Computer Systems Institute courses are currently online due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more.
Winter 2022 Enrollment Now Open.

5 Growing IT Careers to Consider

As the job market becomes more flexible with remote working and the economy runs more dependent on digital platforms, the need for information technology (IT) skills has skyrocketed. Employment for a variety of computer science and IT roles is projected to grow almost 15% between now and 2030 – that’s faster than projections for all other occupations combined!  

The talent gap between the economic demand for these jobs and the ability to supply that demand with qualified individuals is significant. In addition to that, international students make up between 50% and 80% of the most highly-educated undergraduate and graduate students, across both science and engineering fields. International students and graduates have the advantage when entering newer technology markets. 

That’s great news for you!  

To put it simply, if you’ve ever been interested in putting your skills into a new IT career, now’s the time.  

But which job is right for you? 

There are so many opportunities waiting for you to use your skills and knowledge to make a difference in today’s technology market. A lot of organizations need workers with technical knowledge and support to navigate our ever-changing digital and online world today. You could be just the person to help them – and have a fulfilling and lucrative career doing it. 

Here are 5 of the fastest growing IT jobs to consider for your next career move: 

1) Technical Specialist 

Technical Specialist is someone who coordinates an organization’s use of technology. This means they understand a company’s procedure in order to assess the need for any new or updated technological processes to make them more efficient and effective. They can also supervise computer configuration and manage cybersecurity needs.  

2) Desktop Specialist 

Desktop Specialists maintain the hardware and software systems for an organization. These IT professionals manage software updates and hardware installations, vet and recommend new programs, and provide troubleshooting support for fundamental technical issues. 

3) Help Desk Specialist 

Help Desk Specialists are responsible for providing assistance with technical issues and are the main internal support for troubleshooting software, hardware, or any other computer systems used by an organization’s staff. These tech wizards can answer questions and address potential issues in user or system errors. 

4) LAN Administrator 

Local Area Network, known as LAN, Administrators maintain the server and security of their organization’s network through the equipment and computers being used. They help configure their local area network and do routine maintenance checks and repairs to restore connectivity and stability.  

5) Systems Administrator 

Systems Administrators are responsible for the daily operations of network and computer system management. Their tasks include organizing, installing, and supporting computer systems across an organization’s network. This can include local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), intranets, any network segments, and other communication or data systems used in a company’s technical processes.  

If any of these IT careers sound great but you’re not sure how to get started, check out  CSI’s CompTIA/Microsoft Track of the Networking Career Program. This comprehensive, hands-on program combines instructor-led classwork with an online learning platform. The goal is to give you the best way forward in your career with a strong foundation of fundamentals in technology with practical training in computer networking and information tech resources and procedures. 

To stay competitive and knowledgeable in any information technology or computer science position, getting your professional certification is the best way to get into one of the fastest growing industries to date. 

A certification exam preparation course and fee for 1 exam are included within this program, focusing on CompTIA© exams and the new generation of Microsoft© Exams. International students must take a computer-based standardized ACCUPLACER® ESL Test in order to enroll. 

With CSI’s CompTIA/Microsoft Track, you’ll be trained by information technology experts in their field.  After completing the exam, international students may be eligible to apply for up to 12 months of OPT work authorization to gain experience in their field of study.  

Tech companies aren’t looking for traditional degrees like they once were. Instead, they want people with real-world certification and experience. Computer Systems Institute has a goal to help international students get the education, training, certification, and career they’ve always wanted by providing both theoretical and hands-on approaches to your education and training.  

Contact us today to find out more! 


1 Occupational Handbook, Computer and Information Technology. Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm 

2 ’International Students in Science and Engineering’ NFAP Policy Brief. https://nfap.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/International-Students-in-Science-and-Engineering.NFAP-Policy-Brief.August-2021.pdf 

3 ’Networking Career Program: Get the Technology Skills You Need For The Career You Want’. CSI Now. http://www.csinow.edu/programs/networking-career-program/ 

How International Students Can Gain Experience in Their Field of Study

Everyone faces the same chicken-and-egg situation when they move into the workforce.
Prospective employers want to hire people with experience, but the only way students can
gain experience is by getting that job. And so they find themselves between a rock and a
hard place. Or do they?

The truth is, there are actually some great ways that international students can gain
experience in their field of study while they are pursuing their education. We’ll run through
some of those options so you can get the experience you need!


