kevin Morris:

Contact Section

Before:

David Spinner
263 Homer Lane, Vancouver, WA 98661 t (H) 360-555-2154 t (C) 360-555-2975
[email protected] t https://www.linkedin.com/in/DSpinner37944/

After:

David Spinner
Vancouver, WA | 360.555.2975 | [email protected] | linkedin.com/in/SpinnerITsales

[Note that I eliminated the home phone and physical address, updated the email address, and streamlined and personalized the LinkedIn URL]

 

Summary Section

Example of a keyword-loaded headline:

Database Developer / Administrator
Big Data | Cloud Services | Business Intelligence | In-Memory | SQL Server

Example of using keyword-loaded headline with a relevant quote:

Sales VP | Regional Sales Director | Senior Global Account Manager
“You don’t close a sale, you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise.” – P. Fripp


Headline and Summary

Before (no headline):

Senior Information Technology Leader with many years’ experience in planning, developing, and implementing infrastructure solutions to facilitate corporate growth. Lead cross-functional teams with diverse technical backgrounds. Adept at consensus building, crisis management, problem-solving and negotiating. Well-rounded IT and Management background. MS in Computer Science.

After:

Senior Director | VP

Information Systems | Corporate Infrastructure | Support Services | Technology Integration

Creative Technology Director who evolved ABC Company’s fledgling IT function into a world-class business support organization, growth enabler, and value creator | Serve as the Voice of IT to all clients and business stakeholders, championing infrastructure solutions that facilitate corporate growth and customer success | Recruit, develop, and challenge high-performance teams | Strong financial/business perspective and engineering skill set | MS in Computer Science.

Consensus Builder | Problem Solver | Crisis Manager | Negotiator


Fixing non-descriptive job titles

[This candidate’s official job title hurt his chances of landing a senior-level analyst position. The second sample below is an earlier title this candidate held at another company:]

Before:

XYZ Company, Monroeville, PA (2016 – Present)
Purchasing & Maintenance Stream Lead

After:

XYZ Company, Monroeville, PA, 2016 – Present
Purchasing & Maintenance Stream Lead (Senior Systems Analyst)


Before:

ABC Tech, Inc, Monroeville, PA
Senior Administrator, 2008 – 2011

 

After:

ABC Tech, Inc, Monroeville, PA, 2008 – 2011
Senior Administrator (SAP Senior Analyst)

[Below: Using the job title section to showcase an evolving storyline of business value creation and career success. This client had worked for the same company since 1999 and we wanted to show growth despite a career with just one company. The blue highlights tell a story of how he took this IT organization from startup to key driver of business success.]

Senior Director, Corporate Information Services, 2009 – Present
Merged diverse information systems and completed IT’s evolution into a value-added organization

Director, Corporate Information Services, 2007 – 2009
Positioned technology organization as a value-added partner to the business units

Manager, Information Technology, 1999 – 2007
Matured IT organization from startup through early business expansion supporting 1300+ clients

 

Job Description

[Example of showing what you were hired to do, followed by big-picture roles and job scope.]

Senior SaaS Sales Manager, Enterprise Accounts

Recruited to expand SaaS offerings into new market verticals and drive sales of risk management, fraud prevention, chargeback management, and payment gateway solutions into top-500 ecommerce merchants and Fortune 500 companies| Identify market opportunities, develop strategic relationships, manage RFI/RFP/RFQ processes, and actively participate in new product rollouts | Manage $4M budget, 23 staff.

Business Analyst (Senior Analyst, Solutions Design Architect)

Promoted following corporate divestiture/restructuring to define SAP Procure to Pay (PTP) integration strategy and maintain legacy systems | Serve as PTP SAP team lead, perform gap analysis on procurement and inventory systems, recommend and implement system enhancements, and lead regression testing activities to ensure compliance with corporate policies, controls, and procedures | Manage cross-functional team supporting 13 E-Procurement interfaces, 14 locations, and 28 key business stakeholders.

 

Full Job Description Samples

[Here is an example of going from horrible-to-great. This kind of transformation takes digging into the person’s work and discovering where value has been created. In this instance, we had an IT executive discussing all of his tactical work without giving any attention to his role as IT strategist.]

Before:

VP of Information Technology and Business Processes Improvement, 2014 – Present

  • Member of the Executive Team responsible for identifying IT and process improvement including applicant tracking systems, HRIS systems, timekeeping, and contract software.
  • Design, oversee development, and support internal cloud and web-based systems to support rapid growth.
  • Research, develop requirements, and determine scope for business process improvements to increase efficiencies or reduce costs.
  • Manage all stages of software development to support business processes and support critical business strategies.
  • Manage Technology Projects. Responsibilities include team selection and scheduling of resources, project monitoring and reporting, testing and implementation, and training.
  • Evaluate and recommend technology platforms within U.S. Government agencies including the Department of Defense and the Department of State such as databases, system migrations, cloud base computing. Have also managed custom software development projects for these clients.


After:

ABC Company, Boston, MA (2014 – Present)

Vice President, Information Technology and Business Processes Improvement

Redefined IT organization creating a collaborative environment fully aligned with business vision 

Recruited to facilitate business growth by defining a business-centric technology vision and bringing real structure and governance to the IT environment | Spearhead technology and communications functions to include enterprise business systems, software design and development, technology projects, and user training | Lead efforts to centralize IT, automate administrative processes, and set technology guidelines and policies | Evaluate and recommend technology platforms | Manage $6M CAPEX/OPEX, 21 personnel.

