Next issue: The wrong items were highlighted. "Sometimes people latch onto credentials. It's bad to bury your best material," says Burns. Knowing that there is a limited amount of space, Burns began the transformation by creating a menu of items he would include in the new resume. Then he began the work of packaging those items in a way that was concise.
Next, Burns took a closer look at Sterns resume and noted that it was text-heavy and that nothing really stood out. "He had a lot of text on the old resume, but it wasn't saying a lot... If you have something that looks like the small print on a phone bill, no one is going to read it," says Burns.
Your resume needs to be compelling because it's a single document that represents you to potential employers. The most important part of the resume, according to Burns, is the headline and the text right under it. "If the reader isn't sold, there won't be a connection." That said, Burns took a more aggressive approach on the new resume by adding four bullets near the top.
Using information gleaned from the interview process, Burns highlighted Stern's most impressive achievements and brought them to the forefront. These were items Burns thought a potential employer would take notice of. "You have to capture something memorable," says Burns. You're going up against a slew of other qualified people and you have to make a statement that will help you stand apart.
Another issue that needed resolution was that there were items that were too old on his resume. Stern has had a long career in IT and was including items that were no longer relevant. Burns decided to limit Stern's positions and achievements to the last 15 years.
With the heavy lifting done, Burns turned over the updated to resume to Stern, who was most appreciative. Stern's reaction: "It's the same information delivered differently. Mine [old resume] was just an accumulation of experiences over time. This one brings my best experiences to the front," says Stern.
Final IT Resume Tip
A resume is designed to do one thing--get your foot in the door. "It's important that somebody can eyeball it in five seconds, that the headlines stand out and [employers] can make a determination that this is good candidate. That will lead to an interview, which is the real job of the resume. If you look at Stern's new resume for five seconds, you'll see a lot of accomplishments there. An employer would be eager to interview him," says Burns.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.