New graduates can no longer assume that a resume personalized from one of the templates offered on their computers will be automatically appropriate regardless of their chosen field of study. Indeed, as anyone in the vocational placement field will tell you, there have always been types of resume formats more appropriate than others to an individual's educational background, amount of work experience, field of study and the specific position sought. An appropriate resume for a graduate with an IT degree, for example, should be different than one for an individual with a liberal arts degree or a new nursing degree because of the highly technical skill sets such a graduate is expected to have and demonstrate.
An Objective Aside on Resume Objectives
Many Internet and written sources instruct job seekers to write and place a specific career objective at the very opening of their resumes, just below the header information that contains their names and addresses. This statement of intention is said to help to human resources professionals in identifying the right candidate. Resume writers are advised to always include the name of the company within the written statement and provide the job seekers' specific immediate goals and skills. They are further admonished not to summarize what they would like the company to do for them, a common mistake of early resume writers. Other sources instruct job seekers to forego a resume objective in favor of a "Professional Summary." While this might be appropriate advice to provide an IT professional of many years of experience in different types of work environments, it would not apply to a graduate with a new degree.
Sources of Help in Writing Your Resume
There are literally hundreds of thousands of Internet and written sources of instructions available on how to write a resume and how to write a resume specific to a general career field. An often-overlooked group of resources for resume authors is that of their class instructors and professors. Most have many years of experience working in IT and IT management. They can share real-life examples of what they specifically looked for when sorting through resumes received in response to an open position. Finally, use your school's Career Services office to help you with the resources and contacts they might have available for your degree.
Resume Tips for IT Professionals
- Computer code is straight and to the point and these characteristics often apply to written material in the field.
- List or emphasize your skills early in your resume within your resume objective or professional summary as most people read -- or scan -- only the top half of a page before deciding if the material is compelling enough to continue.
- Be specific about the technologies with which you have experience using competently and be specific about what the details of your experience included.
- Emphasize accomplishments using action verbs instead of simply listing job functions.
- Place your educational and certification history where it best serves you, before a limited employment history or after a career history rich in accomplishments.
Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education and writes on behalf of Colorado Technical University. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master's degree.