  • Facilitated nearly 3X company growth and 2X contract revenue increase with minimal increase in business costs.
  • Eliminated back office technology issues allowing company to focus on business development and achieve growth goals.
  • Resolved nearly all company pain points through process improvements and more efficient use of technology.
  • Improved decision-making capabilities by providing transparency into contracts, projects, and company performance.

[Below is an excellent example of good-to-great. Notice how we eliminated terms like “responsible for” reorganized the best information to improve the flow. Note how the first bullet of the AFTER version begins with “Orchestrated successful Reorganization” as this was the primary reason he was hired. The other 2 bullets are frontloaded to put the business impact first. Also notice how in the AFTER version the bullets no longer focus on job roles. Finally, notice how 3 bullet points paint a much more vivid picture than the original 6 (in this instance, less is more)]

Before:

Vice President of Engineering, MegaDigital Corp, New York, NY 2007 – 2010

Responsible for management of 4 product development teams, product maintenance team and the Quality Assurance team. Organization consisted of 60 engineers with a budget of $12 million. Member of the executive staff responsible for setting company direction. Extensive pre and post sales customer interaction with large strategic and multinational customers. Worldwide installed base of 130,000 units.

  • Delivered on product commitments that resulted in the delivery of 3 major releases over a 20-month period.
  • Managed and directed new product development and maintenance engineering that generated over 95% of the company’s revenue.
  • Reorganized the engineering department into three lines of business; that enabled each team to focus resources in areas that were critical to each line of business.
  • Participated in numerous developers’ conferences, and round-table discussions to gain an understanding of features that were important to the customers. Worked within cross-functional team to incorporate strategic functional items into future product architecture.
  • Initiated a process improvement effort that resulted in a Quality Manual that outlines the software development process, Coding Standards Guide and formal code inspection process.
  • Co-sponsored the development of a Case Management Guide that defined how customer support and Engineering interacted. Resulted in a greatly improved working relationship between Engineering and Customer Service.

After:

MegaDigital Corp, New York, NY (2007 – 2010)

Vice President of Engineering

Introduced new products that generated >95% of all company revenue

Promoted to reorganize Engineering and develop product enhancements | Spearheaded new product development and maintenance engineering, helped incorporate strategic new functions into future product architecture, actively participated in pre- and post-sales processes with multinational customers, and played key role in guiding enterprise direction | Directed 6 teams (4 product development, product maintenance, and QA), 60 engineers, and $12M budget.

  • Orchestrated successful reorganization, separating Engineering into 3 business lines, bringing structure to product support and development, and enabling teams to focus resources in areas critical to each business line.
  • Created new efficiencies and capabilities by redefining the relationship between Engineering and Customer Service.
  • Improved development processes enabling MegaDigital to deliver 3 major releases within the first 20-months | Subsequently able to release product updates every 3 months.

[Below is a sample of a client who was serving in a GM role but really wanted to get back to hardcore engineering. The BEFORE version doesn’t address this desired change and also includes a lot of technologies that he isn’t interested in using going forward. The AFTER serves as a good example of building your résumé for the job you want.]

Before:

CAREER SUMMARY

General manager with over ten years of experience in defense-oriented precision manufacturing. Began career in software development and progressively expanded responsibilities to include project management, quality assurance, operations, and overall team leadership. Known for building trusting relationships with demanding customers and making company processes more efficient.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Business Management

  • ·  Operations management of fast-paced, JIT manufacturing facility
  • ·  Generation and analysis of corporate financial statements
  • ·  Lean management certified
  • ·  Regulatory compliance
  • ·  Customer and vendor relationship management

Manufacturing Technologies

  • ·  CAM programming and post-processor development
  • ·  Machine automation – PLCs, bar feeders, bar loaders, part collection
  • ·  Up to 9-axis CNC lathe/mill setup and operation
  • ·  Real-time in-machine CNC part probing
  • ·  3D CAD part and assembly drawings

Quality Control

  • ·  MIL-I-45208 quality management system
  • ·  Six Sigma certified
  • ·  Commercial and military procurement specifications
  • ·  Destructive and non-destructive testing methods
  • ·  Information access control requirements – ITAR, NNPI, NOFORN


After:

Lead Manufacturing Systems Development Engineer

Lean Management / Six Sigma certified systems engineer with extensive leadership experience in JIT manufacturing, production, design, and testing environments | Excel at analyzing and improving processes, building long-term relationships with tough customers, and integrating business and development systems.

Qualifications include:

  • 10+ years engineering, integrating, and managing defense/aerospace manufacturing systems.
  • 3+ years of leadership experience in manufacturing operations / QA / general management roles.
  • Reputation for driving operational efficiency and double-digit productivity improvements.

Key Skills

Manufacturing Technology
Quality Assurance
Systems Engineering
Manufacturing Operations
Continuous Improvement
CAM Programming | 3D CAD
Customer Relations
Regulatory Compliance

 

This article is reprinted by permission from
Source link

Taking Your Tech Résumé from Good to Great | Best Of Resume | 4.5