Is Your Resume Holding You Back from a Great IT Career?

Is Your Resume Holding You Back from a Great IT Career?

Anybody who has ever been out job hunting can tell you first hand that there is probably nothing more frustrating than trying to come up with a compelling resume. The one thing that many people need reminded of is that you cannot expect one resume format to have the same effect in different fields. Different employers under different careers appreciate different values and skills. IT is a field where the way you write your resume will play a major role in determining whether or not you even get to the interview! So after investing your time and money in IT career training and IT certification, you need to make sure that you have one heck of a resume if you plan on making it in the business.

Tips to Write a Compelling Resume for an IT Position

Most employers in the IT business value skill and creativity above other traits in a potential employee. These two qualities quite literally fuel the industry. It is therefore very important to come up with a resume that shines a spotlight on the presence of these two and many other skills that the employer stands to gain from by hiring you. Below are five simple tips on how to write an attention grabbing IT resume that will leave your interviewers in awe.

1. Be Organized and Draw Attention to the Major Points

The people given the duty of reviewing resumes are usually inundated by how many they receive. In fact, research has shown that they can spend as little as 25 seconds on each in order to save time! How much can YOU read in 25 seconds? It is extremely important that you organize your work in such a way that the big points are hard to miss. Short sentences, bullet points, selective bolding, and highlighting can be extremely helpful in making the important points stand out in a short time. Also be sure that your information is well-spaced so it is easy to scan. These simple tips help by creating an illusion that of less work for the interviewer and increase the chances of your resume being read through properly.

2. Quantify Your Accomplishments

In IT, many people applying for the same job as you will probably have similar IT career training. This means that it is not enough to just mention your alma mater and former places of work. However, not all applicants may have IT certifications. Industry recognized IT certifications help to “prove” you have the abilities and skills you say you have. If you have IT certifications, make sure they are prominently featured.

Additional information on your achievements in the world of IT will also help give you an edge over your competitors. For example, if you have ever entered and won in an IT based competition or exhibition, you should definitely mention this. This gives the person reading the resume the impression that you are a go-getter with a healthy competitive spirit which is needed in the industry. Focus on achievements you have accomplished that help demonstrate your knowledge in the field you are applying for. You can also include certificates awarded for non-competitive achievements including short IT course programs and extra training.

3. Be Brief and Concise

As mentioned earlier, the employers do not have enough time on their hands to go through your entire resume, especially if it is a long one. Therefore, ensure that you focus only on what is important and relevant to the job you are applying for. Everything else can be a side note that can be discussed more in-depth at the interview level if they are interested in asking you about non-relevant experience and work. Be sure to highlight your skills, interests and achievements with brief but informative descriptions. This way, the person reviewing the resume gets to see just how amazing you are with a simple sweep over the page.

4. Mention Hobbies and Interests that are Relevant to IT Careers

Since IT industry employers love creativity and open mindedness, the hobbies and interest section of the resume can be important. Almost any hobby or interest can be molded to fit the IT business. For example, creativity can be shown with hobbies like painting, photography, and cooking. Team sports such as baseball, softball, football, hockey, etc. show that you can work as a team member in pursuit of a common goal. Sudoku, chess, and backgammon will highlight your logic skills. Reading and visiting museums can showcase your hunger for knowledge.

5. Use Correct Spelling and Grammar, Use Short Sentences

This might seem obvious but it is a commonly overlooked factor in resume writing. Grammatical errors, long redundant sentences and typos are every employer’s nightmare. If yours has a lot of these you can rest assured that it will not be handled with the seriousness and interest you would want. So make sure that these errors are not anywhere in your resume as you submit it.

The Bottom Line

After all is said and done, no one wants to go through years of IT career training and IT certification only to end up jobless simply because they had an inadequate resume. The tips above will help you come up with something that even the hardest employers to impress will find compelling. However, make sure that above all else, you are honest about your abilities and achievements. This way, you will have no fears or regrets when your amazing resume lands you that amazing IT career.


LeaderQuest IT Training

Are you missing some critical IT career training or IT certifications for that job you’ve been eyeing?

Contact LeaderQuest IT Training today! With free IT career services, we can help you carve out your path to IT career success.


Top Cyber Security Certifications to Advance Your Career

Top Cyber Security Certifications to Advance Your Career

Cyber Security professionals have become increasingly indispensable in the wake of today’s technology-driven world. With the astonishingly speedy evolution of technology, the need to protect users, data, and systems is critical. And with great need comes great demand! The Occupational Outlook Handbook states that the national growth rate for Information Security Analyst jobs is much faster than average at a staggering 18%! And with an average of $88k + per year, choosing a cyber security career path is a no-brainer for some.

