Today I will be giving a short overview of seven tips I have found helpful in my experiences building and polishing my IT Resume over the past three years.
- Volunteer: If you want to set yourself apart from most of the people in your hiring pool I’d highly recommend volunteering. Volunteering is great because it is a win win for everybody involved. Not only does it look great on your resume demonstrating that you are well rounded and have depth beyond simply looking for a paycheck, but volunteering also almost always helps your community at the same time. Volunteering can be a great networking tool to meet like-minded individuals and if you are lacking work experience on your resume some solid volunteer experience can be the next best thing. When I decided to start volunteering I created an account with volunteermatch.org, which is a great resource for finding an opportunity that matches your interests. It was through VolunteerMatch that I found my volunteer position as a social media editor for MASA (Milwaukee Area Science Advocates).
- Honor Societies and Academic Achievements: I strive to meet the qualifications for any academic achievement I can while at M.A.T.C. and every time I earn a new academic award I always update my resume right away to reflect it. This is something that can truly set you apart from your peers, I figure every person in my program is going to graduate with the same degree as me but if I can get honors that will give me a competitive advantage when interviewing for the same position. Beyond that I think it is important to celebrate any achievement and adding it to your resume just feels good. Lastly if you can become a member of an honor society this is a huge help with networking and offers benefits including scholarships and letters of recommendation. I am personally proud to have made the dean’s list and the president’s list, and am a member of both the Phi Theta Kappa and National Technical Honor societies.
- Web Presence: If you want a career in IT you should be constantly grooming your web presence to reflect your investment in and passion for technology. I have been building my “cred” on several social media platforms for a few years now. Running engaging and thoughtful accounts will allow you to network with people that are where you want to be. I have learned so much not only about tech but also about professionalism and networking from following people whose careers inspire me. I absolutely link my Linkedin and Twitter on my resume I want recruiters to look at my accounts so they can see how truly dedicated I am to this industry.
- Skills: Skills are a very important part of my resume. This is the section where you can really communicate your value to a potential employer. It’s one thing to be an incredibly skilled worker but if you cannot correctly articulate that on your resume you will have a hard time finding work. I was struggling on how to exactly word certain skills and was unsure of which exact aspects of past positions were worth noting so I turned to the internet. I would look up job postings for positions I want and read the skills desired, any that match my own would instantly be added to my resume. Then I would surf Linkedin and look at people with similar work experience and see what that have listed and if any of that matched mine I would add to my resume.
- Recruiters: I have chosen to work with a recruiter from TEKsystems to help me get placed sooner in my field. I would highly recommend trying out a recruiter to anyone trying to break into the tech industry. One of the many benefits is they will edit your resume for you. My recruiter had me send in my various resumes and she combined and polished them all into one. It is nice to have a professional give you feedback on your resume before you start giving it out to potential employers.
- Networking Events: Networking events are an awesome way to get your name and face out there. Not only does attending such events help cement your reputation as a dedicated professional it also allows you to meet other people in the industry that could be key in landing a desired position. I would recommend Brew City HDI’s monthly events as well as The Commons MKE events. I recently attended a hack-a-thon at The Commons and it was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had.
- Multi-platform Resume Publishing: My final tip on resume building is about resume distribution. You’ve worked so hard on your resume that you want as many people as possible to see it. Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket and don’t only upload your resume to one website. Have my resume uploaded to several sources including; Monster, Indeed, Linkedin and WorkMarket