Your resume is the first impression you leave on a potential hiring manager.  Unfortunately, in today’s IT market, a good resume can only get you an interview where a bad one eliminates you from the running altogether.  Feedback often heard from hiring managers in the IT industry is “I can’t tell how much experience they have” or “I can’t tell how long it’s been since they used ‘XX’ technology.” This is not true for all managers, but they should not have to “figure out” what you have done and whether you will be a good fit for their position.  Simply put, the manager has a need and wants to fill it with the best candidate possible.  So do yourself a favor.  Ask yourself what the hiring manager is ultimately looking for and then position your resume as best as you can based on past experience.  There is nothing wrong with making revisions to your resume based on a job description to improve your chances of getting an interview.  With that said, below are a few tips on positioning your resume:

  • NEVER MISREPRESENT YOUR EXPERIENCE- No matter how badly you want to interview for the position, misrepresenting your experience on your resume will only come back to haunt you in the long run.  More times than not, a hiring manager is capable of sniffing out when someone has “padded” their experience or just completely misrepresented their exposure to certain technologies.
  • Get rid of the generic objective and replace it with a targeted headline such as “Senior .NET Developer,” then support the headline with a brief experience summary.  This will catch the eye of the person hiring, at which point they will more than likely move right to your work history to see if you can back this headline up with experience.
  • Include a chronological description of your work experience INCLUDING the company you worked for, the dates which you were employed, the position you held and a brief but solid summary of your work experience.  Remember, this is the point where you get to show why you would be a good fit for their position, so make sure you review the job description thoroughly to include all relative experience included in the job description. Some managers have even stated this is the first part of the resume they review and make a decision to continue or discard the candidate based on this section.

Remember, your resume is your biggest initial selling point, no matter how much experience you’ve had.  So take the time to make sure you understand what a hiring manager is truly looking for before applying for a position.  Doing this along with following a few of the steps listed above may improve your chances of finding that job you have been looking for.