In today’s technologically-advanced society, Information Technology (IT) is one of the quickest growing career fields. More and more tasks are becoming automated and computerized, and there is a high demand for professionals with a wide array of technical skills. Representing those skills on a resume is usually a difficult task for most job seekers, so I’ve written three tips below to help IT professionals represent themselves effectively.
1) Avoid using too much detail. Nearly every IT resume I have ever seen contains way too much detail, quickly turning what could be a 2-page resume into 3-4+ pages. When describing your job responsibilities and achievements, it is not necessary (and is often harmful) to include the name of every single bit of technology you used. Most IT resumes I see include a detailed summary of every software application, programming language, or piece of hardware used for each individual job. Not only does this take up a lot of space, but it is usually highly repetitive. Avoid this problem by consolidating all of your skills into a single list, and place it at the bottom of the resume. For instance:
Hardware: Servers, Desktops, Laptops, Routers (etc.)
Software: MS Office, MS Project (etc.)
Protocols: TCP/IP, FTP (etc.)
2) Avoid including too many projects. As an IT professional, completing projects are a standard part of your daily responsibilities. Whether you are rolling out a new operating system, patching servers, or consulting on high-level implementations, you are almost guaranteed to have several projects under your belt. Hiring managers know this, so avoid overwhelming them with a huge project list. Determine what projects are the most impressive (and most relevant), and emphasize those to help showcase your skills. Another option to consider would be a separate project list. Use the same formatting as your resume, and create a separate document which includes all of your project details. Then, on the resume, include a line stating “project list available upon request” (or similar) to let employers know that you have more information available.
3) Avoid looking obsolete. The world of technology is faster moving than any other industry, so in a matter of months you could look “obsolete” to employers. Imagine the look on their faces when your resume states that you are an expert in Windows 95! As mentioned in point #1 above, when you are making your technical skills list, try to leave off older technologies that are obsolete. This will help you look knowledgeable of the newest systems, and not “old” and behind the times. Be careful when selecting what to leave off, because many companies are still using legacy systems which may be a few years behind, so common sense will need to prevail during this process.
Creating an effective IT resume is as simple as that. Avoid repetition, be concise, and include only the most relevant and impressive information to increase your chances of getting interviews.
By Drew Roark