An externship is not a term you hear often, but it’s the same idea as job shadowing. The objective here is to shadow someone in your field so you can get a feel for what the job is all about . The length of an externship can be one day or a few weeks – but the idea is that you’re just immersing yourself in the environment to soak up as much as you can.

You won’t have a job per se, so you’ll be able to focus all your time and attention on learning and networking in that environment – which will pay off for you later. Externships are also invaluable for checking that you’re on the right track when it comes to your studies. Because you never quite know what that job will look like until you see it in person.

During your externship, focus on making the most out of every opportunity. People are not going to hand you that experience on a silver platter. You need to ask questions, observe how things are done, and get clarity whenever you feel confused. The attitude you bring is going to dictate how much you get out of it.


Internships take things one step further and have you stepping into a real role in an organization . This role can be paid or unpaid. You essentially take on a short-term job in the field you’re interested in and have the opportunity to learn and experience what it’s like. You’ll have responsibilities and will be required to contribute meaningfully to the company. As a result, this can be an incredibly valuable experience for you.

You may believe that you can take on an internship during school breaks. But, Internships can be secured that are offered outside of regular school hours. Just make sure that you can manage your workload and that you don’t de-prioritize your studies as you do so.

It’s also important to understand that while you might feel pressure to deliver, people tend to give interns a little more leeway. The expectations aren’t as high. So, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Throw yourself into it and give it everything that you’ve got.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

One of the major benefits of being an international student at CSI is that you are also eligible for practical work training as regulated by the US Government. However, this job does have to be directly related to your field of study. Once you find an organization you’re interested in, reach out and ask them if they work with CPT candidates.

At CSI, we believe that this program is highly valuable for our students. We’ll ensure that it fits well into your studies and gives you the grounding that you’ll need to transition into the workforce. CPT can help you prepare for your future. It’s a wonderful benefit of studying with us.

Get Involved at CSI

There are also many opportunities on our various campuses to get some experience in your chosen field. More great ways to develop your skills include leading a community group – on or off-campus, volunteering for a specific cause, and more. With just a little out-of-the-box thinking, you might find that you can hone the relevant skills right where you are.

It’s the students that are proactive in seeking out these opportunities that succeed. So look for ways to help that are related to your field of interest, and you might be surprised at the experience you can gain.

So, there you have it. Those are just some of the ways that you gain work experience while you’re studying. And every little bit counts. Remember that you’re competing with others studying for a position in your chosen field, and you need to find ways to differentiate yourself.

If you can show a prospective employer that you took the initiative and got some valuable experience while you were studying, then you’ll put yourself in a league of your own.

We wish you all the best, and we can’t wait to see how you leverage this newfound experience to craft the career of your dreams!


1‘Externships: What They Are and Why They’re Important’ by Jacquelyn Smith.https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/05/30/externships-what-they-are-and-why-theyre-important/?sh=6c8d9d435100

2Everything You Need to Know About Internships–From What They Are to How to Get One’ by Lily Zhang.https://www.themuse.com/advice/what-is-an-internship-definition-advice

Mastering the Virtual Interview

When COVID-19 became a household name in 2020, life changed immediately. Face masks became a must, we embraced shopping online, and personal space took on new meaning. And while many things will return to “normal” in the coming months, others are likely here to stay, such as the virtual interview.

Lauren Smith, vice president of the Gartner HR practice, says, “While most organizations are currently conducting interviews remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual interviewing may become the new standard for recruiting leaders and candidates long after social distancing guidelines are lifted. The most successful organizations provide candidates with the same level of information and feeling of connection with the organization as they would have with an in-person interview or onboarding experience.” 1

While there are many reasons to love virtual interviews – most notably, they save time and are often more relaxed – they also present unique challenges. That’s why it’s important to read up on the best practices that will help you shine from afar. If you have a virtual interview on the horizon, ensure you do the following:

Set the Scene

Before starting your interview, think about your backdrop. It’s best to use a quiet area with limited distractions (i.e. a space where your roommates or family members won’t walk by, there aren’t off-putting items on the walls, etc.). Sitting on your bed or couch doesn’t scream “professional,” so try to hold the interview at a desk with an office chair that encourages good posture.

Check your Technology

Don’t let tech problems impact your interviewer’s impression of you! Double check your camera, test your microphone, and jump into the interview portal a couple of minutes early to troubleshoot any issues that might arise. 

