Fixing My Resume



  • So I need some help...I really need a professional resume writer for someone who specializes in IT to help fix my resume. Sadly, that is money I don't have to spend, so I turn to the community. 2014 was a rough year for me. Even with everything I've dealt with the past 10 months, 2014 is still, to date, the worst year of my life.

    The issue is that it is reflected by my resume. I've also bounced around the country a lot, which hasn't entirely been in my control either, so that compounds the issues too. What I need is a way to help redo my resume to try and put things in a more positive light/context. I've had it suggested to list some of the short-term jobs as projects, but the problem is that there isn't really a good way to do that based on the work I did there.

    I know I need to find a position and stay there for awhile. Even something very entry-level, and I'm willing to do that. However, I'm finding I have trouble even getting some of those positions because people aren't willing to take that gamble. I've got a plethora of experience, especially in the MSP world, and have also done extensive marketing and sales work.

    Anyone who knows someone or might be willing to help, I'd be most appreciative.

    Thanks,
    A.J.


  • Banned

    The only way to fix something like that is to keep a stable job for 2-3 yrs. Take a retail or fast-food job whoever will hire and keep it even if it is only part-time while working else where. Let the older stuff "fall off" your resume.



  • @Jason said:

    The only way to fix something like that is to keep a stable job for 2-3 yrs. Take a retail or fast-food job whoever will hire and keep it even if it is only part-time while working else where. Let the older stuff "fall off" your resume.

    I've had positions like that. Several. The problem is there are several jobs that I've had I'd love to take off my resume but then I have a ton of experience I can't cite either, so it often feels like a Catch-22. Like if I want to put that I've done W-Z, I have to show the job I was at that I did it at. It just feels like I'm between a rock and a hard place.



  • As far as getting a job and just holding it, that's great. But I also need something I can live off of. And the easy jobs to get, like retail and fast food, I can't support myself on.



  • I was just given an idea by Trevor Potts that @Nic agreed with. As part of my resume, include a cover letter and include the following statement:

    "I understand 2014/2015 doesn't look good, but I was born into a religious cult and this was the period during which I escaped. I am now trying to put my life back together." It seems like a sound idea. Thoughts?



  • Another idea was to list the problem time (March 2014-January 2015) as "Travel and Personal Development", which would hopefully get it past the screeners and then I can explain on the interview...



  • @thanksajdotcom said:

    "I understand 2014/2015 doesn't look good, but I was born into a religious cult and this was the period during which I escaped. I am now trying to put my life back together." It seems like a sound idea. Thoughts?

    I don't like that. I'd never mention "religious cult" in any job application. I also don't like the term "trying to put my life back together", as that implies your life isn't currently together. It might be true, but surely you want to give the impression that the past is the past and you are now completely over it and perfect?

    "Travel and personal development" is better. I'm not convinced by it, but something bland along those lines is definitely the right approach IMV.



  • I agree with @Carnival-Boy NEVER put something about religion on a resume. NEVER talk about trying to get a life back together. The same goes for explaining things in an interview. These are things you never share. That along with things like Mental Illness, Learning Disabilities etc. that is none of a prospective or current employers business. Because while it is illegal to discriminate, you know it does affect the overall opinion on your ability to do a job.

    As someone looking at resume's I know I tend to be a bit more forgiving than most, honestly your resume would be immediately put in the, I highly doubt I will even talk to this person pile. I am not sure there is much you can do to rectify that at this point either. At least a solid year of employment. Any kind of employment is what you need.

    If you can't support yourself on 1 retail/food service job. Then get 2 or 3. Sucks but sometimes you have to do it to make it.



  • You might consider just using staples as your only employer since you were with them. Somewhat long term.

    One thing you could do to make up for the gap is add technical writer in your resume and span it over a few years . Include your blogs, podcast sites, and your duties in Spiceworks


  • Service Provider

    @thanksajdotcom said:

    So I need some help...I really need a professional resume writer for someone who specializes in IT....

