Unless you've made contact at a job fair, your resume is probably your first chance to make an impression on a recruiter or hiring manager. If your resume doesn't show them that you're looking for the kind of role they're hiring for and that you have the skills to do the job, you probably won't get the chance to change their minds in person. Use these tips to make your resume stand out and help you get hired:
1. Make it obvious what job you're looking for. You don't necessarily need to craft a traditional "objective," but there should be some kind of introductory section that makes clear what kind of job you're looking for. This is especially true if you've worked in different areas of technology, or if you've been a hands-on developer and are now looking for a leadership role. Once you've stated what you want to do, you can also make a brief statement presenting your brand - yes, you are a brand - that summarizes the value you bring.
2. Emphasize the relevant information. Once you've stated the kind of job you're looking for, everything on the resume should support your qualifications for that position. A straight chronological listing may not be the best way to present your skills and experience, especially if your career has followed a crooked path. You should feel free to consolidate and rearrange material so show off the important points. You also don't need to include absolutely everything you've ever done; while your resume doesn't need to be a single page, it should present a synopsis of your work. Show enough to make them interested in talking to you and learning more; don't show so much you overwhelm the reader with irrelevant history.
3. Put your contributions in context. Don't just list the projects you've worked on; be specific about your role on the project. Relate how your work contributed to the project's success, and how the project contributed to business success. Showing that you understand the impact of your work on the business shows you can focus beyond the strictly technical issues and think strategically about using technology - a standout point if you're seeking to move up the ladder.
4. Make the resume easy to read. Once you've figured out the information you need on your resume, make the resume easy to read. The important information, including at least the start of your work history, should be on the first page. Use bullets to draw attention to specific points. Don't make everything a bullet, because that defeats the point. Don't include too much text in each bullet, because that can be hard to read.
5. Include keywords. When looking for a technical job, you can't escape the fact that technical recruiters search for candidates with specific technical skills. To make sure they can find you, include a full list of your skills. If appropriate, use both the full form of the name and common acronyms to make sure either search will bring it up.
Putting together a great resume and finding your next job isn't easy. GDH can help. Join our talent network or browse our job listings to get your search started.