Q. I am a recent college graduate about to apply for my first full-time IT job. I have work experience in other fields (mostly retail) but only academic credentials for IT. So I am really worried about sending out my resume. What are IT hiring managers looking for?
A. For any entry-level job, hiring managers are looking for any type of work experience at all. Do not downplay your retail experience; it shows that you have conquered at least the basics of a good employee (showing up on time, performing your assigned tasks, interacting with others).
Your educational background is going to be very important also and should be prominently detailed in your resume. You want to include the most relevant courses you took, the range of programs you were exposed to, and your GPA (overall or in your major only) as long as it was above 3.0. Also mention any awards or scholarships you received, regardless of whether they were for IT.
Your educational information should include certifications or any courses you took outside of the college curriculum.
If you used your IT skills on any project—to help a volunteer organization, to build a personal website, to meet requirements for your degree—include that information on your resume. Whether you completed the project alone or as part of a team, your past projects and successes are important to IT hiring managers.
Finally, never forget the value of networking both in-person and online to discover what IT hiring managers are looking for. If you have specific companies in mind, visit their websites to discover their mission statement and values and how they talk about employees and customers. That information will help you decide not only what IT hiring managers are looking for, but also if the company is a good fit for your own values, skills, experience, and attitudes.
For help in creating a resume that will give IT hiring managers what they are looking for, please contact Robin’s Resumes® today.