You’re the perfect person for the job, and you know it. And as soon as your future boss meets you, she’ll know it too. But how can you guarantee that she’ll meet you? Your resume is key. It can make or break your chance of landing the critical interview. It should represent you in the best possible light so that your technology skills and helpful personality jump off of the page. As you work on that perfect resume, make sure to avoid these common information technology resume mistakes:
1. It’s obsolete. A technology resume is supposed to prove that you have the most up-to-date training and knowledge possible. Don’t bother listing obvious skills, such as your ability to use Microsoft Word or write emails. Potential employers may conclude that if those are your top sources of pride, you aren’t the right person to take charge of the company’s critical IT duties. Constantly review your resume to make sure that your skill set is current and does not include outdated programs.
2. It’s not impressive enough. You may be a tech whiz, but your resume needs to list at least some quantifiable achievements for you to appear credible. Your resume may fall short if you don’t have the expected qualifications, such as years of experience or education. Years of experience in the field may be impractical if you have not been in the field for long enough, or you are not even currently working in the field. You can, however, boost your education by attending an online program. Online classes let you continue to work full-time while you attend class and turn in assignments from remote locations, and they often lead to degrees in less than a couple of years.
3. There’s no special skills section. Information technology is pretty specific. You need to know computer programming jargon, current software programs, how to troubleshoot hardware problems and the details of networking. The person reading your resume wants to see, very easily, that you have these skills. Put them in their own clearly-labeled section. Include recent certifications and continuing education to show that you are invested in staying ahead of the game, which is critical in an IT career.
4. It fails the keywords test. Yes, it’s kind of like a game, but it’s a serious one. If you submit your resume electronically, it’s probably going to be scanned by machines. If your resume doesn’t have the proper keywords, it’ll get redirected to the virtual trash can and no human will ever read it. Reread the job description and requirements and include what you feel are the relevant keywords on your resume.
5. It’s too technical. Remember that once your resume makes the first cut, it will probably be screened by multiple people, most of whom are not tech savvy. Grab their attention by focusing on results, projects and numbers, rather than specialized terms, acronyms and brand names.
As you apply to IT jobs, read carefully through the job description so that you can tailor your resume to the requirements. Read through your resume, checking for that perfect balance of technological know-how, communication skills and ability to manage people and projects. Then, review the above common mistakes and make sure you’ve avoided them. Be confident as you send off your perfect resume and good luck with your job hunt!
About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She writes education and career development articles on behalf of Colorado Technical University. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.