Recession Proof Your Resume
BackBy Kellye Whitney — April 2008
Tough times may or may not be coming. For those IT pros currently in the job market or planning to enter it soon, it’s time to spit shine your resume. Oh, and you might consider recession proofing it as well.
It’s no longer enough to have the technologies you know supported on your resume. More and more companies are moving toward business outcome versus business processes, so showing your soft skills in addition to your technology skills is paramount, said Nina Buik, president of Encompass, HP’s largest enterprise technology user community and senior vice president of MindIQ Corp., a technical training company.
“I recommend going to sites like Dice.com, or anywhere there are technology jobs posted, and get an idea what people are looking for,” she said. “Build your resume to the opportunity versus just throwing out what technologies you support and hoping that people will find value in that.”
Buik also said it’s not enough to come to the interview armed with your document resume. Potential employers also should be able to see your presence online on social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
“You have to put yourself out there,” Buik explained. “Let people know you are looking for opportunities, and you’ll be found. On sites like CareerBuilder or Monster, you can find yourself with so much competition you’ll get lost. The key is to make yourself stand out in the crowd.”
Personalizing your resume using job descriptions, expanding your online presence and joining relevant associations may even help increase your salary.
“There was a recent article in USA Today based on a study by Smith Bucklin, and it said people who are members of associations make more money than those who are not,” Buik said. “Joining an association where you can network or receive education or go to conferences and enhance your skills is highly valuable in today’s market.”
There’s no getting around it. The days of techies being locked in the basement, plugged in to a computer are over. Today’s IT professionals have to have soft skills, as well as core technical competencies. They must be able to communicate with and pitch ideas or recommendations to upper management in a way they can understand. IT pros also must be business savvy, and little things such as resume presentation count.
Buik said: “One piece of advice that Michael Glen, who’s a technical recruiter for Turner, gave me, he said: Please, do not put an objective on your resume. As someone who looks at many resumes, I want to see what you’ve accomplished in the company. Show me you’re not just going to be an employee but an asset to our organization. People have a limited amount of time to peruse your qualifications. They’re used to seeing system administrator. Well, tell me what you accomplished as a system administrator. Make yourself a little more dimensional as far as your experiences.”