CXO

Make it or fake it: Why your IT resume writer needs IT experience

IT resume expert Jennifer Hay illustrates why, if you outsource your resume creation, it is important to find someone with an IT background.

Let me get right to the point. The below achievement statement written for an IT Director is bloated with non-relevant information, it's dreadfully long and far too dense for what's it's trying to say, and it emphases the wrong part of the achievement. But it is a perfect opportunity to illustrate the difference between a resume written by someone with experience in IT and one who lacks that experience.

Drove the development of a software project integrating a geographically dispersed development team to reduce cost. Launched a fresh approach to leverage existing staff and co-located development efforts by introducing daily SCRUM meetings and a SharePoint Portal workspace detailing all communications, tasks, issues and meeting minutes. Delivered project on-time and successfully led a co-located development team by instilling team member ownership, leveraging tools that enabled collaboration and establishing policies that guided team.

In this blog, I'll examine the problems with each part of this statement and then develop a shorter and more concise description that does a better job of highlighting the client's achievements.

Software project: We never learn what project the senior IT manager was working on. Describing the project, even briefly, might make it easier to understand why SCRUM was selected. A geographically dispersed development team: Too wordy, reduce to ‘remote development team' because the phrase is commonly understood and used. To reduce cost: Very weak. Remember that the job of IT is to continuously refine processes, enhance functionality, and reduce costs. Launched a fresh approach: SCRUM is not a fresh approach; it has been around for more than 20 years. This was taken from the resume of a former software developer so he should be thoroughly familiar with SCRUM and other agile methods. Co-located development efforts It was already been stated that the team was remote so why is this repeatedly mentioned? It's not even a significant part of the achievement. Daily SCRUM meetings: I know this is nitpicking but all SCRUM meetings are daily, its part of the development process. Detailing all communications, tasks, issues and meeting minutes: Too much detail to include, people already know how SharePoint is used. I understand that sometimes you need to provide detail so it appeals to HR and IT hiring managers but this is overdone. Leveraging tool and leveraging existing staff: The word "leverage" is used twice in this one achievement and, in one case, it's used incorrectly. "Leverage" is about exerting influence in cause-effect chains to gain some advantage and meet goals. It is not about tools. Tools that enabled collaboration: Too wordy, reduce to "collaborative tool." Instilling team member ownership: This is a confusing statement because it's thrown in at the end of the bullet item and isn't connected to anything else. Establishing policies that guided team: Every team needs policies so why is this significant? Is this supposed to be connected with the SCRUM methodology? Before: Drove the development of a software project integrating a geographically dispersed development team to reduce cost. Launched a fresh approach to leverage existing staff and co-located development efforts by introducing daily SCRUM meetings and a SharePoint Portal workspace detailing all communications, tasks, issues and meeting minutes. Delivered project on-time and successfully led a co-located development team by instilling team member ownership, leveraging tools that enabled collaboration and establishing policies that guided team. After:
  • Introduced SCRUM to newly formed remote team accelerating delivery of a project that was struggling with elusive requirements and poor communications between team, project manager, and client.
  • Utilized SharePoint collaborative workspace for development team to analyze constant client feedback.
  • Led team to deliver project on time, keeping people accountable and the process transparent. Gained team commitment to and confidence in producing workable features in rapid development cycles.

    Here is my reasoning for each bullet item, keeping in mind that everything within an achievement statement should connect and flow, as much as is possible in the condensed format of a resume.

    1. The primary bullet item describes a project that would be an ideal candidate for SCRUM so it makes perfect sense that this methodology was selected.
    2. Many teams use SharePoint to collaborate and share information but in this case, it's a great choice for remote SCRUM teams that are constantly gathering and evaluating client feedback. All IT projects need collaborative teams so this isn't particularly significant unless you understand the reason.
    3. In the final bullet item, I've connected why it was important to "instill team member ownership" with the methodology that was selected.

    Jennifer Hay of IT Resume Service is the world's first nationwide certified resume writer for information technology (CRS+IT). You can find her innovative resumes with career branding images published in Expert Resumes for Computer and Web Jobs, Resumes that Pop! - Designs that Reflect Your Personal Brand, and Expert Resumes for Managers and Executives.

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