Every week, IT Consultant Republic publishes more than a dozen articles on career, technology, and management issues affecting the IT consultant. If you’re as busy as we are, you probably don’t have time to check the site every day.

To help bring you up to speed, here’s a look at the top five articles in IT Consultant for April. We’ve also included related articles that offer more advice on these hot subjects.

1. “Earn certs and gain experience before looking for a new job”: Still think that a certification can blow open the door to a new job? Those earning an MCSE or CCNA certification will already know that any coursework needs to be coupled with experience. In this column, TechRepublic contributor and technical recruiter Tim Heard suggests that even consultants in the hot field of disaster recovery should honestly assess their skills before trying to move to a new job. Also, find ways to make your resume stand out from the crowd.

More career-related content

“Stay in the game, but know the score”: Should a Java expert continue his search by highlighting his current skills, or should he concentrate on enterprise-level IT projects and earning a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification?

2. “Ten PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts to help you quickly design presentations”: A few well-placed keyboard shortcuts can help you knock out your next PowerPoint presentation. Use these tips to make fast work of PowerPoint slides.

More PowerPoint tips

After our first article of PowerPoint tips, several members suggested that we offer more. Here’s a rundown of their shortcuts and presentation tips.

3. “Hunting down hard disk resource hogs”: This article, which was originally published in TechProGuild, can help you narrow your search for the causes of system slowdowns. Learn how to configure the Performance Monitor and Task Manager to reveal rogue processes that can tie up valuable system resources.

Want to know more about NT?

Six years is long enough for Windows NT Server, according to Microsoft. This article explains the company’s plans for phasing out sales, technical support, and hot fixes.

4. “Developing an Internet infrastructure for online sales”: Former CIO and current IT consultant Mike Sisco is a frequent contributor to TechRepublic. Part of his strategy for reaching customers has been the development of his own series of publications geared toward IT managers. This article details his development of a low-cost method to sell publications from his Web site.

More on selling your services

We recently converted a TechRepublic article that described a seven-step sales process used by deuxo, a software sales company, into a PowerPoint presentation. Download it now and use it to recast your sales process.

5. “Ten best practices for enterprise backup and recovery”: This Research Note from Gartner offers 10 suggestions to allow for recovery of mission-critical data. Compare this checklist against the plans you’ve prepared or use it to draft your own enterprise backup guidelines.

Data backup

Developing a good backup strategy requires thoughtful planning, from the selection of devices to the determination of backup schema and other logistical issues. This article from NetAdmin Republic explores the requirements of a successful backup strategy.