Drawing Attention The Right Way: Make a Better Resume

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Drawing attention the right way: make a better resume

The resume is your sales pitch. This is the document that you use to try and get attention for your greatest skills and abilities in any job search. Most, if not all understand that this needs to be the best possible list of education and history possible. Similarly, most know the majority of tips and tricks to refine your document. Using standard fonts like Arial, or Times New Roman, limiting pages, listing volunteer experience or that you can provide references, and keeping current contact information are all vital and expected additions. Format your document well, keeping it clean and readable. Also add in visual breaks such as bullet points to highlight aspects of a given entry, and to keep the reader’s eyes from becoming bored. That said, don’t give in too heavily to colors and dramatic flair- this must remain professional. However, you can also tailor your resume to the field you are attempting to enter or stay within. A resume is how you present yourself to professionals, and no rules exist saying you can’t make sure that what they see doesn’t make you stand out.

Universal tips

When attempting to optimize your resume, be aware that some basic tricks can make all the difference. Write your resume for the future, not the past. A job application is where you put down your work history in detail. Resumes can list only what you are proud of, or what may be relevant to the task at hand. If you are applying for a tech position, listing a security job you did as a teenager won’t be of much help. Use the document to highlight your skills, credentials, and accomplishments. Rather than a work history, make a section entitled “Related Experience” to keep things from being dubious. Draw attention to your own highlights. Other simple tricks to keep in mind include:

  • Keywords – most industries use specific keywords to look for. Know what your career uses, and make sure to include those terms. Doing so can ensure automatic sorting doesn’t ignore you, getting your foot in the door just for a term or two. Be sure to use things like programming languages or specific systems you are skilled in. Even if you do not wish to deal with them in the future, having the skill is important.
  • Summary – Some formats call for an objective, but that can backfire. Businesses don’t really care what you want from them, they are searching for their own needs. A summary is the “too long; didn’t read” that can make your resume faster to get through. When an employer has to sift through dozens or scores of them that can make an impression.
  • Words Count – Again, if an employer has to read untold resumes in a day, do your best to make every word count. Keep it concise. Have your contact info easy to find and read, and keep paragraphs very short. Add spacing to your document to make it easier to skim through as well.

Push your tech skills

As said earlier, most of those tricks work for any career or business. Skills such as listing transferable skill sets and offering testimonials are great for getting attention, but do not highlight the nature of a job in Information Technology (IT). This industry has unique aspects that can be taken advantage of. In addition to the general tips, using the same skills you want to apply at a job to your resume can make worlds of difference.

  • Use links to social media – The resume is to draw attention, but using links to sites like linkedin and similar can be a gateway to more information. It keeps from bogging down the page, and helps to demonstrate your technical savvy.
  • Provide a technical summary – Just as the summary is a short paragraph about you, a tech summary can give a quick overview of your skills. Be sure to include all the technical competencies such hardware, software, operating systems, languages, and databases. Any sort of position that includes communication and security could also have networking or a protocol section as well.
  • Draw attention to experience – in an education section, be sure to not only list schools and universities, but also give a short description of projects that show how you applied the education.
  • Consider a reformat – Traditional resumes work in a chronological way, providing a clear and concise timeline. For IT, some prefer to use a functional, or hybrid resume. This highlights skills and accomplishments more than the work history. Bragging about your work history is great, but sometimes lauding what you can do is better.

Consider a job search not unlike your current job or education. In order to succeed, you need to do your research, and tailor your efforts to the situation. When searching for a job in IT, be certain to look around at others to see what is expected, and find a way to alter it just enough to be unique without losing what was effective. Make sure that your attempts follow the basic ideas, but don’t be afraid to sell your skills and efforts. The resume is your chance to tell others how good you are at a job or career. Present those skills in a way that draws attention without excess. For IT, make sure that your technical skills are front-and-center. Potential employers need to know what you can do far more than where you learned it.

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