Top 8 Tips & Templates for IT Professional Resumes
Whether you’re applying for your first job or your fiftieth, writing (or rewriting) a resume can feel a bit daunting. You’ve got one shot to catch the attention of a hiring manager who has looked through (potentially) hundreds of other resumes. Use these tips and templates to ensure your resume will lead to job interviews.
Think of Your Resume Like a Movie Trailer
Resumes, like movie trailers, are an attempt to convince the hiring manager (or viewer) you’re worth investing their time and money. Both use the most exciting highlights to sell the larger story. Feature the highlights of your career on your resume, and leave the meat of your job history to the interview.
List your most recent position along with the most relevant positions you’ve held. Feature your most significant accomplishments in each of those jobs. As an example, this template lists accomplishments under each position instead of an exhaustive list of duties.
Make Sure the Format Is Easily Scannable
Most managers spend an average of 6 seconds looking through resumes. That gives them just enough time to look at where you went to school, where you’ve worked, and basic highlights. It’s your job to format your resume to make those 6 seconds count.
This template exemplifies a few factors to consider when formatting your resume: it’s easy to navigate, it thoughtfully uses boldface to highlight key information, and no paragraph is longer than a few lines.
Include a Skills and/or Proficiencies Section
In the tech world, the skills section of a resume is essential. Employers want to know what software, programming languages, and other applicable skills you can bring to the table. Leave out basic skills that anyone could list on a resume, such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, etc.
This IT resume template labels the skill section “technology summary.” This example shows how even an entry-level candidate can provide an easy-to-skim overview of various skills, proficiencies, and certifications.
Pull Keywords from the Job Description
Some companies use resume scanners to sort out irrelevant or unqualified applications. Unfortunately, that means your resume might never be seen by human eyes if you aren’t using the right keywords. Look through the job description and make sure your resume includes the language used by the company.
Stay Away from “Fluff” Words
When it comes to resumes, everyone is a “results-oriented self-starter” with a “strong work ethic.” Instead of describing your character, let your work speak for itself. Instead of referring to yourself as a team player who is results-oriented, include examples of your accomplishments as part of a team with a brief explanation of your role in achieving those results.
This information technology resume focuses on accomplishments and results rather than characteristics.
Quantify Your Experience
Along the same lines, use numbers to sell your value to recruiters and hiring managers. Replace general statements like “improved customer wait time” to “reduced customer wait time by X minutes or X%.” This template shows various ways to put accomplishments in terms of numbers.
Avoid Excessive Technical Jargon
Even when applying for a technical position, write your resume in terms anyone can understand. Some companies handle all of their job openings through a hiring manager who might not be familiar with technical jargon. Additionally, jargon is often company-specific.
Of course, it’s necessary to use some technical terms to explain proficiency and experience. Just make sure you are not using jargon excessively or unnecessarily. This template shows a good balance.
Emphasize Experience over Education as You Advance
As an entry-level candidate, education might be the most impressive part of your resume. When you first start applying to IT positions, it’s appropriate to feature it prominently. However, as you spend more time in the field, your experience will better explain your current abilities to potential employers than your education. Your resume should grow and evolve as you do.
Of course, education will always matter, and listing your alma mater(s) can serve as a valuable networking tool. As you gain more experience and apply for advanced positions, you might copy this resume template and list your education at the bottom.