An IT resume is a marketing document used to sell oneself in the job market. It should be well-written and highlight the key skills and accomplishments relevant to the position. Above all, it needs to inspire recruiters and managers in the IT industry, which is challenging.
We cannot stress enough how essential it is to have a good resume in the IT world. It's not just about getting your foot in the door but about being able to stand out from other candidates.
The competition is high!
For the 13th episode of Ticket Volume, our host Matt Beran talked to Robert Fedoruk, who advises on how to make your resume stand out. He's a freelance consultant, coach, and speaker. Plus, he's the co-host of the CJ & The Duke Podcast.
On that note, Fedoruk thinks we still don’t know how to build a great resume since the education system doesn’t care to teach kids how to do it. In his experience, most of the resumes he receives are “bad,” and — believe it or not — he even gets 10 pages-long “resumes” on many occasions.
What makes an IT resume great?
A great resume is the one that gets you hired, and for that to happen, you need to think like your recruiter.
Yes, an excellent IT resume has a clear and concise summary of the applicant’s skills and experience and a professional summary. And of course, it should be short and include all relevant information about the applicant’s work experience. You may know there are many ways to format an IT resume. Some prefer to list their work history first, while others prefer to list their skills.
Hence, there are a lot of factors that go into it. But first, you must place yourself in the mindset of convincing. Being honest and upfront about your skillset and experience is one easy thing, but being able to show what makes you different is something entirely different.
Fedoruk suggests you show the lists of the dragons you’ve slayed, not everything you've touched. And here is why: a recruiter doesn’t have time to learn everything about you. They want to know the specific past and present experiences that can help you deliver what they need right now, or what the position they offer demands of you.
|"I think one common mistake is people think it's a biography. It's like, if I don't tell them every single thing I did, then this might not get me the job. Well, the fact is the resume is to get you the interview."
Freelance consultant, coach, and speaker on Ticket Volume's 13th episode.
You can easily copy and paste from the internet a list of skills you certainly know how to do, but it would make your resume get lost in the blur of others with the same thing. For instance, some tools and certifications expire more frequently in the IT world due to constant innovation. The mindset of management is always involved too. So think of the abilities that fit you now and why they do.
As an example, you know how to use nuts and bolts. Great! But, “did you build yourself a little workbench, or did you fly a shuttle to the moon?” he questions. Make it clear!
The advice is to show how you have implemented your skills and the results. And also, don’t underestimate your soft skills. Even though your job is likely technical, you need both hard and soft skills in IT.
Writing tips to take your IT resume to the top of the pile
It is essential to mention that the resume should be tailored to the position you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a software developer position, your resume should feature your skills in programming languages like Java, C++, and Python.
When writing an IT resume, highlight your core competencies and achievements. You can include the word “resulted” in the bullet point. This will show that you know how to do something and have experience bringing results to your work.
To sum up:
- Use bullet points to highlight key achievements.
- Keep it short and concise.
- List only relevant skills and experience.
- Follow a chronological format (start from the most recent).
- Use action words.
- Add keywords pertinent to their job listing.
- Create a concise summary of your experience.
- Include a list of skills that you possess.
- Add a list of projects you have worked on, briefly describing your involvement and the outcome.
- Don't forget your education and any certifications that you have earned.
A well-written resume is key to landing your dream job. Here are some tips to help you write an excellent IT resume:
- Know what employers are looking for: Employers want to know that you have the right skills and experience for the position they’re hiring for. Make sure your resume reflects this by listing relevant skills and achievements clearly and concisely.
- Be honest: It’s always better to be honest about what you can and cannot do than try to hide it. Hiding information can lead employers to believe that there is something wrong with you, which could result in them not wanting to hire you.
- Stay positive: There will always be something negative on your resume, whether it’s a lack of experience or an old one.
A good IT resume is well-written, concise, and provides enough information for employers to determine if they want to meet with you or not. It should highlight your strengths and weaknesses, so the employer can quickly see if you are a good fit for their company. The purpose is to get the reader's attention and convince them that you are the perfect person for the job. To do this, you need to make an excellent first impression on the reader by using keywords relevant to their job listing.
And, in Fedoruk's words, “it's an advertisement of you.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it OK to have a 2-page resume?
A 2-page resume is a good idea if you have a lot of experience and accomplishments. If you have less than 10 years of experience, it is better to have a one-page resume.
When is it appropriate to use a nontraditional resume?
Nontraditional resumes are appropriate when trying to break into an industry where the hiring process is highly competitive, or you want to stand out from the crowd.
Is it worth having someone write your resume?
It is worth having someone write your resume if you don't have the time or skills to do it yourself. However, if you are confident in your writing skills, then there's no need to pay someone else to do it for you.
How long does it take to make a resume?
The time it takes to make a resume depends on the level of detail and how many jobs you have had in your career. It can take up to two hours for someone with 10-20 years of experience, while someone with less than 10 years can finish in just 20 minutes.
Why is it important to create a strong resume?
A resume is a document that summarizes a person's skills, experiences, and accomplishments. It is an essential tool in the job search process.
The resume should be written to make it easy for the recruiter to understand your qualifications and experience. It should be concise and should not exceed two pages. The resume should also contain keywords that match the job description to ensure it reaches the right person looking for someone with your skill set.