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July 21, 2015 by Tomas Twomey

Resume Tips for Recent IT Grads

Resume Tips for Recent IT Grads
Congratulations! You’ve finished an IT program and now it’s time to get a “real” job and put those skills to use. How’s the resume looking? A little thin? Here are some tips from Microserve’s recruitment specialists on how to make your shiny, new resume stand out and get that interview.

Less is more

Keep 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 school

If 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 counts

Even 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 buzzwords

We 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 keywords

While 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 discouraged

The 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.
Tomas Twomey
About Tomas Twomey
Tomas Twomey is an experienced recruitment and HR professional with over 4 years’ experience working in IT recruitment in Canada and Ireland. His career to date has given him full recruitment lifecycle experience from sourcing candidates, managing them through the interview stages leading to eventual placement. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Studies and Master’s Degree in Project Management which gives him an good understanding of PM methodologies, industry best practice and how it is applied. This insight is extremely helpful in helping for recruitment in many areas of Information Technology.


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