You know that you should proofread your IT resume any time you send it out. Even if you haven’t touched it in weeks, unintentional errors can occur at any time. However, proofing your resume isn’t the only step you should take before you click “send.” Your resume should always be tailored to the exact job you are applying for, even if each position has the same job title. Employers have different priorities, and customization is the key to making it through the initial screening process.  Use this checklist any time you send out a resume to help increase the chances you’ll make a positive impression on the hiring manager.

Include an Objective

Some IT professionals omit an objective statement because they feel it limits their options. However, companies want to be sure that a candidate’s goals align with their goals for the position. Tailor the objective to each job you are applying for, to highlight your fitness for the position. Objectives should be no more than one sentence and should target the job title, industry and company you are applying to.

Use Reflective Skills Language

Study the job description closely. What are the required skills? Your resume should include those skills (assuming you actually possess them) and it should use the same language that the posting used. Make sure they appear as close to the top of your resume as possible. A simple way to achieve this is to list “Relevant Skills”  below your objective. This puts your skills on immediate display, and it ensures you’ll pass the initial scanning process. Make sure you use bullets when listing these skills. People read bullets not paragraphs.

Consider Functional not Formal Job Titles

Many formal job titles can be misleading or make little sense to a future employer.  Consider using a functional title that matches the job description.  For example, if your formal title is ‘Level 3 Analyst’ and are applying for a Business Analyst, use the functional title before the formal title. It would read: Business Analyst / Analyst Level 3.

Use Your Cover Letter Strategically

Your cover letter is the place to fill in any blanks on your resume and reinforce the idea that you are the hiring manager’s ideal candidate. Just by writing a cover letter, you will stand out from the crowd, as many job seekers fail to take this step in today’s environment. Use the space to highlight one or two extremely relevant projects. Just make sure not to make it too wordy. Your cover letter should be about three paragraphs, maximum.

Competition in today’s IT job market is fierce, and you need to give yourself every edge you possibly can. Customize your resume for each job to show the hiring manager that you are the best candidate for the job.

If you are an IT professional in the Buffalo area seeking new opportunities, recruiters at Systems Personnel are interested in speaking with you. We can connect you with a position that will help you utilize your talents and achieve your goals, and we can help you polish your resume until it shines. Contact us today start the conversation.

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