Tired of long drawn out lists? Here are five ways that you can improve your resume.
1. Not including a cover letter
Sending out your resume without a cover letter increases your chances of your resume getting lost in the hundreds of resumes that recruiters sort through for each position. A cover letter helps you to grab recruiters’ attention, tells them why they should consider investing the time to review your resume, and provides them with a pretty good first impression of your overall professionalism and initiative. Not including a cover letter sends out a very clear message that you simply don’t care enough about the position. A lot of IT professionals skip the cover letter because they simply don’t know how to write an effective one. A good cover letter will map out how your experience and skills position you as the best candidate for the position.
2. Not having a summary section
A summary section is the next way to tailor your resume for the position you’re applying for. Done right, your summary section goes hand in hand with your cover letter to help the recruiter understand how the mix of your skills and experience makes you a qualified candidate for the position. Consider it your personal elevator pitch.
3. Mistaking their resume for a list of technologies
Your resume should not be a run-on list of all the technologies you’ve used over the last 10 years. It should also not be a list of all the technologies you’ve read up on. Any employer is going to be skeptical that you’re both an expert in .NET and Java. They want to know what you can do with these technologies, how much experience you have, and whether it’s a fit with their organization.
4. Burying top qualifications
Your resume should make it easy to pick out your areas of expertise and your top qualifications. You can do so by creating an “Areas of Expertise” section just after your summary statement. Use it to tailor your resume for the key skills for a position and to highlight your key strengths be it technologies, IT processes, or services.
5. Unrelated experience or job titles
Is your resumes longer than two pages? If it is, then forget it. Your resume is a tool for getting you in the door – not your life history. That means enough information to demonstrate your qualifications, not a detailed account of your day to day responsibilities. Recruiters need to get the big picture about your job experience. They don’t need a chronology of every position you’ve held and they certainly don’t want to read about outdated technology or positions outside of IT.