IT Manager Resume Guide: How To Stand Out From Competition Without Trying Too Hard

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Do you know one of the main things employers look for in your IT Manager resume?

Forget about matching job requirements. They are not looking for someone to configure their network or negotiate with vendors. Thousands of applicants can do that.

They look for potential.

Think of it this way: employers don’t hire IT Managers to simply keep the things as they are.

Technology is a competitive advantage, so they hire someone who can make things better. And a skilled IT Manager has the power to do just that.

Problem is, if you check out different IT Manager job descriptions, you might think all these companies are searching for different people.

Some companies want a business whiz, others look for a tech star, and the rest need a bit of both.

So how do you stand out, demonstrate potential, and prove that you’re the best fit for this particular job all within your one-page IT Manager resume?

Let’s find out.

What will you learn:

  • How to stand out from hundreds of applicants with your IT Manager resume
  • What recruiters want to see in your IT Manager resume and what they don’t
  • How to strategically use different sections of your resume to land more interviews
  • How to properly frame your Experience and demonstrate Soft skills to engage and impress employers

How to write IT Manager Resume

To stand out with your IT Manager resume you need to understand who is your competition.

First, we are running against system administrators.

According to the Bureau of Labor, there’s a projected 11% growth for IT manager jobs from 2018 to 2028.

But for system administrators the growth is only at 5%. Which means more of them will be switching jobs.

Given that IT management is a natural career path for administrators, they’ll be looking for your job.

Their strong suit is having excellent technical skills. System administrators are extremely capable in terms of building and sustaining IT infrastructure.

At the same time system administrators often lack business expertise, management experience, and soft skills. This is something your resume should definitely play on.

pro tip icon
Pro tip

If you’re a system administrator yourself looking for an IT Manager job, remember you’re going to be a manager, not a technical wizard

We’ll talk about the best ways of presenting your soft skills and managerial experience in your Skills and Experience sections.

Our second wave of competition are experienced IT Managers looking for a new position. And in order to outmatch them you need to understand that no two IT Manager jobs are the same.

Certain skills and experience will be more important to one company than another. We’ll talk about how to properly match your experience to the company needs in the Experience section.

We’ll also cover how to write your Experience section in a way that projects success and ability rather than liability.

Finally, we’ll talk about how to demonstrate your potential by strategically placing and presenting the information in your IT Manager resume in the right way in the right place.

For that we will be using our specifically designed EnhanCV IT Manager template, but our advice can be applied to any other resume format you deem useful.

What employers want to see in your resume? 10 winning tips.

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Recommended IT Manager resume sections

  • Header section with eye-grabbing headline and detailed contact info
  • Experience section that demonstrates your core skills and results relevant to the job
  • Skills section that lists your skills in an original and engaging manner
  • Education/Certificate section to meet minimum job requirements
  • Custom sections (Projects, Achievements) to stand out from other applicants

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What recruiters want to see in your IT manager resume

  • Whether you have a perfect mix of technical and management skills
  • Whether you can take action and solve problems proactively
  • Whether you have a potential to help a company to grow and beat competition
  • Whether you can set goals and achieve real results them with minimum guidance
  • What makes you a better choice than other highly-qualified candidates

Header Section: Easy First Wins For Your IT Manager Resume

Our IT Manager resume starts with a Header section, where you put your contact details and location.

Surprisingly, many candidates leave it at that and proceed to further sections.

This is your time to shine because there are two unique opportunities applicants often seem to neglect:

Resume headline is a short punchy sentence that instantly gives recruiters and employers the idea of who you are.

You can write: IT Manager with 5 years of experience. But that’s a bare minimum, really.

Treat your resume headline as a brand slogan: if the message is strong, people will buy a product. If it’s weak, they will instantly forget about it.

How about: Scaling local companies into global leaders with technology.

The power of headline is that you can quickly change it depending on what company you’re applying for.

We’ve used our headline because the company we’re applying for is a local company with global ambitions. We learned it by reading an interview with their CEO.

Tip: learn as much as you can about the company you’re applying for. Every nugget of knowledge can become a powerful resume magnet.

Another examples:

Healthy infrastructure over chaotic communications (for companies struggling with IT infrastructure)

Turning IT talent into company excellence (for companies struggling with IT staff)

Lastly, mentioning your well-developed LinkedIn profile is an excellent way to hint at your ability to connect with people and build business relationships. Make sure you prepare your LinkedIn profile: add more connections and frame your work history.

Recruiters will probably be checking your LinkedIn anyway if they are interested in you, so better come prepared.

Maddy Crow
IT Manager with 5 years of experience
(941) 000-000
Sarasota, FL
Maddy Crow
Scaling local companies into global leaders with technology
(941) 000-000
Sarasota, FL

Experience section: making your experience a magnet for both recruiters and employers

Next we put the Experience section, because that’s where the recruiters will head right after your Header to understand whether you are a good fit for the company.

You don’t want to follow the generic advice of directly tailoring your Experience section to the job description.

Here is an example of job requirements for IT Manager position:

  • Monitors performance of IT systems and makes recommendations for improving the IT infrastructure.
  • Accomplishes financial objectives
  • Maintains IT asset quality

If you go and simply adapt your resume to the description you’ll get something like this:

  • Monitored performance of information technology systems and improved the IT infrastructure.
  • Accomplished financial objectives
  • Maintained IT asset quality

Writing like this will probably get you caught. And if not, your resume will be as bland as the company’s description, which is even worse.

Lastly, you’re not selling yourself at all. No results, no achievements, no potential.

Instead, study the job requirements, but look beyond them. What did you achieve in the past similar to what this company wants?

