How To Craft Your Resume to Get an Entry Level IT Job
After you’ve gotten some IT training education under your belt, you’re going to want to start working on your resume (because getting a job is the main goal at the end of your training, after all). Even though your resume is going to look similar to other professional resumes, there are a few key distinctions you can do yourself to stand out in the IT world. Follow our tips to put you ahead of the competition and get you an entry-level IT role – a role like IT Support Specialist, Computer Technician, Technical Support Specialist, Help Desk Technician, Desktop Support Technician, Service Desk Analyst, NOC Technician, or many more.
How to Craft Your Resume to Get an Entry-Level IT Job
1. Showcase your technical and professional skills
Because IT jobs are so heavily focused on technical skills, it’s a good idea to highlight your technical and professional skills over work experience and education (especially if you’re applying to your first IT job and don’t have any prior professional IT experience). It’s also smart to categorize your skillsets so your resume is easy to read and comprehend (the less work for the hiring manager, the better). For example, you can format your resume to list your technical and professional skills like this:
TECHNICAL AND PROFESSIONAL SKILLS
End User Support: PC, Laptop, and Mobile Desk Configuration, Microsoft 365 Apps, Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk
Network Support: Server and Network Device Configuration, Networking Fundamentals, TCP/IP Network Services
Professional Skills: Troubleshooting, Customer Support, Communication
2. Highlight Your Technical Training
If you have undergone technical training, make sure you highlight your training experience. You don’t need a 2- or 4-year degree for an IT job, but some form of formal technical training is preferred. Hiring managers sometimes even prefer more recent technical training over a college degree because it ensures you are up-to-date in the latest technologies.
In the section on technical training, make sure you list the name and a brief description of your technical training program. Also be sure to list what you learned in school. For example, if you have attended Centriq’s IT training program, your technical training section may look like this:
IT Support Boot Camp, Centriq Graduated August 2021
Intensive lab and project-focused training program with emphasis on Windows configuration, networking, service desk support, and business communication skills.
- Professional development training on the ability to communicate effectively, raise relevant questions, think openly, and assess technical issues to create practical solutions
- Solid foundational knowledge in end-user support, device and server configuration, and network configuration, implementation, management and security
- Applied skills in technical summary review, infrastructure evaluation and research, and technical solution documentation
A few notes: Make sure to list any achievements you received during your technical training program, such as if you were awarded with Student of the Month. And if you haven’t yet graduated from your IT training program when you are sending out your resume — that’s okay! It’s not a bad idea to start putting out feelers before you graduate. If so, you can list your anticipated graduation date.
3. Customize Your Resume for the Job You Are Applying For
After you’ve crafted a structurally sound resume, make sure you are tweaking your resume based on the job you are applying for. Smart applicants will study the job posting and look for specific keywords that hiring managers (or even Applicant Tracking Systems) are looking for. If you in fact have the skills they are subtly (or not so subtly) hinting at, make sure to highlight them on your resume. For example, if you are applying for a Network Technician role and the job posting looks like this:
Network Technician job duties include maintaining network equipment, ensuring network security systems, and troubleshooting with end-users.
Then make sure your resume highlights your network configuration and security management skills as well as your abilities to problem-solve and work well with others.
4. List Your Technical Badges
There are some different schools of thought about whether or not to list your technical badges on your resume. Our mindset is, badges can’t hurt as long as they aren’t clunky or distracting. They can be a great way to visually summarize your skillsets.
As we mentioned previously, hiring managers look at many resumes a day; badges help you stand out against the competition. If you don’t want to list your badges on your resume, you can list them in your digital portfolio.
The Centriq program offers several Professional Development badges that you will receive following the program to list on your resume or in your portfolio:
- Full Stack Web Developer (perfect attendance, featured student, program graduate, etc.)
- Systems and Security Administrator (perfect attendance, featured student, program graduate, etc.)
5. Keep Your Resume Clean and Easy to Read
Are we going to say it again? (Answer: yes). Hiring managers and employers are busy. Make sure your resume is organized and easy-to-read. If your resume is confusing, cluttered, or ill-formatted, hiring managers will not want to take the time to decipher your skillset and experience (even if it’s really good stuff). You don’t need a resume that’s overly complicated or fluffy for IT roles. And make sure your font is easy to read by using one of the classics, such as Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial.
Note: There’s not much difference between the legibility of serif or sans–serif fonts, but some believe that sans-serif fonts are cleaner, easier to read online, and more suited for resumes for IT roles.
6. Utilize Buzzwords
To help your resume stand out, utilize buzzwords. Language is powerful — certain words carry weight and can help prove your merit. Instead of using the same tired language on your resume, try swapping out some old vocab with these buzzwords:
Hiring managers will appreciate the effort you put into crafting your resume. Using these buzzwords will reinforce your technical skills and professional acumen and get you that much closer to landing an interview.
Like this advice? Centriq offers Professional Development workshops alongside our online IT technical training program to get you ready for the IT job search process, including Job Search Training, Resume Strengthening, and Interview Coaching. Contact us for more information about our process.