Felecia Diane December 1, 2020 Resume
Nearly all initial resume screenings are done using a checklist of items that must appear in order to advance to the next level, regardless of whether it is screened by computer or staff. If you don’t have the correct ratio of keywords on your resume for the position, you don’t make the cut. So why do so many experienced candidates for computer programmer jobs not make sure that the correct keywords are on their resume for each individual position for which they apply? It’s usually a combination of attention to detail and desire to respond quickly.
Provide an Experience Summary – If the reviewer of your resume determines you have experience with the required technologies, the next thing they will attempt to do if to figure out how much experience you have with the specific required technical skills. Your job is to make this process easy for the reviewer, which will then improve your odds for passing the complete resume screening and get an interview. Remember that, in general, resume reviewers do not dedicate much time to each individual resume. If it is too much work for a reviewer to verify your experience against the job requirements, they will most likely move on to the next candidate.
This technology presents some risks for you as a potential job candidate, so you must understand how they work. Many of these so-called applicant tracking systems do not recognize items in table format, text boxes, or other graphical elements. They are very text based. Therefore, you should avoid embedding anything important into graphical elements such as text boxes or tables to make sure they are not missed by these applicant tracking systems.
List any Professional Certifications – Different employers place different emphasis on professional certifications. Many employers find these certifications very important, often even requiring them for certain positions. But there are also other employers who might prefer candidates with certifications, but do not require them. Still others do not pay attention to certifications at all. Since you have no idea what the company or reviewer believes about certifications, you should always list them if you have them.
Let me share with you a tip related to your technical skills summary based on my review of resumes over the years. After I check the list of skills, my next step is to look further in the resume to identify the specific jobs where that skill was used and determine how much experience a candidate has with the skill. The point is that listing the skill is simply not enough. Truthfully, I’ve found that most candidates never mention the technical skill anywhere else other than in the skill listing. In these cases, I will assume they really don’t have experience with that skill and are just listing it to catch my eye. Therefore, follow through and ensure that the skills you list are also spelled out in your job experience write-ups. Never assume that a resume reviewer will know that you did x, y, or z. More often than not, they do not make those assumptions or they could even be non-technical staff who are just following a checklist to screen the resumes. So, remember, that if an employer lists a technical skill on the IT job posting or ad, make sure it is on your resume in both your technical skills list and experience write-up.
In writing about each of your previous jobs, discuss your results. Tell about what results were realized because of the work you performed. Be quantitative. Reviewers love to see numbers and results. Tell about how many desktops or users you supported, recount how many databases you administered, show a percentage of application or network uptime you maintained, provide a percent reduction of security incidents you achieved, etc. Get the idea? This is where you impress your reviewer.
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