The start of a new year is a natural time of reflection, and for many that means evaluating their professional career path. With 37% of IT workers planning to look for a new employer in 2017, it’s clear that a large portion of the tech industry will be looking to make a change. As it’s typically the first consideration in a job search, here’s what your tech resume should look like for the coming year.
Format and SEO
Even the most expert IT specialist with a stellar job history and spectacular credentials can be overlooked if they just paste a series of dull bullet points on a page. Proper formatting is of vital importance, as hiring managers often spend just seconds glancing at a resume before deciding whether or not to pursue a candidate further.
While the overall design of a resume can vary according to personal preference, adding a skills section close to the top of the page will help to capture attention. Think of this as a portrait from which, with a five-second glance, someone can get an accurate understanding of who you are professionally. Ideally, this section should be tailored to each job description, changing the order or content of listed skills to best match what is required of the role.
Despite how hard you might work at creating one, 80% of resumes end up in keyword-searchable databases. This means that SEO must be considered throughout the resume. Use key phrases from the job description, ensure the most important keywords are used in a variety of formats and abbreviations, and above all, keep content pleasing to the human eye that will see it after it passes the initial computerized test.
Focus on Achievements
A sure-fire way to create the strongest impact and stand out from the rest is to focus on achievements and accomplishments in their own mini section. Feature one or two big projects that were a success, briefly outlining the situation, actions you took, and concrete results. These will act as small case studies for an employer. Hiring managers ask for such examples in interviews, and this allows them to immediately have access to one before they even meet you.
This mindset will also help throughout your resume, as rephrasing duties and responsibilities as accomplishments in career history portions will strengthen things further. These will catch the eye of a recruiter, and also serve as a reminder to you during an interview. Also, don’t forget about your tech-related achievements outside of a formal workplace, such as working on open-source community programming projects online. These activities can round out a resume and further back up your skill set.
It’s easy to look at a job description, note the skills required, and make sure to feature the ones that match your skill set on your resume. But what about when you don’t have the required skills? While this may give you an indication of what to work on for future roles, you will certainly not have enough time to become an expert in a brand-new skill for the job opening on your computer screen.
That is where staying up to date on the most in-demand tech skills comes in. Have you noticed a trend in job descriptions for a certain new skill? Are people around the office discussing a particular expertise that is sorely lacking? These are all indications that can point you to new skills to develop so when that coveted job opening comes along, you’ll be ready for it.
Take a look at what will be the hottest programming languages of 2017, and think about honing these best tech skills for a resume:
- Mobile Development
- Big Data Analytics
- User Experience Design
- Agile Methodology
- Social Media Expertise
- Technical Writing
While cybersecurity is often cited as the most important IT skill for the coming year, 95% of IT professionals find soft skills such as communication and management to be just as vital. Focusing on obtaining new hard skills is crucial, but they may not help you convert your resume into a new job if you fail to communicate effectively.
Your Tech Resume
Maybe you’re looking for more money, or perhaps you want better work-life balance and professional development. Whatever your reasoning for wanting a new job, it all begins with the resume. Focusing on in-demand skills, relevant achievements, and clearly presenting yourself are the best ways to launch your new tech resume into 2017.
Looking for a career partner to help you land that new job? Search our opportunities here.
Shannon Volk is the Managing Director, Phoenix of MDI Group. If you are interested in learning more about how to justify hiring the best IT talent, contact Shannon directly at email@example.com, or call us 888-416-7949. MDI Group has offices and specializes in recruiting IT talent in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Greenville and Phoenix.