Talent Development Centre

Category Archives: Resume Writing

Advice from recruiters and job search industry experts for writing the perfect resume, specificlaly for Canadian IT contractors and technology professionals, that will get you the best job.

The Growing Problem of Fraudulent Credentials (and the impact on honest consultants!)

Morley Surcon By Morley Surcon,
Vice-President Strategic Accounts & Client Solutions, Western Canada at Eagle

The Growing Problem of Fraudulent Credentials (and the impact on honest consultants!)

Let me start by saying that the vast majority of contractors and applicants are 100% honest and represent themselves, their work and educational achievements fairly and correctly. That said, there is a growing issue in the labour market of people misrepresenting themselves in order to qualify for open postings. This may have been the case for years and it flew under the radar; however, with new vetting techniques and technology it is getting caught more and more often. Also, as more companies are being burned by fraudulent activity, they are both demanding and completing deeper vetting of candidates.

Misrepresentation takes multiple forms, from small embellishments and mis-matched dates covering small gaps in work experience, to much more nefarious activities. Some of the more brazen attempts to mislead potential employers include:

  • Presenting completely falsified resumes: This can be done as an individual doctoring their own resume, or there are “resume banks” available to people who pay to use them. This can include education or work experience falsification, but sometimes the entire resume is completely fabricated.
  • References are often faked: Friends, family or even themselves as the person who answers the phone number of the given reference.
  • Stand-ins for phone interviews (or even Skype interviews!!): Whereby someone with the actual knowledge completes the technical job interview on the fraudster’s behalf. The unwitting company hires and doesn’t realize that there was a change until they show up on the first day of work. If the company is complex enough, the people conducting the interview may not even be the same people who meet the new hire on the first day. Pretty brazen of them to try this!

It is unclear what people are trying to accomplish by faking their way into a job in these ways. It will catch up with them. They aren’t truly qualified to complete the work and they will be terminated, if not for the fraud then for incompetence. However, there are desperate people and if they can fake their way to earning even a few weeks’ pay before being found out then they move on to their next “victim”. It is too time-consuming and costly to press charges… and they get away with it.

What is the industry doing about this? Well, many companies are completing their own vetting even if they use a recruitment agency to source and qualify candidates. IT is a small industry and if someone says that they worked for XYZ Corp., then there is likely someone at the company that knows someone at the other company who can verify whether the candidate actually did what they said they did. Staffing agencies have been doing this for some time now and it is standard practice in the fight against fraudsters. Another check is simply a comparison against old resumes. Most agencies collect resumes from people over the course of many years – older experience in new resumes must match that found in their older resumes, and also in their LinkedIn profiles. References may not be called at the number given by the applicant, but rather they may be contacted via social media or called at their place of work using the company’s main number, making it much more difficult to arrange to have a “fake-someone” complete the interview. Additionally, there is now new technology (AI) being employed to rate the likelihood that an applicant is falsifying their resumes and there are new 3rd Party vetting services that specialize in deeper dives/forensic reviews and vetting. Most recruitment agencies employ one or more of these companies to ensure experience and education listed are accurate. There are also registries being set up that use blockchain technology to verify the accuracy of the data people share. Applicants will have full control over who receives and sees their private information, and the companies this is shared with will be guaranteed of its accuracy.

What is important for consultants to take away from all this is that the industry is now “awake” to resume/applicant fraud and is taking significant steps to uncover issues prior to hiring. 99%+ of people are honest and don’t need to be concerned; however, even honest people can make mistakes. I encourage anyone reading this to go through their resume with a fine-toothed comb to ensure all is completely accurate. It is so easy to mess something up with changes from one version of the resume to another. You absolutely should adapt your resume to best match the role to which you are applying, but adapting isn’t embellishing.  Even though the content might look different, it should still be in sync with what was presented in older resumes. The chance that even small inconsistencies are caught are very much more likely than it ever was before and these little, seemingly insignificant issues, could cost you a job for which you are applying. In this way, attention to detail is more critical than ever.