    Never seen one of these. Mostly because people who know enough about the IT side earn to much to work as resume writers. People working as resume writers are normally out of work English majors who have little business experience. It's just not a field where good people go and the needs of IT are so unique that professional resume writers often produce terrible results.


  • Service Provider

    @Jason said:

    The only way to fix something like that is to keep a stable job for 2-3 yrs. Take a retail or fast-food job whoever will hire and keep it even if it is only part-time while working else where. Let the older stuff "fall off" your resume.

    Presentation does a lot. AJ has had many fewer jobs than I did at his age and it didn't cause me any issues. I've had companies complain that I've stayed places for too long (Barclays complained that I was at CitiGroup too long, Barclays was glad I'd not gone any longer at Bridgewater, etc.) but never the opposite and my work was much more extremely short term than AJs and for a longer life period.

    It's more what kind of work it was, how it is presented, why it was short term, etc.


  • Service Provider

    @thanksajdotcom said:

    As far as getting a job and just holding it, that's great. But I also need something I can live off of. And the easy jobs to get, like retail and fast food, I can't support myself on.

    Until FF goes $15/hour. Then you will be living large (both in money and in size from eating all the fast food leftovers, trust me, it's bad.)



  • @thanksajdotcom said:

    I was just given an idea by Trevor Potts that @Nic agreed with. As part of my resume, include a cover letter and include the following statement:

    "I understand 2014/2015 doesn't look good, but I was born into a religious cult and this was the period during which I escaped. I am now trying to put my life back together." It seems like a sound idea. Thoughts?

    I agree with @Carnival-Boy - do not mention it. That is to much private information a perspective employer does not need....Ever.

    A better way to phrase it is a year of personal development and introspection...

    I spent 6~ years working with resumes If you want, send it to me, and I'll do some editing...


  • Service Provider

    @thanksajdotcom said:

    I was just given an idea by Trevor Potts that @Nic agreed with. As part of my resume, include a cover letter and include the following statement:

    "I understand 2014/2015 doesn't look good, but I was born into a religious cult and this was the period during which I escaped. I am now trying to put my life back together." It seems like a sound idea. Thoughts?

    I'm on the other side of the fence on this one. That's certainly not something I would put down on paper. Especially not in the resume itself, but not in the cover letter either. Don't talk religion in job hunting as a general rule.


  • Service Provider

    @gjacobse said:

    A better way to phrase it is a year of personal development and introspection...

    Yup, much better.


  • Service Provider

    @thanksajdotcom said:

    Another idea was to list the problem time (March 2014-January 2015) as "Travel and Personal Development", which would hopefully get it past the screeners and then I can explain on the interview...

    Here is the big thing... what age were you then? College age, right? Not 24 yet, so you are in under the radar of "getting started in life" for many places. You generally get a pass during these years. Yes, you have to trade your description of "hard core professional IT experience" for "finding myself at a young age" but I think it is a tradeoff work making here.


  • Service Provider

    @Minion-Queen said:

    Because while it is illegal to discriminate, you know it does affect the overall opinion on your ability to do a job.

    An important thing to remember is while it is illegal to discriminate for these things it is also completely legal to discriminate against people for divulging unnecessary personal information.

    The latter behaviour is in no way protected and something that employees can and will freely use to evaluate you.


  • Service Provider

    @Minion-Queen said:

    If you can't support yourself on 1 retail/food service job. Then get 2 or 3. Sucks but sometimes you have to do it to make it.

    This is how most of us did it. I put in a lot of years doing one full time job at night (night jobs generally pay slightly more for the same work) and doing part time work during the day that was more sporadic (but way better per hour.) I took every OT hour I could from the night job (OT for nighttime people is that much better because you have the pre-existing higher rate) and busted hump there so that I'd be first in line for flexible schedules when I needed it for side jobs that were higher per hour.



  • Why mention or attempt to justify the "bad time period" on the resume at all? Don't draw attention to it, let the employer maybe decide that it is bad. If you do what you describe you are not just calling it out and pointing to it, but you are stating it in a way that declares it to be a failure. There is no reason to do that. You had a string of jobs - so what? That alone is not a problem. You moved around to different places - so what? Nothing wrong with that, many people would brag about having worked in multiple regions and having more experience not just with jobs but with locations and cultures. And the two are generally assumed to be tied together because chances are you changed jobs so that you could move or you moved for a job. Both generally are "freebies" in the job change game.



