Are you a soon to be or recent IT grad in search of worthwhile employment? If so, you’ve likely already wrestled with your resume (sometimes called a CV, or Curriculum Vitae) and tried to get it just right before sending it off to prospective employers. If you’ve had success and landed a few interviews, congratulate yourself. But if you feel the need to ramp up the quality of this all-important document, take the time to find out what successful IT professionals know about crafting a dynamic resume.
Perhaps you’re wondering what’s so different about job seekers in the tech industry. Why don’t they use the same strategies and tools as a business, liberal arts, engineering, and science graduates? What makes the information technology field unique is its reliance on workers with highly specific skills, proven work histories, and the potential to learn on the job. While the same can be said for many other categories of students, those who earn diplomas in computer-related areas must fine-tune their career searches if they want to land decent jobs. Before you write the first word on your CV document, consider the following factors that tend to make for the best result.
Use the Four-Part Strategy
Divide your document into four parts if you want to attract the attention of IT hiring managers. They’re used to this format and feel comfortable with it. The four parts are education, work experience, technical skills, and general skills. Keep the work experience section to your last two jobs and/or internships. List degrees and special training under the education heading. For skills, list all hardware, software, operating systems, networks, security, and programming languages you know well. General skills include things like leadership ability, teamwork, and communication expertise.
Highlight Specialty Education
Put college or graduate degrees at the top of the document. If you don’t yet have a diploma, consider taking out a private student loan and getting one as soon as possible. That way, if you search for positions during your schooling, you can still list the degree as long as you note a prospective date of graduation. The benefits of private loans include high borrowing limits, competitive interest rates, and flexible terms.
Hire Two Proofreaders
Managers are picky about two things: errors in grammar or spelling, and CVs that are longer than one page. Remember, the purpose of the document is not to get a job, its goal is to land an interview. It’s during the face-to-face encounter that you’ll get or not get the position.
Make Hard Copy and Digital Versions
Don’t fall for the digital trap. That’s when you ignore the need for hardcopy, paper resumes. It’s always wise to carry both versions with you. Consider purchasing dozens of low memory flash drive sticks and placing all your job-seeking documents on each one. This batch should include a generic cover letter, too. When you meet someone new who has the potential to be in your personal or business network, don’t part without giving them a hardcopy CV and a flash drive. Even in a high-tech age, you’d be surprised how far paper documents travel and how many people prefer to just unplug and read the old-fashioned way.