The company from the above example needs someone to improve their IT infrastructure and accomplish financial objectives. They value the close connection between IT and finance.

Hit that nerve.

Use this formula to amplify the impact:

Accomplished [this] as measured in [that] by doing [X]

Here’s how our revised version looks:

  • Lead a team of 8 engineers to design, develop, and implement an automated financial system that saves the company $550.000 in finance operations and staffing annually
  • Designed and implemented fully autonomous network reliability system reducing the downtime by as much as 60%
  • Implemented company-wide back-up and disaster recovery workflow saving company up to $100.000 in lost digital assets and maintenance expenditures

. You’ll learn that other companies may look for someone to train their IT stuff, expand to other locations, update legacy systems, improve network security, or control IT budgets.

Try finding something in your past experience that resonates and present it in the most impactful way possible.

The goal here is not to build your IT Manager around a particular issue, but to showcase your ability and earn extra points by addressing a specific pain point every company has.

pro tip icon
Pro tip

The best IT Managers relentlessly protect their team from senior management, but that’s not something your employers will necessarily like on your resume. Focus on business goals.

IT Manager
General Electric
Miami, FL
Company Description
  • Accomplished financial objectives
  • Monitored performance of information technology systems and improved the IT infrastructure
  • Maintained IT asset quality

Remember that it's important to showcase your managerial and business abilities in any type of IT Manager resume to outmatch other candidates.

Even if you’re a system administrator making a transition to IT Manager, try remembering when you led a project or worked with a team to achieve something significant, and mention it in your Experience section.

IT Manager
General Electric
Miami, FL
  • Lead a team of 8 engineers to design, develop, and implement an automated financial system that saves the company $550.000 in finance operations and staffing annually
  • Designed and implemented fully autonomous network reliability system reducing the downtime by as much as 60%
  • Implemented company-wide back-up and disaster recovery workflow saving company up to $100.000 in lost digital assets and maintenance expenditures
pro tip icon
Pro tip

When describing your experience don’t go from IT terminology too far. Recruiters use ATS systems to filter resumes based on them having certain keywords, so make sure you use at least a few keywords mentioned in the job description. Once you scan several IT Managers resumes you’ll learn to understand what workflows different companies prioritise and use appropriate keywords in your resume. Examples may include: infrastructure, technology, security, SLA, etc.

Skill section for IT manager resume: how to tick all the boxes without trying too hard

We’ve mentioned before that strong business and soft skills can gain a competitive edge over other applicants, but simply listing “Responsible” and “Communicable” on your IT Manager resume skills section won’t help you much.

In fact, quite the opposite happens: recruiters see generic skill lists time and again, so they’ll probably skip the whole Skills section if they see something even remotely similar.

We have two tricks to grab recruiters attention and make your resume stand out once again.

First, put soft skills into a context.

Instead of writing “Leadership Skills” mention a specific achievement or workflow that you were a part of:

Implemented new hiring, onboarding, and employee wellness policies that led to 26% turnover reduction and within two years placed the company at 25 top USA IT vendors to work at.

Now you hint at your leadership and management skills, and at the same time once again demonstrate tangible results of your work.

Another trick comes with the formatting. If you want employers and recruiters to pay attention to something, frame it in a new and original way.

For this purpose we’re using dynamic Enhancv block “Achievements” and use it to showcase our soft skills along with our achievements.

Now with the technical skills. The main thing to remember here is that you’re expected to be an IT expert, but that doesn't mean you need to list every technical skill you have.

First, the space on a resume is valuable, and it’s much more effective to expand other sections or add custom sections (we’ll cover them later), than to clutter yours with tech abbreviations.

Second, if you look at several IT Manager job descriptions, they rarely list technical skills as a requirement.

Finally, too many technical skills make you look more like a system administrator and less IT Manager.

So here are a few tips:

  • Summarize your tech skills. Instead you writing every js framework and soft you know write “Front End Development”
  • Prioritise tech exclusive to the company. Everyone knows Word, but if you’re familiar with industry-specific software (e.g. Real Estate CRM, BI Software) you’re ahead of the curve
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Pro tip

If you have any technical certifications that you think will be useful for the job, you can mention them in the tech skills section.

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12 technical skills for IT manager resume

  • ERP
  • CRM
  • Ticket Systems
  • Industry-Specific Vendors
  • Windows Server
  • Front End Development
  • Back End Development
  • Programming Languages (C++, Javascript, C#, Python, etc.)
  • BI Software
  • Tableau
  • Informatica
  • Database Management (Oracle, SQL, noSQL)

Taking your IT manager resume head and shoulders above the competition

Education section

Education requirements will vary from job to job, but the majority of IT Manager positions require at least a Bachelor's degree.

In our example we put the Education section on the right, but can quickly rearrange it to the bottom in case our education degree will be less relevant to the job or industry we apply for.

Projects section

The Projects section is good for three things. First, it allows you to feature projects that are too big for the Experience section.

Second, you can feature your non-profit work, side-projects or anything else that has a correlation with IT management.

Lastly, if you’re not sure that the rest of your resume demonstrates you as a great leader and manager, this section is perfect for balancing out this perception.

Make sure you follow the previously discussed formula to describe your projects: achievement, workflow, results.

The most effective advice for an IT Manager resume?

  • Don’t overstuff your resume with technical skills so it seems as you’re more a system administrator than a manager
  • Always look for relevant experience in your past and adapt it to the needs and pressing pains of a particular company
  • Grab recruiter’s and employer’s attention with Custom sections and engaging layout
  • Focus on how your achievements helped business, not your colleagues or yourself
  • Go for easy wins when applying for different companies: customise headline, tweak sections layout, and use terminology from job description to pass ATS filters

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