In the professional world, curating a great resume is key to finding your dream job. Whether it’s your first job or you’re advancing to a higher position, a good resume is paramount. This is especially true when you are writing a resume for an IT or cyber-related position. The technology industry is one of the fastest-growing hiring markets with thousands of eager job seekers looking for their next big position. This month at Aspis, we are taking a wider look at resumes as a whole. Each week, we will offer a new blog with more resume tips. We will cover what you should add to your resume, the top mistakes people make when writing a resume, and how to make your resume stand out.
Now is a great time to be hunting for a job. Many companies, Aspis included, are hiring (to learn more click here). Our goal is that this blog, and our other resume blogs, will help you improve your resume and help you secure your dream job.
The purpose of this blog is to give you tips on what you need to add to your resume. This may surprise you, as one of the most common mistakes job seekers do with their resumes is making them too full or ‘busy’. This is still true but isn’t the focus of this blog. Often, resumes have the right idea, but improper execution. Recently, I was able to sit down with the founder and CEO of Aspis, Jeff Wagner, to talk with him about what he looks for in a resume. He said that too often, people simply aren’t clear enough. If your resume is hard to read, people will lose interest fast.
Jeff’s recommendation: condense things into ‘what, why, and impact.’ To elaborate, what you did, why it mattered, and what impact you had.
Step 1) Showcase What You Did
This is the part you probably already have in your resume. This is your description of your previous work, how long you did it, and a bullet point or two talking about your tasks. Jeff recommends bullet points, by the way. While this may seem simple, it is very easy to get wrong. It’s best to start the bullet with an action word. This shortens the bullet and reads a lot better. For example:
- Helped new employees with their computer problems
This doesn’t sound very good at all. Try something like this:
- Oversaw assistance of computer problems for entire staff
Obviously, this is a very simplified example. Action words are strong and read well. Before you go and re-write your bullet points, you may want to see what else we have to say. Also, make sure your bullet points are relevant to the job listing. If you are applying for a tech position don’t talk about how you served burgers at Mcdonald’s.
Step 2) Showcase Why It Mattered
If you stopped reading after the ‘what you did’ section, your resume is now probably looking very plain. It is most likely filled with statements like, ‘called clients on the phone,’ or ’typed emails.’ If you can believe it, this isn’t exactly what hiring managers are looking for either. This is a little too short, broad, and doesn’t give light to what makes you special. The big question you must answer now is WHY. Did you call clients? WHY? Do you write emails? WHY? Let’s do another comparison. For example:
- Typed emails
That’s too short and doesn’t give any information. What about this:
- Wrote response emails to dissatisfied customers
So much better! Not only does that look a lot better than, ‘wrote emails,’ but it shows other skills too. You can handle conflict resolution. This is something that could lead to a follow-up question in an interview. Answering the WHY is very important. But wait, there’s more…
Step 3) Showcase What Impact It Had
So far, you’ve got some solid bullet points, but they can still improve! Through explaining the ‘why,’ you have given more context and have shown some skills. But if there is no result to prove, does it really matter? Looking at the previous example, what if you were terrible at writing emails? What if every customer was dissatisfied with your response? You need to prove that that isn’t the case. Guess what? We’re going to do another comparison. For example:
- Called potential clients
It’s okay. It’s good enough. Who knows… maybe you were terrible on the phone. Try this:
- Called 150 potential clients resulting in a 60% success rate
Wow! So many numbers! This shows a hiring manager that you called a lot of people, and you were good at it. Again, this doesn’t translate to IT or cyber work, but if I was hiring for telemarketers, I would want this guy on my team. Now, obviously don’t say things like that if they aren’t true. However, don’t be afraid to keep track of stats like that and show them off. The goal of a resume is to advocate for your work. Don’t sell yourself short.
Other IT Resume Options
The example of ‘what, why, impact’ works great. However, if you’re having trouble with that, I can present you with alternate options. You could use STAR, which stands for situation, task, action, result. You could also use CCAR, challenge, context, action, result. These are also great ways to work through any potential interview questions like, ‘tell me about a time you used your conflict resolution skills in a previous job.’ This stuff can be stressful, but you can do it. This is just the first of a few different blogs for resume tips, so keep an eye on Aspis social channels for future updates!
Want to see some resume examples? Indeed offers a wide range of great examples for you to look at and base your resume on. Click here to see more.
Aspis is Hiring!
The Aspis team is hiring! With the new year comes a huge growth for our firm. Aspis offers great pay, amazing benefits, and a community of cyber enthusiasts. To learn more about our open positions click here
Who is Aspis Consulting?
Aspis is a cybersecurity and administrative service firm headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. Starting in 2019 with a goal of democratizing cybersecurity, Aspis believes that all businesses deserve to feel safe from cyber threats. Because of that we took our government-level services and offer them to small businesses for a price they can afford. With additional branches in Duluth, Minnesota, and Washington DC Aspis has grown to become a national brand and has helped countless businesses with their cybersecurity needs. Our team offers a full suite of services including Darkweb Monitoring Solutions, Cybersecurity Management Consulting, and Cybersecurity Consulting to both our commercial and government clients. Our organization has been featured in countless publications including Forbes, IBM, and the US Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Aspis is proudly HUBZone certified and an national LGBT Business Enterprise.
To learn more on how Aspis can help you with your cybersecurity needs check out our website. Also, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. We post things to stay up to do on cybersecurity news, company updates, and need-to-know tips.
Additionally, check out some of our other blogs here: