As tempting as it is to cram
every little detail on your resume, keep in mind that hiring managers scour
through lots of resumes, meaning they usually spend 30 seconds or less
initially scanning resumes. So, you need to keep on point, while making sure
you stand out. That said skip the crazy fonts or wild colors. You want to make
it very easy for people to read and digest your resume. Otherwise, it could end
up in the shredding pile.
Yes, a lot of IT shops have
laidback cultures. Ping pong tables, unlimited caffeinated beverages, and jeans
are perfectly acceptable and often the norm. However, first impressions count,
and that extends to your resume. If you haven’t already, ditch that silly email
addresses from high school and create a more professional one. Don’t include
links to social media accounts. It’s way too easy for an employer to find that
years-old picture of you “out on the town.” Also don’t include private or
personal information such as your social security number or marital status. In
the United States and many other places, it’s illegal for companies to ask for
certain information, so why include it?
The more specific you can be
the better. For example, highlight projects you worked on and mention the
different skills and technologies you used during those projects. When
possible, use statistics to bolster your accomplishments. For example, maybe
you implemented a new system that reduced site downtime by 30%. Cold, hard
facts can help your accomplishments stand out more. Remember, many IT folks are
numbers-driven, so try to speak the language.
There are certain skills and
technologies that every IT professional is expected to know. Hence, the “duh”
moniker. So, you don’t need to list things like, “highly skilled using search
engines, including Google,” “adept at determining IP addresses,” “wizard of
keyboard shortcuts,” or “proficient in Microsoft Office.” However, if the
position you are applying for directly calls for experience in something that
basic, list it. That’s why it’s also a good idea to tailor resumes to specific
job descriptions. The bottom line: Don’t clutter your resume with unnecessary
a skills-based resume
Traditionally, resumes list
work experience in chronological order. But when applying for IT jobs, it might
make more sense to focus on your skills. A skills-based resume lists your certifications and skills
above your job history, enabling screening software and hiring managers to
quickly identify if you have the qualifications they are seeking. Also, this
approach can help you overcome any gaps in your work history.
shortchange your abilities
Your resume needs to sell
your skills and abilities well enough to move you onto the next stage of the
hiring process, whether that’s an interview or being asked to submit a project.
So include other sources that validate your tech savvy beyond certifications,
such as continuing education credits, boot camps, and workshops. Including this
type of information highlights your commitment to learning, which is critically
important in the fast-paced, always evolving world of IT.
One last bit of advice
that’s a no-brainer, but bears repeating, because it’s oh-so-critical in every
piece of communication you send out: Proofread, proofread, and proofread again.
Don’t let a misspelled word or silly typo trip you up as your pursue your dream IT job. Happy