  • @Reid-Cooper said:

    Why mention or attempt to justify the "bad time period" on the resume at all? Don't draw attention to it, let the employer maybe decide that it is bad. If you do what you describe you are not just calling it out and pointing to it, but you are stating it in a way that declares it to be a failure. There is no reason to do that. You had a string of jobs - so what? That alone is not a problem. You moved around to different places - so what? Nothing wrong with that, many people would brag about having worked in multiple regions and having more experience not just with jobs but with locations and cultures. And the two are generally assumed to be tied together because chances are you changed jobs so that you could move or you moved for a job. Both generally are "freebies" in the job change game.

    The most recent job I applied at, from my understanding, loved me but turned me down due to the several short jobs. So yeah, that's part of what I'm trying to fix.


  • cid:7:privileges:read

    I've probably interviewed for more jobs in the past 2 years than everyone combined here. I can tell you what got me to a second interview, and I can tell you what got my resume thrown in the trash the minute I walked out the door.
    Never tell an interviewer you read something negative on glassdoor.com from the previous IT Manager, while you are interviewing for that same job lol!
    Never put personal information (religion, sucky life, etc..) anywhere near your resume or even talk about it in an interview. Never.
    You only talk about positive things you have done that pertain to the job you are interviewing for. That interviewer does not give a rats ass about your issues, your bad days, your trying to get your life together, your religion - THEY DON'T CARE, NOR DO THEY WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT! Only do this if you want to end the interview quickly.
    It looks like you have two to three issues A.J.:

    1. Time lapse
    2. You would get a bad reference from a job that you have lots of experience from
    3. You like to share too much information
      How to fix these issues. I can tell you how to fix the time lapse very easily on your resume, but not here, in public.
      Bad references. That’s easy – you tell the interviewer that they cannot contact your previous employers (that is usually on the job application). If discussed in the interview, you talk about your experiences, what you did, what you learned and how it has helped you develop. You give proof that you were an asset at that position. They won’t ask why they can’t contact your manager, they won’t ask if you were terminated, and you don’t have to tell them if they happen to do that. You state that you are no longer with that company. Period. They will either be impressed with your experience or they will give you a bad mark since they can’t contact your previous employer. I’d rather have a bad mark for something they don’t know than a bad mark for a crappy reference.
      Lastly, quit sharing. Just stop. When interviewing, it’s business. If you want to get personal in an interview, you talk about the volunteer work you do every year at Thanksgiving or Christmas, when you feed the homeless or you volunteer for some programs to help the needy. (if you do these things, if not, maybe you can consider it – it is life changing!)
      Good luck A.J.

  • Service Provider

    @Bob-Beatty said:

    1. You like to share too much information

    Bolding because this is probably the biggest one. The others can be managed, more or less, until this one strikes.


  • Banned

    @Bob-Beatty said:

    Never tell an interviewer you read something negative on glassdoor.com from the previous IT Manager,

    I would say if you are in A.J's position you shouldn't but if you are just looking to move up in your career it can be helpful sometimes to bring up negative's you've heard about them company to see what they have to say about that. I've actually had companies say they were glad I brought it up. But I would say do not do this if you are desperate for a job.


  • Service Provider

    @thanksajdotcom said:

    The most recent job I applied at, from my understanding, loved me but turned me down due to the several short jobs. So yeah, that's part of what I'm trying to fix.

    That can certainly happen. Some will turn you down for having too long of jobs, too. The former is more common but both happen. It's not something that you can control. All you can control is putting the best spin or light on the situation as you can.



