Which resume formats are effective for IT jobs and why
When setting out to write your resume, it’s always tricky to decide what information to ensure your resume is highly relevant to the job you’re applying for. Another factor to consider is the best way to present your information on your resume. After all, it’s your personal marketing tool and it’s important that it’s an attractive document to the reader and can set your application in the best possible light for the IT or Linux job for which you’re applying.
According to research, a recruiter or employer will spend approximately 20 seconds scanning your resume for incentive to further investigate your fitness for their IT employment prospects. Your resume therefore needs to be formatted in a way that clearly conveys the essential criteria for the IT positions you’re applying for in unambiguous terms.
Another complicating factor is that some recruiters will review hundreds of resumes for a single IT position, so it’s paramount to format your resume in such a way that it stands out in the crowd and makes the recruiter sit up and take notice and want to find out more about you.
When laying out your resume, it’s important to include a skills summary on your first page. Most IT or Linux jobs advertisements will include a section outlining the essential criteria the successful applicant must possess. It’s absolutely vital to clearly address the job criteria so that a recruiter can immediately see that you’re qualified for the position. Failure to clearly address a particular criterion may lead to an assumption that you don’t meet that particular requirement – and the resume reader may never turn to page two.
Your skills overview will present concisely, your core IT skills and the platforms and technologies you’re experienced in, and possibly, the general skills you possess (e.g. attention to detail, analytical skills etc.). A skills overview table will show your prospective employer how you qualify for their IT job in a way that is easy to read.
Another formatting factor that can distract a prospective employer and place your resume on the ‘toss’ pile is spelling errors or poor language skills. Your resume is an example of your professional written communication skills and also speaks of your attention to detail. You must make sure that it doesn’t contain any typos, that the grammar is sound, and that the information you convey makes sense. Also pay attention to the tense you’re using. If you’re describing the achievements for a job in the past, always speak about it in the past tense. If you’re describing your current IT job, speak about it in the present tense.
When formatting your resume in order to make it more readable and attractive you should also ensure that the style you use in presenting your information is consistent. Make sure your major headings (i.e. Personal Details, Educational Achievements, Certification, Employment History, etc.) are all in the same font style, size and justification. Make sure all the text in your document is the same font style and size as well.
When laying out your employment details, decide on a standard format in presenting your data including your position title, the name and location of the organisation for which you worked, and the dates you started and finished working. If the organisation is a small company, including a short one line description of the company may also be helpful.
For other helpful hints on writing and effective resume for IT or Linux job opportunities, you might like to read our article on What makes your IT resume stand out in the crowd?