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Getting the Interview: 3 Important Qualities of a Stand-out IT Resume

June 09, 2015

There are many tried and true resume tips that job seekers do their best to implement when it comes to updating their resumes. These can include things such as attention to grammar and spelling, using action verbs, and using succinct and quality writing. However, in an industry as technically-diverse and ever-evolving as technology, there are additional details that should be taken into consideration when it comes time to update your IT resume. We’re diving a little bit deeper on optimizing your resume and highlighting 3 areas below to take into consideration before you hit send!

Be Transparent from the Start

According to an article from Forbes, one of the most important things you can do is “load” the top of your resume, the top 1/3 of the first page to be exact. As we’ve often heard, many hiring managers and recruiters only review a resume for an average of 6 seconds before making a decision on next-steps for a candidate. While that might not always be the case, it’s best to make sure your resume can stand out in those 6 seconds, just in case! 

The very top of your resume should be able to be easily scanned and contain the appropriate keywords related to the position for which you’re applying. No obvious keyword stuffing though, please! Simply make sure that you mention the most important and appropriate qualifications that the job description detailed. If the role requires SQL experience or a CISSP certification, don’t leave this at the bottom where it might get missed.

This will make it easier for not only hiring managers and recruiters to assess your experience, but also applicant tracking systems that are used by many companies. Consider utilizing bullet points for readability and ensure that you have an engaging summary (not objective!) that briefly showcases you and your professional experience and why you would be an asset to the organization.  

Showcase Your Measurable Success

For those who have a well-established career within technology, especially for those who are IT contractors, it is likely that you have had at least a handful of positions within different roles at different organizations. Instead of just listing your responsibilities, detail your accomplishments within the role that were measurable. This will give an employer a better idea of your capabilities than, say, a list of your responsibilities in the role.

Think of including details such as: “Improved system and network performance by 30% after performing evaluation, reengineering and deployment of infrastructure” and “Saved organization 15% in on-going operational costs, reduced the reported errors by 55%, and improved the perceived system speed by 12% by implementing work flow.” This kind of detail offers much more insight than “Server hardware upgrade, replacement, and troubleshooting.” Employers want to see not only the tasks you can manage, but what kind of results you can achieve for their organization.

Tailor Your Resume to the Position

As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to include relevant keywords in your resume that align with the job description. To take it a step further, you can also tailor the experience you include on your IT resume to the job for which you’re applying. For instance, are you applying for an IT director-level position? If so, you might not need to include all of your past technical-level experience on your resume if you have an established background in leadership. Focus on your management and leadership experience to keep it as relevant to the position as possible. It’s not that your experience as an individual contributor isn’t important, it just doesn’t need to be included on your resume; there could definitely be room for it to come up in conversation during the interview.

It can be difficult to tailor your resume to every single job application, but take some time to think about the roles for which you’re applying and create one or two easy to tweak templates that cater to those roles that you can update if necessary. In the end, ensuring that your resume effectively communicates your experience and expertise, while also standing out to a technology hiring manager will greatly increase your chances of getting added to the interview pile.

What do you think are the most important considerations when it comes to a great IT resume? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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Posted By: Briana Perrino


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