Writing a resume and cover letter is one of the most grueling parts of the job hunt. However, a good resume can make or break your job search, so putting in the work is well worth the potential rewards. For IT candidates, this can be a uniquely tricky process, particularly if your resume is on the technical side. Take a new approach to resume writing to re-tool your IT resume and give your search just the boost it needs.
Start with the Bad
When writing a resume, your first instinct is to gloss over the less-than-flattering aspects of your professional career. Ignore that instinct. Instead, write down a list of all of your professional weaknesses. Do your interpersonal skills need work? Are you bad with deadlines? Then, think back on any projects or tasks that you didn’t quite succeed at. Add those to the list, as well as what exactly went wrong on the project.
Now look at these weaknesses through a different lens. Since you’re aware of these problems in your professional character, what do you do to compensate? For instance, if you have trouble following deadlines, you may give yourself a soft deadline to ensure that you’re ready when the final day comes. If interpersonal communication is your weakness, perhaps you go out of your way to strike up a conversation each day. With your failed projects, you might consider what you learned from these failures or how they influenced your work style.
Using this technique, your “weaknesses” turn into strengths. You’ll learn to accept your mistakes and your weaknesses as a natural part of your development, and closely examine the ways they’ve shaped you as an IT professional. When many candidates ignore or hide their flaws, your proactive acceptance will display a willingness to grow and learn from past errors.
The Finished Product
After completing this exercise, you now have a list of strengths and the experiences that led to them. This will allow you to give your potential employer an accurate representation of your skills and an honest assessment of your ability to learn and adapt. Use this list to flesh out your skills, strengths, and work experience. Not only will you have a more thorough description of your expertise, but you’ll provide unique insight into your character and your abilities.
Writing a resume is tough work, and admitting to your weaknesses is tougher. But by going through this exercise, you’ll gain an understanding of your true strengths as an IT professional and be able to share these abilities with your potential employers. You’ll write a more compelling resume and be a more competitive candidate as a result.
Need help writing an IT resume, or landing a new career in IT? Contact the experts at Strategic IT Staffing and let us help you land the tech job of your dreams!