Your resume won’t get you a job, but, if properly crafted, will get you attention- and interviews. And interviews will get you into IT. But what if you haven’t worked in IT before?
The great news is that you can transition into IT with a different background- if I did it, so can you. These tips will help you get your resume tight so you can break the ice.
Craft a powerful objective statement
An objective statement is probably the most incorrectly used item on a resume. It’s supposed to tell the reader what the heck your resume is doing in the stack. You need this since you may not have a strong IT background. Most people just end up not changing it from the resume template they downloaded:
I seek to use my skills to find a position in a growth-oriented company.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t tell the reader much about you. Since you want to get into IT, the objective is the place to tell the screener where you came from and where you’re going. Make it more like this:
Talented and beloved customer service agent with stellar soft skills and a head for process seeks to cheerfully solve and prevent user problems.
There- much better. This statement shows what existing skills you bring to bear, and how you will use them to fix them problem they’re hiring for. You could use this basic formula as a starting point:
<What you do and why you’re awesome> with <your most applicable skills> seeks to <here’s the awesome way you’ll solve their pain>
Take some time to think about the job you want. If you’ve got no experience, it might be a Help Desk or Desktop role. You might (should) go for a Jr. Systems or Network Administrator job if you can. Now, how would work you’ve done in the past enable you to fix those problems? This is your killer app- your way into IT. This is where you should aim your objective statement.
You have transferable skills – use them!
While it may be easier to create a resume based on you past jobs, a functional resume (or hybrid) is probably the way to go. The reason is pretty simple: you want to show what you can do, not 10 years of jobs unrelated to IT.
A chronological is just a list of jobs with responsibilities from newest to oldest. A functional resume highlights the things you’ve done already that you can use in IT. You probably already have a lot of these skills:
- Customer Service
- Process Improvement
- Project Planning
- Management Experience
A good functional resume will include your objective statement, then shows functional categories displaying your talents. You can include a work history, but not much detail is needed there- just make sure to highlight positions with relevant experience and put just companies with dates when the experience doesn’t add to your case- like that roofing helper job you did way back.
That history section can be at the bottom. By the time they get there, they should already see why you would be a good fit.
How would work you’ve done in the past enable you to fix IT problems? This is your killer app- your way into IT.
Highlight any technical experience
If you’re trying to get into IT, you’ve probably already been at least watching videos to get familiar with the concepts. Many people also take training courses, intern and volunteer to get IT experience. All of these count, and most of it should be on your resume. Don’t know where to start? Check this out: 6 ways to get IT experience.
Any IT experience is fair game. Definitely list out courses you’ve completed and any IT certifications you’ve gotten. These can go right into your functional sections. For example:
- Red Cross of America – IT Volunteer
- Repaired office desktops and field laptops
- Supported field workers during training exercises
- Kept printers supplied and working
- Obtained CompTIA A+ certification during while volunteering
- Became familiar with Active Directory concepts
And so on. Don’t forget to include things like industry articles and blogs you’ve written, freelance work you’ve done, etc. All of these add to your credibility and make you more attractive.
If you make sure to implement use a good objective statement, draw on your transferable skills, and highlight any IT experience, you will make yourself a front-runner for IT jobs you’re after. Take some time to renovate your resume!
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