Optimize the Contact Information Section of Your Resume

Optimize the Contact Information Section of Your Resume

Have you ever visited a company website and struggled to find contact information? You want to do business with them but have questions and there’s no obvious phone number or email address (at least not without having to sit through a sales pitch). Or maybe you want to understand where they’re located and there’s no sign whatsoever of a physical location. If you find that frustrating or immediately get a sketchy feeling about the company, then you officially understand how recruiters feel when they receive resumes with similar, shady contact details.

There are understandable and legitimate privacy concerns to not wanting to include too much contact information on your resume. However, these concerns have trade-offs that make recruiters question your credibility or struggle to get a hold of you when they’re interested in your experience. A better approach would be to include the necessary information and research the security practices of the third-party job boards to which you are applying. Or, although more time consuming, only submit applications directly to the companies who are hiring and have secure websites.

What Contact Information Should You Include on Your IT Contracting Resume?

The simple answer is “as much as possible.” A major difference between submitting your resume to a staffing agency as a contractor versus a company for a permanent position is that the latter resume is usually only going to be reviewed once. A contract resume with an employment agency will be searched over and over to match new opportunities as they arise. Among the many implications of this difference, that means your IT contracting resume must be easy to find in a database and ensure a recruiter can get in touch with you when they need to.

  • Email Address: Your email address should always be in your resume, and 99% of the resumes we receive at Eagle do have one. Nearly all job boards require an email address to create a profile, so it’s naturally included in your application anyway.
  • Phone: Your cell phone number is best because it guarantees you will be easy to reach and also opens the door for texting, which is faster and more convenient for everyone. It is helpful to specify which phone number goes to where (ex. Cell vs Home vs Office)
  • LinkedIn: The professional social network is a perfect way to keep an up-to-date version of your experience and it’s also a means to connect. When you include your LinkedIn profile, commit to responding to InMails from recruiters as they often communicate through the platform.
  • Website: Similar to LinkedIn, if you include a link to a personal website, be certain that also has an contact page, complete with a contact form so you can quickly be reached.
  • Physical Location: This is the line in contact information sections that we have seen disappear from resumes over the past few years, and it hurts candidates significantly. Recruiters — both at staffing agencies and corporate recruiters — regularly search databases of their applicant tracking system or third-party job boards. In the majority of their searches, they filter a search by location. When you do not include location in your resume, you are not appearing in the majority of search results. Of course, no recruiter wants to mail you a letter, so if privacy is your concern, feel free to leave out the street address. At a minimum, including city, province and postal code will cover your bases. It’s also worth noting that since cell phone plans today usually include nation-wide calling, contractors are less likely to update their number when moving. As a result, recruiters do not trust just an area code to determine if you are local.

Contact Information to Include on Your Resume When You Plan to Re-Locate

This is another common mistake we see by job seekers — they live in one city but want to work somewhere else. Many resume advice articles will tell you not to include a physical location, but for the reasons listed above (you’ll never be found and it makes you look sketchy) we strongly recommend you add something. If you are absolutely guaranteed to be moving, then use your new city, province and postal code as the main address in your contact section. Otherwise, include a note in your resume specifying your intentions including where you’re willing to work. In these complex situations, we encourage you to connect with a recruiter directly so they understand your intentions and can update their search criteria manually.

Finally, Consider a Section in Your Resume to Tell Recruiters Your Preferences

Would you rather receive an email before a phone call? Is there a better time of day that recruiters can call you? Or would you prefer to hear from them by text? Maybe there’s only a specific radius from your home address you’re willing to commute or you only check LinkedIn messages once per month. Whatever your preferences, a brief section in your resume that tells recruiters how they can get a hold of you most effectively means opportunities will come your way faster and more frequently.

Make Your Resume Pass a Recruiter’s 5-Second Scan

As though you are someone just passing them on the street, recruiters give you the quick up-and-down or pass by you all together. Like a bright shirt, there are tips and tricks to prompt recruiters to stop and give your resume a sufficient review.

Check out this video and make sure that your resume is wearing that bright shirt so it stands out from the crowd and demands to be noticed.

