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It’s important to remember that although it is an ‘IT resume’ in your brain, in the brain of the HR rep whose charge it is to sort through all the resumes, yours is just another ‘resume’ (IT or otherwise). That said, there are a few generalities to remember…
First, I want you to acknowledge the fact that the initial screener is going to give your resume a 15-second once-over (with a 30-second max). If your resume is too long, there is the legitimate possibility that it will be tossed based on length alone. DO NOT TRY TO FIT IN EVERYTHING YOU HAVE EVER DONE! It is a prevailing mistake. So, if you are applying for an IT job – think about chopping out any experience that was garnered more than ten years ago. (The technology is likely not relevant anymore, anyway – NEVER MENTION EXPERIENCE THAT IS NOT RELEVANT!) Also: Never include your age, marital status, religious affiliation or reasons for leaving your last job in a resume.
Never mention in a resume what you have NOT done or things and experiences that you lack. Take a page out of the book of the worlds’ top marketers. Don’t lie, but find ways to make yourself look bigger and better on paper than you really are. Stress what you can do and what you have done and try to include the results of the work you have put in for your past employers.
And lastly, remember that large companies may feed resumes through a keyword recognition program--so be sure to mention everything that is relevant by name, and if possible, also include variations of the key phrase as well.
Generally speaking, unless it’s relevant to a specific job you’re applying for, details over 15 years old or so are not of great value.
If you don’t feel comfortable removing prior job experience from your resume, just include the job title, company name, and date employed. This approach still shows that you have significant experience, but thins out the size of your resume and emphasizes your more current work.
Also, regarding the hardware, software, application languages, and operating systems you have experience in, only include those that are relevant to today’s world. For example, I was quite expert in the Digital DEC 10 operating system in 1980. This would have no value on my current resume.
Lastly, if your prior (very old) experience was as a programmer and your more recent experience (last 15 years or so) has been as a manager or project leader, emphasis your leadership and/or project management positions and provide less detail on now less relevant historical programming experience.
Here are 25 thinks you should NEVER put on your resume.