Resume Tips for the IT Professional
According to U.S. News & World Report’s article on “The 50 Best Careers of 2011,” many technology positions made it into the top 50 list of careers providing overall satisfaction. They include computer software engineers, computer support specialists, computer systems analysts, and network architects.
So how are you making yourself stand out from the crowd of other resumes that employers are reviewing?
Finding a job in today’s market is particularly difficult. However, there are resume tips to help IT professionals get noticed.
- Add “Technical Expertise and Certifications” at the top of your resume.
Regardless of whether you have one year or 10 years of experience in the field, it is especially critical to effectively demonstrate technical knowledge and skills. What matters to most employers hiring an IT professional is not the years of experience you have to offer, but how current you are with today’s latest technology, applications, and if you have the technical certifications to do the job. Highlighting your “Technical Expertise and Certifications” up front on your resume will immediately inform the employer that you have what it takes to do the job.
- Include a section on “Technical Skills.”
This is a section that allows you to outline all the specific technical language those in the field will be familiar with to demonstrate your familiarity with subject matter expertise and the type of technology-related working environments you have been exposed to. It’s an effective and quick way to help employers see that you are relevant for the job. It also supports keyword searches for specific tools and technologies.
- Demonstrate achievements, accomplishments and results in “Professional Experience.”
This is where most IT Professionals go wrong in that they merely list their roles responsibilities and tasks. The problem is that hundreds of people in similar job functions can say the same thing so this does not differentiate you.
If you are on the applications or project management side, do not detail every project you did as they will not have the same kinds of projects. Instead, indicate the total number of initiatives you were involved in and only highlight the ones that you are most proud of. Also highlight whether you managed the full lifecycle, what tools, best practices and methodologies you used, and how good you are at working with disparate stakeholders to gather their requirements, drive consensus and ensure that what you are delivering is what they want.
If you are new to the field, then you need to highlight the courses you took and projects you completed as part of your education. Include the number of hours of training and the technologies that you grasped.
- Apply relevant keywords to all parts of your resume.
A majority of employers use scanning technology to help pull out the most relevant resumes to review, so the more keyword relevance you can offer in your resume, the greater the chance of your resume getting noticed. Carefully review the job posting on specific technical skills desired or required. Also look at other job descriptions for the same position on job boards to get a better sense of which technical skills are particularly desired. Apply those keywords in context at different sections of your resume. You want the regular HR person to understand what you have to offer as well.
The market for IT professionals is much stronger than others today and is very competitive. Use these tips to make sure your IT resume stands out.