As someone who helps individuals prepare resumes across a wide range of career fields, I’m often faced with new jargon specific to a career that catches me a little by surprise. Acronyms are a particular bugbear, but the IT industry often throws up peculiar names for their software and web frameworks.
When I read the IT term “Django”, I was immediately reminded of the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained, however that film couldn’t be any more different from this IT term.
Django developers use a high-level Python web framework that allows the rapid development of secure and maintainable websites. It removes much of the hassle out of web development so that more time can be spent on writing apps, saving time better spent elsewhere.
Of course, it is impossible for every resume writer like myself to fully understand every aspect of every possible career they might be writing a resume for. Even though some businesses will try to imply they do.
Common Mistakes on IT resumes
When writing a Python Django Developer resume it is important to include your relevant work history and match your skills with the job you are applying for. Whether you’re seeking an entry-level position or have been in your career for a few years, you need to highlight your relevant achievements in your resume to allow you to stand out ahead of other candidates.
Here are the two biggest mistakes I see in IT resumes.
- Defining skills as solely the technical skills of a job
Now I don’t know what any of that means, but I can assume that a recruiter or employer in the IT career field will know what it means, so it is all relevant.
The problem is that those technical skills are most likely “must-haves” for the specific IT job.
That means that every other applicant for the same job probably has the same skills written on their resume.
So simply listing those skills on your resume doesn’t make you stand out as any better than the majority of other candidates. So, if someone has those same skills on their resume but has more experience or worked for higher profile employers than you, then they will probably be favored ahead of you when it comes to selecting a shortlist for interviewing.
You need to include more context around those skills.
When you are using those skills on the job, what are you doing?
You are problem-solving, you are thinking critically, you’re communicating with other team members, and working together as a team to develop efficient solutions.
These are what we call soft skills, and they are just as important as the hard, technical skills, sometimes even more important.
If you know how to write code but can’t communicate well with the client, you might design something that is not fit for your purpose.
If you have poor time management skills and lack critical thinking, you might spend too much time on a minor aspect of the job and not have enough time to properly develop the most important features for the client’s business.
So, your skills section should include soft skills listed like time management, teamwork, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, etc.
- Not proving you have those skills
Let’s face it, most IT job advertisements will list what technical skills you need for the specific job, and Google can quickly provide some suitable soft skills to include too. I could easily place these on my resume and apply for the same Django development job.
But I don’t have any of those technical skills, and while I might have those soft skills, I have no idea how to apply them in connection with the technical skills.
But if you haven’t included soft skills in your resume, my resume will be making me look like a better candidate. If you have included them, then we look to be similarly qualified.
But neither of us has written anything on your resume to prove we have those skills.
How do you prove your skills?
In your most recent job where you include bullet points of your work experience, instead of just writing a list of duties, write a list of achievements and which soft skills you used.
Here are some examples:
- Collaborated with a team of 4 developers to troubleshoot errors on over 30 projects
- Applied strong attention to detail to write thousands of lines of code
- Performed research to explore and find new technological platforms.
- Resolved ongoing problems and accurately documented the progress of Python projects
- Evaluated development standards and procedures of engineering processes.
- Managed continuous maintenance and troubleshooting of (x number of) Python Django projects.
Now your resume clearly says that you have relevant soft and technical skills, AND it proves you have those skills in the way you have described your work experience.
Now your resume appears to be worthy of sitting on the top of the pile, and you will be one of the first contacted for a job interview.