Ask Questions about the Office Environment

One of the pitfalls of virtual interviewing is you can’t see what the office environment is like. Normally, you would take in the noise level, office layout, and more to make informed decisions about how you would fit into the workspace. Because you don’t have this opportunity, it’s important to ask:

  1. How the company’s employees interact (face-to-face, via live chat, over the phone, etc.).
  2. What your work space will be like. Will you have your own office, a cube, or work in an open area?
  3. About the company’s culture.

Employ Standard Interview Tactics

Even though you are online, many in-person interview techniques still apply, such as:

  • Doing your Due Diligence: Familiarize yourself with the role you’re interviewing for, the company you’re interviewing at, and who your interviewers are.

  • Reviewing Sample Interview Questions: While you won’t be able to accurately anticipate every question that comes your way during the interview, you can review and practice responding to commonly asked sample questions.

  • Practicing your Elevator Pitch: During an interview you can be sure the following request will come your way: “Tell me about yourself.” This is an invitation to share your elevator pitch. It should include who you are, what you do, and what you want to achieve – all in relation to the job you are interviewing for. 

  • Dressing for Success: Just because you are interviewing at home, doesn’t mean it’s time to put on your loungewear. Ensure you look professional when in the camera frame.

  • Sending a thank you note: Regardless of whether your interview takes place remotely or in person, sending a thoughtful thank you note within 24 hours of your interview is a tried-and-true way to reiterate your interest in the position and make a great impression.

Wow your Potential Employers with Help from Computer Systems Institute!

There’s no two ways around it: job searching is HARD. According to Glassdoor, “On average, each corporate job opening attracts 250 résumés. Of these candidates, four to six will be called for an interview and only one will be offered a job.”2 You must use every competitive advantage at your disposal to stand out, including CSI’s career services. For help with all of your job search needs, such as preparing for a virtual interview, email careerservices@csinow.com.

1 “Gartner HR Survey Shows 86% of Organizations Are Conducting Virtual Interviews to Hire Candidates During Coronavirus Pandemic.” Gartner, 30 Apr. 2020, www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-04-30-gartner-hr-survey-shows-86–of-organizations-are-cond.

2 “50 HR & Recruiting Stats That Make You Think.” Glassdoor, 20 Jan. 2015, www.glassdoor.com/employers/blog/50-hr-recruiting-stats-make-think/.

How to Change Careers in 12 Months

Dreaming of higher paying, more rewarding, and less stressful work? If you’ve felt your passion at work plateau, it might be time for a major career shakeup – after you have all of your ducks in a row, of course. These are the steps Computer Systems Institute (CSI) recommends taking to make the leap to a new career:

  1. Take a deep breath! This is an exciting moment in your life that will allow you to invest in yourself and your interests.

  2. Discover your strengths. If you know you’re ready for a change, but are overwhelmed by all of the different career paths available to you, take some time to find out what types of careers you are best suited for. Personality and career tests are very helpful in identifying the areas you excel in. Career coaches can also be an indispensable asset during this discovery phase.

  3. Ask to job shadow. Because changing careers has the potential to impact every corner of your life, it’s important to do your due diligence and make sure what you choose is really what you want to do. After all, it’s one thing to read about a job online, it’s a whole other thing to actually see it in action. Research local companies with roles you’re interested in and ask if you can shadow for a day – it will be telling!

  4. Take inventory of your skills. Believe it or not, you won’t be starting from scratch when you launch a new career. Over the course of your life, you have cultivated many soft skills that are transferable to any career, including:

    – Critical thinking
    – Active listening
    – Judgment and decision making
    – Reading comprehension
    – Oral comprehension
    – Deductive reasoning
    – Inductive reasoning
    – Problem sensitivity

  5. Gain the technical skills you need. With many critical soft skills already under your belt, the next step on your career change journey is gaining technical experience. This can be done by continuing your education. At CSI, we offer a diverse line-up on business, healthcare, and technology programs that combine lectures and hands-on training to prepare you for a career change. The best part? Our one-year programs are affordable, so you won’t need to break the bank to change your career. You will also receive personalized guidance from your first day on campus through program completion and beyond. 

  6. Start the job hunt. Don’t worry – you aren’t alone in this daunting task. CSI has your back and will help you create a resume that deserves a second glance, teach you how put together an effective elevator pitch, share tips for interviewing, and much more.

Launch Your Dream Career in Just 12 Months!

It’s never too late to invest in yourself and your dreams. To find out how CSI can help make your career change aspirations a reality, contact us today.

