Resume Strategies For the IT Practitioner
Techno-speak began with one word: computer. Now it is a language unto its own, with multiple operating systems, countless software and databases, web environments and programming languages. And new acronyms spring up daily it seems (CAD, CICS, DB2, LAN, MSCE, SQL), adding to the growing techno-speak dictionary. What is the best resume strategy for the I.T. practitioner to employ? Will Human Resources “get it” if the resume reads like a mini techno-speak dictionary?
Speak the Language
Of course you need to include techno-speak to sufficiently establish your I.T. credentials. Achieve this by creating a Technical Skills summary on the first page, or creating an addendum of technical skills if you have accumulated a vast amount of expertise. Alternatively, write a bullet or two under each position that list the technical skills you used to design, solve, test or implement. But, and this is crucial, your resume cannot consist only of techno-speak as human resources folk are not reliably conversant in this language.
Remember the Bottom Line
No employer is solely interested in what languages you know, or what software you have worked with. What is far more compelling is in knowing what your knowledge and skill has meant to past employers’ bottom lines. How have you impacted savings and earnings in service delivery, product enhancements, and debugging solutions?
If you speak only I.T. lingo, without linking it to profit, you aren’t considering what motivates your reader. Tie what you did to business, to profits, to the industry in which your worked, to a leading company for which you worked, or to solutions. Now you’ve got the reader’s attention.
I.T. seems to be one field where many practitioners are either entirely self-taught or have an introductory education, from where they evolved to master their field. And many worry about this when looking for a new gig. Education is often a small percentage, perhaps only 25 per cent, of the weight of hiring requirements. As long as you “sell” your abilities by describing your history of savings or profit-generating contributions, education becomes a secondary consideration.
Key Words and Phrases
Of course it doesn’t hurt to keep current with studies, and some positions demand a particular certification. For example, if you are soon to be Microsoft Certified, and this is a crucial requirement, then the phrase “Microsoft Certified” will surely be included in a key word search. Companies that receive so many resumes that their H.R. departments cannot cope, rely on key word and phrase searches conducted by programmed software, a process that eliminates the majority of applicants. In order to avoid instant elimination be sure to add that new course to your Education section, and qualify it with a date of expected completion so that you are representing yourself truthfully.
The most crucial resume strategy to remember is that you must tell the reader, in close to layman’s terms, what you did. Keep the techno-speak to a minimum, beef up your results and accomplishments, and you will have the employer’s interest, guaranteed.
Copyright©2009 New Leaf Resumes.ca. Feel free to reprint this article, but please provide the author with full credit.
Stephanie Clark, BA, CRS, CIS, http://www.newleafresumes.ca An award-winning and published Resume Strategist, dedicated to advancing your career goals, proudly serving clients from around the globe. Please visit NewLeafResumes.ca or call 519-505-5627 for more information on the interview-generating services offered at New Leaf Resumes.
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