Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 16th 2016 Contents B17
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 guardian.co.tt Guardian
So you enthusiastically enrolled
in an IT curriculum, worked hard
and graduated only to find that the
job market is not what you thought.
Now you need a powerful resume
that will get you in the door so you can
apply your recently acquired skills in
the real world.
Here are some important tips to make
sure you get noticed.
What is it you want to do?
Although you took courses in both
programming and networking, you need
to decide what path you are pursuing:
Programming or Infrastructure Sup-
It is rare that companies want some-
one who can do both, so decide right
up front which direction you are tak-
Then, improve the effectiveness of
your resume by following these 6 tips:
1. Avoid Traditional
Objectives like "to grow my skills in
a forward-thinking company" are out.
The Objective statement is now
replaced with nothing more than a
headline with the job title you are seek-
ing. So just put "Entry-Level Program-
mer," "Junior Network Administrator,"
or "Help Desk / Technical Support" at
the top of your resume, depending on
your goal, of course.
You need to have a Technical Com-
petencies section that shows what you
know and supports keyword searches.
Organize these by topic such as:
• Operating Systems
At the beginning of your career, it is
okay to put in things that you do not
have that much experience in, but do
not overstuff it with things you really
don t know.
Important: Even though you had
exposure to programming and network-
ing, only put the competencies relevant
to your position. For example, if you
are seeking a network support role, do
not put Java and programming lan-
guages here as it is confusing.
3. Showcase Your
Learning in the Experience Section
Since most of your IT experience is
through your training, you need to really
PRESTIGIOUS SAN FERNANDO
With an aspiration for
Please forward resume to:
showcase your learning. A good tip is to detail your
education on your resume in the same way as you
would list a job.
Here you can detail the courses you took, how
many hours of training you had, and the technologies
you learned. Refer to your detailed curriculum (but
don t just repeat it) to refresh your mind regarding
subjects and technologies covered.
Key trick: go into detail about the hands-on projects
you completed as part of your training, as below.
University of the West Indies
2008 - 2012
Inventory Control Project: Developed engaging
user interface to capture physical inventory counts,
update inventory database, and produce discrepancy
reports. Technologies used include Oracle 11g, SQL,
Java, and Perl. Earned top scores for quality and on-
Doing this lets you really detail the IT experience
you gained as part of your education.
4. Stress Transferable Skills
This is where most people fall down. If you have
held non-IT jobs, then these need to be highlighted
on the resume. Don t just list your roles here, use
this to highlight the core skills you demonstrated
that would be relevant to an entry-level IT position.
Remember that the most important skill an employ-
er looks for is good communication skills. Other
important traits to stress are:
• Ability to work independently
• Customer-service mentality
• Track record of getting things done on time
• Attention to quality and accuracy
• Ability to juggle multiple tasks and priorities
So, if you were a Bartender or Waitress, stress your
ability to build rapport with a variety of personalities,
perform in a fast-paced environment, and build cus-
tomer loyalty through exceptional service.
5. Include Appropriate
Keywords to Get Past the ATS
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are used by many
companies and this is the software that scans your
resume and ranks it according to the keywords the
company has listed. If you submit your resume over
the web (not my first choice), your resume will go
through the ATS, and if you do not get a good score
here, you may not be seen at all by a human being.
Start by reviewing the job description and make
sure you have their keywords in your resume. This
can be a bit tricky. For example, here is a recent
posting for an entry-level programmer.
• Any previous experience with C++, Java or any other OO
based language (even with school projects)
• A strong desire to learn new tools and techniques
• Strong computer science theory and fundamentals knowl-
• Open to work in different technology environments and
To get past the ATS for this job, you should incor-
porate the phrases above to get a good match.
6. Add Testimonials
Finally, you can add a little oomph to your resume
if you have any testimonials from professors or employ-
ers. Putting "Grace is the consummate customer
service professional who delights the customer" can
be just what you need to stand out.
Use these tips to land that important first job that
launches your IT career.
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