Finding an entry level job is never easy, most hiring managers look for experienced candidates with relevant skills. So what can you do to ensure that being fresher works in your favor?
There are some of the clever tips to make your entry level IT resume get many interview calls! All you need to know is how to present your professional profile.
In this article we will tell you how to describe your key skills, resume summary, additional skills such as soft skills, technical skills, professional experience (if you have any at all), relevant education and other resume sections.
Let’s dive in!👇
What is an entry level resume?
Let’s talk about some of the basics first! What really is an entry level resume?
Entry level resumes are for the jobs that are entry level. Entry level basically means, there has been no prior experience and the candidate is a fresher. Entry level jobs usually provide initial training and guidance as well.
There are various levels of positions such as entry level (junior, trainee etc.), associate and senior. These positions sit accordingly in the company’s hierarchical structure. Entry level jobs are for those who are just beginning their careers.
Entry level jobs are usually taken up by freshers who are recent graduates. Sometimes, someone who has had experience might take up an entry level job if they are changing careers and their old experiences are different from their new role and the hiring manager asks them to begin at an entry level job.
Entry level jobs require skills and knowledge and they are not easy to get. Especially because these days, recruiters demand up to 3 years of experience even for entry level jobs in the job description.
What do IT resumes talk about?
Now what is an IT resume? What does it talk about? What kind of roles require an IT resume?
IT resume is a resume for professionals in the IT- Information technology industry. The IT resume talks about the professional experience, skills and other details of the candidate who is applying for a role that is related to information technology.
- Software developers
- Technical support professionals
- Professionals involved with data analysis
- Software engineer
- Network administrator
- Web developer
- Computer programmer
- Information security analyst
- Data architect
- Cloud developer
- Business system analysts
- UX/UI designers
- Chief information officer
Among these you may have heard of software developers and web developers along with UX/UI designers as those roles are quite popular. You may also find other roles belonging to the IT field and industry.
This guide article with tips, is for all of them if they are looking for an entry level job and guidance for an entry level IT resume.
Writing an entry level IT resume
Writing an entry level IT resume requires some preparation, let’s talk about what you need to do before you get down to writing your entry level IT resume.
There may be many job ads that you go through, some that intrigue you and you will apply to and there will be one open position that you really want to get! So how do you increase your chances of getting that one open position for yourself?
When you are seeking your dreams, you have to put in effort. To get that job, you need to do some background research.
Research your particular role, go through a number of job descriptions, explore the industry and its current trends, research a few of your desired potential employers.
This will help you get an idea of the industry’s current state. What are requirements of the role, what are the expectations from the candidates, how do you fit into the picture- you will get answers to all these questions.
The research of job description will also help you understand what you have something extra and how you can highlight that on your resume. You will find out the key to increasing your chances of getting that job you want.
When you are researching, note down the relevant keywords, especially from the various job description, you can use them to enhance your resume.
After doing some thorough research, you need to choose the right format for your entry level IT resume.
For a professional resume that achieves the desired impact on the hiring managers, you need to meet the professional standards of a resume.
The resume format helps you with that. There are many formats for resumes, three of which are preferred and quite popular among professionals.
First is the functional resume. The functional resume format focuses on the skills, additional skills and education. Experience may be mentioned along with other information however functional resume implies the experience is not that important in this case. This format is suitable for freshers with little to no experience.
Second is the reverse chronological order resume format. This format is defined by its experience section in which the experiences are described in reverse chronological order. The format emphasizes the candidate’s experience. This format is right for those professionals who have extensive or even significant enough experience to highlight on their resume.
Third resume format is the combination format. The combination format is basically a combination of functional format and the reverse chronological format. In this format both the skills section and experience section are focused upon. Transferable skills are described with relevant details. This format is suitable for those who are looking for a career change.
As you may have guessed, for an effective entry level resume, you should go with the functional format.
Filling the header of the entry level IT resume
The header of the resume is usually inclusive of your name, your contact information and your professional photograph which is taken in formal attire.
You begin with your name in a bit bigger font. Then mention your mobile number in a formal manner with area code. Next up should be your professional email address which is formal and simple.
The photograph and home address are optional, you can decide if you want to include them or not, they are not mandatory.
Check this section twice and ensure the accuracy of details because any mistake could cost you many jobs because the hiring managers will not be able to contact you for an interview.
If your resume has two columns, you should keep the contact information on the top of either the right or the left column. Write the skills and education in the other column.
