How to Write an IT Resume That Will Stand Out in 2018

What you need for an impactful IT resume:

Your resume should reflect the versatility common in the field and give insight into your innovative characteristics. The key to performing well in IT is applying knowledge to novel situations in a solution-oriented manner. To demonstrate your ability to do this in your resume, keep these tips in mind:

  • Technical knowledge alone is not enough to get hired; many employers consider your attitude more important than your skill
  • Provide proof of your ability to adapt to new situations and take on new challenges
  • Know your audience - research the company you’re applying to, keep the recruiter in mind, and aim to have someone from the organisation or field review your resume
  • If you can, create a one page resume, don’t add fluff
  • Always provide the recruiter somewhere else to find more about you
  • Tailor your resume to the specific IT position you’re applying for

A successful IT resume introduces your personality, indicates how you will satisfy business needs, and gives an account of your skills. Whether you’re considering transitioning into tech or are looking to progress in your career, the key is the same: determination. Recruiters are searching for applicants with a strong work ethic and internal motivation to constantly reinvent. Ensuring your resume gives insight into your personality while measuring your achievements is the best way forward.
The best way to learn how to do this is to see others who’ve used this approach and succeeded. That’s why we’ve collaborated with professionals who have gotten hired at Spotify, Booking.com, Verizon Digital Media Services, and more to learn what made their resumes noteworthy.

Best IT resume examples by users who got hired

How to write an IT resume

Measured achievements are impactful achievements

We can all talk-the-talk, but the recruiter needs to see you walk-the-walk. The best way to do this in the tech industry is to provide the recruiter with a measure of your impact. This means attaching a number or percentage with your duties in previous experience. For example, increased customer retention by 15% in two years. This has much greater influence than “was responsible for retaining clients”.
Providing a metric with your achievement shows the recruiter tangible evidence that you are effective at what you do. This doesn’t mean a project can’t be mentioned without a significant metric, however. Sometimes an accomplishment is proof in its own right. For example, personal projects.
Melanie took this approach when quantifying achievements on her resume to show how she applies herself.

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Capture your global influence

More than half of companies agree freelancing and remote working are necessary components of their workforces. This indicates you must compete with people in your own country or locality, but also with top talent across the world. This puts greater pressure on your resume to be your foot-in-the-door with a company. For this reason, the more specific your resume can be to the company’s needs and the more you can reveal of your own personality the better.

Follow individuality, not convention

This ingenuity needs to be reflected in your resume. You don’t know what form of creative resume a fellow applicant will be using. The one thing you have that no one else has is your individuality. More than 40% of recruiters rank culture fit as the top factor for hiring an employee. To indicate your culture fit, include sections on your resume that give insight into who you are: Most Proud Of, Life Philosophy, Favorite Books, and more.

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Know your audience

Whether we like it or not, resumes are based on impressions. Your resume will be looked at for a few seconds, maybe a full minute if you’re lucky. With this, it’s wise to keep your resume as readable as possible. This means sleek and specific titles, dedicated sections, and an easy flow between those sections. Recruiters are looking for information to quickly decide if your resume should go in the No pile or the Maybe pile.
Make this scan as easy for them as possible - have a clear resume header, pick an appropriate resume length, and mimic the organisation’s brand if possible. For example, Pavel used a blue accent for his resume color to mirror Booking.com’s brand.

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Familiarise yourself with common tech resume mistakes

Applying for a new position can be exciting; but that doesn’t mean you should submit your resume with haste. Mistakes are common in resumes but more than certainly avoidable. Failing to check for common mistakes can be quite costly. After speaking with recruiters, here’s our quick-list of things you can avoid:

  • Typos
  • Vague or unmeasured achievements
  • Revealing confidential information (on previous clients or yourself)
  • Lying
  • Clichés
To control for these mistakes, research into resume buzzwords that are overused and utilize Enhancv’s content analyzer. You should always send your resume on to a noted colleague in the industry to check for red flags too.

What 10 sections do you need in your IT resume to make an impact on recruiters and hiring managers?

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to stand out with your IT resume. Successful IT resumes make use of the basics while tailoring them specifically to the role. Keep in mind, each position is unique in its own right and what may work for one, may not be suitable for another. So pick and choose as appropriate.

