IT Resumes: Getting Past the HR Gatekeeper

Editor’s note: IvyExec.com is a content partner of this blog who offers a guest article each month. This article is reprinted with Ivy Exec’s permission as part of an ongoing partnership as a contributor on The Voice of Jobseekers.

Basic resume writing guidelines do not apply to Information Technology professionals; you have an audience, not a single reader, to keep in mind. To top it off, this audience does not speak your language.

Since a member of the IT team probably won’t even see your resume until it’s passed through a few rounds with HR, focus should be on your soft skills, ability to impact the bottom line, and how well-rounded you are.

To emphasize your team leadership and people skills, broaden your thinking about your work experience and tell us about any management experience (people, projects, etc.) and about any client interactions you might have had. Doing so will really take your resume up a level from an individual contributor level to a team player and leader.

Limit the use of technical jargon and acronyms that might not be related to your career goals; the “alphabet soup” will be a huge barrier for the resume and will turn off the reader. Use a detailed but tailored ‘Technical Skills’ section, this way your resume won’t require listing the technology used on each project. Leave out any technologies no longer in use which would make you seem outdated.

Expanding your soft skills demonstrates how your technical abilities have improved business in a language that speaks both HR and IT.

 IT Resumes: Getting Past the HR Gatekeeper

About Mark Anthony Dyson

I am a Career Consultant, Host & Producer of "The Voice of Job Seekers podcast, and Founder of the blog by the same name. I help and inspire unemployed, underemployed, and under-appreciated job seekers by finding and creating a voice to be heard by heard employers. I see too many voice-less resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and other attempts people attempt to market themselves. In addition to the awards, my advice has appeared in major career sites such as AOL Jobs, You Tern, CAREEREALISM, Come Recommended, and Brazen Careerist. Your Voice. Your Brand. Your next opportunity is waiting to hear from you.

Comments

  1. Keith TownsendNo Gravatar says:

    It’s a delicate balancing act. Large HR departments have gotten a lot better at reading technical resumes. Believe me if HR passes me a resume without the Alphabet Soup at the bottom I’m going to have a conversation with the recruiter to see if they really understand my requirements. But your advice does apply to smaller organizations that have chosen not to outsource recruitment of IT positions to qualified agencies. Getting past the HR screen is one aspect but the hiring manager still wants to see the certifications and technologies in front of him/her.

    • Mark Anthony DysonNo Gravatar says:

      Of course, as we have discussed before, all the parts must be in the right place. The certifications should be first, especially if the job posting emphasizes them along with the required keyword usage.

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