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5 Things to Remember When Writing Your Resume

A resume is a very personal thing. It represents a description of what you have done all throughout your professional life to get where you are today. Your resume is in competition with everyone else who has applied for the same job, and having a good one is your best shot at getting an interview and a chance to prove yourself. It pays to take the time up front to make sure it is polished and ready for review.

Here are the top 5 things to remember when writing your resume:5 Things to Remember When Writing Your Resume

  1. Format is key.
    Choose a format that is easy to read (i.e. bulleted content). Keep it brief and concise, no more than three pages. One important thing people forget to do is triple check that the format is consistent throughout. Don’t stress about whether or not your bullets need periods at the end, just make sure they are all consistent. 
  1. Start with a clear, professional summary of your career.
    Cap it at 50 words and highlight the most important, relevant skills and experience you can bring to the table. Omit subjective statements like “good communications skills” or “great team player”.
  1. Describe the impact of your contributions.
    When you list your job duties, make sure to include how you influenced the business. Use words like “improved” and “impacted” instead of passive verbs. List any relevant metrics or changes you helped implement while you were at the company.
  1. Leave some mystery for the interview.
    Don’t describe the company you worked for or get specific on the projects you worked on - save it for the interview. You will get a better chance to provide context and articulately explain to the interviewer the circumstances that you succeeded in.
  1. Showcase your digital footprint.
    Is your work anywhere online, maybe on a personal website, Github or Dribble? Are you an active publisher on LinkedIn, Twitter or Quora? Include these links on your resume – recruiters will almost always click on them.

Other tips to keep in mind:

  • Do not include an objective, as it may conflict with the objective of the hiring manager and can cause you to be passed over.
  • Be honest; if it is on your resume you should be able to speak to it.
  • Only go back 10 years in your work experience, if there is more than that include the statement: “Additional work experience available upon request”.
  • Triple check your punctuation and grammar – cannot emphasize this enough. Always ask someone else to read it over for what you missed.
  • Make sure your verb tense is present for your current job and past for previous jobs.
  • Include the tools that you used to do your job throughout your resume, not just in the skills section.
  • If you have very little work experience, your education and technical skills should go under the summary.
  • If you have a good deal of work experience, your education and technical skills should go at the end of the resume.
  • Under education, include the name of the university you attended, as well as your degree and major. Do not include high school.
  • Include links to work examples at the end of the resume if you have them.

If you have any questions, connect with a recruiter in your market to learn more about optimizing your IT resume.

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