You might be a rock star IT professional or you are just a newbie to the IT. Unfortunately nobody knows you until you produce your resume. Sad but true. And when they see it they may say – gosh, lets call this candidate right now or “ugh..” throw it to the basket.
Also, on average the job post might attract up to 250 resumes only less than 5 candidates will be called for interview according to Inc.com
What it means is, if your resume is not a good, if not best, then chances are it might not trigger the hiring manager to call your for interview. And if you didn’t get the chance to be called for interview, then the chance of being hired is a dead sure zero. Which makes Resume the important link between you and your future dream job.
If you are knocking off the resume challenge and getting it all good – congrats. But keep reading, we have something for you too. Otherwise, if you:
- are not getting emails and/or phone calls once you post your resume
- think there is something missing on your resume
- want to see what makes a good resume a good resume
- are not sure where to begin when you are creating yours
Then, welcome. Grab your attention and lets have some pow wow on this thing called resume.
Resume is your passport to your IT journey. Visa being acing your interview. So you want to make sure your passport is up to date, not expired, well kept and informative.
We will dive into a couple of points that makes the resume a good candidate to be thrown into the basket. That is, what have you done hard to allow your resume to be thrown to the garbage??
- Your resume is barking at the wrong tree – Imaging you have a leaky faucet and wanted a plumber. Then you posted “I need a cool plumber”. The next thing you know, an electrician is at your door steps. You will yell get the *&^% out of my property.
That is what will happen when you apply for the job that the description is not matching your resume.
If you are database administrator, or at least if that is what your resume saying, and hiring manager for AWS architect found it, you know what will happen.
This happens when jobs are applied blindly.
The fix – This is an easy one, take a moment to read the description and make sure yours is matching for the majority of the position.
- Your resume is relevant but irrelevant – The position might be asking for java developer, say, and you are a java developer. Good so far right? Then the position is asking specifically for java 8 and above with all the new goodies after the java revolution. Your resume is saying the latest you have used is java 6. Now the hiring manager’s thinking gear starts to crank and would say – let me wait for the right one.. and your poor resume might not see the light.
The fix – See if the technology you are in has advanced and has a new versions, methodologies and tools. Usually you might get an idea on the description of the job. Take time to update yourself and your resume as well to match it.
- Grammar, punctuation, spelling – here we go, the most obvious one. You might argue this is not important and I vehemently disagree with you. Usually those who will be gazing at your resume are not techies. Probably they are HR personnel, managers and recruiters. Those guys write a lot and it is easy to see the defect on your resume. Immediately they think, even unknowingly, you are a careless, not a proofreader, communication deficient and even a copycat. And that ultimately will lead your resume to be taken to the shredder.
The fix – Write your resume and take a break for a day. Read it on the next day and you will be asking yourself “who wrote that?”. Pass it to a friend for quick shot. Take time to read resume of others, it is easy to spot a problem when we are looking at others work than ours and see if the mistake you see on others is on yours also.
- It is ugly – You know that indentation is not maintained, there are 16 fonts and 9 colors used, the font is difficult to read, headers and details are almost inseparable, inconsistent font size.. you name it. This is a recipe for disaster.
The fix – Get a good idea of what a resume shall look like from the numerous and free resume templates, show it to a friend and get some idea. Keep the color and font to two or three only. Give a generous space per pack. Use the most common fonts than the fancy ones – the reader might not have those and default will kick in. Identify which ones are headers, description and points.
The Not Obvious
- Your resume is very, like very, dry – If you write your resume from start to finish with all technical stuff, it might be less attractive specially for the non-techie reader. And it is the non-techie reader that will be reading your resume at least on the first round. And if someone can’t understand your resume, it is easy to assume the resume and the owner, bad but true, sucks. Usually those who came from the social studies have a much better narrative skill than the science area.
The fix – Keep in mind who will be reading your resume, the HR, the recruiters, the hiring manger and the the soon-to-be co-workers. Try to have something for each to make them happy. The whole artistic story might delight the HR but offend the technical reviewers and vice versa – find the common ground.
- Abbreviations – This is a continuation of the above point. You would think everybody knows what AWS is right as you sleep and breath it? Newsflash – no! You might say what is the problem. If the job description is saying Amazon Web Services and you are saying AWS, depending on who is reading it, you might be considered as someone who doesn’t know it at all.
The fix – Try to have the full wording at least once when using abbreviations to avoid the confusion.
- Number of pages of the resume – This is a controversial one. I have seen a very short and sweet one page resume and a long twelve page resume also. The most acceptable one is two-to-three pages for most cases. You can always send a resume right before the interview and ask that to be used if you think two or three is short.
The fix – reduce the size of the page to two or three and if you think you need more, then pass it right before the interview to be considered.
- The resume doesn’t know what it is talking about – here is a classic example. You are a web developer on your resume. Then you have some line that says – “I have installed the web application on Mac and windows computer for performance”. Well..
Or you are Backend developer and you have some line that says “Working with oracle for C++ and SQL Server for Python”. There could be something in here, but definitely this will give some hard time for the reader to unpack what you mean. Unfortunately, most reviewers will not waste time on such cryptic resume – move on.
The fix – Usually this happens when copy pasting. Try to understand what it is saying and if it does go well with you or not. Make sure to have it with second/third eye for such cases. If it doesn’t fill right, probably it not right and take moment to amend it.
- Too short time span on your resume – If you have 4 companies changed with a gap of two months in between, the reviewer might think you can’t hold the job for long and you are going to be in the company for a short trip.
The fix – Short gaps happen usually due to a contracting job. If that is the case, then right next to the company name have the “Contract” in parenthesis to make it clear. If the position got cancelled right after you join, have it pointed out at the end of description also.
- Your role is ambiguous – When a company wants a professional, they have a role in mind. Like, developer, analyst, tester, manager, lead. And that shall be clearly depicted in the resume in a not-ambiguous way. If you say you are tester/QA and the resume is talking along the lines of “documenting the process, helping the release operations, conducting scrum sessions..” one would ask – you say what??
The fix – Make sure the resume shouts who you are and what you do per the position. The good place for this is under the company. You can create a line or two for Role that talks what your role on that company for the given period of time was. You can also have it on bullet points.
- You know, according to resume, everything – this is another controversial one. It is good to have the common keywords that you are familiar with and what the industry is looking for. But if you have all the possible technologies and tools within/out of your industry, it will be hard to think you know all that. Rather one might conclude it is bogus. This shall be also be taken into consideration of the time span in the IT world you have.
The fix – it might not be completely bad to have those keywords, but make sure it is ideal. Also keep close to the ones you already know than the ones you don’t know at all. It will help you to keep the suspicion at the bay.
The above points are the most common ones that appear to be the problem when it is reviewed by the party who will decide to call for interview or not. A point has to be made that there is a software involvement as well on most of the recruiting process.
Most recruiters use a software that will match the resume with the job descriptions. They apply how relevant your resume is with the description mostly based off of the keyword density and industry. So it is vital to make sure the right keywords are included and categorized in the right industry even to make it before the human eyes. It is, most probably, after that the above points will take effect.
How do you rate your resume? Do you see these points being relevant to yours? Keep an eye on them. As Witold Gombrowicz said, Action will delineate and define you. Take action and make your resume standout of the crowd to be recognized. Avoid the resume
Need any help of second eye on your resume? Need help on deciding what IT course you should be taking? Any questions? You can contact or send us your resume and we can take it from there. Cheers!
Contact us at: 240 877 8161 Or info@thePracticalIT.com an open line waiting for you.