Having seen millions of resumes in our 40 years in the global recruitment space, we’ve come to understand that each sector has its own nuances and preferences for this document. IT is certainly no exception.
When it comes to writing your IT resume, the choices you make regarding what you do and don’t include can be the difference between advancing to the interview stage and falling at the first hurdle. To help you stand out from the crowd and land your next job we’ve put together some handy hints for your next IT resume.
How Best to Approach Your IT Resume
As is general guidance, it’s imperative that an IT resume is no more than a page long - so don’t just throw all your work experience and skills onto it. Give it a solid, easy to read structure. Although IT is a complex discipline, a complex document won’t score any points with a recruiter. Present it in a professional matter that will grab the attention of any prospective employer.
Tailor Your IT Resume for a Specific Role
A lot of people prefer to use a generic resume and forward that to prospective employers but a worthwhile strategy is to have a few templates that will allow you to tailor your application to a specific role quickly. There are many different areas of IT, so after you create the main template you can deviate slightly depending on the desired role.
As a structural guide, start with this:
- Personal Summary
- Work Experience
- Key Skills and Competencies
- Academic Qualifications
Examine the job posting and compare the requirements of the role with what you have on your resume. Bring to life the key areas and include skills that you may have previously left out. Maybe move a few things around. Whatever you do, decide which skills should be the most prominent based on the role and highlight them.
IT Jargon: Get the Right Balance
Although you want your resume to be easy to read and understand, there’s also no harm in showing a recruiter you really know your sector with jargon and industry terms. That being said, it’s inevitable that some of the complex terms you’ll mention on an IT resume may not be understood by a layperson. Aim to strike the right balance between readability and knowledgeability. If you’re unsure whether a recruiter or employer will be aware of an emerging coding platform or piece of software, qualify it (e.g. I am proficient in the coding software platform MyCode).
When writing your IT resume, if you don’t use your summary to promote yourself properly, then you may not get past the first sift. Create an effective IT resume summary that highlights your experience enough to grab the recruiter’s attention. Give examples in your career where you’ve excelled in key areas.
Highlight your last few IT jobs and the key tasks you’ve completed with examples. If you had managerial responsibilities, showcase those, too. If that entailed design, creating software, coding, dealing with big data, or running technical help, include those experiences. Be clear regarding the specific dates of your previous employment. Include as much information as possible and if you are currently not in a role, be sure to make that clear. The employer might be looking for someone to start right away.
Key Skills and Competencies
There are many different areas of IT but the general competency and skills that you should have are fundamentally:
- Understand existing and emerging technologies and design principles
- Be comfortable with technical architecture and integrating systems
- Have competency in managing projects
- Be adept at prioritizing your workload
- Communicate well with stakeholders
- Be competent in gathering and processing key information effectively
- Think strategically and be adaptable
IT comprises of such a wide range of sub-sectors that the proper qualifications route will be different for each individual. The best way to approach this is to consider your preferred area of work, then look at relevant qualifications. The type of roles you can choose are 1st line support, C developer, IT call center, data analyst, IT support engineer, IT manager, IT support technician, Java developer, network engineer, and more. Or for example, if you were interested in artificial intelligence and robotics, forensic computing, or business information technology, then you can take a course or two.
Make sure this is short, concise and memorable - and easy to read. If you’ve saved your company money in your previous role or used your technical nuance to solve a major problem, highlight it. You can summarize your ambitions and give extra context to your achievements and use examples of the differences you made.
Do your research on the company that you’re having the interview with. Find out everything that you can, the company size, how many offices they have, and their annual turnover. If you get to the interview stage, it’s most likely that the recruiting manager will be impressed you have conducted your research. That knowledge and a solid IT resume will hold you in good stead. You need to approach your IT resume professionally, listing all technical proficiencies, technologies, and relevant experience.
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