1. Personal Projects
2. Technical Experience
3. External Courses
4. Life Philosophy
5. Contact Details
6. Personal Summary
7. Most Proud Of
8. My Time
9. Previous Experience
10. Favorite Books

1. Personal Projects

Recruiters take note of projects you’ve developed outside of your previous jobs. These show passion and an ability to self-motivate; two stand-out assets in the tech industry.
Including your tech projects on your resume will also allow you to elaborate on your skills in a tangible way. There's a clear product built from your talents - this also helps if you have little previous experience working in a company. Examples of projects you can include are your resume website, apps, and plugins.
Tobias did this in his resume that got him hired at Deepmind.

2. Technical Experience

Start with writing a list of all platforms, databases, and coding tools you’re comfortable with. Then, analyze the job description to see if there are any specific skills that are essential for the position. Try to include as many relevant technologies you have experience with. Moreover, research the company’s upcoming plans to see if there’s any databases and programs they’d benefit from. Showing how your skills will help the company and its projects grow and develop in the future makes you an even more competitive candidate. You should also mention any coding languages you’re familiar with.
After graduating as a photography student, Jamie used this approach to get an internship in online video curation.

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3. External Courses

Much like your personal projects, external courses show a level of dedication that’s highly valued. If you’ve taken any courses on Coursera or Udacity, for example, these would be wise to include on your resume. Committing to personal development ties into showing how you are adaptable in the tech industry.

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4. Life Philosophy

Tech recruiters seek out motivated people with a solid moral foundation. Including your life philosophy on your resume will give recruiters insight into what keeps you going and how you approach your work. This will also help set you apart from the pool of other applicants.In the very real possibility that you’re up against applicants with the same level of experience and knowledge, your life philosophy can give you an edge.

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5. Contact Details

The basics are needed here. Your name, phone number, email, and website link. This is also a great spot to Link to a website you developed to show recruiters your technical aptitude.If you’re linking to a LinkedIn page, make sure your bio and previous experience are up-to-date as well.
Directing recruiters to these websites allow you to show your skill rather than talk about it. If you’re a coder, think about including your personal Github too.

6. Personal Summary

Tech recruiters are interested in the commitment it took employees to get where they are. Your personal summary is the perfect way to show this. In it, you can give a succinct overview of your career history and future desires, as well as some information on the areas you’re most skilled in.
If this is your first time entering tech, including a personal summary is the best way to describe your career prior to this move. If this is your first-ever resume, a personal summary is even more influential. However, if you have an extensive history in tech, this section is less needed.

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7. Most Proud Of

An IT resume is perfectly rounded off with a Most Proud Of Section. This section allows you to highlight culture fit and your values. In it, you can discuss a moment in your life that doesn’t fit neatly in your experience but is important to the story of your career, or you can use it to emphasise significant achievements that also have a personal meaning.

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8. My Time

Fitting into company culture increases your attractiveness to recruiters. Detailing how you spend your time and what a typical day looks like for you shows the recruiter your ability to time-manage and what you dedicate your energy to. This will allow them to see if you’re a workaholic, a balanced worker, someone that enjoys hiking a lot, and more.

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9. Previous Experience

One of the greatest mistakes you can make listing your previous experience is being too vague. Merely listing responsibilities tells the recruiter little about your skill and potential impact. You might have been in charge of optimising online content, but did you do it well? Framing your previous experience in terms of your impact will help you bring your value across. Recruiters want to hear about your impact on their bottoms-line.
Jonathan conquered this well in his resume by detailing his work with Amazon.

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10. Favorite Books

Including your favourite books lets the recruiter see where your ideas and motivations come from, and they’re a great conversation starter in the interview. Sam included her favorite books on her resume when transitioning into tech leading to a recruiter telling her: 'I normally don't take resumes, but this is really great. I'm gonna show this to my colleagues in recruiting.'

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How to get a referral on LinkedIn for the sales role you want

Relying on nothing but your resume can leave you with less than a 2% chance of getting an interview. As you can see, it’s important to give yourself the best shot possible at getting hired. This includes leveraging personal connections to get referred to a job.
So before you start applying for a new IT role, check your 1st and 2nd degree contacts in both LinkedIn and in any other relevant groups you may belong to. If you don’t have strong connections in the industry you’re looking to establish yourself in, start making them now!
Check out our complete guide to getting job referrals for more actionable tips.

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