It’s not your fault you’ve had six jobs in the last two years. The dot-com thing didn’t work out, you moved twice, you were downsized—whatever. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that your resume is now a twisted mess of jobs that at best confuses potential employers and at worst convinces them you don’t have what it takes to go the long haul.

Make your varied experiences work for you by creating a skills-based resume that draws attention to the skills you have and away from the different places you’ve graced with your presence.

You might benefit from a skills-based resume if you:

  • Have held three or more jobs within the last two years.
  • Have had several jobs with unimpressive titles that gave you a lot of hands-on experience.
  • Gained unofficial IT experience while working in other fields.
  • Are a recent graduate.
  • Aren’t getting many calls even though your resume has been on every available job board for weeks.

Here’s how to create your own skills-based resume. Use the following guidelines to come up with a list of skills. Then plug your results into our downloadable skills-based resume template and skills list, and get ready to see—and present—yourself in a whole new light.

Technical skills
List your technical skills. Obviously they’re the most important component of an IT resume. To jog your memory, use the list included with the resume download. Of course, if you have specific technical skills not on the list, be sure to add them. Note applicable software versions, when you last used the product, and rank your level of expertise on a scale of 1 to 10. Go over your list and eliminate any skills you haven’t used in more than a year or where your level of expertise is below 3.

Write out answers to the following questions:

  • What is the one thing your organization depends on you for? What’s the one thing you do better than anyone else? What would happen if you left tomorrow?
  • List five qualities you admire in others. Now write a sentence applying each quality to some aspect of your work. Be sure to focus on the tasks you do that are crucial to your organization’s success.

Hands-on experience
Detail a problem you were able to solve using your technical skills. Did a recurring error interrupt network operations? Did new employees lack training? Were inefficient work habits hampering productivity? Were sales down? Next, write down the action you took to correct the problem. For example, you might have researched, selected, and installed network monitoring software—or perhaps you developed an in-house tool. Did you create a training program or come up with ways to streamline tasks and get more done with fewer workers? Write it down. The third and most crucial step is to write down, in your own words, what your employer gained from your action. Did you save the company time? Money? Put it on paper.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you have the raw materials you need to create your new resume. Download the template and follow the instructions. It’s that easy to give employers a simple way to see your skills at a glance.