Let’s be honest here: You do great work, and you've been doing it for years. Nearly every IT project you've worked on has been a success—and those that weren't taught you some killer lessons. You want to make sure your potential employers know about your hard work, and you’re proud of all the nuances and details of each of your successes.
Shoving all that information onto a resume, though, is a sure-fire way to turn off a hiring manager. They've got dozens—maybe hundreds—of resumes to sort through, and a poorly formatted, overlong resume is almost always destined for the discard pile. Brevity is the soul of wit, after all—but it’s also critical to making the next step in your career.
So how to cram all of your amazing achievements onto two sheets of paper? You’re a hero at what you do, so why not look to some action heroes for inspiration?
- Pick the right tool from your utility belt: When Batman needs to scale a building, he doesn't throw a batarang, he reaches for his grappling hook. When you apply to a job at IBM, don’t send the resume you submitted to Microsoft last week. Every time you apply for a job, take a look at your resume to tailor it specifically to the position—and the company—you’re applying to.
- Don’t say you’re a hero, just be one: Captain America doesn't spend his time telling everyone he’s a great team leader—he just gets on the field and leads. Take this approach in your resume as well. As we discussed last month, ditch the lists of your job duties in favor of brief summary of the projects you worked on and the value you brought to each. Everyone says they’re a great team player—stand out by showing it instead.
- Shoot from the hip: I don’t care what the Special Edition of Star Wars changed; Han Solo shot first in the famous cantina standoff. Put yourself in this action-oriented mindset when crafting your resume. Education institutes are more likely to care about your education, so put that up front. Did part of your last job touch on healthcare policy? Emphasize that when you’re applying to a job with a healthcare provider.
- Don’t be afraid to brag—if you've earned the right: Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man, isn't afraid to tell anyone, anytime, how great he is. It works for him because he backs it up in action. Keep this in mind on your resume and in interviews. Briefly highlight your major achievements, and talk to the times when your work really shined, but keep away from embellishing it.
An experienced IT recruiter can also be an indispensable resource to help you hone your resume to get it noticed by the right people. To work with a recruiter, either upload your resume into our online portal or contact us here.
As a senior writer on TEKsystems’ proposal team, Travis helps develop innovative solutions to meet our clients’ needs. When he’s not writing, you can usually find him tending the fire of a barbecue or baking a fresh batch of bread.