The job market and hiring process have become increasingly digital in recent years, making it tough to say what the ideal resume looks like. And in the IT job market, where the emphasis is on digital, it is tricky to tell how to distinguish yourself from the thousands of resumes being submitted via sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed, to name a few. Some recruiters prefer cover letters, while others don’t, for instance.
One excellent way to hone your resume writing skills is to read up on IT recruiting companies’ feedback for resumes that really catch their attention. Here are three crucial tips gleaned from IT recruiting companies to make your resume, and by extension yourself, a competitive candidate in the IT job market.
1. Reverse Chronological Order
Top IT recruiters are particularly interested in what your most recent role is, because it’s a way for them to gauge several things. For one, it lets them know what your objective might be for applying to a specific role. If you were ever curious as to why it’s passé to include an objective at the top of your resume, it’s because skilled recruiters are already able to discern your objective based off of other details, such as the length of time you’ve been employed in your current role (indicating your experience), what the role itself is, and whether or not there’s been a progression in your career trajectory. Reverse chronological order can give them all of these vital details and more.
Also if there are large gaps in between your employment periods, be honest and concise about why those gaps occurred. IT recruitment companies have more respect for candidates who are forthcoming and specific, both in their resumes and at their interviews with them.
2. Simple but Non-Derivative Layouts
Some recruiters enjoy visual creativity in the layouts of the resumes they receive, as they have to pore over so many within a day. But more often than not, even if a resume has been artfully designed, that layout is lost when it has been converted to plain text format, which is the version that most hiring managers see when they view it on a job postings site or your LinkedIn profile. It is more important to have a resume that can be universally viewed by possible employers than it is to have a visually striking resume.
You want your resume to stand out in its formatting, but in a way that is more about highlighting the roles you’ve had, the experience you gained from those roles, and the companies you’ve worked for. Focus instead on visual aspects that make your resume simple and easy to scan for key information, such as standard fonts like Times New Roman 12 pt. and perhaps a few choice keywords. Headers with your brand statement aren’t a bad idea either.
3. Showcase Your Online Footprint
For IT professionals, it is imperative that their resumes offer a URL to a relevant platform showcasing what they’re like in the online community. Often your Twitter, your LinkedIn,or your profile on GitHub offers great examples of how engaged you are within your field and role as, say, a software developer, for example.
You might write regular blogs on LinkedIn or have conversations with other professionals on Twitter that encapsulate your knowledge and passion for IT work. If you are looking to partner with IT recruiting companies to help land a very specialized position, including relevant URLs is both a way to define your personal brand and prove you’re committed to open communication with recruiters. Above all, employers and recruiters are both keen on candidates that know exactly what they want and can demonstrate the relevant skills and experience.