Whether you’re looking for a summer job or your first full-time position, a CV is your key to the working world. As a student or graduate with limited or no work experience, you’re probably wondering how to create a resume that will showcase your talents, even though you’re only just beginning your journey as a tech employee. Have no fear – it can be done!
A good resume can make all the difference when it comes to distinguishing yourself from other candidates and landing an interview with a company that’s caught your eye. Here is our advice on how to stack the odds in your favour.
determine your career objectives
As a student you likely had a career path in mind when you chose computer science. What was it? Where do you want to be in 5 years, or in 10 years? If you’re in need of inspiration, take a look at some online job postings and see if you gravitate towards a particular type of position. Once you’ve found “the one,” it will be easier to describe your career objectives in your CV.
Be mindful while describing these objectives – you need to make sure that they align with the realities of IT career progression. If you’re looking to be the chief technology officer of a multinational video game company before the age of 25, recruiters won’t find that particularly realistic. Don’t cast your ambitions aside, but make sure to put forth objectives that demonstrate a proper understanding of the IT job market.
what are your strong points, technologically?
During your studies, you likely distinguished yourself from your peers with a particular skill or aptitude. For example, you may have been the go-to person for solving internet connectivity issues, or the one team member who always thought up innovative ideas for web development projects. These qualities are essential to include in your resume, as they demonstrate important strengths related to the tech sector.
To pinpoint these strengths, make a list of projects you’ve worked on with other students and try to remember a situation in which you made a significant contribution. These talents deserve to be included in your CV.
here are a few examples:
- excellent capacity for solving computer problems
- strong interest in researching and developing innovative solutions
- ability to quickly learn new programming languages
consider all of your IT accomplishments
To prove that you’re the right person for the job, you need to showcase all of your relevant involvement in tech-related projects. If you handle tech support for an organization, mention it. If you developed a computer program for a community group, describe it. Extracurricular contributions to projects that overlap with your field of study are tangible proof of your motivation to work in IT.
Some IT freshers and students also participate in contests, like Hackathons, or startup-specific events like Startup Day, Startupfest, or Vancouver Startup Week. Each of these experiences is highly relevant, so make sure to talk about the skills that helped your team succeed and the prizes or awards that you won.
A few examples of achievements you could include in your resume:
- technological contributions or support through volunteering
- development of digital tools or web platforms for an organization
- participation in tech contests and festivals
When describing these projects, tie them in with the skills that are required for the job you want to land. The clearer the connections, the better your chances are of being perceived as a strong candidate.
tip: at the start of your resume, list the platforms and softwares you know how to use. this will provide a quick, clear snapshot of your technical skills.
does my entire resume have to fit on one page?
As an IT studentsand new grad, you aren't expected to have tons of experience to put on your resumes, but that’s no reason to oversimplify the experience you do have.
If certain projects call for a more detailed description, you should provide one, even if that means adding a second page. The people reading your resume want to know what you can accomplish – so don’t leave them hanging!
the importance of including dates
No matter your level of experience, you need to be precise when providing dates on your resume. If you write “summer internship: developed a transactional website,” people will want to know how much time you spent working on the project. Was your internship 2, 3, even 4 months long?
remember: always include the month, not just the year, when writing dates.
As you can see, there are many ways for you to create a compelling resume, even if you’re fresh out of school. For more tips, you can check out our article Student edition: how to write an awesome resume.