In the end, your resume is one of the most important documents you will ever create. It outlines your IT skills and experience to give hiring managers insight regarding what you have to offer. But creating a strong resume is no easy task, especially since there is flexibility regarding how the document can be designed.
However, certain mistakes are more common than others. If you are an IT job seeker, and you want to make sure your resume serves as the best introduction possible, here are four mistakes you should avoid.
1. Too Much Jargon
Not every hiring manager looking to fill an IT position is a tech professional themselves. Having a resume dominated by tech terminology can leave those less familiar with the jargon at a loss when it comes to understanding your qualifications. Additionally, diving too deep into the technical can come across as unapproachable or even intimidating to someone who is less comfortable with the subject matter.
Now, that doesn’t mean you should avoid key terms completely. Instead, take some time to determine which words or phrases are helpful and which can be removed. For example, feel free to use tech-oriented language that mirrors the job announcement. Additionally, include skills that pertain specifically to managing the job to which you are applying. Otherwise, if it isn’t directly applicable, consider leaving it on the cutting room floor.
2. Inappropriate Length
The correct length for a resume is a hotly debated topic. Some professionals still swear that a one-page resume is the only way to go while others believe a two-page approach is fine for those with longer career histories who are applying to upper-level positions. However, neither stance is entirely correct.
The truth is the correct resume length is the one that outlines your skills, experience and education that are valuable (and pertinent) based on the position to which you are applying. If you can include everything a hiring manager needs to see in a one-page format, don’t stretch it to two just because you think that is the standard. If you do, you’ll likely be relying on fluff and filler, neither of which will help you land an interview.
In contrast, if squeezing all the information into one or two pages isn’t possible, don’t beat yourself up for going to a third. However, if you are going beyond two pages, consider whether every line is actually valuable. Anything that doesn’t add to the conversation in a meaningful way should immediately be subtracted from your resume.
3. Ignoring Side Projects
Many professionals assume that experience gained outside of traditional employment or education needs to be left off of their resume. And while this is true for side projects that hold no relevance to the position, you can include information about any experience that applies regardless of where it was acquired.
For example, if you developed a mobile app, built a friend’s blog or used your technical skills in a way that is applicable to the position, consider including it. Even if you didn’t financially benefit from the project, that doesn’t mean they aren’t good examples of your skills.
Just make sure the information is appropriate to display in a professional context. If the subject matter involved is controversial or not appropriate in the work environment, it is better not to mention it at all.
4. Failing to Brag
While no one wants to come across as arrogant, many err too far on the side of caution and avoid discussing their major accomplishments in a meaningful way. A resume is a document designed to market your skills and abilities to hiring managers, making it a perfectly acceptable time to showcase what you’ve done.
Feel free to describe your successes, just make sure the tone is professional.
If you are interested in improving your resume or are looking for a new IT position, the professionals at The Armada Group are here to help. Contact us and see how you can elevate your resume to the next level to score the position of your dreams.