Why Recruiters Ask You to “Rewrite Your Resume” for an RFP Response

Crystal Nicol By Crystal Nicol,
Delivery Manager, Eastern Canada at Eagle

Why Recruiters Ask You to "Rewrite Your Resume" for an RFP ResponseI was recently at a networking event and overheard IT contractors discussing how their staffing agency was having them basically rewrite their resume for an RFP response and they couldn’t understand why they were having them do all of the work. There was mutual agreement around the group that they’ve all experienced this and that they weren’t happy about it. I thought that was a great time to introduce myself and apologize for interrupting, but I couldn’t help but overhear their topic.

I asked them if their agency educated them on why they require the information they were asking for. All of them explained that they were simply sent a set of instructions and were told that they had to “send everything back” before the deadline. I took some time to discuss the reasons to them and after a lot of back and forth questions and answers, they understood the importance.

Remember, you, as the consultant, are the person doing the job every day. Between yourself and your recruiter, you are the only one who knows what you did, how you did it, in what context, with whom, what tools were used, etc. The last thing we want to do as an agency is guess or assume your experience. This is why your recruiter comes back to you to ask you to update your resume with the details. Yes, they can help you put your thoughts together but they need you for the details.

After discussing why it’s important to have a “federal government” formatted resume with the group consultants, I sent them this Talent Development Centre post I wrote a year and a half ago. It is a great starting point when any consultant is getting ready to respond to a Federal Government RFP.

10 Tips for Writing a Job-Winning Developer Resume

Recruiter Reviewing Job Applicant's ResumeWriting the perfect resume is not just time-consuming; it’s challenging. With a market that is bursting with talent, job posters can quickly receive hundreds of applications for the same project. Showcasing your skills in the best way possible is a practice in precision.

While there are different schools of thought on resume writing, web developers should be aware of a few critical factors. The best way to get an edge on the competition is with great style and well-presented information. Let’s take a look at what developers ought to do to craft a job-winning resume.

Formatting

As with any writing, utilizing good structure is important. Recruiters generally scan resumes to maximize their time during job searches. Therefore, using effective formatting can help get your resume to the top of the pile.

Consider organizing the information in your resume in this order:

  • Professional Career Summary
  • Skills
  • Work Experience
  • Projects
  • Software/technology programs
  • Education
  • Certifications

Today’s recruiters tend to prioritize good experience above all else. Your education and certifications still have value, but they don’t need to appear first on your resume.

Personal  information

Traditional resume formats included too much personal information. Clients don’t need to know your weight, height or eye color. While adding some personal data is necessary, it should only be the bare minimum.

Your name, title, email, phone number, and website are all you need to write on your resume. Although some are against it, feel free to include a photo of yourself. Depending on where your client is based, they might even expect to see your headshot in the top corner.

Professional Summary

Chances are if you are searching for a job, you have a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn has made it the norm for job seekers to present themselves with a professional summary. These summaries allow you to quickly highlight your soft and technical skills as a web developer.

In summary, you provide recruiters an overview of your career. Thus, be sure to include how many years you’ve been in the field. Also, write about any tech programs you’ve completed in that time. If you were in charge of training or managing other employees add that, too.

Keywords

Using the right keywords isn’t just for top-notch SEO; it works for your resume, as well. Pay attention to the terminology clients use to describe a project. If you use the same terminology as them, you’ll have a higher chance of being selected.

Plenty of businesses use automated systems to sift through resumes and keywords are vital to their algorithm. Unfortunately, if your word choice doesn’t match with a prospective client’s criteria, your resume may be wholly passed over. Ensure that you get a foot in the door by fine-tuning the keywords in your resume.

Experience

The experience you include on your resume is a primary deciding factor for your candidacy. Remember to remove any irrelevant experience. Furthermore, remove any experience from over ten years ago.

Hiring managers want to see what explicitly makes you perfect for the position they are looking to fill. Write a short paragraph about what your main contributions were to previous positions. Also, highlight previous experience that directly connects with the project you are currently applying for.

Spotlight Projects

While experience is essential,  projects can also help prove your worthiness as a candidate. Especially, if you are entry level and don’t have much experience, yet. Whether it’s an internship or a freelance project, adding it to resume helps you stand out.

