IT resume makeover: How (and when) to break the rules

The ironclad rule of resume writing is to highlight your career in reverse chronological order – all the time, every time, right? Wrong. Resume expert Donald Burns explains why

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What does resume makeover candidate Michael Wallace have in common with Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg? Each created something very big at the beginning of their careers and spent the rest of their professional lives building on that initial success.

Wallace isn't a typical IT job candidate and trying to organize his resume and career story into a traditional resume format wasn't working for resume writer, career consultant and personal branding expert Donald Burns of Executive Promotions.

Breaking the Rules

"As a resume writer I must condense a typical two-hour career story into a document that can be read and understood in about six seconds," says Burns.

"I've revamped over 1,200 resumes, but I had the worst time organizing Michael's story, because his chronology is backwards: The vast majority of successful people break through midway through their careers, or towards the end of their careers, but that's not Michael's story," says Burns.

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