Many professionals spend time on side projects that relate to their profession. In some cases, they use their skills as members of the gig economy, effectively taking on smaller assignments as a side hustle. In others, pros take on side projects for personal reasons, such as growing their skills or trying something new that interests them.
Regardless of the reason, your side projects can make great additions to your resume. They give you a chance to showcase your capabilities as well as your passion for the work. If you want to position yours properly on your resume, here’s what you need to know.
Your resume is often the first impression a hiring manager gets about your capabilities as well as you as a person. If certain red flags are present, it isn’t uncommon for your application to be sent directly to the discard pile.
By removing negative points and making specific corrections, you can increase your odds of being selected for an interview. If you want to make sure there aren’t any red flags on your tech resume, here’s are some key areas to examine.
Spelling, Grammar, and Formatting
Misspelled words, poor grammar, and formatting issues can significantly harm your chances of landing a job. They can suggest a lack of attention to detail or that you didn’t care enough to review the document before you submitted it for consideration.
Before you send your resume to the hiring manager, make sure it is error-free. Run it through several spelling and grammar checks, read the entire document line-by-line, and adjust the formatting to increase readability, ensuring there are clear divisions between the sections and a reasonable amount of white space.
The Total Length
When you create a tech resume, you need to make sure it is an appropriate length based on the complexity of the job. Typically, if you are applying to an entry-level role, a single, full page is the ideal target. If you are aiming at a higher level position, then a two-page document is acceptable, as long as all of the details are relevant.
Including Skill Lists
While it may seem wise to include a list of your skills on a tech resume, this isn’t the best approach. A basic list doesn’t provide any context when it comes to your skill level or how you applied your skills in a professional or educational environment.
Instead, work your relevant skills into your resume by including those details when you discuss your accomplishments. This approach is much more valuable as it allows hiring managers to see not just what skills you have but where you used them and your level of success.
Weak Word Choice
The language you use to describe your skills can either inspire confidence or doubt in your abilities. Phrases like “familiar with,” “knowledge of,” or “some experience” suggest you don’t possess much experience in those areas, and that can harm your chances of being selected for an interview.
Instead of using those weaker phrases, make your resume bullet points achievement-oriented and quantify them. Typically, this will eliminate the ability to discuss your skills in an ambiguous fashion, which may be an easier approach than simply searching for a more powerful phrase. Plus, by highlighting your accomplishments, it is easier for the hiring manager to see your value, increasing the odds that they will see you as a competitive candidate.
By using the tips above, you can remove red flags from your resume. If you are interested in learning more or are seeking out new employment opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled team members today and see how our services can make it easy to take your career to the next level.
Whether you are a recent college graduate looking to take your first steps into the IT field or a seasoned professional interested in a career change, you likely possess some skills that an employer would find valuable. Certain soft skills transcend the boundaries that define specific industries and showcasing yours can help you stand out in the eyes of hiring managers.
By focusing on the right transferable skills, you can demonstrate why you could be successful in the role and an asset to a prospective employer. If you want to know which ones are worth featuring, here are a few that can set you apart from the competition.
Most tech jobs are analytical in nature. Whether you need to draw insights from data, troubleshoot problematic systems, or monitor traffic patterns, having an analytical mind is beneficial.
If you want to impress a hiring manager, consider what analytical tasks were associated with your previous jobs or educational experience. This can include data-oriented research, report generation, or even incidents where your problem-solving abilities were put to the test.
When you work in IT, juggling multiple tasks and assignments usually comes with the role. Most tech professionals have to review their workload and define priorities, ensuring the most important activities are completed first.
Prior experience in project management can directly relate to your ability to prioritize tasks. Similarly, taking on a leadership role at any level can also qualify. If you have experience with productivity tools, mention those as well, particularly if you were responsible for making assignments and identifying which activities were more critical than others.
Beyond simple problem-solving, innovation involves forging a new path to create a viable solution. This includes identifying more efficient approaches that were previously used as well as crafting something entirely new to tackle an issue that had not occurred before.
When you write your resume, highlight points where your ideas were implemented and led to a success. You can also discuss troubleshooting approaches that weren’t previously used in the organization that you discovered or created.
The vast majority of IT professionals function as part of a larger team. Group projects are commonplace, so showcasing your ability to work with others can help you stand out when you apply. Additionally, demonstrating your communication skills is also wise, especially since skilled communicators are typically more effective in group settings.
Mention any collaborative experience you have on your resume, focusing on those where the outcome was improved through effective teamwork. You can also list any communication tools you’ve used previously if they may be relevant to the role.
Ultimately, all of the skills listed above can be highly transferable, helping you stand out as a top candidate for a tech position even if you haven’t worked in the field previously. If you are interested in learning more or are seeking out new IT employment opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to learn more about job openings in the area and see how our services can benefit you.
Most job seekers have seen the warning; gaps on your IT resume can hurt you when you try to find a new position. This can be particularly disheartening, especially when the gap was at least partially unavoidable.
In some cases, candidates try to disguise or minimize their gaps by adjusting employment dates. But, falsifying information, even with the smallest tweaks, can come back to bite you if they are discovered.
Luckily, there are things you can do to address employment gaps on your IT resume the proper way. If you are dealing with a gap in your work history, here’s how to get started.
Highlight Your Skills, Accomplishments, and Education
One of the biggest concerns a hiring manager may have when they see a recent employment gap is that your IT skills may be out of date. However, you can put those fears to rest by showcasing any competencies, accomplishments, or education that demonstrates you have the required level of knowledge and experience to succeed in the role.