5 Tips for Acing an Interview

Congratulations! You’ve put in the leg work that comes with applying for a new job and have landed an interview. Unfortunately, you aren’t off the hook yet. Now, you have to wow your potential employers.

Yeah, yeah, easier said than done – we know. But if you effectively prepare, you will be on your way to updating your LinkedIn profile with a new title. Here are Computer Systems Institute’s (CSI) top tips for acing your upcoming interview:

Do your Due Diligence

By the time your interview rolls around, you should be very familiar with the following:

  1. The role you’re interviewing for. Double and triple check the job description, and be prepared to explain how your education or past work experiences have given you the skills to complete the responsibilities listed. Don’t forget to think about the soft skills the company is looking for as well, such as teamwork, leadership, organization, etc.

  2. The company you’re interviewing at. Do. Your. Research. You should know as much as you can about the company before your interview, including its mission, values, history, and products/services. You can glean this information from the company’s website, social media channels, newsletters, recent news coverage, and even friends familiar with the business. This preparation will be a measure of how committed you are to landing the job, and your interviewers will most definitely take note.

  3. Who your interviewers are. If names are provided ahead of time, you should familiarize yourself with your interviewers. This allows you to get a sense of their current roles and experience, and will help you anticipate potential questions they might ask you. It also gives you an opportunity to formulate personalized questions for each interviewer.

Review Sample Interview Questions

While you won’t be able to accurately anticipate every question that comes your way during the interview, you can review and practice responding to commonly asked sample questions. Here are some of the most popular (a quick Google search will surface hundreds more):

  • What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your professional goals?
  • What is your greatest professional achievement?
  • How have you overcome a challenge in the workplace?
  • What is your ideal work environment?
  • What are your salary expectations?

We recommend holding mock interviews with friends, family, or a mentor, so you can get comfortable with your responses.

Practice Your Elevator Pitch

During an interview you can be sure the following request will come your way: “Tell me about yourself.” This is an invitation to share your elevator pitch. It should include who you are, what you do, and what you want to achieve – all in relation to the job you are interviewing for. When it comes to creating an effective elevator pitch CSI recommends:

  • Speaking slow, clear, and concise 
  • Using simple language
  • Exuding enthusiasm
  • Practicing!

Prepare your Documents

We don’t recommend arriving at your interview empty handed. Bring copies of your resume and your portfolio. As a CSI student, you should have many worthy work samples to choose from upon graduation.

If your interview is taking place via phone or video, you can skip this step.

Dress for Success!

You don’t get a second chance at a first impression, which is why it’s important to dress professionally. A button-down shirt, tie, and nice pants tend to be a safe bet for men. Women can choose from a nice dress, or blouse with a skirt or slacks. Regardless of the outfit you choose, ensure it is pressed and ready to impress.

Learn More

If you still have the pre-interview jitters, don’t hesitate to reach out to CSI’s Career Services team for assistance. We can help you with all of the above and more. Email careerservices@csinow.com and we’ll be in touch.

How to Create an Effective Elevator Pitch

Benjamin Franklin said the only things that are certain in life are death and taxes. At Computer Systems Institute (CSI), we’d like to add a third: the need for a kick-butt elevator pitch. Whether you are at a networking event, interviewing for your dream job, or just meeting a potential new friend, you can be sure the following request will come your way:

“Tell me about yourself.”

These four words can turn a simple conversation into a meaningful moment in your life…if you are prepared. That’s why we’ve outlined what you need to know to craft a statement that will wow potential employers and acquaintances alike.

The Art of the Elevator Pitch

As its name suggests, your elevator pitch should be delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator (usually around 30 to 45 seconds). So, how do you sell yourself in less than a minute? Start with the basics, including:

    1. Who you are: Begin with your first and last name – it’s as easy as that!
    2. What you do: Are you a CSI student? Recent graduate? Discuss your program and the skills you gained. This is also a great time to highlight your achievements and experience. Consider any and all relevant experience you might have, including internships, externships, volunteer work, etc. Ensure you sprinkle in the specific results/outcomes you reached, and discuss what sets you apart from others with similar qualifications.
    3. What you want to achieve: Speaking of professional goals…make sure you share them! Use your elevator pitch as an opportunity to reiterate what you want.

