Your IT resume can easily become a 10-page document if you were to list every skill and workflow you’re capable of doing for a target company.
But hiring managers don’t have enough time to study every turn of your IT career.
So how do you keep your IT resume compact AND get invited to job interviews while other candidates endlessly tweak their headers and LinkedIn profiles?
Welcome to the last IT resume guide you’ll ever need.
This IT resume guide will teach you:
- What sections of your IT resume recruiters will read most often
- How to guide recruiter’s attention with a proper resume format
- How to present your IT career in the most winning light
- How to craft the right mix of IT technical and soft skills
How to Write a Career-winning IT resume?
- When it comes to skills, quality beats quantity.
Don’t overload recruiters with IT terms and abbreviations. Provide context for your skills rather than simply listing them.
Bad example: Mastery in Oracle 11g, Scrum, UNIX, C++, Java back end development Good example: Resolved 300+ critical bugs to enhance authorization service performance by 87%.
- Get to the point, quickly.
Recruiters are humans too. Yet some IT resumes are filled with unnecessary technical jargon, and language you only find on the server backup manuals.
Good example: Developed simulation model for FFHB development using Icarus Verilog simulator Bad example: Developed a simulation model that improved prediction model accuracy by 30%
- Use resume layout and format to guide the recruiter’s attention to your strengths
Make sure your resume is easy to scan by combining headings and custom sections. Emphasize your results with bold text. Utilize white space and color to control recruiters’ attention.
If you’ve been working in IT for years, a classic reverse-chronological resume is your best bet. You should focus on your work experience because it's the best indicator that you're qualified.
On the other hand, if your IT experience has come from lots of formal and informal work overtime, a hybrid resume might be better. With a hybrid layout, your skills are highlighted along with your work experience.
5 sections which makeup the anatomy of a great IT resume
- Resume objective or summary
- Work experience
But before you get down to fill up your resume - take a step back.
You need to make sure it's easy for a hiring manager to locate information from your resume.
You also need to make sure that it looks good enough to help you stand out.
Plus, it isn't really uncommon for IT resumes to have:
- Exceptionally large sections
- Poor margins and borders
It resume templates and formats
Even though each resume format or template may appear different to you, they can be divided into four main categories:
It will be tough to succeed with the first and fourth because they do not work that well within the IT scene, and are challenging to do well.
Once you have an idea of what sections to include, the layout to use, and what your resume should be focused on, it's time to start writing resume sections one by one.
IT Resume Summary: Grabbing Recruiter’s Attention
A hiring manager expects a good IT resume objective or a summary to answer the following questions:
- Are you relevant to the job? (IT work experience, relevant IT degrees)
- How competent are you? (IT business achievements)
- Are you proactive and passionate? (IT certifications, community memberships)
Anecdotal evidence and promises won’t get your foot in the door. Be specific about the value you can provide to their organization.
In just three lines, you told a hiring manager that you’ve 2 years of experience, you’re certified, and you are extremely passionate about DNS and network security.
The resume objective clearly communicates what skills and competencies you’ll bring once you join the company.
2 IT Resume Summary Examples
If you’re a more experienced IT professional, having a summary works better in your favor, giving hiring managers a snapshot into your work experience and core competencies.
Just like before, apart from the years of experience, this IT resume summary doesn’t tell the recruiter anything about your core strengths.
Here’s a much better way to display this.
For more examples of ace summary sections, read the Resume Summary: How-To Guide with 30+ Examples You Need To See article.
How to Write the Experience Section of Your Informational Technology (IT) Resume
If you're writing an IT resume with significant experience, make sure your current job is at the top. The oldest should be placed at the bottom of your work experience.
But, if you're a Consultant or a Temp and are finding it difficult to put multiple roles - here's a good way to do it.
IT Project name - Current Date - Start Date
- Bullets explaining your work
IT Project name - Current Date - Start Date
- Bullets explaining your work
The company name would be you staffing company if you're a temp.
But, if you are a consultant, place your firm's name instead.
Addressing gaps in IT work experience?
Facing rejections because of unexplained gaps in your IT resume - don't worry!
All you have to do in this case is to add this bullet under your last freelance or consulting experience:
"Required work flexibility for personal matters, became a consultant and left the role"
"How to Explain Employment Gap on Resume"
Example IT resume experience
This version looks more like a short list of job responsibilities, failing to show the impact of the work done.
It might look impressive to have worked for a FTSE 250 company, but it won’t guarantee you an interview - what you did while you were there, is far more important.
This description is specific. It shows the direct impact this candidate had on their organisation.
