How to Write an Effective IT Resume

Does the internet feel like a black hole when submitting your IT resume? Perhaps your IT resume is not as effective as it could possibly be. Having reviewed thousands of IT Resumes in the fields of Help Desk, Desktop Support, Server Administration, PHP Developer, .NET Developer, Java/J2EE Developer, Oracle Developer, Oracle DBA, SQL Developer, SQL DBA, Project Manager, ERP Specialist and IT Manager, I have found commonalities of effectively written IT Resumes.

Six IT Resume Tips

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Based on those commonalities I’ve put together the following IT resume tips.

  • Effective IT Resume Tip 1: Tailor fit your resume content to match the job description. It can be cumbersome at times to tailor fit your resume for each position applied for, but it separates you from the status quo that send the same resume over and over again. For example, if a job description calls for Help Desk experience, elaborate on your experience with ticketing systems, call volume, number of users supported etc.
  • Effective IT Resume Tip 2: Place key words in the body of your resume. In an effectively written IT resume, key words are located in the body of your resume because that shows where, when and how you used that specific technology. Simply adding a skills section to your IT resume is very ambiguous. For IT resumes specifically, the more times a technology is listed in the resume, the better. For example, if an employer is targeting a Middle Tier Developer, the more times C#.NET, VB.NET, ASP.NET, SQL Server and Visual Studio should be listed in the body of the resume. For Support Professionals, key words such as Active Directory, Citrix, Ticketing System, Windows XP, Server 2003, LAN and WAN may be part of your key word arsenal. It is not redundant to list technologies multiple times as long as each bullet point is value added. It is important to note, when recruiters and employers are searching for resumes on the job boards, they are typing Boolean strings to locate these key words.
  • Effective IT Resume Tip 3: Use bullet points. Nothing is more frustrating that reading a resume written in paragraph form. Resumes are meant to be marketing tools that are quick and easy to read. Remember, that employers may take no more than 30 seconds to look at your resume. You will have better chances of catching attention with action packed bullet points and a clear objective statement rather than your entire professional life story written as a novel.
  • Effective IT Resume Tip 4: State a clear objective. When listing your objective, be direct. Avoid fluffy cliché statements such as, “Seeking a challenging opportunity with a growing company to fully utilize my technical skills.” In reality, this means absolutely nothing. If applying for a Help Desk job, try “To obtain a Help Desk role.”
  • Effective IT Resume Tip 5: Prove your worth by adding return on investment statements (ROI). Regardless if you are an IT Manager, Infrastructure Support or Development professional, a CFO will see you as overhead. IT departments are costs centers that do not necessarily bring in revenue. With this in mind, if an IT Professional has a track record of saving company dollars, this truly serves as a point of differentiation.
  • Effective IT Resume Tip 6: Take note of your resume’s length. Keep it brief and to the point. The most effective IT resume format is around 1 – 3 pages. Remember that you want your resume to be full, not long.