So now that you’ve decided you want to take your tech career to the next level and you’re intrigued with the possibilities of a cyber security career, you’re probably wondering, “What now?”

We’re glad you asked! In this article, we’ll highlight some “must-have” cyber security training and what the courses entail, industry-recognized certifications that are sure to make you stand out, and the income opportunities that certified experienced professionals are likely to enjoy in the current job market.

EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Certified Ethical HackerThe Certified Ethical Hacker certification is a must for anyone who wants a promising IT security portfolio. The training entails hacking, securing, testing, and scanning your own security systems. Learners are subjected to real-life interactive scenarios to amass practical in-depth knowledge and experience in key security systems. Further, this course helps students understand how intruders take advantage of certain privileges to compromise user security and as well as the counteractive measures that should be embraced to keep information criminals at bay. Certified Ethical Hacker courses are generally five days long (or 40 hours) and prepare students for the EC-Council ANSI accredited Certified Ethical Hacker exam and CEH cyber security certification. This course is great for people wanting a career as a security specialist, website administrator, or security assessor.

EC-Council Certified Ethical Hackers are widely needed in various sectors. The salary of a Certified Ethical Hacker ranges from $49,000 to $135,000 a year, depending on the employer, state/country in which the professionals work, and the key responsibilities of the job.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

The CISSP certification or Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification is a globally recognized cyber security certification that authenticates an individual has in-depth knowledge in the area of information security. CISSPs are much-needed specialists who act as information assurance experts with a thorough understanding of the control, management, designs, and the architectures that guarantee risk-free business environments. It is also imperative to note that CISSP was the first training in the field of IT and computer security to fulfill the requirements for the international standards set by ISO/IEC Standard 17024.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

While offering essential preparatory knowledge for CISSP certification, CISSP training also provides practical approaches for combating IT-related crimes. Security professionals with this industry recognized cyber security certification are in high demand. Expect interviews to dwell more on experience and the hands-on capabilities that you possess.

To be eligible for CISSP training, you must have at least five years of experience in one or more of the CISSP security domains (or security categories). However, anyone who has a degree from a recognized college plus four years of experience in the information security sector also qualifies. The coursework is specifically tailor-made for existing specialists in the cyber security field and is not an entry-level course. It is meant to equip the learners with an advanced skill set and knowledge base for an advanced level career. Ideal applicants for this training include information security auditors, investigators, and cyber security risk management professionals.

The average CISSP professional’s salary is $130,000 a year, with some of the highest paid experts in the field pocketing up to $202,000 working for leading IT firms.

EC-Council Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI)

Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI)This cyber security training course takes about 5 days and focuses on computer evidence analysis and forensics. It comprehensively equips learners with the technological knack required to undertake a rigorous computer forensic inquiry. With cases of IT crimes increasing by the day, police officers, corporations, and government sectors require increased capacity to carry out painstaking forensic investigations. Due to a flurry of constant inventions and innovations in the world of technology, cyber security personnel need to keep honing and fine-tuning their skills in order to stay ahead of the perpetrators who tirelessly work to find loopholes in existing security systems.
Computer forensics involves applying various techniques to uncover possible cyber crime and amass important legal evidence at the same time. The specialty is quite broad and involves things like misuse of the internet, theft or destruction of intellectual property, theft/misuse of private business secrets, and general fraud. Because the average cyber criminal is IT-savvy, CHFI professionals know a number of ways to access information in almost any computer system by circumventing access controls and recovering deleted or encrypted data.

This cyber security training course is meant to prepare candidates for the industry recognized EC-Council CHFI certification. It may also be desired by those that need further studies in fields such as network security, penetration testing, and system architecture and engineering. Depending on CHFI specialists’ duties, employer, and the country/state where they work, the annual income is somewhere between $49,000 and $105,000.

Certified Information Security Manager Training (CISM)

CISM and CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) are two job titles trending off the charts right now! And it’s no surprise with the high salaries that accompany these titles. Like the other cyber security certifications discussed above, CISM training is designed to last five days. The training helps security experts align information security processes with the ever-changing day-to-day needs of various organizations/businesses. Learners are taught how to detect possible information security loopholes and thwart potential breaches before cyber criminals take advantage of such weaknesses. Summarily, information security managers are tasked with sensitive information security responsibilities that include implementing information security programs, enhancing the ability of businesses to identify and curb IT security infringements, overseeing and directing strategies meant to fight cyber crime, and creating the necessary programs for preventing or controlling several crimes related to information security.

