Information Technology (IT) Resume Tips and Examples
For anyone job searching, writing a resume can be an extremely challenging task, but for information technology (IT) professionals, it can be especially difficult. The highly technical industry is constantly evolving, and resumes need to be continually updated to keep up.
Understanding Attention Span
Across all fields, job listings often get hundreds or even thousands of submissions. Hiring managers often just skim resumes.
If your resume is just a block of text, your application is likely to get discarded without the manager ever reading it.
Break up your resume into categories, such as education, work history, and skills. Create bulleted lists to neatly summarize key information. Lists and categories make resumes more visually appealing and easy to read.
Limit the Length of Your Resume
Similarly, hiring managers do not have a lot of time to spend reading resumes. Keep that in mind and try to limit your resume to one page, or two at the absolute most. Anything more than that may just get ignored.
Use your resume to highlight your biggest achievements; if you still have work experience from college or even high school, take them off to save space. Also remove any experience that are not directly related to the job you’re applying for. If you have a variety of experience, you may want to create different versions of your resume with those different experiences in mind.
Highlight Accomplishments, Not Tasks
Most resumes read like a list of tasks, such as "updated company software, used problem-solving skills to troubleshoot, created database." While this tells a company what you did each day, it does not do anything to set you apart or highlight what you bring to the job.
Instead, focus on your accomplishments and mention them as specifically as possible. For instance, if you created a program that simplified processes and saved employees time, that is important to mention. Any instance where you delivered results ahead of a deadline, under budget, or exceeded expectations is something to highlight.
Whenever possible, use numbers to quantify your successes. For example, if you developed an app that saved your company money, state how much money you saved. If you helped streamline a process, use a percentage to show how much more efficient the process became. Recruiters – especially in IT – appreciate this kind of data.
You should tailor every resume to fit the job you’re applying for. One way to do this is to include keywords from the job listing on your resume. For example, if the job listing includes a number of required skills, include those skill words in your resume (if you have those skills). This will help a recruiting manager easily see that you are qualified for the job.
Moreover, many companies use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to screen applicants. If an applicant does not have enough keywords from the job listing in their application, they might be eliminated.
Therefore, it is doubly important to use keywords.
Remove Personal Interests
Unless your interests directly relate to your work, employers likely don’t care if you're passionate about soccer. Take out the interests section of your resume.
The only exception to this is if your outside volunteer work corresponds with your work. For instance, if you created a program for a local non-profit to manage donor information, that is something that’s relevant to include on your resume.
While you want to remove unrelated interests, you do need to include tech skills in your resume. In a section labeled “Skills” (or something similar, like “Technical Competencies”), include any software programs, programming languages, and other skills that are important for the job. You might present non-tech skills that are relevant, such as knowledge of a foreign language.
That being said, there’s no need to include more basic tech skills that most job applicants have, such as knowledge of Microsoft Office. Remove this unnecessary information to save space.
Avoid Confusing Technical Language
While you’ll certainly have to use technical language in your resume (for example, in your list of technical skills), avoid using too much jargon, especially acronyms and terms that not everyone will be familiar with.
Avoid technical language that was specific to your old company – stick to industry terms that everyone in IT knows. Keep in mind that recruiters might not be familiar with tech jargon, so only use as much technical language as you need.
Review Resume Examples
Having an example of a resume may make the process of creating or updating your resume easier. Take a look at these examples if they match the job you’re searching for:
- Front End Web Developer
- Help Desk Technician
- Information Technology
- Social Media
- Software Engineer
- Web Developer
Proofread and Edit Your Resume
Just because you are in IT doesn’t mean you can have spelling or grammar errors on your resume. Make sure you thoroughly proofread your resume before submitting it. Ask a friend or even a career coach to read through your resume as well, looking for errors as well as inconsistencies in your formatting.