How to Land Your First Tech Job with a Skills-Focused Resume
There’s one question that is asked over and over during the ITPro webinars- How do I get that first job in the field? We hear countless stories of people applying endlessly to entry-level job listings, trying to get their foot in the door, but receiving no response.
Beating the algorithm
Job application portals are now an integral part of the hiring process for many companies. These portals use algorithms to screen resumes and cover letters to determine which candidates are ideal for the job. Unfortunately, many qualified candidates can be overlooked. However, by leveraging your skills and optimizing your application materials, you can increase your chances of breaking through the algorithms and landing your dream job.
Maximizing the efficiency of each application yields better results than sending the same generic resume to 100 listings. According to Top Resume, 75% of resumes get tossed out by the job portal algorithm before they even see a hiring manager. Tailoring your application, resume, and cover letter means it’s more likely to land on the digital desk of the right people.
The top third of your resume is the most important area. Use bullet points to list your skills, making them easy to read and understand. Start each bullet point with an action verb and quantify your accomplishments where possible. Employers are interested in seeing results, not just a list of responsibilities. Quantify your achievements by including numbers, percentages, or other measurable results to show your impact.
Adapting for success
Professionals in and out of the tech industry make use of general skills. These include hard skills, like data analysis and writing, as well as soft skills, like communication and problem-solving. To increase your chances of making it through the algorithm, ensure your application materials contain the relevant skills for each listing. Carefully read the job description and make a list of keywords that the employer is likely to be looking for. Then, incorporate these keywords into your resume and cover letter.
In the rapidly evolving world of technology, skill building and continuous learning are crucial for anyone seeking to establish or advance their career in the field. Identify what skills are associated with the jobs you’re interested in, and you can determine what skills you may want to build upon to increase your chances of landing that job. See a lot of listings that need you to input data into Splunk? Look for short-term workshops and online classes to add to that skill.
Employers in the tech industry value candidates who are willing to learn and adapt. By demonstrating a commitment to skill building and ongoing education, you'll make yourself a more attractive candidate for job opportunities and promotions.
- Break it down: Think about your current experience in basic skills terms
- Get specific: Tailor your message to each job and how your skills can help you adapt
- Be ready to learn: Adding new skills doesn’t have to be intimidating
ITPro is part of the ACI Learning family of companies providing Audit, Cyber, and IT learning solutions for eager students. The newest courses released by ITPro are broken down by specific skills, making it even easier to elevate your resume amongst the crowd. When asked about the new skills-focused approach regarding his upcoming course focusing skills needed to pass the MD100 certification, our edutainer Wes Bryan said, “This is our new format. We’re going to focus on the skills that you need in order to accomplish these tasks. So, while the MD100 is exam driven, you don’t have to be taking this exam to benefit from the course because it’s also going to give you the skills you need to manage the Windows client environment.”
Skill building and continuous learning are essential for anyone looking to build a successful career in tech. Whether you're just starting out or you're a seasoned professional, investing in your own education and development is always a smart choice.
Breaking into tech without direct experience can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. By leveraging your general skills, such as problem-solving, communication, creativity, adaptability, and project management, you can demonstrate your value to potential employers and show that you have what it takes to succeed in the tech industry.