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Do's and don'ts of summer resume writing

By Mary Brandel, Network World
July 22, 2013 06:05 AM ET

Network World - The summer months can take on different meanings for job seekers. Some people may put their career aspirations on hold as they try to enjoy the longer daylight hours and (hopefully) vacation time. Others might take advantage of the emptier offices and distracted peers to ignite or jumpstart a job search. Either way, summer is not a bad time to spruce up your resume, especially with recent reports sending mostly positive signals about the hiring outlook.  

According to a Dice hiring survey in June, nearly three-quarters (73%) of employers plan to hire more technology pros during the second half of 2013, compared to the first six months. Additionally, Foote Partners sees a big rise in IT employment, with 18,200 new jobs in June and an average monthly IT job growth rate up 43% from calendar year 2012, in its analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment report. Meanwhile, a TechServe Alliance report sees the pace of IT employment accelerating, growing 5.71% since June 2012.

Resume advice is plentiful, but we spoke with three sources who offered the following do’s and don’ts for various types of job seekers.

DO customize your resume for the job opening: It might seem efficient to blast out one version of your resume for 50 different jobs, but you’ll get better results by changing your resume for each specific job opening, emphasizing the relevant experience that applies to that job, says Matthew Ripaldi, senior vice president at Modis, an IT recruiting firm.

This is especially true for job seekers with years of experience and thus dense resumes. It might seem obvious, he says, but you should also check that the job position is still open and that your skills and background are a good match.

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DON’T eliminate older skills and experiences: With all the emphasis on social, mobile, big data and cloud, it might be tempting for experienced IT professionals to downplay their knowledge of older technologies.

But according to Tom Silver, senior vice president at, experience matters. According to Dice surveys, two-thirds of managers are hiring people with six to 10 years of experience, Silver says, and one-third want at least 10 years of experience. “I wouldn’t discount skills because they’re old,” he says. “We realize that certain skills are hotter than others, but it’s important for technology professionals to show a complete and full picture of themselves.” By including a progressive array of skills, you’re showing your ability to evolve, Silver says, and that you mastered what were possibly yesterday’s hottest skills.  

That is not to say you shouldn’t highlight your most recent skills or the ones most relevant to what the employer wants. Silver also suggests highlighting abilities that correspond with today’s hot skills. “There aren’t people walking around with big data experience from 15 years ago, but there are people with incredible analytics capabilities,” he says. “There’s value in that, and those people are now being sought after.”

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