Having a hard time putting together your resume to reflect your technical skills? Here are some tips on putting together a technical resume for those in the IT or EDI industry.
It’s okay to have a general resume that encompasses your complete work history with technical skills to post on job boards or to send to agencies, but when applying to a specific technical job, you’ll need a comprehensive version on hand. When preparing your more detailed version take the time to target the required skills and showcase your level of knowledge that relates to the position you are applying for. The rule of a one or two page resume does not necessarily apply to a technical resume. I recently spoke to a potential candidate who is early in his EDI career. He had been told from other sources to keep his resume to one page and was instructed to not give too much detail, in order to lure people in to contacting him and asking questions. Come to find out, this advice was given by people not in the IT industry. This advice might work in other fields, but in my experience, hiring managers and even HR won’t take the time to read for content initially; they’re looking at your technical skills based on the requirement. If you don’t provide details about your technical skills, what are the odds they are going to reach out to you to ask? More likely, they will just toss your resume aside to view the 50 other submissions. Your technical resume is about content. Don’t write a novel but give solid, accurate information and don’t imply a skill set, list it!
Summary vs. Objective
For a general resume, include a summary after your name and contact information. This should encompass your entire work history overview. Skip including an objective and leave that for a resume where you are applying to a specific job. When you are including an objective, mention the title of the job you are applying to and generally how your experience matches it. After the summary or objective, list your technical skills. Go into detail with the name of each technical skill and include version(s). It’s okay to include acronyms, however, ensure that somewhere on your resume is the full name of the skill set. As an example, for an SAP professional listing modules you have used, it’s okay to use an acronym such as SD, but also include Sales & Distribution at some point. Try to avoid too many slashes when separating your technical skills and use commas instead. This allows the reader to more effectively find a specific skill or version that they may be looking for. Also, it’s also good to break it down into sub-categories. For example, for an EDI resume, you might include multiple lines listing EDI translators, Platforms, Operating Systems and a list of transactions used. Try to remember that the person reading your resume may not be technical but is looking for key words.
Where to list your education and certifications is debatable. My opinion is if your education is relevant to your work experience, such as, you have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and you are an IT professional, list it after your Technical Skills before your work experience. However if you have a degree that is not in your field, list your education after your work experience. It’s important to list all certifications and or classes that may be relevant to your work. If you are currently enrolled in classes, include that as well.
Your work experience should include the complete name of the company you worked at, city and state. The dates should include month and year for at least five of your most recent positions. Many companies verify employment for new hires and you will need this information. Your title should be accurate for what you were hired for, not what you feel your title should be. If you were hired as a Consultant, that is an appropriate title. Your job responsibilities should be broken down by bullets or another similar symbol. A technical resume holds a lot of information and the format is easiest to read when it is not a straight paragraph. Under the bullets, be specific not only on your daily tasks, but also any special projects you’ve participated in such as Upgrades, Implementations or Go-Lives. Give yourself credit for your role in projects that are outside of your daily responsibilities. This will help set you apart from other resumes. Before adding the next position, add Environment. List the Technical Skills you used at this specific job. This allows the reader to see that you have work experience with the skills listed above in the Technical Skills section at a job. This validates your skills.
Length, Spelling and Grammar
The amount of time been in the workforce will naturally affect resume length. Your most recent five positions or ten years of employment should hold the most detail. Once you reach five positions or ten years of employment, include three bullets or less. The exception is if it’s still applicable to your current work experience or you are targeting a skill set that you have used early in your career. I shouldn’t have to say it, but I will: check your spelling and grammar. I have had numerous candidates send resumes that I would not submit to my end client because of numerous spelling and grammar mistakes. You don’t need to be a literary genius, just double check your work. If you are notoriously bad with grammar and spelling, ask someone else to read it. Hiring managers will turn down your resume due to spelling and grammar mistakes, and recruiters may not catch everything.
This advice is targeted towards IT professionals looking to leverage their work experience based on their technical skills. If you need help with your resume or finding new employment, feel free to contact us, and we’ll do all we can to help you find your dream job.
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