By Vinnie Sciukas
As a Technical Recruiter and former IT hiring manager, I have had the opportunity to review my fair share of resumes. Some of the resumes have been good, some of them bad and unfortunately quite a few have been ugly. I’ve also played the role of the employee looking for a job, testing out several resume formats of my own. Although writing a resume is not an exact science, I can tell you there are some common mistakes I have made and witnessed in my 12+ years of experience.
- Spell your technologies correctly. Do you have Unix or UNIX experience? Are you a JAVA or Java developer? It’s hard to convince your potential employer that you have 8 years experience with a technology if you never took the time in all those years to learn the correct spelling.
- Include accomplishments and milestones, NOT job responsibilities. Think about your previous jobs in terms of what you did for those companies. Think, how did you impact the organization in a positive way, what did you do that made this happen?
- Only include technologies you have personally used or supported. Do not include the technology if you have only been exposed to it. Anything you claim to be capable of will eventually be tested, if you can’t explain it competently in an interview, then don’t put it on the resume.
- Use specific dates for employment history. Avoid using seasons like Summer 2012 to Winter 2012, instead, give specific months, ex: 5/00 to 6/12. Missing dates can be suspicious to the employer; you don’t want to give a false red flag for a gap in employment when it’s not the case. If you do have a gap in employment, don’t try to hide it and be prepared to discuss it.
- Leave off certifications that are expired or irrelevant to the job. Try to avoid embarrassing yourself by mentioning anything such as MCP 2003 certification or worse, mentioning that swimmer’s certification you earned when you were 5. Adding unnecessary skills on your resume takes up room and makes it seem like your trying to make up for not having enough useful skills.
They say the typical hiring manager spends as little as 6 seconds reviewing a resume, although this may not always be true, don’t expect them to spend more than 30 seconds looking it over. The goal of the resume is to show the employer at a glance what you want to do and what you’re good at. Although, none of these tips will guarantee you get the job, but they should increase your chances of being taken more seriously by the employer.
Vinnie Sciukas is a Technical Recruiter at eHire with 12+ years of experience as an IT professional in the Infrastructure environment, specializing in Technical Support management. He is passionate about helping other IT professionals get jobs and giving tips on how to do so.