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The Secret to IT Resume Success: More $ and % Everywhere!

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Recruiting and placement maven Mark Cenedella claims -- and I have to agree -- that what most resumes lack is enough dollar signs and percentages to justify your existence, and demonstrate your skills and abilities. How should these symbols figure into your resume? Please read on to find out (and get a link to Mr. Cenedella's excellent words on this subject, too).

Anybody who follows this blog knows that from time to time I turn to Mark Cenedella's excellent career newsletter written for the job search/recruiting website TheLadders.com. Recently, I read one of Mark's columns only to feel my jaw drop and my mind form these profound words of praise: "That is SO TRUE! Why didn't I think of it!" The title of Mark's article is Here's what's wrong with your resume and basically what it has to say is three very important things:

  1. Steer clear of a dry recitation of facts, dates, and duties in your resume.
  2. Use $ to explain what value you added -- money you saved or managed -- and what your efforts have been worth.
  3. Use % to detail what kinds of processes you've improved, metrics you've mastered, changes you've made.

His real paper clip idea (by which I mean simple, obvious and blindingly brilliant) comes from this short but pithy quote early on in the piece: 

"First, read your resume out loud, putting the phrase "You should give me a bonus this year because..." in front of each line.

If it doesn't make sense that somebody would give you a bonus, or increase your bonus, because of that line... delete it.

And write a different sentence that makes sense."

The real key message he delivers so well is that a resume is a persuasive document by design and intent. In plain English, your resume should make somebody more inclined to hire you after reading it, than they might have been before they laid eyes on that document.

[ CHECK OUT : Illustrated Guide to Building a Better IT Resume ]

Cenedella's excellent advice goes a long way toward helping make that outcome from reading a resume more likely.

Here's another great example of his admonition, where $ and % are concerned:

"So rather than just increasing sales, decreasing expenses, or improving task times, you...

  • Increased sales by 27% in my region through the effective use of strategic selling.
  • Decreased costs by 11% in my division without impacting productivity.
  • Generated $11 million in new bookings through database marketing.
  • Reduced server load by 73%, and server cost by 22% through refactoring old code base.
  • Save $1.2 million in recruiting and legal costs by insourcing.
  • Improved factory throughput by 17% by re-engineering the supply chain and introducing new manufacturing techniques."

Get it? It's really quite easy to do, and will indeed add terrific impact to your job search efforts. Put this advice to work on your resume, and keep this mindset close at hand (or perhaps "close at mouth" makes more sense) when you're interviewing, too. It can't hurt, and it should help... A LOT!

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