3 Tips to Improve your IT Resume
Resumes often get a deep sigh and eye-roll because they can be tedious to create and even more daunting to update. This is especially true if you are transitioning into the IT industry or just starting out in tech and cybersecurity. Condensing your work experience, technical skills and certification credentials into a limited space while trying to represent yourself to the best of your ability can be overwhelming to say the least. However, TrainACE has you covered with 3 simple ways to help shape your IT resume and put you on job recruiters’ radar.
Tip 1: Focus on Results
It can be challenging for recruiters and hiring managers to extract and recognize your professional results if your resume only includes daily tasks and obligations. When including results in a resume, it's important to showcase achievements and your level of technical expertise. Quantifying your impact will demonstrate the value you brought to previous roles. Rather than just listing your duties and responsibilities, consider the following:
- Concentrate on outcomes: Highlight the outcomes and benefits of your actions or projects. This is where you can detail how you’ve improved your employer’s bottom line or made advances within your group. Did you save time, reduce costs, improve efficiency, or boost revenue? Clearly state the positive results you achieved. Focus on the achievements that had the greatest influence or brought the most value to your previous employers.
- Showcase your technical skills: Create a separate section to list your technical proficiencies, including programming languages, software applications, databases, operating systems, and any other relevant tools or technologies. Be specific about your level of expertise in each area.
- Use measurable metrics: Include quantifiable results in efficiency and productivity. Quantifying your achievements using numbers, percentages, or other measurable metrics helps provide context and demonstrate the impact of your work.
- Include relevant certifications and training: IT certifications demonstrate your expertise and commitment to continuous learning. List any relevant certifications you have obtained, along with the issuing organization and the year of certification. Also, mention any relevant training or workshops you have attended.
Highlighting results shows your deeper concern for actively improving companies with whom you work, rather than solely revealing your completed tasks or checklists. Remember to strike a balance between showcasing your results and providing sufficient context. Focus on the most impressive and relevant achievements to make your resume stand out and demonstrate your value to potential employers.
Tip 2: Include Keywords
Keyword matches are vital to almost any job application. Including relevant terms in a resume can help increase its visibility to employers and applicant tracking systems (ATS) that scan resumes for specific terms. Here are some tips for incorporating keywords effectively:
- Review the job description: Carefully read the job description for the position you're applying for. Look for specific skills, qualifications, and requirements mentioned in the job posting.
- Identify important keywords: Highlight or make note of keywords and phrases that are relevant to the job. These might include technical skills, industry-specific terminology, software proficiency, certifications, and experience levels. In the technology or cybersecurity field it especially important to include your IT certifications. Qualifications such as the CompTIA A+ or the EC-Council's CEH are often used as a benchmark by IT Recruiters for certain roles.
- Mirror the language: Incorporate the identified keywords naturally throughout your resume. Use similar phrasing and wording when describing your skills, qualifications, and experiences. However, make sure the content remains truthful and accurately reflects your abilities.
- Be specific: Rather than using generic terms, try to be more specific and provide concrete examples of your achievements and experiences. Instead of simply mentioning "database management," consider highlighting specific database management systems you’re familiar and comfortable with.
If you fail to mention your certifications or specific experience/tech skills on your resume, it probably won’t make it through a cursory keyword search. You may be the most qualified candidate for the job, but excluding important keywords in your resume can make the difference between you getting a shot at an interview or not.
Tip 3: Update your online profiles
Employers often like to verify and round out their knowledge of potential candidates by viewing them on social media. Including links to professional profiles, websites, and portfolios work well when you do the following:
- Update your online profiles: Ensure that the information on your LinkedIn profile or any other online professional profiles is consistent with your updated resume. Invest time in updating both, so they show parallel information about your job history, skills, responsibilities, and activities. If an employer searches for a candidate’s information online, maintaining a consistent and updated online presence is crucial for personal and professional credibility.
- Upload a profile picture: Be sure to include a recent photo on your professional profiles that positively represents yourself. These photos can be candid or creative, but always somewhat professional. Having a profile picture also boosts your visibility with online recruiters.
- Adjust privacy settings: Ensure that any publicly accessible content aligns with your professional image and doesn't include any controversial or inappropriate material.
- Personal Website/Portfolio: If you have a personal website or online portfolio, update it with your latest projects, work samples, and accomplishments. Ensure that the website is user-friendly, visually appealing, and reflects your professional brand.
Continue to Tweak Your Resume
For an IT resume to remain effective, you should be consistently improving, rewriting, and updating your resume. You should tailor your resume for every application you submit. Customizing your resume for each job application highlights the most relevant certifications and work experience. This could involve reordering sections, modifying bullet points, or adding/removing information to align with the job requirements. Stay on top of the current job trends throughout your career and watch your opportunities skyrocket.