In tandem with our article building the perfect resume for an IT position, we thought it would be helpful to draw your attention to certain specific, lesser-known points that can help you make this ultra-important document even more impressive. At Randstad, we receive and analyze lots of resumes for tech and IT positions – and thanks to our experience in this domain, we have a wealth of IT-specific writing tips to share with you.
how do recruiters read resumes?
It should come as no surprise that the people who receive your resume will not be reading it from top to bottom. In fact, it is estimated that 6 seconds is all it takes to decide whether a candidate will be rejected or retained. If you make it to the next step, your resume will then be looked at in greater detail.
Here’s what will be looked at first:
- Your current position and its duration
- Your last position and its duration
- Your training
The recruiter will seek to evaluate whether your current job is in line with the open position. Would this be a logical career progression for you? Does your training and experience meet expectations?
Other factors can influence the outcome of this step, such as your resume's readability and structure. If the document is difficult to interpret and the important information doesn’t jump out at the reader, you could be at a disadvantage.
This type of situation requires your resume's key elements to be presented clearly and concisely in order to create a strong first impression.
IT resume hotspots
It is very important for the recruiter to be able to draw parallels between your work experience and the job you’re aiming for. It’s a question of relevance!
Always adapt your resume so that your IT qualifications correspond with the experience needed to land the position. We recommend putting particular emphasis on:
- Previous job titles
- Tasks and responsibilities
- Projects and accomplishments
Our advice for upping your chances of being retained: analyze the job description from top to bottom and pinpoint the main responsibilities. Have you already done this type of work or contributed to a similar type of web or tech project? If so, showcase that experience clearly.
Do: adapt your resume for IT.
Don’t: go overboard!
The worst thing you can do is copy-paste chunks of the job description into your resume. This would be very ill-received by the recruiter, who knows the posting by heart. In order to show that you’re a good fit, rephrase certain key sentences and use similar, not identical, terms.
Use phrasing that will speak to the recruiter. Don’t get too technical by providing superfluous examples and using technical jargon. Instead, present just enough evidence to convince the recruiter that you know what you’re doing.
bonus points: data that backs up your success
Whether it’s in the “summary” section or throughout your past job descriptions, numbers give your profile lots of credibility. Quantified statements give a clear idea of what you can do, while framing you as a candidate that’s focused on measurable results (a huge asset in the world of IT!).
- You contributed to the implementation of a new computer system: What were the benefits introduced by this system? What kinds of improvements have been measured since then?
- You helped set up an online portal that receives client orders: How many orders does it process per day? How many hours per year will be saved thanks to this new workflow?
- You improved the performance of an internal software tool: what are the productivity gains, in real terms?
These numbers aren’t always easy to find, but they are worth their weight in gold.
tip: when you add data points to your resume, be ready to back them up during an interview!
impress with a little extra
In order to provide concrete information about past projects and relevant experience, certain elements can be presented as complements to your resume. If you helped set up a website for a particular organization, flaunt it! If you blog about the world of tech, add links to your best articles. If you were a speaker at an IT-related event, make sure to mention it!
The personal projects you work on in your spare time can help you rise above the noise, but bear in mind that each addition needs to underpin the relevance of your application. To serve up the “wow” factor, they need to represent a substantial or impressive accomplishment (not a casual hobby).
Finally, don’t forget that your resume's spelling and grammar needs to be immaculate. Learn how to submit a flawless document with our article: how to proofread your resume like a professional editor.