Does Your Tech Resume Contain These In-Demand Skills?

No matter how qualified you are for the IT job, your resume is what sells you to a potential employer. Which technical skills are most relevant to boost your IT resume?
Saturday, 10 June 2017

What makes you stand out from the crowd?

Previously we’ve gone over the construction techniques for résumés such as how to make sure they contain the right components, and that they end up in a familiar and easy-to-read order.  You know you should review them with both a spelling and grammar checker and, as added protection from your own biased eye, always get somebody else to read it for you.

There is another area that still needs your attention: placement.  If you list all of your skills, in the order that you happened to remember them, that can be self-defeating.  Someone applying for a job as a butcher doesn’t lead off with their skills about harvesting grain, so why would someone applying for a position as a Front End Developer lead off with their expertise as a Network or Security Systems engineer?

What you want to highlight—to put smack in the middle of the spotlight—is material that says “I can do this job”.  If your specialty is being a Quality Assurance Engineer then indicate that you’re an expert with Cucumber, Selenium, or QuickTest Pro.  Hiring managers don’t want to guess, and frankly don’t have the time.

If you’re creating a boilerplate résumé, one you will never send to anybody before being customized for each job, create a robust bulleted list.  Put down every single skill you possess and when it comes time to use that résumé you can simply re-order it and delete the ones that aren’t relevant.

What is in demand in the IT Industry?

Hard Skills

  • Project Management
  • Database Management
  • Data Analysis (Data Science)
  • Data Security
  • Web Development
  • Mobile App Development
  • Program Development

Soft Skills

  • Teamwork/Collaboration 
  • Team Building
  • Decision-making
  • Communication
  • Planning & Organizing Priorities
  • Research
  • Mentoring

Presentation

Hard skills are often very job-specific.  Network Security does not have a lot of applications in Accounting, and vice versa.  This is why we tailor résumés for the particular opportunity, however…

Soft skills are almost universally applicable to everyjob, and in almost every circumstance.  The difficulty is that merely saying “I am a good mentor” doesn’t carry a lot of weight.  While hard skills are fairly easy to delineate, soft skills must be woven into the text as an example.  Optimally they are framed as accomplishments.

Most Project Managers, for example, can handle timelines, scheduling of talent, and making sure that required materials, resources, and workspace are available in a timely fashion.  An exceptional Project Manager has skills as a communicator and a peacemaker; this is a person that can get two polarized parties to the discussion table, get them talking and hammer out solutions to keep the project on track.

Examples of effectively wheeling-and-dealing, moderating, wheedling or cajoling that got the job done demonstrate the skill rather than just blithely stating it, and that’s what hiring managers are looking for.

What are Hiring Managers in IT looking for?

Big Data & Analytics

We are creating new data at such a prodigious rate that 90% of all human data was created in the last two years.  The amount of information we have is only going to continue to grow.  Understandably a lot of this data is of little value, such as the entire history of your NEST thermostat from the date that it was installed.  It exists, nevertheless, so that you can look at the evening of April 3, 2013 at 8:03 PM and discover that your house was 72° F.

The point is that we have so much of this information that once it is aggregated, we should literally, or at least virtually, be able to predict the future.  But to make that happen we need people who can cope with 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being created every single day.

Data visualization

Once Big Data & Analytics are through, that information still has to be presented in a format that C-suite executives and decision makers can understand.  New tools like Qlikview & QlikSense, Tableau, and the open source programming language R, are now making it possible to turn data into knowledge.  

Cloud Computing

The Cloud aspect of modern computing is driving the Internet of Things (IoT).  We are getting more and more connected with our devices.  A typical home monitoring video system can be observed on your smart phone; it will allow you to interact with a delivery person at your front door when you’re not home; it can also inform you when the kids get home from school, or the dog walker drops by to take Fido for a run.  

Businesses need to be prepared to deal with this massive influx of data.  It’s not going to be a predictable stream from another business, but rather data from hundreds or thousands of individual customers.

DevOps

The problem with the three preceding categories is that the people who write the code (developers) to handle this massive data stream often don’t have good communications with the people who deploy the code (operations).  It was only after Patrick Dubois and Andrew Clay Shafer got together in 2007 that the portmanteau of “DevOps” came into existence.

Nowadays it is gaining serious traction and has become a vital component of day-to-day operations.  As of 2016, about ¾ of SMBs have started following DevOps principles and the number is even higher for large organizations at 81%.  Although still a young field, it now offers tens of thousands of new jobs every year.

Related article: Which Skills Are Most Important for College Grads?

IT Security

Finally, to tie it all together, is the all-pervasive need for protecting all this information.  Even the so called “garbage-data” that is only collected from customers incidentally (such as hours of video monitoring data of a property by a security company when nothing happened) has to be protected.

Whether it’s protecting a corporate mainframe, access to Cloud-powered backups, a client’s PII (Personally Identifiable Information), or something we haven’t even imagined yet, IT Security is going to play an important role for the foreseeable future.

The Takeaway

If you have skills in any of these five areas make sure you highlight them—this is a surefire way to get the attention of a technically-oriented Hiring Manager.  Most of your competition just glosses over this information, imagining that their skills or expertise will carry them through.

The problem with that is it’s often the résumé itself which makes the difference about whether or not you will be called for an interview.  If you never get to meet them, you never get to tell just how wonderful you are.

Your résumé is your advertisement for your Dallas IT job.  Its whole purpose is to be interesting enough to encourage somebody to take an action.  How you prepare your résumé gives the Hiring Manager an excellent idea about your work habits and ethics.  If you send a “who cares?” résumé to apply for a job, don’t expect much more than a “who cares?” response as they toss it into the wastepaper basket.

Read 2837 times Last modified on Monday, 14 August 2017