Resumes 1.1

Meanwhile, back at CR Central….

So, I have a loosely held standard of how I believe a resume should be formatted for maximum impact for the candidate and the hiring manager. (Remember, these are only my opinions, you have to follow your own gut when creating your personal resume.) In this posting I’ll discuss the Professional Summary and the Technical Summary.

Professional Summary:

I believe that an IT professional with 2+ year’s on-the-job experience should use this title and concept at the top of the resume, rather than Objective, which I think sounds kinda entry level.

The professional summary is an advertisement for you. This is the section on your resume where you speak glowingly of yourself while giving a very high level explanation of your entire career. This should be 3-4 sentences. Seriously, a four-inch summary is no longer a summary. 15 bullet points is not a summary. You have room for details in the Professional Experience section. This section is a summary.

This summary ideally should be rewritten for each job opportunity you’re applying for, or for each type of position for which you’d like to be considered. You should include very high level and most impressive accomplishments here, relative to the job at hand.

“An IT Professional and PMP with 15+ years experience leading Enterprise-Wide software solutions and business process engineering projects.” “A Microsoft Certified .net frameworks developer (MCP), with expert level experience in Web Services, SSRS, SharePoint, and Crystal Reports.”

Technical Summary

This is an important section for anyone in the IT industry, and it is imperative that it is on the front page of the resume and can be rapidly scanned and digested by the overloaded hiring manager. Organization and formatting are key here.

You want to include things like Platforms, Databases, Languages, Applications, specialty tools, testing tools, etc. Depending upon your specific role, there may be more categories you can use. I use bullet points for each topic, so the manager can focus in on what’s important to her. You may also want to bold the elements that were specifically listed in the job description – sifting those requested skills to the front of the listings cannot hurt.

Business Analysts and Project Managers should also include this section, as today’s hiring managers look for candidates whose experience matches the project at hand as closely as possible. Work flow tools, methodologies, project organization tools, should all be included – in addition to the elements listed above that relate to your background.

If you have earned specific certifications that were listed in the job posting, I believe all your certifications should be listed in this technical summary section – making the requested qualifications most prevalent. (If you don’t have any of the requested certifications, list your certifications in the Education section.)

Professional Experience, Next CR Time, Next CR Channel!


IT Trend Alert!

The following article was shamelessly copied from Semco's November 2008 Newsletter, TechConnections.

Modeling - Changing IT Completely

Modeling has become the basis of all design – which is the heart of software development. Modeling is used to specify, visualize, and document software systems graphically. A model is a representation of the architecture of a data structure (data model), or of the steps and work done in an application process (process model). A model can be conceived independently of any notation, hardware, or software. In one sense, it is the essential information expressed through the use of a notation. Modeling is design process used for large and/or complex systems, and current tools allow the developer to build models, then the tool generates the program code. While modeling was first used with large and complex systems, many companies now model everything. Modeling has two subsets – data modeling and process modeling.ER (Entity Relationship) modeling is the oldest and most common data modeling technology. It was introduced by Peter Chen in 1976 and identifies information as entities and ties these entities to each other through various rules that define relationships. As new technologies appeared, ER techniques and notational systems were incorporated and expanded. ER modeling is included in IE (Information Engineering) and UML (Unified Modeling Language). Each of these systems has expanded the technology and each has its own notational system, but all are very similar and it's very easy to move from one to another.There are two types of process models, software and business. Software processes can be programs, modules, objects, components. Modeling the software processes means defining the executable segments – and when and how they will execute. Business processes, of course, are the actions of our businesses. For example, order entry is a business process. It consists of working with data (collecting it, updating it, etc.), but the main focus is on the action itself (answer the phone, ask specific questions, enter this data, etc), when the action occurs (throughout the day, every Friday, at the close of business, etc.).UML (Unified Modeling Language) is both a development methodology and notational format used with object analysis and design. With UML, developers define a three-tiered model of the application: user interface, business logic, and database. UML then defines thirteen types of diagrams (or constructs), divided into three categories:• Structure Diagrams: include the Class Diagram, Object Diagram, Component Diagram, Composite Structure Diagram, Package Diagram, and Deployment Diagram. • Behavior Diagrams: include the Use Case Diagram (used by some methodologies during requirements gathering); Activity Diagram, and State Machine Diagram. • Interaction Diagrams: include the Sequence Diagram, Communication Diagram, Timing Diagram, and Interaction Overview Diagram. UML combines the methodologies of the main gurus of object oriented programming (Grady Booch, Ivar Jacobson, James Rumbaugh) and ws developed by OMG (Object Management Group) and was originally released: 1996. It was fully adopted in July, 2006 and many modeling tools and techniques are built on UML.Business process modeling is the newest form of modeling and it is the one that could have the largest impact on IT. Business process modeling can be done with any process modeling tool and technology, but ,in fact, new tools are being developed. Many of these tools are designed to be used by business men and women – not by IT professionals. This could cause significant changes in the way applications are developed. Two languages have already been developed – BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) and BPML (Business Process Modeling Language). Even more important, BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation) was introduced in 2003 and is growing in use by both the business community and government agencies. This technology was developed specifically for business process modeling and is supported by many companies including IBM and Microsoft. BPMN models are much easier for non-technical people to work with than those created with UML and IDEF.Two terms have been around for quite a while, MDD (Model Driven Development) and MDA (Model Driven Architecture) and both represent the trend to use modeling as the heart of the development cycle. The acronyms are often used interchangeably, and represent a set of standards that use software to generate program code from models. This is so important. It means that the model becomes the program, and any changes or updates are done to the model. The models are saved and every time a change is made to the model, software generates the new code. MDD stresses building functional models that are not tied to specific technologies or platforms. This results in generating code for any number of platforms from the same model, so software is not tied to specific hardware and software. Another factor in the modeling trend is that the tools are more and more designed to be used by business men and women rather than IT professionals. Think of the implications – as these tools evolve, application "programming" will be done by business people, and IT professionals will concentrate on systems and technical software – operating systems, DBMSs (DataBase Management Systems), and communication systems. IT is changing. But, of course, that's nothing new.


