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Resume Building

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venom77

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Post Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:09 am

Resume Building

Every once in a while I update and change things on my resume to reflect new skills, etc. as I'm sure most of you do as well.

I was just thinking about how many differing opinions there are out there for creating a resume, and there are certainly different approaches within IT.

Since I don't think we've had a good discussion on it here (or at least not that I can remember) I figured I'd start a topic on it.

So that being said, how do you structure your resume? What all do you include? Is it 1 page, 2 pages, more? Do you include skills on specific hardware/software? What order do you present things in? Do you include references? Do you tailor it to different companies/openings?

I'll get it started with an overview of how mine is setup currently.

To start off with, I list my objective. This basically states that I'm looking for something in IT/IT Security where I can use my skills and continue to grow.

The next section is certifications and skills. For the most part, all I list here are my certifications, but I do include the number of years experience I have in IT. My reasoning for setting this up like this and for placing it here is because most job listings have certifications they're looking for and minimum years of experience. So I figure this should stand out somewhere near the top.

After that I place my education section. This is another short section that I don't try to put much emphasis on. The reason here is because I don't have a college degree and I don't want to highlight that fact. I want to place the focus on the certifications and my experience. So this section is a couple of lines listing the schools I've attended and also specific computer courses I've taken.

Next is the biggest part of my resume, job history/experience. Here is where I have a couple of jobs listed with my position and a brief overall description. Then I have multiple bullet points listing achievements and tasks.

That's about all there is to it. It's a single page and I don't mention references. I figure employers know that they can ask for them and I'll provide them if asked. I've kicked around the idea of adding specific hardware/software to the list that I have experience somehow, but never really made that change. I keep it the same for the most part and don't tailor it to specific listings, minor changes if anything.

How about everyone else?

Bill
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pseud0

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Post Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:56 am

Re: Resume Building

Mine is very similar to yours, and take it from a guy who sees a lot of resumes, it is almost the expected format at this point in time.  Just a few thoughts:
-Keep two versions of your resume handy.  If you are looking at a position that is on the business side of the house, re-word everything to focus on "risk management" and the "business drivers" (ie. how you can make security work without a huge budget) of security.  If you are looking at a position on the tech side of the house then don't be afraid to start throwing out the operating systems you work on, coding languages, how you re-engineered and upgraded specific parts of the network, and so on.  Do not be afraid to let your tech resume grow to more than a page.  It is not uncommon to see 2 full pages or a little more.
-If you have a very well know "heavy hitter" certification (CISSP, CISM, CISA, etc) then include it after your name.  Something like "John Doe, CISM".  It's stupid, but you'll be surprised how it will get you through the HR review process quickly, and you just tend to stay near the top of the stack.  Still have a full listing of all of your certs near the top of the resume.
-Include an education section no matter what.  If you don't have your degree then make sure to list classes you've taken that relate to the work.  Also, and I'm not encouraging dishonesty here, if you are still working towards your degree then list what the degree is, where you are going to school, and an expected graduation date.  If the job requires a specific level of education, often the HR department will accept a "pending" degree.  Please don't list the degree you expect to get in 2023.  There are limits to how far you can stretch this.
-Include specialty training courses even if you didn't get a certification.  For example, I took several advanced forensics courses that did not end in a certification.  My resume shows the title of the course and an overview of the content.
-consider a "skills" section.  This is your catch-all.  Dump in all of your uber-geek accomplishments here. 
-have a memberships section that you list all of the groups you are involved with.  If you have certs, you are probably automatically part of certain groups. (ie. CISSP -> ISC2, CISM/CISA -> ISACA)  Also list other groups that show you are actively working in your field.  For security guys, something like "The Ethical Hacker Network" seems pretty legit for a resume :)
-have an awards section.  list everything you've won especially if it relates to your field.  Also include awards that just show professional standards.  For example, if you won the DefCon hacking competition, good place to put it, but you would also list the award you got from your company for building a new firewall with a budget of 6 dollars and 3 pieces of lint.  Military guys, think good conduct medals, achievement medals, etc.
CISSP, CISM, CISA, GCIH, GREM, CEH, HMFIC, KTHXBIROFLCOPTER
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Mr. Roboto

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Post Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:02 pm

Re: Resume Building

How affective is listing a cert after your name?  And how big of a cert do you need?

Mr. Roboto, A+...just doesn't scream "Hire Me" like, Mr. Roboto, MCSE.

Just wondering.  Either way, great suggestions guys.  I've taken a good hard look at my resume and am considering a major overhaul.
A+, Security+, HDI Support Center Analyst, MCTS: Vista
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Kev

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Post Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:47 pm

Re: Resume Building

Maybe lose the Mr. Roboto. That might help more on the resume than a cert, lol. Just kidding.
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Mr. Roboto

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Post Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:06 pm

Re: Resume Building

If a name like Mr. Roboto can't get you a job in IT, I don't know what will!  ;)
A+, Security+, HDI Support Center Analyst, MCTS: Vista
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pseud0

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Post Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:01 am

Re: Resume Building

To be honest, having one of the SANS/ISACA/ISC2 certs listed after your name will be more of a help than you think.  For your name at the top of the resume I wouldn't list more than 2 because it looks kinda crowded.  (ie.  Bender Roboto, CISSP, CEH is ok, Bender Roboto, CISSP, CEH, CISM, CISA, CFE, HMFIC, Esq. is not ok)  Still include a certs section at the very top of the resume that will list everything you have.  Honestly, the only rationale for this is that many companies now have handed over their hiring to recruiters (in house or out sourced) and experience says that some of these folks have the attention span of a fruit fly.  Having the cert in your title will catch their eye instantly.  If you don't catch their eye then there is a chance that the people who are doing the actual hiring will never see your resume because it never makes it out of HR hell.
CISSP, CISM, CISA, GCIH, GREM, CEH, HMFIC, KTHXBIROFLCOPTER
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oleDB

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Post Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:18 pm

Re: Resume Building

I almost think you need two resumes, not based on job goals, but by who is looking at it.
One resume is for initial contact and HR screen. This one would be heavily Cert based, briefer, and contains lots of bs buzzwords/keywords. This really happened to me when a recruiter redesigned my resume and it was like all Certs and very little substance. It was hilarious but also sad, knowing how bogus certs are to begin with.
The second resume, would be more focused on your accomplishments, work history, and targeted skill sets. This would be the one you actually use in the interview with mgmt/peers after you've made it past the HR/recruiting goons.

Thanks for tip on adding a few key certs to you name. This seem way less tacky(necessary, but still tacky) then listing out every cert you have in the opening paragraph/heading of a resume.

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