  • Scott suggested posting the resume here (not posting my personal information and the formatting is a little screwed up):

    TECHNICAL SKILLS

    Operating Systems: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10; Windows Server 2003/2008/2012; VMWare Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere, ESXi 5.0/5.1/5.5; CentOS 5/6; Ubuntu Linux; Mac OS X

    Software: Microsoft Office 2003/2007/2010/2013; Adobe Acrobat X; Adobe Dreamweaver and Photoshop; Asterisk PBX; Unitrends; LogMeIn Central, Pro, Rescue; VNC Clients; Spiceworks; Cisco Webex; Various softphones including Zoiper, 3CX and X-Lite; Cisco AnyConnect Client; AutoTask Business Management; Bomgar Remote Support; Webroot Endpoint Protection; Sophos Endpoint Protection; Kaseya; Teamviewer; Citrix GoToMeeting;

    Networking: Cisco switches/routers/firewalls; TCP/IP; Ethernet; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n; VoIP; VPN with Pertino and Cisco ASA solutions; Crimp cables using T568B standard

    ACCOMPLISHMENTS

    • Had articles published on several notable websites, including VMware and Spiceworks, regarding experiences in IT purchasing and decision-making, career advisement, and product experiences
    • Spoke at an international IT conference on methods for best building relationships between vendors and companies
    • Setup own website running Wordpress on LAMP server as a virtual machine on ESXi 5.1; publish articles to help younger people in IT get going in their career
    • Assisted with setup of 2,700 laptops for Tableau conference in Las Vegas, NV, including placing laptops, Kensington locks, mice, AC adapters and networking the computers

    EXPERIENCE

    Resident Onsite Technician February 2015-September 2015
    Staples Clay, NY
    Provide onsite technical service to both consumers and businesses, in addition to sell all manner of technology items
    • Provide technical support in-store as well as to customers on-site with matters ranging from new computer setups and training, to technical troubleshooting and networking
    • Sell electronics but especially computers with a focus on upselling and adding attachments
    • Act as a guide and trainer to newer associates in matters of technical troubleshooting and improving sales skills

    Managed Services Specialist December 2014-January 2015
    nDivision Carrollton TX
    Provided support to customers for issues ranging from issues with workstations to server issues
    • Supported end-users with issues on their workstations using remote support tools such as Kaseya and Teamviewer
    • Troubleshot issues on the servers that include Microsoft Exchange and Active Directory issues
    • Worked on projects for new clients that included setting up a new domain and deploying new machines while migrating away from an older, physical environment to a completely new virtual environment
    • Supported clients with VMware and Hyper-V as well as both Windows and Mac computers

    North America Tier I GOLD Support September 2014-November 2014
    Intel Security Plano TX
    Provided support to enterprise customers on multiple McAfee Enterprise-Level Products
    • Provided support for McAfee customers who used McAfee Vulnerability Manager and McAfee SIEM
    • Troubleshot issues of all kinds from database issues to networking issues on McAfee products, in addition to collecting necessary logs and files for Tier II when a case needed to be escalated

    Technical Analyst I April 2014-June 2014
    Centrada Solutions Irving TX
    Provided technical support to a variety of hotels located across the country.
    • Provided technical support to users experiencing issues with printing, Windows and special hotel-based software, such as Opera, Galaxy and Lightspeed
    • Acted as liaison for customers with necessary vendors and facilitated service and repair of hardware and software issues
    • Worked in a team environment to manage completing existing tickets that I have claimed while still meeting the required first response time on new tickets, per each client’s SLA
    • Worked for a portion of each day by opening tickets and routing tickets that are submitted via email by correcting the priority and client information for the ticket ensuring tickets are seen by the appropriate team/people
    • Acted as a frequent escalation point for my team lead due to demonstrated skill in areas of networking and printer support primarily; worked in resolving several issues where other techs were unable to resolve including the whole hotel being unable to print, having slow connection issues and losing trust to domain controllers due to improper DNS settings
    • Helped resolve a common problem experienced by users by noticing the method being used and deployed by other technicians was incorrect and corrected; this lead to a revision in the method being used and helped to correct the recurring issue for many users
    • Setup a new batch script to fix an old, broken one and helped move this through to production in addition to setting up logon batch scripts for users when the need arose

