Your resume is your IT contracting business's number one marketing tool. When optimized, that is the document that will make a recruiter want to meet you as soon as possible or a client eager to hire you before sitting down for an interview. Given its importance, we like to keep you up-to-date on the latest trends and tips from resume writing professionals around the world. Here is a summary of some of the latest advice we've come across:
Highlight Skills Above all Else
It seems obvious that your resume should include your skills, but a recent article from Dice emphasizes how important a skills-based resume is. Referencing studies from HackerRank and Montage, the article highlights some key takeaways when writing your resume:
Recruiters and hiring managers prioritize experience, specifically how long an IT contractor has been working in a discipline.
Education such as degrees is at the bottom of the priority list of those evaluating tech resumes. They're more interested in your deep history of personal objects and direct understanding of languages and frameworks.
More and more companies are hiring based specifically on skills, as seen in the rise of skills assessments and predictive analytics to determine who's best suited for a position.
A list of side projects and proof you know your stuff will make your resume more attractive.
Links in Your Resume are Great, But Do Them Right
The Muse published a fantastic answer about links in resumes and it's too good not so share. When Alyse Kalish asked career coach and job search expert Clatyon Wert if it was alright, Wert's response was "It's acceptable to use links in your resume, cover letter, or any form of the job application-assuming you're submitting it online. I'm of the belief that 90% of applications are now online, and you should be adding links to your portfolio, your LinkedIn page, and possibly more depending on your industry and the type of work that you've done. It's best to put as much out there as possible when applying to jobs, because attention is everything in the job search." Wert also provided some extra tips for adding links correctly:
Link your proudest and best work, as well as projects related to which you're applying
Use hyperlinks on keywords rather than an entire URL strand
If you must use an entire link (ex. Print documents), shorten it using tools like bit.ly
If you have a large list of potential links, create a separate portfolio or website
Place links in the header or beside your contact info
Test all links to ensure they work
Take Extra Care in Proof-Reading
Proof-reading your resume to avoid embarrassing mistakes is not a new trend, butthis article from Grammarly has some unique tips for proof-reading (and they can be applied to more than just resumes!):
Take a break between the time you finish writing and start proof-reading
Print it out or change the font to view it differently
Read your work aloud to spot misspellings and repeated words
Use your finger to move along and force yourself to slow down
Keep a list of mistakes you make often
Pay special attention to titles, headings and lists which are often overlooked
Double check prepositions you aren't sure about
Naturally, Grammarly also recommends trying their product to help edit. How's your resume been working for you lately? Have you tried any innovative techniques that are landing your more interviews with IT recruiters and hiring managers? If so, we want to hear about them! Please share your experience and tips in the comments below.