November 17, 2011, 12:20 PM — Henry Cole has held his position as an IT manager with a global life sciences company for nearly eight years. Like all ambitious IT managers, he wants to move up to the executive level. Cole believes he's ready to step into an executive-level IT management position with a large company or into the top IT management spot at a small company based on his accomplishments, positive feedback he's received from his employer, and recognitions with which he's recently been honored. Since there are no opportunities for career growth with his employer, he's looking outside his company, as he has been for the last year and a half.
Despite holding some impressive qualifications, including global IT management experience, Cole hasn't had much luck in his job search. He attributes his lack of momentum in part to the fact that he has to be stealthy, which is why CIO.com is using the pseudonym Henry Cole.
"I work for a company that does not react well if they hear someone is looking for other opportunities," he says. "People have been asked to leave when the company has found out they were looking for a new job."
Cole also suspects his résumé is to blame for not getting more traction in the job market. When he submits it to prospective employers, he says the response it generally gets is silence. He estimates he's applied for 50 to 60 positions over the past year and a half, and he's only had three phone interviews.
"When I look at my résumé, even I admit it's not an attention-getter," says Cole. "What's ironic is that I'm pretty good at vetting résumés as a hiring manager. I know a good résumé when I see one, but what's frustrating is that I can't seem to write a good résumé for myself."
Cole adds that his biggest problem in writing his résumé is that he doesn't know what experience to highlight in order to come off as a compelling candidate for executive-level IT management jobs. He's showcased his ability to complete projects on time and on budget, create buy-in for initiatives, and manage and motivate IT staff, but those activities are not resonating with prospective employers.
Cole needs a résumé makeover.