Jehane Eliana December 18, 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.
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.
Next step, create a bulleted list of accomplishments in each position using the C-A-R method. For each bullet, follow the C-A-R formula: indicate a Challenge you faced, followed by the Action you took, and identify the Results of those actions. You must ensure that the achievements you include are relevant and significant so that a reviewer won’t read it and say ”who cares.” This is so important. Those who write resumes for a living are very skilled at wording these achievements to sound very impressive and make them relevant.
A Simple Resume Format and Resume Template Work Best – A lot of the initial resume review process may be done using software tools as discussed above. This software typically scans a resume for specific sections of information, such as profile or summary, work experience, education, training, etc. If the software can’t identify where information is in your resume, it is likely that the information you worked so hard to put in your resume will just be skipped over. Rarely will you get a second chance from an in-person reviewer. So keep your resume format simple to avoid having any issues with software tools used by potential employers.
You also want to provide a short listing of relevant technology training courses you have taken. Many candidates forget to list these items out. They can help further demonstrate your expertise and exposure to different technologies, especially for a less experienced candidate. I suggest putting Training last on your resume, just below Education. As an added bonus, listing these technology skill trainings helps add more key words to your resume and improve your results on resume screenings.
Spend the Most Time on the Most-Read Part of Your Resume – Contrary to what you might think, the most-read part of your resume is not your name. When there are hundreds of resumes to review, names matter little in initial evaluations. The most read part of your resume is your Profile or Experience Summary. If your resume is missing this section, you are losing your best opportunity to create interest. It used to be common to put an Objective at the top of your resume. However, the Profile or Experience Summary section has completely replaced the Objective section. Why? It is a quick 3-4 sentence overview of your qualifications. This acts as an Executive Summary for a reviewer where you clearly point out why you are the best candidate for this specific position. If you don’t generate interest in this section, your chances of further review or even an interview are slim.
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