As the technological landscape continues to evolve, organizations are in search of IT professionals who possess a strong technical background as well as demonstrate effective communication skills. In today’s highly competitive job market, your ability to illustrate your technical and soft skills while showing you are the best fit for the position, starts with a well-crafted resume.
While it can be tricky to find the best way to highlight your experiences and strengths on your resume, before you apply to your next role, be sure to keep the following tips in mind:
- Less is more
Your ability to explain your professional attributes in a concise and well-organized resume is what will separate you from others. Often times, IT professionals highlight their experience in great detail without providing a clear takeaway for the hiring manager. However, most hiring managers will prefer a resume where the candidate communicates their strengths and experiences in an accurate and concise manner.
Lisa Samson, a Director at ES Technology, a division of The Execu|Search Group, stresses the importance of having a concise resume as an IT professional in today’s job market. “A concise resume demonstrates your ability to highlight the most relevant aspects of your career that align with the needs of the role you’re interested in,” notes Lisa. “Hiring managers rely on resumes not only to gauge a candidate’s overall technical experience, but also to see how well they can translate their technical knowledge into a concise explanation.” Therefore, to ensure the information you want to be seen stands out, aim to have a resume no longer than two pages in length, using bullet points to list responsibilities/accomplishments.
- Tailor your skills to each position
The most successful IT candidates are those that tailor their resumes specifically to each position they apply to. The goal of having a well-crafted resume is to strategically display your professional background and highlight the main skills and strengths you possess that show a hiring manger how your experience makes you the best fit for the position.
Michael Manganelli, a Technical Recruiter at ES Technology, finds that too many candidates are focused on quantity rather than quality on their resumes. “Many job seekers are making the mistake of listing every project they’ve ever completed, instead of highlighting the skills/accomplishments they’ve gained from particular projects,” says Michael. If the resume doesn’t accurately depict the skills the job requires, it will be difficult for a hiring manager to see the value in moving forward with your resume. For that reason, IT professionals should stray away from using one resume template for every position they apply to, and instead, think strategically about how to tailor your resume to each position before applying.
- Keep it simple
Whether you have two or ten years of experience, hiring managers typically choose to move forward with a candidate’s resume based on how easy it is to find information most relevant to the role they’re trying to fill. Therefore, IT professionals should focus on making your resume as balanced as possible, including the right amount of detail for your skills, experience, and accomplishments at an appropriate length.
To grab the attention of a hiring manager, candidates should include certain keywords from the job description that can help your resume stand out more. “Typically, hiring managers will scan a candidate’s resume for relevant keywords to ensure you meet the basic requirements of the position,” says Michael. For example, a hiring manager in search of a network engineer might skim a candidate’s resume for buzzwords such as “design” “develop” “implement” “supervise,” all of which speak to key responsibilities of the role. Ideally, IT professionals should keep your resumes simple, using text styling sparingly and concise language to show hiring managers you are the best fit for the position.