As confirmed by a quick check of Google Trends, resumes have become far more fashionable than traditional CVs over the past 12 months. it’s no surprise that concise, single-page resumes are now the defacto choice; according to job-matching service, TheLadders, recruiters and hiring managers spend, on average, just six seconds reviewing each resume they receive. So, how can you write an IT resume that lasts longer than six seconds and gets you hired?
Writing an effective IT resume can be a daunting task, so let us guide you through the entire process.
Before you begin…
Follow these three quick tips to get yourself off to the best start:
Write in .docx
The vast majority of companies use some form of applicant tracking system (ATS) to sort through the piles of resumes that they receive on a daily basis. ATSs struggle to process PDF files so it’s best to use .docx (Microsoft Word) format instead to ensure your resume isn’t culled before it even gets read by a human.
- Avoid fancy layouts and graphics
Custom layouts and graphics can be confusing for both ATS software and human recruiters alike. Use text instead of images to make your CV easier to scan and use a standard font (like Times New Roman) in at least 10pt or greater.
Check which CV template to use before you apply
Resumes are increasingly popular but some companies do request more detailed information; always check before you apply.
How to structure your IT resume
Remember; a resume is a one-page CV, so it needs to mix design, structure and the details of your more relevant professional experience. Your resume’s sole purpose is to land you an interview, so it needs to match the advertised profile for whichever job you are seeking.
We recommend a single-page, two-column layout with the following structure:
- Your personal details
This section should contain the following:
- Your name
- A suitable photo
- The job title you are applying for
Mimicking the job title you are applying for will make a stronger first impression as that’s exactly what recruiters are searching for. When it comes to your photo, use one of yourself in a suit, or no photo at all. It’s your choice. Only include credentials after your name if they are professional designations, for example, PMP for Project Management Professionals. PhD/Ph.D. MBA are not professional designations and shouldn’t be included.
- Your contact details
Use a professional email address (not your current work email address) and make sure your phone number is formatted in an easily readable manner, ie. (+32) 000 00 00, not 1234567890. Including your full address isn’t required, but you should include at least your city and state. You may provide links to your online presence, for example, LinkedIn, Github, ICT Job and any websites to which you contribute.
- Your profile summary
The standalone objective statement is no longer recommended. The recruiter knows what your objective is: to get a job with their company! Instead, write a short summary statement about yourself in the third person, like a 30-second elevator pitch you are making to the potential employer.
“Hard-working, versatile Senior Business Intelligence Developer with a passion for automating IT processes.”
Your IT skills summary
Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter: they’re scanning through a stack of resumes in less than six seconds apiece, what skills do you think they are searching for? That’s right, the exact same skills they put in the job description! Don’t just send out the same generic resume for every job application; take the time to tailor your skills summary to match the job description and show you’re the right person for the job.
For example, let’s say the job description asks for the following:
- University degree in computer sciences or similar
- A minimum of 3 years of experience in Business Objects suite
- Familiar with Oracle databases and SQL
- Large experience in Qlikview development
You could structure your skills summary to mimic this description, as follows:
Business Objects XI 3.1 (3.8 years) Oracle (2.3 years) Qlikview (5.2 years)
Your latest experience
After matching your skills to those shown in the job description, you need to support them with evidence of your work experience. Start with your current or most recent position and go backward chronologically from there, briefly touching on the following areas:
- Job title:
- Dates: (From – to)
- Employer and/or final client:
- Key achievements:
- Technologies used:
Remember, your resume should be a one-page version of a CV, so just stick to the highlights – not an exhaustive list of your accomplishments. Your job title is by far the most important detail – you’ll want to guide the recruiter’s eyes right there to stand the best chance of being shortlisted for an interview.
An example of this section would look as follows:
2016 – Present Belgium KBC
Implemented credit automation process that reduced time to under 30 minutes.
.NET - C# - PHP
Start with your most recent entry and go backward from there, including the year you completed your studies, the degree, and its name. Certifications and licenses can be included in this section, or they can be listed in their own section below. Be sure to include relevant ongoing professional development courses, training, and seminars.
Always bear in mind that resumes are only meant to be one-page CVs. A good rule of thumb is to have one page for every 10 years of experience. You may want to include an additional section such as ‘Certifications and licenses’ or ‘Languages’ but only if they are relevant to the role you are applying for. For example, if your mother tongue is your only language, you probably wouldn’t want to draw peoples’ attention to that!
Here at Brainbridge, we understand how time-pressed IT professionals can struggle to knock out winning resumes. That’s why we recommend Sprint CV’s IT Resume template! This helps you generate your own interview-winning resume with next to no effort. Check out their IT Resume example here and consider signing up to Sprint CV to create your own!