IT staff augmentation firms like ours see a lot of resumes, literally thousands every year, and it’s amazing the errors we continue to see on them. Although it seems obvious to us, it’s apparent that many candidates need to remember some of the key things to include, and exclude, on resumes.
Before we list the things to include, let’s make it clear that you should ditch your objective. Everyone knows your objective with a resume is to get a new job or consulting engagement. Someone just graduating from college may want to include an objective, but it’s a drawback for anyone with experience.
So what should you include?
Many technology hiring managers say they are searching for candidates who offer more than technical credentials. Soft skills such as interpersonal communications, ability to work collaboratively and commitment to achieving corporate goals are just as desirable. In other words, your resume needs a personality. Show it with your Career Summary.
Work experience is a key component of your resume, but don’t just include a comprehensive list of all the jobs that you’ve had. For contract work, provide a bulleted list of your top projects, indicating the company (or type of company if confidential), reason for hiring you, scope of your project, your specific approach to the project, challenges/obstacles faced, work performed and benefits to the company. Focus on your accomplishments rather than job duties.
Tech workers should be sure to include a Skills section on their resume. This section should list software expertise, programming languages, foreign languages, and other applicable skills, but skip the basic stuff like Microsoft Word. The key is to list skills that will help you stand out as the idea candidate.
The best keywords for your resume depend on your job target and experience. Specific programs and applications are often used as keywords, which is another reason a Technical Summary is a good idea. To determine the best keywords for your industry, examine technology jobs posted on Monster to see which credentials and skills are used frequently; these are potential keywords that should be incorporated into your resume.