Writing an IT Resume in the 21st Century
September 7, 2015
There is a lot of advice available for writing resumes. Some of that advice is outdated and better suited for an older time. However, many places do not make many distinctions between advice that worked in the past and advice that work now. Here are some strategies to craft a better resume for finding a job in our tech-filled 21st century:
Remove the objective and add a summary
If you are applying to a specific position at an organisation, it is already obvious what your objective is. Take it out! In its place, add a very brief summary of your core qualifications that prepare you for the position. Make sure this summary references some of the core requirements of the position. For example, if the position wants at least 3 years of Ruby on Rails, make sure you list that in your summary. HR managers and recruiters do not spend much time on a resume; make sure the qualifications you have that they need to know appear first and appear early.
Ditch the novelty email account
Many people have a novel e-mail account. It is time to ditch it for the resume and get a new account that is professional. It is not difficult to make a new email account now, and many email providers are able to link multiple email accounts together into the same inbox. A professional email account exudes confidence.
Keep it clean
Many companies are using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs). Some ATSs are able to semantically search your resume for relevant keyword matches and quantify whether you fulfil the requirements of a position even before your resume falls into the eyes of a HR manager or recruiter.
Fancy layouts, complex footers and headers and other visually aesthetic design choices only hinder the ability of ATSs to read your resume. Make your resume clean and straightforward to read. Take images out of your resume and keep it everything left-aligned. Save your resume in a format that makes it easy to view on different computers, such as PDF. Use a easily readable text with an appropriate font size. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to use Times New Roman. However, do not use fancy fonts like Impact and Comic Sans.
Keep it simple and specific
Keep your resume simple and specific. Use simple language that people can understand easily and clearly. Make sure the examples you list under each headline are specific. For example, telling your potential employer that you “Managed data” is very vague. Saying “Managed data in Excel Spreadsheets” is more specific. Going on to give a sense of the scale and size of the data will endear you more to employers. Be specific, be simple, and be concise.
Keep it tailored
Read the job description! Make sure the numerous keywords that appear in the description reappear in your resume. There is a reason why your potential employer is looking for someone with a particular skillset. Make sure your resume highlights the particular qualifications your potential employer is looking for!
Resumes are not easy things to write. However, if you follow some of these simple tricks, you can soon produce a resume that will impress HR managers and recruiters and earn that coveted interview. Today’s job market is becoming increasingly competitive and many companies, startups and tech-firms included, are becoming more selective of their future employees. Polishing your resume for the 21st century is the first step in getting your foot in the door!
What are some of the most common, “old-timey” things that you see most frequently in resumes? What are other strategies you would add to this list?
IT Recruitment Consultant
I am a real people person and spent over a decade in language studies, coaching and sales. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Languages and Literature, a Master's degree in English and a PhD in Translation studies (#nerd). However, a serendipitous event got me into IT recruitment. And I’m loving it! Why? Recruiting has allowed me to leverage my passion for building and maintaining rewarding relationships with my clients while remaining challenged to find the perfect candidates and, in my case, it has also allowed me to keep updated with all the technology trends out there. I take pride in ensuring that placements are a strong match for both parties. There’s nothing more exciting than helping smart people find their next challenge. If I’m not working, I’m probably learning a new language, enjoying a glass of nice champagne or traveling. Also, I love meeting new people and learning new things, so feel free to connect and share your experience. :) If you are looking at hiring or contemplating your next career move in IT hit me up on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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