We’ve written many different blog posts about how to write and format a resume that will have a better chance to get the attention of a hiring manager or recruiter. When it comes to IT specific resumes there are a few common areas of mistakes candidates make, and a few recommendations to make your resume stand out.
Know your Audience
When writing an IT resume, keep in mind that you’re likely writing for two different audiences. The first person who looks it over might be an HR person or recruiter who does not work in IT. They’ll be looking for certain keywords to make sure you have the necessary skills but will not necessarily understand IT jargon that’s too technical. The 2nd person to look at it will be a hiring manager who’s going to be more familiar with technical talk and the person who’s going to decide whether to invite you in for an interview or not. You’ll want to write your resume in a way that is both easily understandable for the first person reviewing it, but also detailed enough that the hiring manager feels that they need to get you in for an interview to learn more about you.
Highlight Relevant Technologies
Companies update their technologies frequently, so be sure to remove outdated skills on your resume and highlight your skills in more current technologies. Pay attention to what technologies the company you’re applying with is utilizing. If the job posting doesn’t state that specifically, ask someone who works there if they can find out for you, or go on LinkedIn and look up the people who work in the IT department to see if they have listed any of the technologies they work on.
Highlight your experience with bullet points, showing your skills and experiences. Using a list is a great way to highlight your numerous IT skills. Wording is important. Write out your bullet points as achievements rather than tasks you completed.
A couple of common mistakes people make on their IT resumes are:
- Listing too many non-IT related jobs. Recruiters and hiring managers want to see what your relevant experience is.
- Not including all your pertinent information even if it makes your resume longer than one page.
Once you have a good understanding of what the company is looking for, tailor your resume by prioritizing your content.
Enhance your Verbiage
Use more powerful words and language to showcase your experience or skills. For example instead of “in charge of…” you can use “spearheaded XYZ project…”. Think of words to use to make your accomplishments stand out more and appear stronger to the reader.
Certifications and skills
If you’re finding that your skill-set is not quite up to date with what companies are looking for, consider adding new certifications to your resume to showcase to employers that your skills are up to date. List all of your relevant certifications (PMP, CCNA, CCNP etc.). A great way to start out your resume is by highlighting your most important skills on top of the resume. If you have skills on old and outdated technologies, there’s generally not a need to include that information unless it’s been requested, or you know that the company is using them.
Entry level vs Experienced
For entry level resumes, it is important to highlight/summarize any coursework or internships or other related work that are specific to IT. If you have IT related work, such as apps you’ve developed, create an online portfolio to show potential employers.
If you’re experienced, and especially if going for a management role, the hiring manager isn’t going to care about low level or internship type of jobs held years ago. You can leave them off the resume. They’re going to want to know more in detail about your more recent positions.
Correct Spelling and Grammar
This is important on any resume. On an IT resume, you’ll want to double check that you’ve used the correct spelling and capitalization on certifications, technology and company names. Errors here will look sloppy and unprofessional. Re-read the resume yourself and ask someone else to give it a second set of eyes as well.
At iMPact we have numerous different IT positions available ranging from entry level, developer, infrastructure, senior manager and more. To view all of our available positions please view our job board. You can also submit your resume here for general consideration to connect with one of our experienced recruiters in either our Grand Rapids, MI or Tampa, FL locations.