A software developer was looking to move further into management but had no idea how to build a resume (management resume) to support this transition. My response includes a detailed explanation as to what I’ve done in the past with clients in this position.
As luck would have it, I’m currently helping a developer transition into management-and he came to me because I helped his friend do the same thing (successfully) just a few months ago. Here’s what we did:
First off, at the top of the resume, we came up with a title with which my client identified, that was directly related to his new objective. In his case, we chose “Director of Development.” Following this, we summarized his expertise in terms of planning and strategy and then mentioned he had a “strong technical background.” Subtle tricks like using the word “background” implies that the individual contributor stuff is behind you.
Now, in order to emphasize his leadership skills over his technical ones, we used a chron-functional hybrid resume which is a cutesy way of saying we incorporated category headings under each job record. Also, we were careful to “bury” his job titles by placing them after his company name and location (that way they don’t stick out as much).
In my client’s case we used the category headings of “Business Strategy & Leadership” and “Development Initiatives” to further call out his prowess in planning and strategy.
Leading into the category headings and subsequent bullets, we drew up a 3-line paragraph detailing his record of promotions within the company, paying particularly attention to how he was frequently given management responsibilities.
To complement his strategic vision and stay true to his function as a technologist, we added a section entitled “Enterprise Software Development Projects” and then listed and described key technical projects. Additionally, we added a “Technical Repertoire” section comprised of a laundry list of his technical skills. This is still important to appease scanning software and show the depth of his technical aptitude. Both of these sections were purposefully placed after his accomplishments as a leader and manager to de-emphasize their impact.
These tactics worked extremely well for my client. Perhaps they’ll have the same effect on your job search, particularly since you’re in the same line of work. You can check out some chron-functional hybrid resumes on my “quick-view” resume samples page, if you’re curious to see this format in action. It works and works well if executed correctly.
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