Are you graduating with an information technology degree? If so, congratulations, your skills are in strong demand! But for the best jobs – those with great pay, flexible hours, and the opportunity to use cutting-edge technology – competition is fierce. To land those kinds of jobs, you’ll need to really stand out. Here are four ways to get your IT resume noticed.
1. Highlight your part-time job
Good grades are important. But so is work experience. Ideally, you would have an internship on your resume, but maybe you’ve been stuck waiting tables or working at the mall. Should you highlight that on your resume?
Absolutely! In any job, you build skills such as leadership, communication, and conflict resolution. These are transferable skills. That is, they are applicable to any job. Plus, you show that you’re able to balance your job with school commitments. What you’re demonstrating is potential, which is exactly what IT recruiters look for in college candidates.
With the rise of sites like Fiverr and Freelancer.com, anyone can now do IT freelance work. You can do it all online and no one even needs to know that you’re a college student! To get started, find a technical niche where you already have some experience. Digital marketing, search engine optimization, and website development are all good choices. Then set up shop and offer your services. Initially, seek out buyer requests to get a few gigs under your belt.
The one-two punch of having a regular part-time job (i.e. a mall job) plus some technical freelancing on the side looks amazing on a resume. It demonstrates initiative, entrepreneurial drive, and technical expertise.
3. Contribute to Open Source Development
Contributing to open source development is another great way to gain technical experience, and as a bonus, you’ll also show teamwork. The best place to get started is on GitHub, a platform where people all over the world collaborate on projects. There are literally millions of projects on GitHub. To find projects to get involved with, ask around or check what is trending.
Many GitHub projects are well known, and it is quite possible to work on a product that people have heard of. Think how great that would sound on your resume! If this sounds too intimidating, you can start by doing something other than coding. Projects also need people to perform testing, log issues and write documentation, too. To learn more about how to get started on GitHub, click here.
4. Develop for the fun of it
Here is one last way to gain some technical experience: develop something just for the fun of it! Build a working app and post it to the app store as a free download. This is a great hook to call out on your resume. Imagine how many IT professionals (i.e. hiring managers) have thought about doing this themselves. You might get called in for an interview just because it’s something interesting to talk about!
If you want to have great content, you need to do great things.
Taking the Next Step
Look, I’ll be the first to admit that these things require a lot of effort. Maybe that’s not what you had in mind. But as they say, there is no free lunch, and what really matters in a resume is not the format, and not the font, but the content. If you want to have great content, you need to do great things. Invest some time now and start taking steps toward something that really makes a difference. You’ll be glad you did. Good luck and happy job hunting!
****For this post, Campus to Career thanks Baron Fendler!!!****
Author Bio: Baron Fendler has twenty-five years of IT experience as a hiring manager, project leader, consultant, and mentor. He writes about IT career development on ITClimber.com and is the author of the book How to Write an Amazing IT Resume.