First of all, they show your dedication and drive. Second, they illustrate any unique skills you may have acquired. If your projects are online, include a link!

Education

Although your education has to be on your resume, it’s not as crucial as your experience or projects. One line descriptions will suffice. However, you can certainly include extra information if you feel it will be particularly interesting for the position.

Education must be in reverse chronological order. Additionally, ensure that you list any special programs, boot camps or courses you completed. Certifications can go here, as well.

Technical Skills

When arranging your technical skills, be sure to eliminate any that are outmoded. No one will be impressed if you say you know how to use Windows 95. Show that you are keeping up with the latest software and programs in this section.

Connect your knowledge to your experience and elaborate on how you used your technical skills in the real world. Recruiters will appreciate concrete examples. Also, label your skills with a proficiency level, but avoid saying you’re a beginner.

Interpersonal Skills

Although web developers’ primary skills should be technical, interpersonal skills are important, too! Clients will appreciate a programmer who is a people person. Show your interpersonal abilities by utilizing specific language.

Strive to include active verbs like delivered, organized or elevated. Showcase your sensitivity to time and your ability to work well with deadlines. Moreover, go into detail about any leadership roles such as training or leading projects.

Tailor Your Resume

It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s essential that you adjust your resume for each job posting. Even though the jobs may be similar, you need to optimize keywords and reorganize every time. The relevance of your resume depends on it.

Furthermore, keeping your resume as up-to-date as possible is never a bad thing. After all, technology is continually evolving. Tailoring your resume for each job is an excellent opportunity to check that your information matches your current skills.

Conclusion

Once you’ve perfected all of your content, take care to adjust your presentation. Opt for a spacious set-up instead of cramming information in. Don’t get too caught up in whether your resume fits into a single page.

Instead, please pay attention to your content and ensure its scannable. A colorful and creative presentation can be eye-catching; however, don’t go overboard trying to impress. Do your best to incorporate these ten tips, and you’ll be on your way towards your next web dev position.

Kristin SavageKristin Savage is interested in writing and planning to publish her own book in the nearest future. Also, she has been a reviewer at Pick Writers for a few years and is known for her thorough approach to accurately assess newcomer translation services. You can find her on Facebook.

If You Don’t Upload a Resume, Nobody’s Going to Call You

The title of this post seems like an obvious statement, but we’re shocked at the amount of candidates who apply for jobs without uploading a resume for recruiters to evaluate. Or, they do upload a resume but it lacks the detail required to determine if a candidate is qualified for a job.

Why You Must Submit a Quality Resume to Recruiters If You Want a Job

If You Don't Upload a Resume, Nobody's Going to Call YouThe days of having one copy of a brief, generic resume and submitting it to every company are long gone (assuming they were ever here). In the last 20 years, online job boards have changed the entire game of job searching and resume writing. Yet some people, aside from embracing online tools, are still playing the game like it’s the ’90s.

As job boards continue to focus on candidate experience and make the application process easy for you, keep in mind, they’re making it easier for every job seeker. When it’s easier, more people apply. When more people apply, recruiters are receiving more applications. When recruiters have more options, they ignore bad resumes, and they especially ignore the candidates who don’t submit one at all. Just because you wrote a compelling cover letter, a recruiter is not going to call you for more information. It all must be available to them right away. Anything less gives a perception of laziness, apathy, and just not caring.

This, of course, is assuming a recruiter even finds you. Automated applicant tracking solutions, complete with artificial intelligence, are increasingly more affordable and accessible to companies of all sizes. Even the smallest staffing agencies and employers are taking advantage of these screening tools, ensuring that busy recruiters and hiring managers only review resumes that a computer deemed valuable. When your resume does not include enough details and explanations about your experience, it will fail to pass a preliminary screening and sit in a database never to be seen again.

Furthermore, low-detailed resumes are often the reason you keep getting phone calls from recruiters for jobs that do not match your skillset. If you barely put in details explaining what you do, when your name does appear in a recruiter’s search, it will be for job opportunities irrelevant to your actual experience and job role.

A link to a public profile is also a great compliment to an uploaded resume, particularly when a resume is dated as it allows a recruiter to find more recent experience. However, as a stand-alone, the information detailed in the link will not be uploaded to a database and the chances of getting found for a particular position are significantly decreased.