Resumes 1.0

Warning! If your IT resume has not had a total overhaul in the past five years you are potentially being rejected outright for assignments for which you are totally qualified – simply because you appear dated. Dated as in old, out-of-style, old-fashioned, passé. Think dinosaur. Imagine, if you can, your resume clearly stating in black and white Times New Roman ‘c#.net frameworks’ or ‘business process engineering’ and the hiring manager reading ‘COBOL’ or ‘data processing’. Cut - Delete - Purge.

While a rose is a rose is a rose, it cannot be said that a resume is a resume is a resume. An Information Technology resume is a different breed of resume, and probably qualifies as a totally different species of deliverable than your average civilian resume. My personal (as a consultant) and professional (as a recruiter) experience has shown me that the rules of most resumes simply do not apply to today’s IT resumes.

Beginning with the length – the IT resume should be long enough to clearly state actions, responsibilities and experiences that qualify you for the assignment for which you’re applying. Unequivocal language is tres important in a resume, because in today’s world of non-technical Vendor Management analysts making the supreme determination on whether a candidate is qualified to be considered for an assignment, there should be no question that you meet the requirements. Do not assume that these analysts know that MOSS and SharePoint are basically the same thing -- you make this assumption at your own doom.

Once your resume makes it through the Vendor Management Maze of Doom, it has to actually pique the interest of the over-worked, under-staffed hiring manager – the same hiring manager who is really hoping that if she keeps accepting more and more resumes she’ll finally get that one candidate who meets all the requirements to a T. Bad news for her, good news for you, is that this will never happen. So you want to grab her attention on the first page and force her to read to the end.

In my office we have a loose standard of how we like to see a resume laid out, a format we believe best serves both our candidates and the hiring managers.

  1. Professional Summary
  2. Technical Summary
  3. Professional Experience
  4. Education and Certifications

I’ll break these sections down in my next posting.


Begin at the Beginning

After a successful career in Information Technology, as both an FTE and a Consultant, I came to be the Computer Recruiter when my solid and archaic technical skills were no longer demanded by the market. I didn’t keep up with Technology. Short and sweet.

So now I’ve embraced my new career in Technical Recruiting of IT Consultants, and have learned something new and relative to IT job searches every day on the job. Every day. Bursting at the seams with this windfall of insider info, I found myself wanting to share it with every IT professional who will execute a job search in this downward market – or any market.

Which has led to Computer Recruiter: Not So Confidential.

I’m not trying to hold myself out as an expert – I’m still light years from that! However, I do have insights into topics that often confound job seekers – what do employers look for, what is my competition doing to gain an edge, what are the latest trends in job searching, what should my resume look like, yada yada yada.

In these early stages of blogging, my plans are to distill the new bits of information I learn on a daily basis into a-ha summaries. If this information is helpful to only one out of 100 people who may find their way here out of the entire internet, I’ll consider myself successful.