The one skill that employers will always say ‘Yes’ to

Let's get one thing straight: I interview IT managers. I don't hire them. Yet for some reason, the resumes keep pouring in, either to my e-mail account or the general delivery ones we set up for reader feedback. And, sad to say, I doubt I'd call many of the candidates who are applying for technology jobs here, even if there were technology jobs to be had. Here's why.

It's not that the people writing in aren't qualified. In fact, they tend to reel off a laundry list of certifications and system administration experience. Many of them even include some of “12 IT skills that employers can't say no to,” recently compiled by our counterparts at Computerworld U.S. That list included areas like machine learning, open source programming and wireless networking. What it left out was the ability to write a resume that doesn't read like a PC owner's manual.

Apart from generic objectives like “a dynamic position with a company where I can use my talents,” and additional interests like reading, a lot of the IT resumes I see don't give you much sense of the personality behind the programming languages and troubleshooting expertise. That's going to become a big problem as Web 2.0 technologies mature and everyday users start thinking of themselves as more IT-savvy than they actually are. If IT managers can't effectively articulate who they are and how they can contribute to achieving an organization's goals in layman's terms, they're not going to get very far — not that they'd get very far by sending their resume to me anyway.

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