We Understand, Badly Uploaded Resumes Are Not Always Your Fault

Yes, there are a few lazy IT professionals out there who are submitting useless resumes, and most independent contractors do put hours of work into their resume. So why do recruiters still complain about too many bad resumes being submitted?

In some circumstances, an applicant wants to apply to a job when it is posted, but because they’re on a phone, tablet or the wrong computer, the right resume was not available. In other cases, an error occurred that you were not aware of. Some resume formats are not readable by automated resume screeners and other times, though much less frequently, technology does what it does best and a glitch prevents your resume from being submitted properly.

How Can You Guarantee Your Detailed Resume is Submitted and Reviewed by a Recruiter?

First, double-check to ensure it is actually as detailed as you need it to be. The old rule of keeping a resume under two-pages is less significant today. Computers can read hundreds of pages in seconds, so if you need to add a few to ensure your experience is clearly explained, go ahead and do it.

Next, keep your resume in a simple format. That means Microsoft Word (even PDFs can cause headaches) and skip out on the fancy fixings. Tables, text boxes, images and locking can all prevent an automated resume screener from interpreting your content.

Finally, be patient at the fact technology has its downfalls. Return to your online profile to double-check that your resume was uploaded how you want it to be. If a recruiter does contact you for a copy of your resume, accept that there may have been an error, and politely email them the version you uploaded, including any updates they request.

Your resume is your number one selling tool as an independent contractor, and that cannot be understated. Automated resume screeners, artificial intelligence and other technologies (including their errors) are reality and that cannot be ignored either. Embracing these facts are a crucial first step in successful job applications.

How to Prove that You Actually are “Detail-Oriented”

If you’re going to use a buzzword to describe yourself, at least make sure you can back it up with examples. One of the most common terms we see in resumes and social media, or hear in interviews, is “detail-oriented”.  What does that even mean? If everybody’s claiming to be “detail-oriented” is it really a differentiator?

Perhaps you actually are somebody who pays attention to every little detail and is dedicated to perfection. If that’s the case, you need to be aware that others have hi-jacked your word. It’s no longer enough to tell a hiring manager or recruiter that you’re detail-oriented because they’re numb to it. You must back it up in everything you do.

Not sure what we mean? Check out this video. It goes through an IT contractor’s entire job search process and provides insight on where you can pay a more attention to detail, and back-up your use of an overused buzzword.

Watch an Expert Tear Apart Some Common Resume Mistakes

If you submit a terribly thought-out resume riddled with errors and nonsense, and assume nobody is judging you, we’re sorry to tell you that you are sadly mistaken. Your resume is your first impression to a recruiter or a client. It’s also the number one selling tool for your business. On top of the obvious proof-reading, details and honesty we always talk about, you must understand the situation and write for your target audience.

To get an understanding at how quickly and easily resume errors stand out to a recruiting professional, just watch this quick video from Business Insider. They hand a stack of resumes to an industry veteran and she provides her brutal feedback. Many of her criticisms are small details. An average job seeker won’t put much weight on these mistakes, but they will stand out to a recruiter like a sore thumb.

Why Every IT Professional Needs a Digital Resume

Guest Post by Victoria Greene, Ecommerce Marketing Expert

As technology has developed over the last twenty years, more and more parts of our lives have moved into the digital realm. The iPod supplanted CD players, then streaming services like Spotify took all our music into the cloud, allowing ready access from anywhere. And if you need to book a ticket for an event, you don’t head down to the venue or a ticket office — you visit the website (or use a booking app) and get what you need without needing to move a muscle.

So why are so many of us still putting so much time into the tired old paper resume? If you’ve ever spent any time applying for jobs (probably a safe assumption), then you’ll know how irritating it is mess around for ages trying to get everything formatted in a certain way, and how frustrating it is trying to tweak things for specific roles. Then you hand it out, and… nothing.

