Today, I’m going to share with you 9 of my best tips to position yourself as an IT Guru within your stated area of expertise.
- It’s imperative you tailor your resume for the type of work you seek – if you are applying for several roles then ensure you adapt for each. For instance, if you are applying for helpdesk roles and analyst / programmer roles, you will obviously need a different focus for each. For instance: the helpdesk role needs to focus on aspects associated with that role – this would be your knowledge of various (or numerous!) software and hardware / technologies, etc; whilst the analyst / programmer role needs to focus on your hands-on project and progrmaming experience – in particular the key projects you have worked on / environment / technologies / etc.
- Not all recruiters understand industry jargon. Sure, you might be blasting your resume to IT recruitment firms; but what about the recruiter who was only hired just last week and doesn’t understand what MCP or MCSE means?! Spell it out, then insert the abbreviation in brackets after the full name itself. You can then safely use the abbreviation throughout the remainder of the resume.
- Unless you’re applying for a management role which doesn’t require a hands-on approach (i.e. you don’t need to have knowledge of / experience in X software / hardware / etc.), you should be including a Key Technical Skills section or similar. List your competencies – under sub headings if necessary; i.e. programming, databases, operating systems, design tools, etc – however, don’t list the number of years you have experience in each, nor your self-evaluated level of competency. This could act as a negative to some recruiters. After all, if they want 5 years experience in something and you have listed 4 – but its closer to 5 – you’ve done yourself an injustice!
- Nine times out of ten you would have performed the same type of duties in each role (for instance, you may have been a programmer for the whole duration of your career). Don’t list out the same list of key duties– this is pointless. Provide a concise and relevant list of key duties for the first role (i.e. your current or most recent job), and for the remainder list key projects and / or achievements only.
- Ensure you include a brief company description about the companies you have worked for – this is particularly important when the company name gives no clue about the business. For instance: you may be applying for a role at a construction firm who contracts their services to the mining industry. You may have worked at Zatto Industries Pty Ltd which, on its own, says nothing at all – however, if you were to state that this was a small mining company in the outback of Queensland, then the construction firm would be highly interested in you and your skills as you have an understanding of their industry.
- When compiling your resume look at everything from the hiring manager’s point of view. Most hiring managers are interested in what you can bring to the organisation… are you a go-getter? Do you get results? Do you minimise downtime? etc. Does your resume demonstrate it? Ask yourself some pertinent questions to ensure inclusion of punchy, relevant achievements.
- Your Profile and Key Strengths sections should demonstrate your capabilities that are applicable for the positions you seek – pick out the key elements that are required which may be: analytical skills, attention to detail, good teamwork abilities, etc.
- If you haven’t been employed in IT-related roles throughout your whole career, then tone down prior employment history. It’s irrelevant so no need to highlight it.
- And the last rule which should be applied in all instances – irrespective of one’s profession – is to target the cover letter and resume for the job you’re applying for! This may mean altering the order of relevance in relation to some key accountabilities or highlighting certain achievements over others. There is no quick fix solution; thus, you can’t always use the same resume for each and every job. You need to read each vacancy carefully and scrutinise your application – each and every time. Not taking the time to do so (or taking a “She’ll be right” attitude) will mean that you don’t impress the hiring manager as much as someone who did take the time.
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