July 24, 2018  |  Purdue University Global

Your resume is one of the most important tools you have in the search for a job in information technology. Hiring managers will likely review hundreds of resumes for a position so you will probably have just a few seconds to catch their attention. Whether you are looking for a new career after earning your degree or for a different job, use the following tips and our IT resume example to make your resume stand out.

Include Contact Information and Your LinkedIn Profile

A picture of a resume that highlights the LinkedIn URL

It may seem obvious but don’t forget to double-check that your contact information is accurate. You should include your phone number and a professional-sounding email address at the top of your resume so that a hiring manager can easily contact you.

In addition to traditional contact information, consider including a link to your LinkedIn profile (you can personalize the URL for your profile under LinkedIn’s “Public profile settings”).

According to SocialTalent's 2017 Global Recruiting Survey, 98% of recruiters use LinkedIn as a sourcing tool. It also gives you an opportunity to display valuable information beyond a one- or two-page resume, including:

  • Recommendations
  • Skill endorsements
  • Highly detailed descriptions of relevant experience 

Before you add your LinkedIn profile to your resume, optimize it—and then reach out to your network for skill endorsements and recommendations.

Include Your Education, Degree, and School

A picture of a resume with the Education section highlighted

If you have significant IT work experience, you can move your education closer to the bottom; if you’ve recently graduated and have little experience working in IT, move this section closer to the top. In our IT resume example, John Finch has little experience, so we put his education at the top.

Also, if you’re a Purdue Global graduate, review our suggestions on how to list Purdue Global or Kaplan University on your resume.

Experience: Tailor Your Resume to the Role

A picture of the Work Experience section of a resume

Create a strong core resume and then personalize it to include skills and experience that are relevant to the role you're applying for. If you have limited relevant professional experience because you’ve been in school or are starting a new career, you can list examples of times you’ve worked in groups or led teams, such as volunteer programs or significant group projects. Include:

  • The title of your role
  • The organization, company, or further context (the “where”)
  • The dates of the project or work experience

Wherever you can quantify your contribution, do so. Employers are interested in the impact you’ve had on the projects you worked on, whether it's building a network serving a certain number of users in a certain amount of days or spearheading a project that brought about specific results. Include examples of teamwork and leadership when possible.

Include a Technical Skills Section

A picture of the Technical Skills section of a resume

This is where you should list all programs, languages, and software types you know. Review the technical requirements for the position for which you’re applying and make sure to include any skills that are applicable. If you have a long list of skills, you may want to include the most relevant skills at the top of the list so they aren’t overlooked.

List Attributes Employers Are Looking For

A picture of the overview section of a resume

According to the Job Outlook 2018 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the top attributes employers look for on a resume are:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Written communication skills
  • Leadership

In addition to knowledge of programming languages, database technologies, and software, other desirable attributes for IT roles include:

  • Ability to prioritize tasks
  • Level-headedness
  • Flexibility and commitment

Use Strong Words

In each section, use action verbs to explain your contribution, instead of using adjectives to describe yourself as a worker. For example, instead of writing “hard worker” or “organized” on your resume, use words like “led,” “achieved,” or “improved” to describe tangible results.

Use Keywords

Many recruiters use an applicant tracking system (ATS) and other screening tools to help find qualified candidates. These tools scan resumes for keywords, and yours could be rejected if it doesn’t contain them. Look at the specific job posting for insight into the keywords that the hiring manager or recruiter is seeking.

Note Your Certifications

A picture of a resume with the Certifications section highlighted

If you hold specific trainings or certifications, list them as well.

Let Your Personality Shine

In addition to having the right skills, recruiters also look for candidates who fit the company culture. According to Jobvite’s 2017 Recruiter Nation Report, 83% of recruiters say cultural fit is very important when considering applicants. If you are a passionate volunteer or participate in activities that make you a more valuable employee, feel free to list those in a small section on a resume as well.

Keep It at One to Two Pages

One page is widely acceptable. Make sure the font is readable, usually at 12-point, but absolutely no smaller than 10-point. If you feel the need to extend to two pages, make sure the most important and relevant information is displayed on the first page. If you print it, don't do double-sided, and bring extra copies to the interview to present in person.

Make it Scannable

A picture of a resume

To help recruiters get a quick, clear picture of your experience, format your information into easily scannable chunks. Use subheads and bullet points to break up big chunks of text and make your resume more visually appealing.

Ready to Further Your IT Career?

Are you thinking about going back to school to gain new credentials and expand your opportunities in the IT field? Purdue University Global offers IT degree and certificate programs that can help you take your career to the next level. Our programs are 100% online, so you get the flexibility you need while balancing work, education, and family. Request more information today.

About the Author

Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized, world-class education online that's tailored for adults. We offer 175 programs, including associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees as well as certificates, in areas such as business, IT, education, health sciences, nursing, criminal justice, and more.