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The Project-oriented Resume

A common question from the technology community is, "How do I present a project-oriented career?" This may be a history of dozens of contracts with small breaks in work. Does that sound like your career history? In some cases, listing the positions and employers/clients alone can be two pages long and that does not include your accomplishments. With the following tactics a project-oriented resume can be effective.

Identify the Theme of Your Career.

What is the common thread running through your work history? The theme of your technology career may be your domain expertise in the finance industry, record of process improvement, or history of managing complex implementations. Tapping into a theme creates a sense of longevity despite the change in employers or clients.

Create a Profile Section.

Like any resume, a profile statement is important because it puts the entire resume into context. This is your chance to share the theme of your career, including specialties and other value that you offer the target employer or client.

Deal with Repetition.

In the world of project management, there are common tasks as you move through the project life cycle. A reader may get drowsy seeing those items repeated for each job listing. Instead, capture your most relevant major competencies and place them in a keywords section so you can gain those keyword hits.

Showcase Scope and Accomplishments.

For each position, streamline the description and feature the scope of the project and the top accomplishments. Include measured results of the project.

Use an Addendum.

A resume is a concise presentation of your top skills, education, and professional achievements that are relevant to your career goal. For technical project managers, the resume may not afford the space to share many valuable achievements. For that reason, it is common to create a one to two-page resume addendum to feature more details of a candidate’s top two to five projects in a case study format. Start with an overview with the client name, dates, your role in the project, budget, and short phrase to describe the project mission. Optionally, you may list technologies used in the overview. Below that, include several (four to seven) bullets with facts of the project. For example, a major challenge and the solution, complex facts, unique requirements of the project, innovations, novel approach, and most importantly, the outcome.

For more suggestions for a technology career resume, check our my new book on Amazon, Tackling the Tech Job Search: Tactics for Anyone from Analysts to Execs.

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