An IT resume is a branding and marketing document that’s intended to serve as a magnet for that perfect IT technician job or other opportunities. And although you have a great deal of flexibility in how you structure a resume, this isn’t a low-maintenance part of the job hunt. On the contrary, it’s a critical component in communicating your skills and abilities and why you’re the right person for the job.
Of course, in today’s highly competitive job market with demanding hiring processes, this is easier said than done. That’s why we’ve come up with some useful tech resume tips and advice that will help you stand out.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to:
- Choose a suitable resume format for your work experience, skills, and education.
- Add basic IT skills in such a way that stands out in your resume.
- Incorporate achievements that make your resume distinctive.
- Include only the most relevant experience that shows you’re the right person for the job.
Choosing the Best Resume Format
The main difference between ineffective and stand out resumes is that the latter screams: hire this person! It shows what you can do and why you’re a better option than the hundreds of others who applied for the same job. Whether you’re a senior blockchain engineer, an inexperienced data analyst, or a graduate C++ developer, choosing the IT resume template that will emphasize your strengths from the start is fundamental.
Keep in mind that IT recruiters receive anywhere between a few dozen to hundreds of job applications every day. Finding the perfect candidate is a tedious and tiring process, and most recruiters spend less than 10 seconds on an average resume. That’s why you need to get their attention with the perfect opening paragraph.
- Most job applicants use the reverse-chronological template, which emphasizes their IT work history, tech duties, and experience. This template is best suited for an IT professional and a resume that includes plenty of work experience. It shows IT managers how you can contribute to the team and the company.
- A combination resume template is a good choice for IT specialists, freelancers, and people from different branches of the industry. It’s intended to highlight both the IT skills and the work experience.
- If all you’ve ever done is an internship or you have no experience, the objective is to draw attention to your best qualities. A functional resume template is designed to accommodate entry-level applicants by highlighting their skills rather than their previous job titles. If you don’t have any information technology experience, education should be the topmost section of your resume.
No matter which resume format you choose, the most important thing is to keep it clear and concise. Use subheads and bullet points to split walls of text into a more manageable reading experience. It’ll also make your technical resume more visually appealing.
One of the greatest authors of all time, Leo Tolstoy, once wrote that “the two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” Take your time to check what kind of file format the hiring managers accept before sending your resume. Most companies accept an IT resume in PDF format. However, some managers use Applicant Tracking Systems or ATS that can get stuck on PDF files. If that happens, most recruiters will simply move on to the next candidate. So be thorough.
Covering the Basics
Before bragging about your experience, make sure all your personal details are available and, of course, accurate. A resume should include:
- Full name
- Work title
- Phone number
It’s not necessary to type in your home address. Instead, the name of the city and state where you currently reside will suffice.
Including your social media section in an information technology resume can serve as a useful addition. If it’s focused primarily on your professional activities, it can improve your chances of getting hired. Your LinkedIn profile is perhaps the most useful asset. However, it’s best to omit a social media section if your accounts are packed with posts about your social life.
Resume Summary or Objective
Bearing in mind that recruiters only spend mere seconds reviewing an average resume, every word counts. You have to make an impression in your opening paragraph that ensures your name stands out from a pile of IT resumes. This is where you need to make a choice between a resume objective or a summary statement.
A resume summary is a short and to the point introduction about you, your technical skills, achievements, and professional history. It’s best suited for those with years of IT experience. Summaries come right after the contact information.
A good resume summary has two to four sentences that include the company’s name and an impactful adjective that describes your working habits. An IT resume summary should also include:
- a job title with years of experience
- a specific method of how you’ll help the company
- a list of achievements.
On the other hand, an IT resume objective is more about your professional ambitions and goals rather than your achievements. Resume objectives are a good fit if you don’t have much IT experience.
A Work Experience Like No Other
Your work experience is a blueprint of your professional development throughout the years. But remember that a good example of an IT resume is about looking to the future and not the past. You don’t have to include jobs you held more than ten years ago.
The most important thing is to list the following with enough details to prove to the hiring manager that you’re the right person for the job.
- company name
- Responsibilities and achievements
In the IT industry, data is king, so be sure to use figures to describe your experience.
There is no need to bury any gaps in your work experience and history. Maybe you had a job working as a laboratory assistant. In that case, focus on highlighting the IT side of the job and any achievements.
You can use an online sample IT resume to help you outline all the relevant details. A functional resume format that emphasizes your skills and abilities might be the best option if you’re coming from a different industry or just starting out.
No Experience, No Problem
You don’t have to be an IT specialist to stand out. There are a few things you can do to help you show that you can get the job done just as well as any senior IT specialist.
- One way to prove you’re worthy is through a portfolio that includes a sample of your previous work. This is an important component of your IT resume skills. It can be either an app you developed or an open-source code posted online.
- The education section might be your greatest ally. Include your degree, the number of years you spent studying, university name, relevant courses and honors, and your GPA if it’s close to 4.0. A low GPA can cause as much damage to your technical resume as a factual error. You should only include your higher education degrees, but if all you have is a high school diploma, don’t be ashamed and add it to your IT resume.
Skills and Keywords
Hiring IT managers always closely examine the list of technical skills. These are crucial when choosing a candidate who can help out with the company’s projects. But you have to include the number of skills in a technical resume. Insert too many or too few, and it’ll cause more harm than good.
To make a perfect list, write down hard and soft skills you possess:
- Hard skills are specific abilities and practical knowledge.
- Soft skills are the general attributes you’ve learned on your own.
Pick six IT skills for your resume from each category and list them starting with the most relevant to the job you are applying for. In order to find out which skills are more important for a UI/UX developer, go through the posted job listing for the resume keywords.
Resume keywords are essential when we’re talking about the candidate’s technical skills. A fair number of hiring managers don’t have the time to go through every resume and skill listed there. They use ATS to scan for keywords via the automation statistics algorithm. If you don’t have keywords, your technology skills resume might be excluded from the reviewing process.
Here are some examples of hard and soft skills often used in a sample IT resume.
- UI/Web Application Developer
- Technical Writing
- Cobol Developer
- Web Development Engineer
- C/C++ Programmer
- QA Manual Tester
- IT Support Technician
- Problem Solving
- Decision Making
- Time Management
Certificates, Languages, and Hobbies
To give your technical resume an extra boost, include some of the following:
- Awards, certificates, volunteering, languages, interests, and hobbies
- Highlight achievements
- Keep it short and relevant.
Just as with information technology resume skills, put them into knowledge categories: Basic, Intermediate, Proficient, (add Fluent and Native for languages).
Example IT certifications:
- CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ (ITF+)
- Cisco Certified Technician (CCT)
- Microsoft 365 Fundamentals
PCPP1 – Certified Professional in Python Programming 1