An easy way to make sure that what you have to offer is front and center is to add the proper details to the “Professional Summary” section of your resume. Make sure that the points you make are targeted to the job if you want to make a positive impact on the hiring manager.
Going to School isn’t Inherently a Gap
Just because you stepped away from the workforce that doesn’t mean you are necessarily dealing with an actual gap. Most employers don’t view someone choosing not to work will they pursue an education as a red flag, particularly if the field is challenging.
If you left a job to earn a degree and are now looking to re-enter the workforce, make sure to list your recently educational accomplishments near the top of your resume, especially if you are changing fields or specialties. This allows you to show precisely what you were doing while you weren’t employed, eliminating the issue quickly.
Connect with Area Recruiters
Many companies turn to recruiters to help fill IT positions, particularly if the required skills are hard to find. If you haven’t made a connection with a recruitment agency, now may be the perfect time to get started.
Typically, you can build a relationship with a recruiter, allowing you to explain the nature of your employment gap to someone who can then function as your advocate. In most cases, a single gap in your work history won’t hurt your chances of landing a great job, especially if you have someone to go to bat for you with local hiring managers.
If you are seeking a new IT opportunity, the experienced recruiters at The Armada Group can connect you with leading companies throughout the area. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our services can help you take the next step forward in your career.
Regardless of your current position or what role you have your eye on, certain tips relating to executive resumes can actually benefit job seekers at any level. Some of the approach is less conventional than traditional resume design, but the results can be incredibly compelling, especially to hiring managers who are drowning in a sea of like resumes.
To help you stand out from the crowd, here are some executive resume tips that anyone can use to help propel their careers forward.
Use an Executive Summary
When you want to showcase your most significant accomplishments and draw attention to why you are such a great candidate, writing an executive summary is an ideal way to start. This gives you the opportunity to (carefully) brag about your achievements, skills, and experience while helping to establish your professional image on paper.
Normally, this is located at the top of your resume, so you want it to be enticing. It helps draw hiring managers in, making them more intrigued about the details contained below, so make creating a strong summary a priority.
Describe Your Experience the Right Way
Most job descriptions on resumes feature a mish-mosh of duties, accomplishments, and skills. But failing to separate these points properly makes it difficult to craft a narrative about your career.
Instead of leaving anything inadvertently unstructured or resulting to uninspiring lists, begin by describing a particular challenge you faced followed by what actions and skills were required on your part, and close with an overview of the results. This makes it easier to turn your experiences into a story that is easier to connect with and follow.
Don’t Neglect the Formatting
Many job seekers use bullet points to help organize lists, but a proliferation of the bullets can leave a resume looking cluttered. Before you submit a resume, review the document in its entirety to determine if the number of bullet points could be viewed as excessive. If so, examine the content of each line to eliminate anything that may be redundant and relocate details about accomplishments or duties that are better suited to other areas, like the summary.
Ultimately, you want a solid mix of content types and a reasonable amount of whitespace. Make sure to review the look of your resume to make sure it appears balanced and easy to read.
Have Someone Else Review It
Sometimes, it’s difficult to take an honest look at your own work, so enlisting the assistance of someone else can be beneficial. Professionals working in the hiring and recruiting space are particularly well-suited to this task, as they are familiar with common trends that may be relevant to your situation.
If you are looking for a new position, the professionals at The Armada Group can make sure your resume is in order while connecting you with coveted job opportunities in the area. Contact us to see how our services can help you during your search today.
Your resume often serves as your first introduction to a hiring manager, so making sure it is on point is a crucial step when you are looking for a job. Trends for resumes change regularly, and falling behind the times can actually hurt your chances of being called for an interview, even if you have the right skills and experience for the role.
To make sure your resume is ready for 2018, here are some tips to get you started.
Streamline Your Contact Information
With the internet playing such a large part in finding a job, certain contact information that was once considered vital to include can actually be discarded. There’s no need to list your entire street address, so remove everything but the city and state. Additionally, just use your cell phone number, and forgo labeling it as being mobile. You also want to make sure to add an email address and make sure it is professional.
If you want to include links to an online profile, select the one that is most applicable, such as LinkedIn. To keep your resume from initially feeling cluttered, consider placing the links at the bottom of your resume instead of the top.
Headlines and Summaries
For your headline, you want to focus on the position you are hoping to land, not the one you have today. Start off with common variants of the job title and select a few keywords that are particularly relevant to the role based on your experience.
When you move on to the summary, create an explanation that shows how the skills and experience you possess today relate to the position, including how you can add value to the business.
Adjust Job Titles
Not every job title you’ve officially held may be easy to relate to the role you are hoping to land. With that in mind, include the official job title and, in parenthesis, list the more common variant. This helps the hiring manager see how your experience relates to the job and eliminates some of the mystery that can surround some of the more unique job titles some companies choose to use.
For added impact, directly under your job title, add a short caption that highlights your key contributions, especially if you’ve held multiple positions with the same company.
When you write a job description, you want to concentrate on the value you provided instead of just listing your duties. When possible, quantify the information to help make it feel less abstract. After the short description, include a section that discusses any relevant achievements by focusing on three to five major accomplishments that are most applicable to the target position.
In most cases, you can simply tweak your current resume based on the trends that hiring managers will want to see in 2018. And, once you have your resume created, remember to customize it every time you apply for a job.
If you are looking for a new position, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with some of the area’s most desirable employers. Contact us to see how our services can help you succeed.