If you’re interested in applying for a position as an IT specialist, your resume needs to make a great first impression. Present information that highlights your strengths, such as your attention to detail, your communication skills and your proficiency with different types of computer software and hardware. How to format a resume depends on your individual history and experiences.
1. Decide how to format a resume for the position you want. Use a chronological format unless you’re new to the workforce or changing careers. Generally, hiring managers in need of an IT specialist are looking for a chronological resume format. Chronological resumes list your relevant experience in order from most recent to least recent positions held. Include details about your past employers and your accomplishments. Keep in mind that this information should detail specific achievements. Avoid writing mere job descriptions of your previous positions.
Use a hybrid format instead if you have been working in the IT field for a long time, are transitioning from another career or are just graduating from school. In many of these cases, your work experience may not be the best way to showcase your unique set of skills. Focus on your skill set and highlight the experiences that are most important. If you’ve been in the IT field for many years, your experience may take up a considerable amount of space, so focus on the skills you’ve acquired that are most relevant to the available position.
2. Decide how long your resume will be. One page per 10 years of experience is a good guideline, but keep in mind that hiring managers are looking for a concise and organized document.
3. Begin adding content once you’ve made these two crucial decisions about how to format a resume. Start with your contact information. This should appear at the top of the first page of your resume. Use a professional email address.
4. Follow your contact information with a summary. The summary is often overlooked by IT specialists who are learning how to format a resume, but it’s important because it highlights your best skills and qualities. It should include things like the number of years you’ve worked in IT, the software you are most familiar with and two or three of your most valuable attributes. Write the summary as a paragraph. It shouldn’t be longer than four to six lines.
5. Highlight awards and other prominent recognition after your summary paragraph.
6. Use your work experience to create the bulk of your content if you’ve chosen a chronological format. Focus on what you accomplished for your previous employers, such as managing a software upgrade or implementing new tools to manage data. List the important skills you developed in each position. This technique does a better job demonstrating your value as an employee when compared to a simple list of job duties. Also, keep in mind that this section isn’t limited to just paying jobs. Include relevant internships or volunteer work if these positions provided you with IT experience.
7. Follow your experiences with education, certifications and licenses. Certifications in software and networking are extremely important in the IT field, and they should be listed here. You can also include membership in professional associations. If you don’t have specific information for some of these sections, exclude them from your resume.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be on the right path when it’s time to decide how to format a resume as an IT specialist. If you want to learn more, resources like LiveCareer can be helpful.