Freelance blogger, digital marketing specialist and tech enthusiast
When applying for your first job in the IT industry, you need to stand out from the rest. Your goal is to convince a recruiter that, irrespective of the lack of industry experiences, you are the right person for their company.
However, remember that recruiters do not want to waste time on generic or irrelevant resumes. Research says that it takes them approximately 6 seconds to skim through your resume.
In this article, you will learn a few practical tips on writing a killer resume that will help you land your first IT job.
You first need to understand the different types of resumes.
The first one is a chronological resume. It focuses on your recent experiences and work history that are shown chronologically.
The second one is functional resumes that focus on the relevance of your resume for an employer. In this kind of resumes, your introductory paragraph and professional summary play a fundamental role. This is especially important for people wanting to land their first IT job and that have gaps in their careers.
The third is combination resumes that get the best of both worlds. At the top of the combination resume, you should provide information about your skills and qualifications. Below these sections, you should highlight your work history in a chronological manner.
The structure of your resume depends on multiple factors, such as your skills, experiences, and employer’s expectations. Still, most resumes have the following sections:
Header and Contact Information
A header is at the top of your CV and it usually contains your name and profession. Your contact information should include your phone number, email address, links to relevant social profiles, and your website URL.
An Introduction/Professional Summary
A professional summary is a brief overview of your career, telling a recruiter who you are, what you do, and why you are the ideal candidate for the job you are applying for. When writing an introduction, always focus on the value you could deliver to the employer.
The skills section is vital to IT recruiters looking for candidates with specialized experiences and backgrounds. Many IT professionals decide to list their skills using bullet points and, in this way, make them more prominent in the resume.
This is a central part of your CV, explaining your work history. The format of this section varies, but it often contains your previous company’s name, location, employment date, role, and a list of your responsibilities. As you are just entering the IT sphere, emphasize any internships that may be relevant to an IT employer.
For young IT professionals that still don’t have impressive work experiences, it is immensely important to focus on education. In most cases, it is enough for you to list the name of the school, when you attended it, and what degree you attained. If you have taken relevant ICT courses or received any industry-specific awards, don’t forget to mention that in your education section.
While your goal is to impress an HR manager, you should still be honest with them. Remember that it is extremely easy for them to confirm how accurate your statements are.
You want to humanize your CV and make it more relevant to the employer. To do so, emphasize your volunteering experiences, awards, and hobbies. This is one of the most effective ways to explain who you are and help a recruiter understand whether you are the right choice for them.
Adding relevant information to your resume is only half the job done. The other half is choosing the right design and formatting techniques. A cluttered and confusing CV is more difficult to read. It may directly impact hiring managers’ perceptions of you as an individual. This is why you should create sleek, aesthetically appealing resumes that will immediately grab HR managers’ attention and inspire them to keep reading it.
As for formatting, use legible fonts and leave lots of white space to make the text easy to follow. The font size should be at least 11 pt, while margins should be at least 7 inches. Choose color palettes that are pleasant to the eye. Colors are important because they keep your resume engaging and authentic, but you should still avoid any visually busy element that will only overwhelm an HR manager and prevent them from focusing on the resume data. Finally, shorten your resume. It should be 1 or 2 pages max and focus only on those data relevant to the employer.
You want to show that you are taking the job position and an employer seriously. And, this is where grammatical errors and typos will not help you. Now, catching your own errors may be more difficult than it seems. It is not enough to write a resume and read it a couple of times. Instead, you need to proofread and edit it carefully.
For starters, don’t edit the resume until it is finished. Focus on writing each section carefully and then go back to them and make all the edits needed.
Second, identifying errors in your resume while writing it is difficult. Precisely because of that, you should give yourself a couple of hours before you start editing your CV. Focus on some other activities and get back to the editing process with fresh eyes.
If this is still not enough, you can always ask a friend or family member you trust to read your resume carefully. Chances are they will catch minor errors that you missed or even provide suggestions on how to improve your resume.
Finally, fact-check everything you have written. Make sure that the name of your school, company, your address, and contact information are accurate.
Writing a magnetic resume that stands out is not easy, especially for individuals that are applying for their first IT job. To convince a recruiter that you are the right choice for them, you first need to pick the right resume format and structure it strategically. Optimize your sections and make them informative and easy-to-follow. As you don’t have any work experiences in the niche, emphasize your skills and education. Above all, keep the design intuitive and eliminate any typos that may harm your image.