Years ago, an IT professional could quickly make a resume and be assured of getting an interview during a job search. Not anymore….Today’s competitive marketplace requires the IT professional to have many versions of his/her resume, sometimes tailoring each resume to every job ad.
Technology has allowed the business of recruiting to become paperless. Recruiters operate by telephone, Internet websites, and databases. We search for resumes by keywords, not assumptions. In the world of millions of job seekers, the only way to narrow a skill search is to add more skills, knocking the “less skilled” out of the running. What we end up with is a candidate that most closely meets our clients’ skill demand.
A resume is an introduction to a person’s background and is a summary of his/her skills. In order to get an employer to actually review your resume, you must list all your skills on the resume. Skills that are not listed will not be found during a recruiter’s search. This means you should list EVERY skill you know. An easy way to do this is with a “Technical Skills” section. This allows you to add every skill you have without making a 10 page resume, eliminating the need to include the words in the text. One of the biggest mistakes IT professionals make is “assuming” that because they have a certain skill, the database will know that they have the other associated skills. A keyword search in a database does not look for assumptions, and by making your resume brief and excluding “assumed” skills, you limit the number of “hits” to your resume.
Punctuation is also important in the resume. If skills are listed together or separated by a “/”, some databases will read those skills as “one word”, and your skills will not come up on the search. It is best to separate the skills by a comma and space only.
Sometimes, recruiters search for job titles. If you are a “Manager” looking for a “Director” level position but have never held that position, you may want to include “Director” on your resume. How? You can add a statement in the beginning of the resume under “Summary” or “Objective”, stating, “Desirable positions include Director...”
Sometimes it is necessary for the IT Professional to have a “functional” resume and a “technical” resume. If you have held various levels of “hands-on” and management positions in the past, you may want to have 2 varieties of resumes. One variety would be a “technical resume” with your technical skills highlighted or the “hands-on” type work you are capable of doing. The other would be a “functional resume” that highlights the management of projects and people and talks more about the types of environments you have worked in.
Finally, it is wise to tailor your resume to each job ad you answer. Using the functional or technical resume templates you have created, a new tailored version can be made to fit the specific skills listed in the ad. You may want to add detailed text and highlight keywords in bold text to make it easier for the person reviewing your resume to see how your background matches their requirements at a glance. With the number of relocatable, unemployed people around the country applying for one job, your resume probably gets about a 5 second glance on a PC. Make it count!