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

Ideal students for this highly specialized course include IT specialists such as network engineers and operators. Other individuals practicing in the information security sector may also consider CISM training to sharpen their skills in information security management procedures. Statistics show that most information security managers in the United States draw salaries of between $71,000 and $106,000 every year.


Cyber Security Certifications Have Big Payoffs!

There are several different training programs you can embark on for a cyber security career. The bottom line is that cyber security careers are in high demand, meaning job security, and they pay well! Four of the “Top 8 Highest-Paying IT Certifications” are in the cyber security category! Call us today at (866) 378-0761 or contact us here and our career services professionals can create a training and career plan to help YOU on a path to your dream cyber security career and salary.

The Key Differences Between Free Online Code Courses & Online IT Certifications

The Key Differences Between Free Online Code Courses & Online IT Certifications

Hands down, learning to code is one of the best things you can do for your IT career—whether you want to work directly as a developer or just get a deeper understanding of the nuts and bolts of the apps, software and websites you work with every day.

But choosing exactly where to start with your coding education can be difficult.

Free online courses can be tempting because there’s no required monetary investment and you can work at your own pace, but certifications carry far more weight with HR managers trying to make the best hire for their company—to the point that they’re willing to pay those candidates 9% in their initial job offer.

Learning to Code From Harvard, Google & MIT For FREE

One of the best things about free online coding courses is that some of the most popular companies and top educational institutions are offering them to anyone willing to take the time to sit and go through the coursework.

Harvard offers a free introductory course to computer science online as a series of filmed lectures from the actual class that took place in the university.

Tech giant Google has a free class for learning to develop with Python, and MIT offers three free online coding courses: Intro to Computer Science and Programming, Practical Programming in C, and Structure & Interpretation of Computer Programs.

Other free online programs, like Code Academy, teach you lots of languages like JavaScript, PHP, jQuery, Ruby, and HTML + CSS, and even offer practical hands-on practice of what you learn.

The Catch of Free Online Courses

Free online coding courses are wonderful, for sure.

If you don’t have any coding knowledge and are curious if it’s something you’d like to pursue, they’re the perfect place to learn what you’d be getting into and to get fundamental knowledge to use as a base for more formal education.

The catch is, that while you may learn a ton while taking the course, there’s no exam at the end, and therefore no way to prove your competency in the area you’ve studied. There’s a certain amount of infrastructure required for that, and that’s something you have to pay for.

Affordable Online IT Certifications: IT’s Best-Kept Secret

Certifications, on the other hand, are the best-kept secret of advancing an IT career.

They come from organizations HR managers know they can trust, and since there’s an exam or final project attached to them, the hiring managers you submit your resume to will be confident enough in your abilities to keep you in the stack that gets called for an interview.

In fact, certifications might actually be more powerful (and are certainly more affordable) than four-year degrees.

According to Bloomberg, 70% of coding boot camp students already have a college degree, but decide to enroll to learn code because they’re desperate for better job availability, job security, and a decent salary. Further, they said that nearly 60% see a salary increase that averages around $23,000 extra per year.

In CompTIA’s 2015 report, 5 Reasons Why Employers Look for IT Certifications, “91% of employers believe IT certifications play a key role in the hiring process and that IT certifications are a reliable predictor of a successful employee.”

What Real People Did With Their IT Certifications

Borrowing a couple testimonials from Microsoft about what earning a certification has done for their students’ careers, you can see the impact that studying towards an online coding certification has:

Connecticut-based systems engineer Jason Zandri said,

“They’ve allowed me, a person with just a GED education, the ability to move out of a blue collar job into the professional, white collar field with limitless opportunity and a six figure salary since I was 35 (going on my tenth year of that).”

Teresa Burger, a Texas-based developer, said,

“The job market today is insane: I get job offers every day. It’s a great market for developers. It’s even better if you have your certification because that gives you that one little edge you have against somebody that doesn’t if you’re going for the same job.”

Complete a Code Certification in As Little As 8 Days

The good news is, getting a certification in coding online doesn’t have to take much time at all.

In many cases, you can be in and out of your course in a month or two and earning a higher salary sooner than you ever thought possible.

One of our students, a US Army veteran named Jonathan said,

“I was skeptical at first, but my college professor had been emphasizing the importance of IT certifications in addition to formal education. I am so glad I checked LeaderQuest out! I am loving my new job and am excited about my future.”

Have you ever done a free or paid online training course? What did you think?