Less is moreKeep your resume to two pages. You’re not a seasoned pro who has twenty years of experience to outline, you’re just starting out. Don’t worry, we get it. We all started out somewhere. You don’t need to go overboard explaining all your tasks and duties from your part-time Starbucks job. We all had jobs at school. Working hard, going to class, and finishing your program is going to be a check in the plus column.
If you are a seasoned pro who went back to school to pick up some new skills, highlight your past depth of experience and how it enhances your new skill set. I started off in academia and then tech support before I got into digital media 20 years ago. I still use my research and tech support skills and I think my diverse (maybe eclectic) background is a real asset.
Highlight practical projects from schoolIf you worked on some meaty projects using the latest buzz word technologies, we want to know. If you did a whole semester on developing mobile-friendly websites and put it into practice for a local company…that’s real experience you can hang your hat on. I give my seminar and continuing education students real projects to work on in class. One class even created proposals to create a website for a small business. That’s the kind of project experience that tells us you have experience in the real world.
Volunteer experience countsEven if it isn’t IT related volunteering and giving back shows character and what kind of person you are. Microservians give back to the community. We volunteer, we donate, we give back. It’s part of the culture here. When we see people who give their time, especially if they held down a part-time job and did well in their program, that’s the kind of person we want to talk to. Life is more than IT.
Don’t hit me with all the buzzwordsWe live IT, we know all the jargon and buzzwords. Saying you’re a full stack, mobile optimized sys admin developer is overkill. Saying you’ve had projects working with both front and back end development and name the languages you are familiar with is good. Yes, we want to know if you know PHP or MySQL or Exchange or Active Directory, but don’t try to snow us with buzzwords. We have snowblowers and shovels to clear that stuff away.
Remember your keywordsWhile you don’t want to hit us with buzzwords, we do want to see that you know the key technologies we need. Just make sure that if you’ve done HTML5 development with Twitter Bootstrap framework…it’s in there. Lots of people tailor their resume’s to particular jobs highlighting some areas and shortening others. Since you need to be concise, make sure you give the most room to the experience most relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Don’t get discouragedThe last piece of advice is to not get discouraged if your job hunt is dragging on. Sometimes it’s hard getting that first break. Go to meet ups in your field and network with people. Find and follow companies on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Connecting and with us and helping us see why you’re special is a great way to get that interview slot you’re looking for.
Want to work here? Check out our current openings in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, and Edmonton .
Scrabble photo from Flickr by Flazingo Photos.
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