Writing an effective resume can be challenging, particularly if you are applying for a job in IT. This industry is highly technical, and it is evolving at breakneck speed. Follow these tips to create a resume that will attract attention.
Consider Attention Spans
Recruiters may have to look through hundreds of applications daily. This means they will only skim your resume and discard it if you fail to grab their attention immediately. To do this, use lists and categories. Break it up into sections like education, work experience and skills. Proper formatting makes the document easier to read.
Keep It Short
Your resume should not be longer than two pages. Use this limited space to outline your professional achievements and delete any information that is not directly related to it, such as work experience from high school or college. If you have a diverse skill set and want to apply to different positions, create several versions to highlight various types of experience.
Describe Achievements, Not Duties
Do not include descriptions of your tasks, such as updating company software or creating databases. It does not tell the company anything about your competitive strengths. Shift the focus to achievements and be specific. For example, if the program you created streamlined in-house processes and saved staff time, mention this.
Your resume must be tailored to the position you are targeting. Use the keywords from the job listing to highlight relevant skills or achievements. First, the recruiting manager can understand if you are qualified for the job more easily. Secondly, if an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is used for screening, it may eliminate candidates whose resumes lack relevant keywords.
Optimize Personal Interests
Employers do not want to know if you are passionate about classical music, horseback riding, or soccer. Your personal interest section should also be tailored to the position. There is just one exception — if you have been involved in volunteer work that corresponds with the professional field. For example, you may have built a program for a nonprofit to help it manage blood donor data. As this is related to IT, it is reasonable to include such information.
Your resume should contain a special section devoted to skills, which may also be called “technical competencies”. This is where you should list any programming languages and software programs you have worked with, as well as other skills relevant for the employer. Note that basic skills like mastery of Microsoft Office look redundant, as most applicants have them. Focus on things that make you stand out from the crowd.
Avoid Too Much Jargon
Naturally, as you are applying for a job in IT, you will need to use some technical language to describe specific skills and experience. However, experts recommend limiting the amount of jargon. This particularly applies to acronyms and any terms that may be unfamiliar to the recruitment manager.
Secondly, avoid vocabulary that was specific to your previous employer. Stick to widely used industry terms that everyone in the sector is aware of. Remember that your resume will first be read by a hiring manager, not an engineer or designer. Technical language should only be used to specify what you can bring to the table.
Templates and Examples
Take advantage of the templates you can find online. They will guide you in the right direction whether you are creating or updating your resume. Users applying for positions like Front End Web Developer, Help Desk Technician, Software Engineer, Tech Contractor, and Web Developer can find a plethora of examples. Remember to check that the sources are authoritative enough. There is plenty of bad advice on the internet, too. Hence, do some research.
Proofread and Edit Your Resume
Grammar and vocabulary errors make any resume look sloppy regardless of the field. Although you want a position in the technology realm, language still matters. Check and double-check your resume thoroughly before submitting it. You may ask a friend or career coach to look through and point out any inconsistencies.
To Sum up
Candidates applying for positions in IT should follow the standard rules of resume building, such as relevance, careful structuring, and proofreading. At the same time, the industry has its peculiarities. Despite the focus on technical skills, you should limit the amount of jargon. Describe any skills, achievements, and experience related to the vacancy, and remember that the HR manager does not have to be well-versed in technical aspects.