After 25 years in the IT recruiting business and reading through tens of thousands of resumes over these years – I have assembled 10 Key factors in writing a good / noticeable resume. Hopefully these tips will help you edge out the competition which is becoming more competitive.
1 – Target the specific opportunity
When putting together a concise summary at the beginning make sure you address the specific opportunity you are seeking. Make it clear about the opportunity you are seeking and relevant years’ experience in that area, industry, or technical environment.
2 –Identify your technical skills up front or management skills in your skills matrix – A skills matrix lists specific technical skills in grouping such as coding languages, data bases, management certifications, etc.
Identify and highlight the technical skills you are strong in and then the skills that you are just knowledgeable in. Avoid listing all your skills for the beginning. Leave out all the old outdated skills. Never mention a task or accomplishment without highlighting both the technical and people skills required to accomplish it.
3 – Avoid using “I”
Try not to use “I managed”, “I led a team” etc. Just take the “I” out and say “Managed” and “Led a team”. Focus on what you actually accomplished, with an emphasis on tangible results. Also leave out your “interests” at the end of your resume – it does not hold any importance.
4 – Make your resume chronological not functional – Chronological is listing your employment in date/company order with responsibilities listed specific to that position – Functional resume relies on strategically grouping key skills into different categories to demonstrate your qualifications and expertise for a particular job.
Hiring managers are looking for how long you performed in that function or technical environment as well as how long ago you experienced the required skills.
5 – Use action words -Designed, Architected, Managed
Hiring managers are looking for your participation in each effort you were involved in. Even if you were just part of a team you can say “Participated in”. Try to list situations where you identified a problem that no one else saw and show them that you thrive in situations where there are lots of problems.
6 – Quantify results – % profit – % less time
The more specific you can be the better. Time, Cost and Results are good attention getters when a hiring manager is reading your resume. How did you personally help the project or company achieve the goal?
7 – Be clear and concise in the body of your resume
Highlight more of your recent experience and be less verbose on your older experience that is less relevant.
8 – List all your degrees, certs, and awards
These are important and may give you an edge when the competition is high.
9 – Be clear about your dates of employment
Most companies want to see months, not just years — especially if you have some movement or maybe currently unemployed, it is good to show how long you have been looking. It’s better to be upfront about your current situation since they are bound to find out anyway.
10 – Make it easy to contact you – make sure you get your phone, email, Linkedin address, or Facebook contact information on your resume.
If you are looking make it easy for the hiring manager or recruiter to get in touch with you. Also be sure to list ALL appropriate buzzwords and technical phrases in your resume. These are key words that are searched upon by recruiters and hiring managers. Also keeping your resume synced with your Linkedin page is very key since they both get reviewed independently.
About Milt Marle
Milt is a Senior Recruiter and previous IT professional with over 35 years of combined experience in the Denver / Colorado area. The last 25 years has been as an IT recruiting specialist in the Denver / Colorado area. Early IT career was Developer/Applications Manager experience with companies like EDS and MCI in various industries including Oil & Gas, Healthcare, Retail, and Banking. Number 5 employee in helping to start Statera 14 years ago and still going strong. Enjoy matching great people with great opportunities and spending the weekends hiking Colorado !!