• United States
Managing Editor, Network World Fusion

Updating your resume, Part 1

Aug 26, 20032 mins
Data CenterResumes

* Been a while since you’ve done it? Follow these tips for doing it right

With the job market still very unstable, many folks are updating their resumes. For many of us, it’s an activity we haven’t had to worry about for years, as well as one that makes you scratch your head and wonder if you’re doing it right.

I recently spoke with recruiting expert Phil Sullivan about what IT professionals need to do when updating their resumes.

“A resume is more important today than it has been for quite some time,” Sullivan says. “In the late ’90s resumes weren’t all that important because there wasn’t that much competition. [But today a] resume needs to be well done.”

Sullivan suggests starting out with your contact information at the top, followed by a succinct professional summary. The summary can be tailored according to the job for which you’re applying, he says, and in some cases can replace a cover letter.

When e-mailing your resume via attachment, Sullivan advises you include in the e-mail a very brief reason why you’re responding to the ad or call for resumes. Don’t knock yourself out putting all your information in to the e-mail as many times the e-mail may get separated from your resume and your effort would be for naught.

In terms of resume length, a general rule of thumb says if you’re two to five years into your career, keep your resume to a page. “For somebody with more experience, they need to think about a two-page resume,” Sullivan says. “Very senior people, especially consultants, can go with resumes longer than that.” Consultants can have two-page resumes, but add addendums that give more examples of projects or detail in specific areas.”

When it comes to layout and style, Sullivan says classic is best. “Stick with Word or PDF, don’t get fancy,” he says. “Don’t use fancy fonts or do anything unconventional. A nice, clean, New Times Roman, in 9 or 10 point size works just fine.”

Next week, Sullivan will offer advice on how to detail the meat of your resume – your technical knowledge, education and past jobs.