CVS / AUG. 04, 2014
version 5, draft 5

How to Create a Great IT Resume

Resume writing
istock

Writing a great IT resume can be a challenge, especially if you don’t think you have good writing skills. Thankfully, it’s not as hard as you’d think!

Here’s how to create your own top-notch resume detailing your experience and work history as an IT professional:

Step 1: Decide on the Type of Resume -- A chronological resume details your academic and work experience in reverse chronological order, i.e. most recent job first. A functional resume lists your skills and experience, without a timeline. A targeted resume lists all of your skills and experience for the specific job you are applying for. A combination resume combines the three into one effective, organized resume.

Step 2: Start with the important details -- This means adding in your name and contact details (phone number, email address, website, etc.). You can add your home address if you want, but it’s not necessary. Always make sure this information is at the top of the resume!

Step 3: Add an "objective" -- An "Objective" section will be like an elevator pitch for you as a professional. It should explain who you are, what you’re looking for, what your strengths are, and why you should be hired--all in one or two sentences. (Find out more about the "Objective" section here…)

Step 4: List skills and experience -- For an IT resume, it’s better to use a targeted style, listing only the skills and experience related to IT as a career. This may leave gaps in your resume, but that’s nothing to worry about. It will only come up in the interview, and it’s easy to explain. Be specific with your accomplishments, and use numbers (dollar amounts, percentages, etc.) in order to quantify your achievements.

Step 5: Trim it down and gussy it up -- Your resume should be fairly short and easy for the hiring manager to read. Eliminate unnecessary words, keep the explanations snappy, and format the document with plenty of white space (for easy reading). Use bullet points, bold headings, and other elements of formatting to make it presentable.

Step 6: Use keywords -- Did you know that many companies use screening software to sort resumes? That means a computer analyzes them before they reach the hiring manager. The software looks for industry-specific keywords, so you should include IT-related keywords in your resume. (Find out more about using keywords in your resume here…)

Step 7: Consider adding education/hobbies/references -- If you have a VERY short resume (meaning limited work/academic experience), adding in your education can make it fill an entire page. If, however, you have a lot of experience to flesh out the resume, keep the "Education" section very short. As for your hobbies, it may be best to leave them out of the resume--unless they prove that you are making progress in your career during your free time (for example, your hobby is computer programming, website design, app development, etc.). As for references, if the hiring manager wants to find out more about you, he’ll talk to you before talking to your former boss/manager.

With these steps, you’ve got a resume fit for an IT superstar. It’s fleshed out with all of the details unique to you, but it’s designed to be a professional, attractive resume that stands a better chance of catching the hiring manager’s eyes.

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