It is very difficult to look through job sites on the web and not see a million tips on how to improve your resume. In discussions with the team here at Comrise, it seems to us that the best resume tips can be boiled down to one thing: Knowing Your Audience.
Consider that we live in a world of near-immediate gratification, with the immediacy of the internet doing nothing to help that. IT professionals probably know that better than most, as they will get calls from coworkers saying “E-MAIL IS DOWN, FIX IT FIX…oh, there it goes.” With that in mind, understand that most people reading resumes are going to decide whether to keep reading in the first half-page. Make sure that your best qualities come earlier on your resume than later.
Because of this desire for immediacy, another tip for your resume involves being versatile. It would be nice to be able to just made one resume and just send it out for all to see, but as we noted just now, you probably don’t have that luxury. Indeed, if you have a lot of varied experience, you’re going to want to highlight the experience that specifically applies to the position your seeking. If you’re seeking a managerial position, you’ll want to bring your managerial experience to the top, and then mention all your other qualifications. If the employer wants an expert in Such-and-Such technology, don’t make them search through a lengthy alphabetical list to find it on your resume. It’s much better to say “Hey, I’ve got several years of Such-and-Such experience, along with being certified in Etc.-tech and That-Other-One.”
Which brings us to another key point: education and certification. If you graduated from a particularly prestigious school, or your degree is particularly on point for the position you’re seeking, put it early in the resume. The same goes for certifications. Otherwise, it’s fine to keep your education and certifications towards the bottom of the resume.
Something else to keep in mind is that employers are going to be much more interested in what you have done than where you have been. It’s all well and good to say “this is where I worked and these were my responsibilities,” but the resume that stands out will be the one that says “this is where I worked, and this is how I excelled at my responsibilities.” You’ll want a mix of what you did, and what you did that made your workplace better for you having been there. Make sure to use action verbs as well; saying “I developed X” is much better than “I was responsible for the development of X.” Plus it gets straight to the point, taking up much less space.
Space is, of course, a big consideration when it comes to a resume. One general guideline is to take up one page, front and back. However, if you’ve got decades of experience, employers might find it a little strange to find your experience fits in such a short space. The longer you’ve been in the game, the more space you’re allowed to take, but don’t forget the short internet-fueled attention span; get to the point quickly and don’t meander. If you take more than 3 pages, you’ll want to edit some.
Resume writing can be a serious pain, but we encourage you to use these tips. Lastly, for any assistance or to learn more about our current job openings, please feel free to get in touch with us.