April 30, 2013

Your resume is often your first introduction to a recruiter or hiring manager. In an industry as competitive as IT, it is important that you do your best to make a great first impression. Your resume, like your LinkedIn profile, is an important part of your personal brand and it is essential to keep it as updated, consistent, and impressive as possible! So, let’s take a look at 4 ways to optimize your resume and get that interview!

Get Their Attention 

IT recruiters and hiring managers spend a large portion of their days scanning resumes. Yes, scanning. Therefore, it is important to keep your resume organized and easy to read. If possible, include everything marketable about you near the top. Make sure key items and headers are highlighted. It’s even okay to use a font color other than black for headers to make them stand out if you choose; however, keep it professional. A color like blue can be a good one to help highlight certain items.  

Also, keep sentences short and include bullet points as these will make your resume easier to read. According to executive career coach, Donald Burns, all items should be short at one to three sentences. Beyond three to five lines, people may try to read it, but it will be harder to digest the information quickly.

Make a Statement

What are some successes you would mention in an interview? Include those on your resume rather than just listing your responsibilities. Listing tasks is unfortunately not a good indication of whether or not you were successful at it. Instead, provide brief descriptions of what you accomplished in that role.

Be sure to use action verbs such as “managed,” “developed,” and “organized” in the place of “participated in” and “responsible for.” Using action verbs will help to describe your accomplishments more effectively.

Only Include Relevant Positions

Be selective in the positions you include on your resume. If you have 20 years of experience and are looking for CIO positions, it is probably not necessary to include your first job as a help desk worker.  For anything older than 10 years old, consider whether it is relevant to the role you are pursuing. If it isn’t, it may be time to take it off your resume.

In relation, be mindful of the length of your resume. If you have 20 years of experience and a one-page resume this may raise some red flags, as will a four-page resume from someone with one year of experience. For those with extensive experience, try and keep it to three pages max if possible.

Proofread

No matter what industry you work in, spelling and grammatical mistakes are a big no-no. Take the time to read, re-read, and re-read again before submitting your resume anywhere. Spell-check can be a big help, but I have found that grammar mistakes are missed more often than not! After you have checked your resume over a couple times, have someone else take a look at it. A second pair of eyes usually helps to find overlooked mistakes.

These are just a few suggestions for creating a great resume. What helpful tips do you have for those looking to revamp their IT resume? Please share them below! 

Posted By: Briana Perrino

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