Writing resume summary of the entry level IT resume
The summary of your resume is basically the highlights of your profile as an entry level IT position candidate.
Your resume summary should be crisp and short. Use bullet points to describe details, do not exceed the limit of 5 bullet points.
The resume summary will describe your key skills that are relevant to the IT role you are applying for. You can mention the important and relevant key details of your education as well.
You can also mention any exceptional performances or courses or accomplishments in the resume summary of your entry level IT resume.
At last, you should clarify your goal- what kind of opportunity you are looking for and how you will contribute.
Describing the education section
Your education section is important for you as a fresher with no experience or little experience. You should discuss your education in terms of relevant subjects and courses.
The theoretical foundation you built during the studies and the skills you learned and developed during your studies.
You can also mention any online course or programs you completed, any training you acquired and any other learning experience in the education section.
When you are writing this section, you should mention the degree and course first followed by the name of the education institute or platform you acquired them from. After these details, you can provide a description of relevant aspects.
You should use bullet points while describing the details.
Adding the certifications
As a fresher with no experience, you need everything you have, on your resume- presented neatly.
Which means any and every certifications you have that are relevant should be mentioned on your entry level IT resume.
There are many platforms for certifications, you can pursue short term courses and acquire certifications in case you don’t have any yet.
You can mention the certificate name and the platform you acquired it from. You can also note some relevant and important points or knowledge and skills you learned during the certification course or training.
You can also add details of various relevant experience such as events you may have attended or workshops you have completed.
Elaborating the skills section
The skills section in the functional resume is a bit different than you may expect. In the functional resume format of your entry level IT resume, you will not simply list your skills in one or two words.
You need to note the skills and then back them up with descriptive relevant details. You can add all the relevant skills you have in the resume however you may want to choose a few most relevant and important ones for this section, which you can describe with details in two to three sentences.
For more skills, you can include an additional skills section where you simply list the skills in one or two words.
📌Here we have a list of skills for you that you can choose from:
- Customer service skills
- Technical skills
- Microsoft Office
- Project management
- System administration
- Troubleshooting systems
- Problem solving
- Web design
- Software development
Most importantly you should pick skills from job description of job ad with relevant job title.
Including the relevant experience
If you have any relevant experience that you can mention in your resume, you need to mention the job title you held along with the company name. You can elaborate a little with bullet points as well.
Most importantly, in absence of experience, you may want to discuss your internship experience. It is likely that during your studies, in last semester, you did an internship and that internship experience taught you a lot about how it is like to be an IT professional.
You can mention all the knowledge you acquired, skills you developed and leveraged and experience you gained. You can also showcase how your fresh perspective and contribution helped the company.
In absence of relevant work history, you can also mention relevant extracurricular activities you have participated in.
You may have heard of applicant tracking systems or the ATS. Hiring manager of every company uses the ATS to scan the resumes. The parameters are the relevant keywords of the role and job description.
To beat the ATS, you just need to include these relevant keywords in your resume throughout, in every section.
You should also make sure you use the keywords for specific job title and positions. Use the keywords sensibly in sentences and do not simply fill them anywhere.
Cover letters are not always mandatory however writing a cover letter can increase your chance of getting the job significantly.
You can address the recruiter directly and not only describe your skills and education and other relevant details but also convey your passion and dedication for the job. You can also describe your inspiration and journey of getting to this point.
In conclusion, writing an entry level IT resume requires some extra effort. However, you can rest assured, lack of experience does not mean you will have to spend months trying to convince some hiring manager to give you a chance.
📌With an impressive resume, hiring manager would want you in their company. Some important aspects to keep in mind before you go:
- Keep resume short- one page or two pages maximum
- Proofread and remove grammatical errors
- Include keywords
- Use past tense, third person throughout your resume
- Do not use pronouns anywhere for formal tone of language
- Save the resume document with professional label and compatible format (Word doc/ PDF)
Now you know all you need to write a job winning entry level IT resume! Have fun, this is the beginning of your career!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do I need a master’s degree on my entry level IT resume?
Depending on the role and its responsibilities, you may or may not need a master’s degree on your entry level IT resume. Usually a relevant bachelor’s degree is the requirement. You should always confirm from the job description or the hiring manager.
Is a cover letter mandatory with an entry level IT resume?
No, cover letters are not always mandatory. However, they increase your chances of getting the job by impressing the hiring manager.
I have relevant experience of personal projects, should I include it on my entry level IT resume?
If the experience is relevant and you can provide some details of the same, then absolutely yes! Any relevant details are helpful for your candidacy.