Having a strong resume is just as important as having strong technical skills. Because after all, what good is a great skill set if you’re unable to showcase it properly?
To begin, what even is a resume? Welp. Resumes are those “little” documents that give employers an overview of your skillset, education and past work experiences. Think of it as a first impression and everyone wants to make a good first impression, right? Right!
It sounds simple. “List out my past work history and submit it to employers. Got it!” But no! Employers look for specific types of resumes with specific skillsets and keywords. So, while it may sound straight forward, individuals must be technical in their approach in order to stand out from the competition, especially in the IT industry.
Roles in the IT industry are super populated, and many individuals are looking to either get their foot in the door or upgrade into more junior and senior level positions. Which means in order to stand a chance, one must put their best foot forward, starting with a good resume. But don’t worry!
GenSpark specializes in sharpening skillsets and making employer connections, which includes resume assistance and interview prep. Here are 5 key features we believe you should add to your resume in order to get employers to notice you amongst the competition. Continue Reading Below:
1. A Good Balance of Hard & Soft Skills
One of the things you want to showcase on any good resume is your skillset. What do you do well? What type of software can you use efficiently? Are you good at communicating or is your schedule currently flexible?
These are the types of questions you want to ask yourself when drafting this portion of your resume. Skill sets tell employers what an individual is knowledgeable about and how likely you are to be able to do a job well. Therefore, it’s important to have a healthy balance of both hard and soft skills.
Hard skills are defined as “specific abilities, or capabilities, that an individual can possess and demonstrate in a measured way.” Hard skills are usually acquired through courses, certifications, work experience or other forms of training. In terms of the IT industry, these include programming languages like Java, C++, Python, and more.
In contrast, soft skills are traits and abilities not unique to any specific job, think skills like time management, flexibility, collaboration, etc.
A good combination of both hard and soft skills shows future employers you’re capable of performing the required job responsibilities as well as being able to fully function within a collaborative work environment.
2. Choose Your Words Carefully
A crucial, and likely the most important, aspect of a resume is prior work experience. Because after all employers want to know if an individual can come in and make immediate contributions to the company and role.
But it’s not as simple as jotting down where you’ve worked and what you did during that time. How you explain that information matters. For example, did you create a web page? Or did you utilize Java technologies to develop web applications for client server environments?
You see, one of those statements sounds better than the other. When explaining your role responsibilities consider using leading words like managed, developed, utilized, etc. These words showcase leadership and tell future employers that you have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and can speak to their work efficiently.
3. Add Hard Numbers
Employers hire individuals because they want to see results. The company has a need, or problems that need to be solved, so they’re looking for the best candidate that can provide effective solutions. It’s truly a give-and-take relationship.
Therefore, it’s important for individuals to prove they have a history of providing solution-based work. A great way to do this is by having quantitative points in your work experience.
For example, instead of saying you enhanced the quality of code and improved application performance, kick it up a notch. Did you see reduction rates in the number of bugs afterwards, and if so, by what percentage?
Quantifying your experience by specific percentages, dollar amounts, or time saved shows potential employers that you not only understand and can track data specific to your role, but it also demonstrates your achievements and the immediate value you’re able to bring to the company and role.
4. Keywords are … well, Key to Success
In terms of Information Technology (IT) roles, or any role for that matter, using keywords or industry jargon, is key to having your resume noticed. But not for the reasons you may think.
The goal isn’t to sound like a know-it-all, but to get noticed by employers. Many employers use what’s called Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to weed out applicants.
ATS software automatically sorts through resumes for specific skill-related keywords. And if the software decides an individual doesn’t have the “right” keywords, then that resume automatically goes to the “no” pile. Therefore, it’s important to have the right keyword so that you’re not turned down before your resume ever meets human contact. For example, if you’re thinking of applying to a Java role, some great keywords might be:
- Software Development
- User Interface Design
By adding these types of keywords, you’re more likely to get passed ATS software, and get your resume into the hands of hiring managers.
5. Make it One Page
This one is pretty straight forward. If you can, try to keep the information on your resume to one page. Usually hiring managers like to see one-page resumes because they’re simply easier to read.
Often times, hiring managers have a short amount of time to scan resumes. Keeping it to one page allows them to see your education, skills, and previous work experience all in one glance. While this method may seem limiting, it allows individuals to select their best qualifications. Because of the limited space, individuals have no choice but to choose the most relevant information for the position they want.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when constructing a good one-page resume:
- Shorten Your Margins
- Decrease Font Size
- Use Bullet Points Instead of Paragraphs
- Add Multiple Columns
- Condense Contact Information
- Trim Your Professional Summary and Education Sections
GenSpark Can Help!
If you’ve made it this far and still have no idea where to start, don’t fret, GenSpark can help you! We care about our GenSparkers every step of the way. That’s why in addition to technical and soft skill training, we also provide resume assistance, 1-on-1 mentorship, and interview prep!
From the moment you enter our program, our trainers are adamant about providing every individual with the skills needed to be successful in the IT industry. Which includes a solid resume that can be used to attract potential employers.
So how do you apply? It’s simple. Take 5 minutes to submit an application and afterwards a GenSpark recruiter will be in touch with the next steps towards sparking your future. Best of luck!