Gayle Laakmann McDowell in her book The Google Resume: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or Any Top Tech Company, quotes “A powerful resume should leap off the page saying, ‘Me! I’m the one you want to hire!’”She says that every line in these documents should have value and contribute to convincing the employer to hire you.
The IT sector is constantly evolving, and resumes need to be continually updated. Your resume should be such that it should be able to pass through any software screening and score you an interview. Here are some tips:
1) Stand out from the crowd by using an eye catching design
A great looking resume will surely catch the attention of the hiring manager. Use sections to separate various blocks. Try out various templates and select the one that suits you the most. You can check out our templates here.
2) Prioritize Accomplishments, not Tasks
Do not just narrate your daily tasks but show what difference you made to the job and highlight it. Use numbers to quantify your success. Example: “I saved my company annual $1M with my new app that improved efficiency”
3) Use Keywords to target specific job requirement
You can have a generic resume template but you must always tailor it for each job that you apply for. Parse the job description for keywords, such as skills, and ensure that you prioritize and highlight them in your resume.
4) Be succinct, brief and use only a 1 page resume if possible
The hiring manager has less than 30 sections for your resume and will not be able to go beyond the first page of your resume. Hence be concise and brief in your description. Do not cram up the resume and have sufficient white space to ensure that your resume is readable.
5) Be clear, don’t use jargons
Not everyone will be familiar with the tech jargons, so avoid them. Especially avoid any abbreviations or tech language that was specific to your old company. Stick to only the terms that everyone in IT sector is familiar with.
6) Remove unnecessary information
Things such as marital status, recreational hobbies, unrelated associations and club memberships, your CTC etc. are not needed in your resume. Skip them.
7) Skills are essential
For IT sector, skills are of prime importance. This section should list your IT skills (software or hardware), language skills and even soft skills. But skip obvious skills such as Microsoft Word & Excel.
8) Create a PDF and give your name
Do not send the resume in any other format other than PDF. Also using “resume.pdf” as the filename will ensure that it gets lost in the thousands of other applications. Instead, name it starting with your name (both First & last) and the date of application in MMYY format.
9) Tell the truth
All the information in your resume should be 100% true and nothing else. Tweaking your resume a bit to remain viable is fine, but outright lying is never correct. Example: using only years instead of MM-YY to specify dates is OK if you have gaps, but outright falsification of dates is not correct.
10) Go all in to sell yourself.
Focus on the “big” achievements. List out any big achievement, any big employer that you worked with, any big profits or targets that you achieved, any major customers you worked with – highlight them all. Beef up your verbiage, use our list of top words that you can use and top words that you should avoid.
11) Proof read
Do a spell check and fix all typos. Read your resume a couple of times, ask your friend or mentor to read it and take their suggestions.Review it from someone who has gone through an IT job search successfully.