Over the years, I’ve guided many professionals into their dream jobs and helped organizations grow their talent pools. While networking, perfect timing and a bit of luck are all part of the equation, a resume that aligns a candidate’s skillset with what an organization needs is often the key that links the two together.
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Professionals in the tech industry face a special challenge. Just consider this: Every 18 months, the speed of processing in computers doubles! Yes, technology moves at a breakneck speed, which is why tech workers in particular must ensure that they are showcasing their ability to stay ahead of the curve. While you may in fact be inline or even ahead of industry standards, it can be difficult to communicate that within the confines of a resume. With that, here is a list of items every data analyst should include in their resume.
1. Terminology. While you don’t want to get too far into the weeds with specific jargon, using industry-specific terminology is an important element of your resume. This lets the hiring manager know you are hip to the industry and knowledgeable of your specific area of expertise. One additional word of advice is to perform some due diligence around specific terms used by the organization you’re interested in. As with most things technical, there may be more than one way to refer to the same concept or process.
2. Responsibilities. The hiring organization has a detailed overview of what they’re expecting to get out this next hire — use this to your advantage. First, make sure you thoroughly understand the requirements and business needs. If the advertisement is vague, go the extra mile, bust out your networking skills and reach out to the recruiter. Any recruiter worth their salt will have had a detailed discussion with the hiring manager ahead of posting the position. They should be able to help fill in any blanks and even offer key insights you may not have considered. Organize your responsibilities in a summary that highlights the value you’ve brought your previous employers in a manner that is consistent with the new organization. Doing this will help to ensure your resume doesn’t end up on the dreaded “Not Qualified” pile.
3. Bullets. The rumors are true: Recruiters and hiring managers alike are most often flooded with hundreds of resumes for each posting. While we’d all love to imagine a 30-minute review of the one document that shows others why we’re the best candidate, the truth is that this just doesn’t happen. The time spent doing an initial sorting is more along the lines of one to two minutes per resume — and that’s only if a human does the review. With today’s applicant tracking systems, the use of computer programing to perform the first scan is very common. In either case, you can quickly gain credibility through the use of concise, succinctly worded bullet points that demonstrate your skills and accomplishments.
4. The Latest and Greatest. While I’m certain you will highlight your collegiate accomplishments and any additional certificates you’ve earned, don’t forget about the other accomplishments that have kept you current with your industry. Again, the world is moving at a high rate of speed, and those who fail to keep their foot firmly on the pedal will get lost in the shuffle. Consider things like on-the-job trainings, continuing education courses, and seminars. Details like this let those in the hiring seats see that you’re committed to your future.
Whether you’re working to advance within your field, relocate, or just ready for a change, make sure that you position yourself in a manner that will get you to the interview and ultimately help you land that next role. While networking will help you find new opportunities, having a quality resume is still an integral part of the process. As Confucius said, “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.”
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