Have you heard that commonly quoted statistic — that a typical recruiter only spends six seconds looking at your resume? I know that here at PSCI we most definitely take more than six seconds to review a resume, but I can say that most recruiters receive hundreds if not thousands of resumes — for a single job posting! Finding ways to make your resume break through the pile and make a real impression on recruiters is a key part of landing IT jobs.
Resume tips to help you land great IT jobs
Take these tips into consideration when putting together your next resume:
* Get specific. To really convince a recruiter you’re the right fit for IT jobs, you must showcase the technologies, programs and skills you learned and developed in your career. Think about it this way, if you’re applying to, say, a Java developer position, and you don’t list the relevant platforms and technologies you’ve used for that position, why would a recruiter call you versus someone who listed those things on their resume? Get specific in descriptions of past IT jobs and projects, and you’ll make a great impression.
* Don’t forget your education. I’ve noticed a trend lately where candidates leave off their education — your educational background offers tremendous insight for recruiters. Leaving it off could land your resume in the trash can! Any certifications or education can add depth to your professional experience, and any noteworthy grades or awards can also help paint a well-rounded picture of who you are and what you will bring to the table.
* Keep length relevant to your experience. Okay, it’s time to address something that comes up quite a bit — your resume length can vary depending on your experience; however, please keep it succinct. If you’ve worked in IT jobs for 15 years or more, your resume may be six, seven or even eight pages (or more!) — as long as it’s relevant to the position for which you’re submitting. If you have three to five years under your belt, a two-page IT resume may be more suitable. The key here is to keep it succinct — give those specific details I mentioned above, but don’t add fluff — it won’t help you make a good impression, and it will only make it harder for the important pieces to stand out! Even if you have several decades of experience, though, make sure the length of your IT resume is reasonable — regardless of company or location, no recruiter has time to read a 20-page resume!
* Be prepared to speak intelligently about everything on your IT resume (everything!). Your IT resume is the ticket to a job interview — a well-crafted resume increases your odds of getting the call. But here’s the thing — you must be prepared to speak intelligently about everything you put on your resume. That resume landed you the interview — of course hiring managers will want to discuss it! At PSCI, we’ll often walk through that process with candidates to be sure they’re as prepared as possible for job interviews. Why put all that time and effort into a great resume only to waste the opportunity by not being prepared to talk more about it?
* Be honest. I tell this to every candidate who comes into PSCI — be 100%, completely honest on your IT resume. Speak to your strengths on your resume, but avoid embellishing – remember that you’ll be asked about those strengths during your interview! As I mentioned above, don’t put anything on your IT resume that you can’t speak about intelligently. Putting in the time to create a solid foundation of a resume will pay off tenfold in the future. You’ll likely have to tweak it for certain IT jobs, but being honest is key.
What resume tips have you found lead to the most success finding IT jobs?