IT Resume Tips – How to Write an IT Focused Resume
There are a million ways to write a resume and everybody likes to personalize them in their own way. We look at thousands of resumes and there are some recurring themes that we wanted to share. Here are some IT resume tips to keep in mind when writing your IT focused resume to make you stand out from the crowd.
Never lie on your resume! This is the most important point of all! Your resume is your selling feature, a reflection of yourself and what you have achieved in your professional life. Lying on a resume is not the way to get your dream job and in fact can have an extremely detrimental effect on your employability going forward. For most companies today criminal, background, and education checks are the norm before any employment papers are signed. Clients often revoke offers if they find an applicant lied about their education or other details on their resume. The IT industry is a very well connected one and many people cross paths and network, so always be honest.
When companies look at resumes they generally just take a quick scan for keywords and pass on to the next resume. For this reason it is important to keep the information in your resume concise and easy to read. When displaying your contact details try entering them in the header of your document as it saves space and can be clearly seen by the reader. That goes for the rest of your resume, choose a format and stick to it! Try not to write your resume in Notepad or a simple Text editor. It’s very difficult to read when you compare resumes that have been prepared on word processing software. Also ensure you stick to the same (legible) font throughout and choose a standard font size (9-11).
Many agencies will import your resume into their Applicant Tracking System (ATS) so it is best to send your resume in Word format as most ATS don’t import PDF formats. This will allow them to import your resume easily and to search on keywords easily as well.
You often hear advice that a resume shouldn’t be longer than one or two pages. FALSE!! That might be the case for a consulting or financial resume but for an IT resume don’t be afraid to extend past the two page mark especially when detailing your work experience. Anyone reviewing your resume can skip over your work experience details they aren’t interested in but if you leave out some details on a project you worked on involving a technology a prospective client uses you have just missed an opportunity to make your resume stand out from all of the other applicants!!
Including a short summary of your skills and what you are looking for is definitely advised! When a company is looking to hire any IT staff, the first step is generally to do a keyword search using the online job boards. Listing your key skills at the beginning of your resume greatly increases the chances of your resume showing up in a search. You should focus on technologies that you have a good amount of experience using rather than just a list of every piece of technology you have ever used since you started school. The order of the list is also important, list your most used technologies first!
When describing your work experience try and be as accurate and concise as possible. Provide your main responsibilities and the focus of your work. What was the aim of the project? Were you part of a team or working individually?Were you responsible for leading or mentoring other employees?The bulk of your resume should detail your work experience. A hiring manager (HM) should be able to see your various jobs in chronological order from most recent to oldest. These jobs should clearly include the company you worked at, your job title, the dates (month and year) you worked there as well as a general description of the projects you worked on and all the technologies you worked with. If you write this section correctly a HM should be able to accurately judge exactly how much experience you have with specific technologies or methodologies. This is especially relevant for consultants who may work on multiple projects per year – We’ve seen resumes 10 pages in length which was actually needed for an Architect to give an accurate description of their relevant professional experience and achievements!Include a list of technologies that you used to complete the job. Employers love to see this as it clearly identifies what technologies you are most up to date with. This list of technologies used also helps those reading your resume to see your level of expertise with a particular technology and should be listed from most to least used.Finally, try to only include relevant work experience! You would be surprised how many professionals with 20+ years in the IT industry still have their part-time supermarket job from school listed on their resume! With resumes content is king, so keep it relevant!
Make sure to include details of your educational qualifications! For undergraduate or Masters include the school and program. Also specify that whether you graduated and include any academic honors. At this point of your resume you can also include any certifications you may have.
Don’t include a picture! Honestly, it’s kinda cheesy! Any employer that’s going to hire based on your picture…you don’t want to work for.
These points are just some tips to point you in the right direction when writing an IT resume.