Successful Resume Format for IT Candidates

There are many ways to write a resume, some that work and some that don't. My guidelines for building a winning resume focus on relevancy and content placement.

Resume Design

A. Summary
Focus on drafting your resume around your Target Job. Start off with a summary that is no more than 3 sentences. Be sure to clearly define what you are looking for. For instance, if you are looking for a position as a helpdesk analyst, your summary should read something like “Experienced Technical Support professional seeking a challenging helpdesk analyst role”. The key is to be specific.

B. Technical Skills
The next step after your summary should be an inventory of certifications, skills, programming languages, or anything else relevant to the job you are seeking. It is very important that your resume reads like a qualified candidate “above the fold” of the first page.

C. Experience
List previous jobs, job titles, dates, and key duties of every job you have held for the last 5-7 years. Experienced candidates can list experience up to no more than 15 years.

D. Education
List all of your education, school names, areas of study, degrees, GPA, etc.. in this area. If you are a recent grad, and have limited work experience, be sure to list any internships or hands-on experience under B. Technical Skills above your Experience. Dates on education are optional. If you must list your high school diploma, DONT include your graduation date.

E. References
Reference WHAT??? Never list references on your resume. Also don't write “References Available Upon Request” at the bottom. It is expected that everyone has references, and you only want to give them out when requested.

F. No-Brainer
Make sure to re-read your resume multiple times for grammar, spelling, punctuation, use of words, etc… Have a friend or family member look at it. Make sure you spell the names of schools you have attended correctly. Something as simple as spelling or grammar can ruin your chances of getting a job.

Design characteristics of your resume should follow a simple format with easy to read fonts. Font size should be no less than 10pt. Acceptable fonts are in the arial, helvetica, sans-serif family.

F+. Something I have been seeing a lot of lately, don't put your picture on your resume...

Anyone have any comments, questions or ideas for improvement? Comments are always welcome!

Also, check out my other blog for more great content:

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