It’s particularly silly if you work in the IT industry, because your skills are electronic, computational, complex. How are you supposed to stand out in 2-3 pages of blandness? Well, the winning move is not to play. Instead of trying to make your regular resume creative, keep it standard and throw your creativity into a digital resume to accompany it — here’s why:

They’re faster, easier, and cheaper to share

Want to share a paper resume? No problem! But you’ll need to print it first. Better make plenty of copies, because you won’t know how many you’ll need. What if you go to a networking event and you want to show your professional qualities? Maybe you should take a hundred copies just to be safe, but then you need to carry them around, and face the indignity of rustling around in your bag for a few sheets to hand to someone.

Digital resumes are infinitely easier in a time of 24/7 online connectivity and advanced smartphones. Just have your resume as a website — find a short URL that suits your personal branding, or (if you can’t) just use a URL-shortening service and pick something memorable. You can put the URL on a T-shirt, or a business card, or just tell people.

And when you go through a standard application process that allows some freedom in your submission, or email a recruiter, you only need to advance that one thing. Let them know that anything they need is on that one site. No copying needed, no printing expenses to get glossy versions made, just the cost of hosting.

They naturally supplement standard resumes

In a perfect world, you’d only need one comprehensive resume to apply to any position — but this isn’t a perfect world. Plenty of recruitment services and company portals still require you to submit a .PDF, or even a .DOC (or .DOCX) file, with no room for compromise. Sometimes it’s because they want to run every submission through an automated assessment service, and sometimes it’s because they’re just behind the times and don’t understand digital resumes.

This can be frustrating, yes, but needing to submit an electronic resume needn’t totally hamper your efforts. Not only might you have some design flexibility allowing you to pull over some stylistic elements from your digital resume (though it’s something to be careful with, since an Applicant Tracking System might not be able to parse complex elements), but you can also simply add a shortened URL to the content.

If your resume gets automatically rejected, then it won’t help you much — but if at least one actual person gets to read it, they might be willing to head to that URL to see what you have to offer, giving you a great chance to add to what’s on your regular resume without trying to stuff ill-fitting copy into a two-page document.

They’re quick to revise or customize

Have you ever found yourself furious after an interview because you realized too late that you’d missed a typo on your resume? When you go to the printing stage, you commit to the copy you have, and that’s it — it’s fixed in place until you get a fresh batch printed. And if you want to provide a custom resume for an application (which is often advisable, since you should cater to the specific job you’re applying for), you’ll need to print a separate version for it.

When you provide a digital resume, you don’t need to worry about that kind of inflexibility. If you notice a typo as you’re heading to an interview, you can log in and change it on the fly. And if you want to provide different versions for different places, you can simply make duplicates of your site at different addresses and change them as needed.

They’re natural segues for other web projects

If you have a personal website you’d like to show people, or a program you developed, or a big live project you worked on, you can include a URL on a standard printed resume, but there likely isn’t much point. Do you really expect someone to go out of their way to head to a computer and type in that address?

A link in a digital resume, though, is much more powerful. It just takes one click to see what’s on the other end. That probability that a well-placed (and presented) link is going to get clicks gives you ample reason to look for other things you can achieve online. The more you can link out, the more compelling your overall candidacy becomes without adding any weight whatsoever to your main resume page.

Imagine that you were trying to attract interest at a really large company, possibly someone you’d wanted to work for a long time, but you felt that your current accomplishments weren’t up to scratch. Instead of simply trying and trying again in the hope that something would change, you could do something new, such as:

  • Document your efforts. Showing personal and professional development is incredibly important, but it isn’t always easy to showcase that kind of work on a resume. A one-liner about a new language you’re learning won’t go too far — you need to actually chart the challenges you face. If you set up a blog, or even a talking-to-camera video series about what you’re trying to achieve, you can link to it on your digital resume and add some meaningful character context.
  • Run a side business. IT and business savvy don’t always correspond. If you set up a freelance business and get even just a few clients, you can turn the site into a testimonial of sorts. Or you can run an ecommerce store. Set one up, or buy one — if you have money saved, there are top businesses for less than $10,000 that you can turn into meaningful sources of income. Link to your secondary sites, and you’ll be able to show entrepreneurial hustle without adding any clutter.
  • Collaborate on content. Networking is obviously vital in most industries, and though IT demands more of a close focus on your skills, it has its fair share of personal recommendations. If there are influential figures in your niche that you think you could work with, you can reach out to them and pitch some collaborative work — team up for a blog series on their website, for instance. You can then link to their site on your resume, lending authority to your case.