    Technical Support Specialist November 2012-March 2014
    Niagara Technology Group Piffard, NY
    Provided technical support and consultations to clients across the country.
    • Provided technical support and day to day break/fix for various clients located across the country with varying environments while working as part of an international team
    • Advised in the purchasing decisions of new equipment for the office such as replacement parts, printers and new computers after looking at needed features and functionality and assessing the best solution at the most cost-effective price
    • Worked as part of a team to deploy new infrastructure to clients that include but are not limited to:
    o Virtualized servers using VMware ESXi
    o HP and Dell desktop replacements/upgrades
    • Performed Unitrends remote configurations for clients as contracted by Unitrends and used Salesforce to track cases and manage account information
    • As a Unitrends installer, I worked with helping clients learn and implement best-practice backup strategies as well as configure and troubleshoot the solution to backup Windows Server 2000/2003/2008/2012, Microsoft SQL Server 2005/2008/2012, Microsoft Exchange 2003/2007/2010/2013, AIX and Linux
    • Consulted and deployed large-scale PBX systems for clients customized to fit their needs including determining necessary hardware purchases/resource provision requirements, projecting time estimates and assessing the most fitting solution; most often used Asterisk-based ElastixManaged and tracked tickets using Spiceworks and then Microsoft Dynamics CRM to ensure they were documented thoroughly and completed in a timely manner
    • Managed and implemented Office365 internally and to clients including creating/removing accounts, resetting passwords, managing permissions and deploying Office to end-user machines
    • Provided internal technical support for administrative staff including troubleshooting printer issues, configuring new computers with internally used software and troubleshooting VPN connectivity issues running on the Pertino VPN

    Tech Supervisor/Onsite Technician July 2010-June 2013
    Staples Clay, NY
    Provided desktop support and sold technology items from printers and bluetooths to laptops and desktops.
    • Provided support to users regarding all Windows issues including virus removals, hardware diagnostics, parts replacements, PC reformats and tune-ups
    • Assisted customers in determining the best solution for them based on their needs in an honest and courteous manner in addition to upselling other items such as peripherals, software and services
    • Was consistently the top salesman in the store both on a weekly basis up to yearly basis, even passing full-time coworkers while only working part-time
    • After attaining position of Tech Supervisor, store had three best weeks for sales in the history of the store in regards to sales in the 15 years of the store being open at that location
    • As the onsite technician, I provided services from a basic printer install up to setting up a print server for a business in addition to gaining additional work from seeking opportunities to upsell my services to customers

    IT Support Agent February 2012-September 2012
    Ridgeway and Conger New Woodstock, NY
    Provide technical support to 40 local users and 150 representatives across the country.
    • Helped in the restructuring of the network and deployment of new Windows servers and workstations including a full domain controller changeover and network infrastructure upgrade/replacement
    • Assisted in setting up new Active Directory environment with appropriate logon scripts, group policy objects, OUs, file permissions for users and printer-deployment
    • Worked on testing and implementing network monitoring software with Nagios as well as additional monitoring with the addition of network inventory and helpdesk using Spiceworks
    • Performed routine maintenance on user workstations including physical cleaning and performance enhancement
    • Provide daily break/fix support for users including virus removals, printing issues and software troubleshooting as well as teach users best practices regarding email safety and how to save themselves time and effort through functions such as keyboard shortcuts
    • Learned about compliance with FINRA in regards to email and website content, email archiving and required policies for users both remote and local
    • Assisted in beginning a computer refresh to replace legacy Windows XP desktops/laptops of various brands with new HP Windows 7 desktops/laptops
    • Assisted in diagramming and documenting the network infrastructure, both physical and logical, using tools like Spiceworks and Microsoft Visio 2010
    • Was primary resource for helping develop a Standard Operating Procedure for various technical tasks and determining the standards to meet


  • Service Provider

    Remove Ethernet and wifi standards.



  • I should add there are several jobs I didn't list on here because they overlap with other jobs.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Remove Ethernet and wifi standards.

    Done.


  • Service Provider

    This feels way too long. You should be at one page. How many is this turning into?



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    This feels way too long. You should be at one page. How many is this turning into?

    It's at 2.5 right now...


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