How To Write A Standout Technical Summary

Your NFL Preseason:

Writing a Standout Technical Summary

Photo: U.S. Bank Stadium webcam

IT job and gig seekers in need of inspiration for a winning resume, look no further than ESP…N? NFL preseason has officially begun, and believe it or not these exhibition games have more pointers to offer IT professionals than meets the eye. Perhaps influenced by the awesome tech features of the new U.S. Bank Stadium, which boasts “an exceptional fan experience,” we’re definitely seeing a connection between IT and pro ball. In particular, we’ve noticed that preseason football for new players is a lot like the technical summary of a resume for IT pros: its purpose is to catch the attention of important viewers to successfully advance one’s career.

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“Under Pressure” – Validating Your IT Skills On LinkedIn

LinkedIn RecommendationsAs an IT pro, you’re generally the first to acknowledge and appreciate new technologies. But let’s face it – sometimes these technologies seem more complicated than helpful. In the case of virtual resume platforms such as LinkedIn, users sometimes try to simplify things by ignoring details, processes, and steps which they feel are too complicated or unnecessary. But such a mindset when it comes to LinkedIn could cost you your next great IT gig. If the thought of tackling those extras puts you “Under Pressure,” avoid “cracking” the way Queen describes in their hit song by following our tips below.

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“Don’t, Don’t You Want Me?” – Your Work History on LinkedIn

LinkedInExperienceHas a lack of activity on your LinkedIn profile page left you asking the question made famous by the 80’s hit song: “Don’t You Want Me?” Some wisdom from the ESP IT recruiting team in this second blog of our three-part LinkedIn Tips series will tell you how the middle of your LinkedIn page—the “experience” section—could be negatively impacting your professional image. While the opportunity to include as much IT work-history as desired can be an advantage for more seasoned IT pros, when used incorrectly the experience section may be holding you back. You won’t “be sorry” that you checked out our tips for cleaning up this tricky section.

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“Should I Stay or Should I Go?” – LinkedIn First Impressions

LinkedIn pen resumeLinkedIn has revolutionized the way recruiters and hiring managers are able to interact with IT consultants. The Clash may have been talking about a relationship dilemma in their hit song, “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” but with so many profiles on LinkedIn and limited time to look through them, IT recruiters can’t help but ask themselves that question in the first few seconds of viewing a LinkedIn profile. While this has ultimately been a positive change for all parties, the expectations that come along with an online presence can lead recruiters to feeling that an otherwise qualified IT pro will be “double trouble”. The ESP IT recruiting team is here to “let you know” what you can do with your photo and summary to make them “stay” on your page and consider you a viable candidate for your dream IT gig.

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New Year’s Resolutions for Your IT Career

Have you made a New Year’s Resolution? A new year is a great time to implement change in your life, including a change in your career goals. Whether you’re happily situated at a company, consulting, or looking for a new opportunity, make some positive changes to your career this year with the following two resolutions.

Build Relationships:

Relationships are a key component to success. You’ve heard it said, “Who you know is what you know.”  Build your career by widening your network.  Several networking opportunities are available to the IT professional.  Fostering friendships with coworkers is a great place to start building relationships, even when your assignment is temporary.  Having friends at the office can add to your work-life satisfaction and build life-long connections. Industry Groups can help you learn new things about your field, meet industry leaders, find a mentor, and connect you to people who may be a powerful connection in the future.

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Your “How To Get An IT Job” Checklist

checklistSometimes the best place to start is getting back to the basics.  It can be tempting to dive right into the job search and apply for every job remotely connected to your skill set but it’s important to pause and take a moment to assess what you want from a job.  Here are 5 checklist items to help you get a great job for you.

1.  Develop the job description for the job you want:

Take some time when you begin your job search to discover what exactly you’d like to be doing.  Which technologies do you want to use and how do you want to use them? A great way to do this is to look at previous jobs and pinpoint what you liked and didn’t like about each of these jobs.  This will give you a starting point to understand where your passions are in your industry.

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Get Your Resume Noticed: Use The Top To Get To The Top

Get your IT resume noticedTo make a great impression, focus on the top portion of your resume.  Recruiters and hiring managers are busy folk so show how great you are and make their job easier by keeping these 4 tips for the top in mind before submitting your resume.

1. Executive summary.  Executive summaries can be very difficult to write; it’s not easy to summarize your career goals, winning personality, and culture fit in 1-2 sentences. But particularly for IT consultants, who may have a long list of experience, the summary is essential for helping you stand out and making it clear to those reviewing your resume where your experience lies. Be specific.  Are you a developer with 8 years of experience in financial services? Include that in your summary.  Make sure that this statement conveys a clear message about who you are and is tailored for the role.

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Tips for an IT Consultant’s Resume

Most standard rules for formatting resumes do not apply to those in the IT industry.Resume This is even more pertinent to consultants, as the temporary nature of your work means you’ve had more employers and many individual projects under your belt. So what should an IT consultant’s resume look like? What should be included and highlighted? Consider the following tips:

Tailor your resume to the job
This is a general resume rule that does apply to consultants. In fact, it’s essential. If consultants who have been in the business for 5+ years list every project they’ve ever completed, their resume could go on for days. Consider titling your ”work experience” section as “significant” or “relevant experience.” This way, you can detail the projects that are most relevant to the position for which you’re applying. We recommend highlighting your last 2-3 years. Definitely include experience that goes beyond this time frame if it is relevant, but avoid including projects you completed over 10 years ago.

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Master your Resume

With the Masters this weekend, you may not be thinking about your resume. But you should be. Golf is a great example of showcasing practiced and time-honored skills. Try writing your resume like you are in a game of golf and see if you take home a prized green jacket, or maybe a new job.

You are a Pro. Much like golfers are identified by the list tournaments they have won or brands that sponsor them, you’ll use your technical skills and technologies you have worked with on your resume to make it clear who you are and what you offer to an employer. Be sure to put that list near the top of your resume in clear bullet points so that it is visible quickly. Show the range of technologies you have worked with in order of which skills are most recent, but leave out the “in-progress” statement, staying on top of technologies is a necessity for IT pros and it is expected by IT hiring managers. Be aware of which technologies are outdated. The IT world is constantly changing and you want to let employers know that you can keep up.

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Buzzwords: to use or not to use

Last week, LinkedIn announced the most overused buzzwords on profiles in 2011.Buzzwords As reported by CNN, Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s connection director, instructs job seekers to “Banish buzzwords from your profile. Use language that illustrates your unique professional accomplishments and experiences. Give concrete examples of results you’ve achieved whenever possible and reference attributes that are specific to you.”

While the common use of these buzzwords means that they don’t necessarily help a  résumé stand out, job postings are still calling for dynamic (#10) individuals, with strong communication skills (#9). Usually these postings ask for highly motivated (#6) individuals, who are organized (#2) and have a track record (#5) of effective (#3) or creative (#1) problem solving (#8). So, should job seekers really ditch all these terms, just because they are used a lot? I don’t think so.

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