The CTC recently spoke with Deidra Witt, Talent Acquisition Sr. Advisor at Dell, to better understand what recruiters are looking for in entry-level job seekers. We learned that HR and hiring managers work together to develop job descriptions, both new openings and backfilled positions. Recruiters look at the requirements for the job and then a Boolean keyword search string is created to find the key words that align with the open job descriptions in the resumes submitted. Sometimes, however, recruiters will search for candidates without a specific job opening so that they have a pool of pre-qualified candidates.
So as your students create their IT resumes, here are some key things to let them know:
- Don’t have much professional experience? There is lots of competition at entry-level. Be sure to list skills. Having certificates and projects explained with sufficient details gives you an edge. (See sample resume.)
- Have a LinkedIn profile as detailed and thorough as your resume and include the link on your resume! Recruiters do look!
- If still in school, describe how coursework is related to the IT job you want.
- List dates and locations of projects, both professional and educational and be as thorough in describing it. If available, include links to online portfolios.
- GPA is important.
- If you have not graduated yet, include the expected graduation date.
- Have one big resume that lists everything then tailor it down, customizing it for each position for which you are applying. (In addition, having specific key words taken directly from the job description are more likely to show up on a recruiter’s Boolean keyword search.)
- No more than 1 to 2 pages is appropriate for entry-level,, but for someone with 20 years experience that may not be enough. Some recruiters do not look past the second page, while others will read through everything. Put your most relevant experience, certificates, projects and skills at the beginning. Try to say as much as you need in the least amount of space as you can.
See also this resource with almost 1,000 resume samples and 15 templates.
Collin College’s Career Coaches – funded by the NISGTC (National Information Security, Geospatial Technologies Consortium) – also presented several workshops on writing IT resumes. Click here to see an edited 10 minute version of an IT Resume Writing Workshop or here for a quick 2 minute Top 10 Tips of IT Resume Writing.