IT managers who've been eyeing consulting either on a part-time or full-time basis might find that now is a great time to start pushing into the consulting marketplace. The job market appears to be slowly reviving and companies are beginning to actually think ahead again. This could translate into large numbers of available consulting positions.
The first step to grabbing one of these consulting positions is recreating your IT manager’s resume into a consultant’s resume—not a difficult task if you’ve kept your resume updated.
The trick is to read each line of your resume and ask yourself, “What did my employer gain from this?” Because consultants are hired specifically to save a company time and to make money, consulting resumes need to focus almost entirely on results. You have to prove that you can meet the key objectives of time-savings and revenue-generation.
To help IT managers get a clear view of how to revamp their resumes for this purpose, I’ve edited an IT manager's resume that TechRepublic members can download here and use as a guide. The edited resume is also shown below in Figure A.
Put consulting success first
Let’s say that your company offers a basic software product for dental offices. Your job is to create custom add-ons for clients. The add-ons are then integrated into the base product (which then becomes slightly more expensive for future customers) and sold to existing clients for an additional fee.
While you would provide a project description and your role in this effort in your management-focused resume, a consulting resume would focus more on results-oriented information, such as:
- Created custom add-ons that enhanced the base product and generated additional revenue streams by offering up-sell opportunities to existing clients
- Enhanced base product ensured client additional market share over competitors and allowed client to maintain viability in slow-growth market
Because you’re currently part of a company, you’re most likely very aware of how your role helps the company earn money. The goal of your consultant resume is to translate that into how it would benefit potential clients. You need to demonstrate your rainmaking ability.
If you’ve been with your present company for five or more years, you’ve probably worked on numerous projects, and your resume may or may not include info on them. If this is the case, update your resume to provide any information on the strong results that came from these projects.
On a consulting resume, you don’t need to indicate who the projects were done for. As my tips on the revamped resume explain, you can provide those details in your cover letter. That way, the resume projects a list of good results and your expertise, without any superfluous information.
Download the edited consulting resume shown in Figure A and use it as a guide to create and develop your consulting resume. Once you’ve got that in hand, you can move ahead in seeking independent work or even a full-time consulting role.