6 Easy Ways to Improve Your IT Resume

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As an IT staffing company with over 100 contract and full-time IT opportunities in the Northeast, we receive hundreds of resumes every day.  We asked our recruiting team what makes a CV stand out to them, and learned that a little extra writing effort on your part goes a long way in getting noticed. 

Clear, Concise Summary
Ditch the Objective section and use that prime real estate at the top of your resume for a great summary of who you are.  Give us some sense of what you’re open to – if you’re a consultant with no interest in full-time roles, say you’re a “consultant with X years’ experience in front end trading system development.”  Be specific in how you define yourself: rather than “Java Developer,” help us understand if you are Core Java, a multithreading guru, etc.  Bolding keywords that pertain to the job you want is a great way to make your summary stand out, just be careful not to overdo it.

Focus on Current Technology
Provide a list of your technical skills grouped by categories: Operating Systems, Languages, Databases, Servers, Protocols, etc.  Only include what you’ve used most recently and are most skilled in.  You don’t need to mention outdated technologies like DOS, or every version of UNIX you’ve used!

Use Strong Verbs to Describe Prior Roles
Before a recruiter sends a resume to a client, they remove all those B.S. phrases that people tend to overuse:  “member of a team,” “was involved in,” “worked on various…”  These are filler and tell us nothing about an applicant.  If you’re specific and use strong verbs to describe your experience (designeddevelopedtestedmanagedimplementedtraineddefinedwrote, etc.), it will be clear that you’re a team player who has been involved in many relevant projects.  It also tells us you have great self-marketing skills and will do well on an interview!

4 Page Maximum
If you’ve been consulting for many years, it’s easy to end up with a very long resume, but you should try to keep it to 4 pages or fewer.  The recruiter can get it formatted and in the hands of their client much faster, and it will be easier for them to review your experience and request an interview.  A simple way to cut down is to summarize older roles with title, company name/department, dates, and only the main technologies used.

Use MS Word and One Font Style
A clean, standard font like Arial is easy to read and won’t take up too much room.  You can bold relevant keywords that apply to the job, but avoid using italics, colors, and excessive tab formatting.

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Whether or not we say it on our job postings, every client wants “excellent communication skills.”  If you don’t communicate well through your resume with proper spelling, grammar and punctuation, the recruiter is left to assume you won’t present well during an interview.  It’s always a good idea to have a fresh pair of eyes review your resume before you send it.