Does your IT resume stand out from the crowd?

Technology jobs are based on skills, tools, languages, processes and life cycles. Many a time, a person’s individuality gets lost in the middle of all the ‘KEY WORDS’ needed in a resume for IT opportunities. IT recruiters review hundreds of resumes a day so what can you do to stand out from the crowd?

At Strategic Systems, our highly qualified and experienced recruiters go through thousands of profiles and tech resumes a week. The language and formatting are mostly the same, responsibilities repeating in every project, making the resumes pretty standard with no distinctive qualities. So HOW do you stick out from other applicants? Here are some tips to get you noticed.

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Summary of Qualifications: Rather than having an objective at the top of your resume, you should showcase your qualifications and strengths in a list form. Make sure you include details such as number of years’ experience, industry domains you have worked in, whether you have ever led a team, managed projects, updated your skills, given presentations etc. This summary should be in a list form with short and easy to read sentences.

Relevant Skill Set: As the technology landscape evolves, most IT professionals update their skills on a regular basis by working with the latest versions, doing short courses and obtaining certifications. It is imperative that your resume reflects the latest version of the skill that you are showcasing. Also, clean it up to remove all the irrelevant / obsolete skills that have been on there for a while but you haven’t used in the last five years.

Skill Levels: Are you an expert in HTML but still learning PHP? Make sure you reflect that! Most companies are looking for a certain skill level in particular tools and technologies. List out your skills and add the number of years you have worked with it, or how strong you are by listing beginner / moderate / advanced / expert in front of each tool that you have there. Another useful addition would be mentioning when you last used it.

Project Descriptions: Rather than a run-down of every project you’ve ever completed, try focusing in on projects that benefited your previous or current employer. Demonstrate, as precisely as possible, the scope of your responsibilities and how you delivered measurable results. Focusing on tangible results will help you sort through all the projects you’ve worked on and highlight the most successful and impressive endeavors in your career. And remember, you will still have the interview as an opportunity to give a more in depth description of your past success.

Education: Listing your education, certifications and any other courses you may have completed is highly recommended. Many positions have educational requirements and that is something the recruiter will shortlist your resume over. Ensure that they are listed in chronological order with the latest first. If a certain certification is only valid for a certain period of time, be sure to mention that.

Portfolios: Having a website / portfolio / personal brand goes a long way in the technology world. GitHub, Behance and other networks allow you to have a profile and show your work to those interested if you don’t want to invest in a web page.

Social Networks: While reviewing your resume, any good recruiter will want to also review your LinkedIn profile, twitter page and any other social networks google pulls up with your name. Apart from ensuring that your social profiles are clean and professional, you should also have links to them on your resume. Save the recruiter a step, they will really appreciate it. An up to date LinkedIn profile with recommendations and endorsements will definitely help you stand out from the crowd.

Formatting and Grammar: Once you are done writing your resume, it is important to run a spelling and grammar check on it. If you have a habit of repeating certain words, we suggest having someone else review it once to gain perspective on how it reads. Spelling / grammar errors are an immediate turn off for a recruiter or hiring manager. While formatting the resume, make sure you use only one font throughout. Headings can be bolded and a point larger but avoid underlines / italics / bold within the content of the projects etc. Ideally the resume should all be one color but if you want to use two, use a subtle blue which looks professional and clean. If you decide to add a table to the resume, fix its’ position on the page so it doesn’t go awry. Also, keep 2 versions of your resume in Word as well as PDF format to adhere to the needs of the company.

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