The Growing IT Market: Building Powerful Resumes for IT Professionals

CPC Career Team 5

By Lori Jazvac.

IT World Canada states that there are approximately 811,200 information, communication, and technology professionals currently employed in Canada. An additional 182,000 information, communication, and technology professionals will be required across Canada by 2019.

Due to a skill misalignment, demand-supply imbalance, aging workforce, and other factors, Canada is headed for a major technology talent shortage in the next five years. Many employers will experience a growing difficulty recruiting individuals with an ideal blend of technical and business skills.

What does this all mean for career practitioners and resume writers?

Clients in IT careers are often armed with a powerful toolkit of perplexing technical terms that can be challenging to decipher, especially for resume writers. Yet IT professionals bring immense value to the growing economy by providing strategic and technologically innovative solutions to business problems.

Here are some helpful tips that I have learned when working with IT professionals:

  • Don’t be overwhelmed with the technical language. Research various terms to understand their meaning and function and how they relate to the scope of the role.
  • Ask yourself: what do I need to know? How has the client contributed to meeting the strategic objectives: cost-saving, operational efficiency, innovation, or business growth?
  • Help each client understand his or her unique value and other soft skills apart from the technical background.
  • Become familiar with the client’s career goal and job descriptions. Identify meaningful patterns and skills that demonstrate the client’s most notable strengths.
  • Thoughtfully address career-related gaps with transferable skills and other value-added projects.
  • Encourage the client to keep building IT skills through both formal and informal learning.

Resume building tips for IT professionals:

  • Create a compelling, ATS-friendly resume that captures technical and business keywords, and that is simple yet  professional in design.
  • Do not overload the resume with technical lingo. Remember that the target audience or prospective employer may not be well-versed in technical terms.
  • Incorporate a brief, thoughtful summary that adds context with a customized tagline featuring the client’s value and how he or she meets the bottom line.
  • Translate the client’s technical information and projects into simple terms to reflect added business value.
  • Think in terms of achievements. Break down achievements using the Challenge-Action-Result method.
  • Feature training, certifications, and courses. Not all IT professionals have a formal degree.
  • Ask the client about community leadership or interests to help formulate the big picture.
  • Use an addendum when necessary to feature additional technical expertise and applications.

Uncover the client’s story

Gather relevant technical information by asking relevant questions to uncover the client’s story.

  • Start off by asking about the organization and industry. Who are the customers?
  • Find out how your client’s technological career evolved.
  • What challenges the client the most? What drives his or her passion for IT?
  • How has the client helped fuel innovation? What has changed as a result of the client’s initiative?
  • What is the most significant project that the client has been involved with and what were the results?

Many IT professionals are quite multifaceted, offering a wealth of skills and diverse capabilities in addition to their technological skills, which have helped build their unique brand.

The key for resume writers when working with IT professionals? Ask the right questions and then translate the information into understandable terms that reflect the candidate’s unique value.  With accurate information-gathering that captures concrete results, creating a powerful resume will help your client land interviews for in-demand roles within the growing IT sector.

Helpful Resources:

Webopedia – Online technical dictionary for IT professionals

Wikipedia  – free encyclopedia

Computer Hope – free computer help and information – TechTarget – computer glossary and technology terms

International Web Association –  the industry’s recognized leader in providing educational and certification standards for web professionals.

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