Devona Clara February 25, 2021 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.
Show a Skills Summary – Any IT type of resume needs to focus on specific technology experience. Why? Because recruiters, employers, resume reviewers, and application tracking systems all search resumes for keywords relevant to specific job postings. As you a programmer, I am sure you can imagine an algorithm designed to score your resume against the job posting based on similarity with keywords/skills in the posting. The reason you need a skills summary on your resume is to ensure you get all of those technologies and key words listed so you can score higher on these reviews.
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.
Avoid Flowery Language That Diminishes Your Achievements – You could have a comedy show with some of the statements people make on their resumes. You don’t want your resume to stand out for the wrong reasons. Avoid creative writing. Avoid big words and uncommon vocabulary. Avoid over the top statements that make you sound like you saved the universe. They immediately call your credibility immediately into question. Resume writer Don Goodman shares one of his favorite claims as ”Rocketed performance to stellar heights.” Says Goodman, ”People don’t speak like that; I have never heard an executive tell the HR person that they needed someone who could rocket performance to stellar heights. Remember, people hire people they like, so don’t make your resume read like an amateur poet wrote it.”
Keep it Relevant – In second grade, I played the role of a singing tree in my school play. As important an event as that was to me in my life, it is completely irrelevant to our discussion here about resume writing tips. You should follow the same advice on your resume. If it is not relevant or you can’t reword it so that it is relevant to the job or employer, leave it off. Focus your resume on the items that qualify you for the position you are seeking. In other words, get rid of the fluff. For example, I once received a resume from a programmer, however the only thing I remember from it was that they attended clown college and competed in national juggling competitions. Yes, that was interesting, but it completely trumped their qualifications for the programming position which I don’t even remember. Basically, limit items on your resume to those relevant to the position for which you are applying. Do not include irrelevant items to that position on the resume. If you haven’t figured this out yet, this means you will have multiple, fine-tuned versions of your resume for each type of position for which you apply.
One of the current trends in job candidate evaluation is behavioral with the idea being that your past performance is the best indicator of your future performance. So, toot your horn a little and make your accomplishments known. Quantifying your experience is usually the most difficult part of preparing a resume for any person. So take some time, think it through, and detail the results you achieved in each of your positions relevant to the one for which you are applying.
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