Their experience doesn't simply show what they've done. It also provides clear figures to back up their claims.
It resume experience sample
Here’s another good and bad example for IT project managers.
This isn’t awful, but it fails to show the impact of the work done.
How many team members were coached? Also “significant business growth” means different things to different people.
Context is important, so illustrating the scale of growth achieved, with numbers, will leave a stronger impression.
Again, specificity and clarity is clear. Very impactful statements.
If you have outstanding achievements throughout your career, include them in a small list next to your experience section to really grab their attention.
If you'd like to see more examples of well-written Experience sections, check out our comprehensive Experience Resume Section guide.
What Informational Technology (IT) Skills Should You Include on Your Resume?
The world of IT is so vast, therefore the skills you include on your IT resume must reflect two things:
- Your work experience
- The job you’re applying for
And that’s what IT hiring managers ask themselves all the time:
“Does this candidate have the skills and experience to improve our current operations?”
Taking this into consideration, here's some core skills to include on your IT resume.
Soft skills to include on your IT resume
- Logical approach to problem-solving
- Initiative; ability to learn new things on your own accord
- Communication skills; can easily demystify IT jargon to non-tech savvy customers
- Confident at training internal & external stakeholders on IT systems
- Highly analytical; can develop an IT solution to any given problem and back it up with data
- Communication champion; should feel confident over-communicating, to ensure the project’s success
7 technical skills to include on your IT resume
- Magento, Golang, Ansible, AutoCAD
- Network Security
- System Administration
- Database Management (Oracle, SQL, NoSQL)
- Patch Management
- Wireless Modems/Routers Management
- Cloud Systems Administration
- Application Deployment and Management
It's not just your technical skills that separate you from other candidates. Demonstrate your soft skills, including your communication skills. You will likely have to help people who are not tech-savvy. Matching the right solution with their needs is essential here.
It resume certifications
There is no single IT certification that will guarantee you’ll get an IT job. However, according to a survey by Global Knowledge, having any of these 5 certifications can significantly increase your chances of getting a higher paying IT job.
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Server Infrastructure
- CRISC - Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control
- CISSP - Certified Information Systems Security Professional
- CompTIA Security/Network+
- Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) Routing and Switching
The certifications on your IT resume must match the job description you’re applying for.
For example, imagine you're applying for a job which requires enterprise migration experience.
They're looking for candidates who've used native and third-party migration tools.
In this case, an MCSE certification would be handy to include.
The last thing you want is a resume filled with certifications no longer in demand.
Or too advanced, that’ll get you rejected for being “overqualified.”
related IT resume examples & templates
entry level it resume example and tips
Any experience is good when it’s properly framed. IT experience is not always linear. You may have a few small IT projects under your belt that will prove your skills and ability to carry out finished projects even as an entry-level candidate.
If you set up a website for a friend, created a mobile app or web service, or contributed to an open-source project, mention this experience in your Project section. What’s great is that you can frame your experience in any way, focusing on the parts of the projects that are most relevant to your target job.
Add interests section. There’s a story when a hiring manager invited a candidate to an interview. Their resume included an “interests” section and featured “paintball” as one of them. Guess what, they spend more than half of the interview discussing. Most IT resumes, especially entry-level ones, look similar. Any opportunity you have to add a bit more interest and depth to your application is a plus. Keep things balanced, though — your “Interests” section should take less space than any other job-related section.
Senior IT Resume Example
Use targeted resume. Your target job description is like a map to an interview. But only if you read it right. Notice what skills the job description mentions first. Notice the workflows HR managers are discussing the most. If you find that a job description mentions the same skill or workflow several times, that means that the employer puts a lot of emphasis on that topic.
Use our guide to targeted resumes and learn how to properly read job descriptions, company blogs, and social media to gain a significant advantage over other candidates.
Feature business results. All IT resumes will feature IT-related results, but few will find a way to connect their work to business outcomes. A senior IT manager’s job is not to do be the best tech guy in the company, but to bring the best out of all other tech guys. Show how your work facilitated business results, and both recruiters and company leaders will instantly recognize your potential value to the company because you speak the language they understand the most.
So that’s how to write a compelling IT resume
Now you know how to write an IT resume that’ll earn you interviews; to summarize:
- Showcase your outstanding achievements by pooling them together in a separate box to draw their attention
- Position your objective/summary around the business problems you managed to solve for your previous employers. Only include the information that will help the reader make a positive decision on your application. Cut the rest.
- Remove IT jargon from your experience, you want to clearly explain what you can do for them.
- Think about your audience when choosing whether to prioritize certifications above education, or vice-versa