Think of a digital resume as your personal homepage, and turn it into a fleshed-out hub telling a professional story that spans numerous sites and resources.

They’re creatively fitting and freeing

Perhaps most importantly, a digital resume gives you the opportunity to show off what you can do with your career skills. Are you a web designer? Build a finely-polished resume website that will impress prospective employers before they even get to your conventional resume content. Are you a software developer? Make your resume an interactive application of some kind.

Instead of being stuck with whatever you can fit on a few sheets of paper, you have complete freedom to go in whatever creative direction you want. Now, you can go too far with that kind of creativity and sabotage your chances (limitations are important), but that’s not an issue with the medium — that’s just the added responsibility of controlling your own destiny.

With everything we’ve looked at, why wouldn’t you want to have a digital resume? Because times are still changing, you’re going to need to retain your basic paper and electric versions too, but leave all your creativity for your digital showcase. The more freedom you can exert in your candidacy, the more you’ll expand your opportunities.

Victoria GreeneVictoria Greene is an ecommerce marketing expert and freelance writer who loves having so much of her writing available online. You can read more of her work at her blog Victoria Ecommerce.

 

New Resume Tips for IT Contractors

Take the generic technology resume advice you keep hearing (even here) and set it aside for a second. Those regular tips you hear are valuable, but so are the not-so-common pieces of information that you can find from some job search experts. In our regular quest for knowledge to share with the IT contracting community, we recently came across new resume tips and want to make sure our readers know them too…

Some Lesser-Known Resume Tips

Glassdoor published an article with 10 resume tips you probably haven’t thought of. While not all are relevant to an IT contractor and there are even a couple we do not necessarily recommend, this list does help a job seeker get into a different frame of mind:

  1. Only Include Your Address If It Works in Your Favour
    (our advice: if you have to lie or hide something, you probably shouldn’t apply)
  2. Be a Name Dropper
  3. Utilize Your Performance Reviews
    (or for a contractor, include references and testimonials)
  4. Don’t Go Overboard with Keywords
    (PLEASE consider this point strongly)
  5. Use Common-Sense Email Etiquette
  6. When It Comes to Skills, Quality over Quantity
  7. Choose to Share Social Accounts Strategically
  8. Use Hobbies to Your Advantage
    (our advice: hobbies are less interesting to a client hiring a contractor, compared to an employee looking for a permanent team member)
  9. Skip Generic Descriptors
  10. Keep an Accomplishment Journal

Flip-Flopping on the Objective Statement

Speaking of uncommon resume advice, although we’ve noted independent contractors need not include an objective statement on their resume, Pop! Your Career believes there are times it can help. According to their recent post, they say an objective statement is useful if you are:

  • Changing your career direction
  • Joining the Workforce
  • Returning to the Workforce
  • Looking for different type of work
  • Changing locations

In summary for an IT contractor, we stand by the fact that the objective statement isn’t helpful for the seasoned technology professional who regularly works with the same recruiters, if, however, you’re making any sort of change, its worth highlighting it at the top of your resume.

A Winning Resume-Writing Formula from Amazon

Over the summer, Business Insider interviewed a recruiter from one of the top IT companies in the world, and a place where thousands of technology professionals aspire to work — Amazon. In the resulting article, recruiting manager Celeste Joy Diaz provides a winning formula to use when writing your resume. Instead of a laundry list of tasks and skills, she says that every project should start with this phrase: I created a solve for X amount of customers and it saved X amount of money, using X skill.

What do the x’s represent in Diaz’s phrase? Data. Rather than bunch of fluff, centralizing your resume around this phrase ensures that you’re providing quantitative measures that show recruiters and hiring managers exactly what you accomplished.

What other outside-of-the-box resume advice can you provide? Please share your tips and tricks in the comments below. If you have a great source or article, please let us know. We love learning new things so we can pass them along.