Have you decided that this is the year you’ll jump into IT consulting? Maybe you’re already there, and prospective clients want proof of your past results. In either case, it’s time to polish up the old resume. Here are some recommended how-to books, available from Fatbrain.com.

A job-seeker’s guide
Martin Yate, author of Knock ‘Em Dead 2000: The Ultimate Job-Seeker’s Handbook (Adams Media, 1999), offers seven quick and easy rules for updating your resume.

  1. Use a general job title. It should be specific enough to put you in the field, yet vague enough to elicit further questions (e.g., computer specialist).
  2. State your specific job objective in terms of contributions that you can make to that position. For example, “A position in employment services where my management, sales, and recruiting talents can be effectively utilized to improve operations and contribute to company profits.”
  3. Do not state your current salary. If you earn too much or too little, you may rule yourself out before getting your foot in the door. For the same reason, do not mention your desired salary.
  4. Remember that people get great joy from getting pleasant surprises. Show a little gold now, but let the interviewer discover the mother lode at the interview.
  5. Try to keep your resume to one page and no more than two pages. No one reads long resumes—they are boring and every company is strapped for time.
  6. Your resume must be typed.
  7. Emphasize your achievements and problem-solving skills. Keep the resume general.

Other helpful how-tos
If you want to see resumes for various industries, take a look at 100 Best Resumes for Today’s Hottest Jobs (IDG Books Worldwide, 1998). This one recommends listing your “selling points” in the order that they’re most likely to interest an employer. Look back over your skills, qualifications, experience, accomplishments, and education. Which set is likely to be most important to your prospective employers?

And if you’re considering making your move into consulting, consider Resumes for Midcareer Job Changes (VGM Career Horizons, 1999). It includes popular resume formats and demonstrates how to highlight strengths and downplay weaknesses.
What’s the best way to organize a resume? Whether you’re job-hunting or not, is it important to always have an up-to-date resume? To share your thoughts, post a comment below or send us a note.