Tech & Work

4 ways to polish your IT resume

Your resume is your argument for employment. Make sure it's in good shape.

Maybe you just got out of school and are looking for a job, or maybe, you've been in the professional world for a while and you're looking for a next step. Either way, it's time to bust out the resume. Since you don't have much time to grab an employer's attention, you need to make sure your CV is in top form. We talked to CompTIA's James Stanger about how to do that.

Despite all the talk of the jobs gap, job hunters can't take the attitude that employers should feel lucky they're even there.

"A lot of those jobs that are going to be available are going to be half time, part time type jobs, contract jobs — if you want a full time job, you'll need to differentiate yourself," Stanger said.

Here are four tips.

First, show direct experience.

"There's always that real problem when people are just getting out of school or who have just gotten certified, how do they show their experience?" Stanger said.

Let's say you're trying to get a job as a programmer. Even if you're fresh out of school, showing experience like volunteer work or other projects will help communicate to employers that you can actually do the job if they hire you.

Second, don't skimp on indirect experience. I mean, make sure it's relevant. Your summer as a lifeguard isn't exactly pertinent, but as Stanger said, even if you don't have experience with VMware virtualization, if you're pretty good with Linux solutions, that's something you want your potential employer to know.

Third, don't forget supporting evidence. Stanger said employers are looking at anything from Twitter accounts to personal blogs to vet candidates. As long as you have good, professional content there, these can help you make the argument for why an employer should hire you. Just be sure you're connecting that potential employer with that strong supporting evidence.

And fourth, choose your words carefully. Brevity, pith, these are good things — don't waste time using a lot of words that only sound important. Be clear and be succinct. Stanger even suggested getting someone to read through or edit your resume to make sure you're communicating what you intend to.

And as one last suggestion, Stanger said to keep your resume updated. Don't just be working on it when you're looking for a job, especially if you haven't landed a full time position.

"You are going to have to get those multiple jobs at the same time," he said. "We all know that that full time, IBM, here's your gold watch after you left the company after 35, 50 years — that's been gone a long time. You may be going from gig to gig to gig."

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      About Erin Carson

      Erin Carson is a Staff Reporter for CNET and a former Multimedia Editor for TechRepublic.

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