Need an example? Here is a model elevator pitch:

“My name is Bob Smith. In 2019, I completed the Business Career Program – Digital Multimedia Concentration at Computer Systems Institute. During my program, I mastered best practices in graphic design, webpage design, search engine optimization, social media optimization, and more. Following my studies, I worked at a local marketing agency where I was able to gain first-hand experience building and promoting three different websites. Today, I am looking to use my skillset to help your company achieve your digital marketing goals, and would love to learn more about this position.”

Tips for Success

As your work on your elevator pitch, keep these tips and tricks top of mind:

Speak Slowly and Clearly

You might feel pressured to speak quickly to fit as much information into your elevator pitch as possible. It’s key to resist this urge. It doesn’t matter if you have an excellent elevator pitch if your audience doesn’t understand or can’t retain what you are saying. Remember, less is more!

Use Simple Language

Assume the person you’re talking to isn’t familiar with the abbreviations and acronyms that might feel second nature to you. The last thing you want it for your message to get lost in translation.

Exude Enthusiasm

Don’t be so worried about reciting your elevator speech perfectly that you appear robotic. Fluctuate your tone, pause for emphasis, and remain upbeat and positive.

Practice Makes Perfect

The best way to ensure your elevator pitch is up to snuff is by practicing. Recite it in front of your mirror, to friends, mentors, or anyone else who can provide feedback.

Take Advantage of CSI’s Career Services

When it comes to feedback, don’t forget to utilize CSI’s career services! In addition to working with you on your elevator pitch, our team can:

  • Help you define your career objectives
  • Share resume best practices, such as:
    • Tell a story about you AND the prospective role
    • Have clearly defined sections
    • Incorporate keywords and phrases
    • Use a design that correlates with the job you want
  • Provide cover letter assistance
  • Offer tips and tricks for nailing interviews

Email careerservices@csinow.com for assistance! Simply include your name, goals, and any relevant documents (resume, cover letter, etc.), and we’ll be in touch.

7 Things You Must Do Before Applying for a Job

The job market is more competitive than ever, requiring applicants to bring their A game when pursuing new opportunities. That’s why Computer Systems Institute (CSI) prepares students for success beyond the classroom, and is available to help with career development, resume writing, and interview preparation. If you’re diving into the job hunt, make sure you prepare to put your best foot forward BEFORE submitting your first application. Here’s how.

Update Your Resume

Think of your resume as a personal advertisement that boasts your work history, education, qualifications, and skills. According to the Ladders Inc. 2018 Eye-Tracking Study, recruiters often have less than 10 seconds1 to review your submission, so you have to make a strong first impression FAST. Follow our tips for creating a stand-out resume that deserves a second glance:

  • Tell a story about yourself AND the prospective role (personalization is key!)
  • Break the content into clearly defined sections
  • Incorporate keywords and phrases
  • Use a design that correlates with the job you want
  • Proofread again, and again…and again

Craft a Personalized Cover Letter

This one-page document should explain why you want to work at the company, why you’re a good fit for the role, and any other relevant information about what you will offer. Paint a picture of your qualifications with your words, and, most importantly, tailor every cover letter you write to the job and company.

Contact Your Professional References

Many employers request contact information for at least three references. This allows them to confirm your abilities from a third party and get a better understanding of how you will fit into the role. Be very strategic when determining who to list. Consider:

  • Who will sing your praises?
  • Who is familiar with your skills and work ethic?
  • How long have you known this person?

Pro tip: ALWAYS ask before listing your references. You want to give them a chance to decline, brush up on your qualifications, etc.

Prepare Your Portfolio

Show that you can do more than talk the talk. Your portfolio should confirm that you have the skills needed for the job you are applying for. Only include your best pieces of work that show the breadth of your abilities. It never hurts to get a second opinion on what to include from a current or former instructor, mentor, or trusted peer.

Ensure Your Online Presence Is Professional

A CareerBuilder Study2 found 54 percent of employers have decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profiles. Trust us, you do not want to fall in this category. As you post on your social channels, avoid publishing offensive content or photos that cast you in a negative light. You should also consider making your social media profiles private.

On the flip side, don’t forget that social media can be used to your advantage as well! Having an up-to-date LinkedIn profile is a must today, and is a great way to reiterate the information on your resume.

Network. Network. Network.

It’s simple: The more connections you have, the greater your chances of advancing your career. Break out of your comfort zone and ask to grab coffee or lunch with the people in your network, and remember, it’s not all about you. Consider what you can bring to the table to help the other person, and understand that sometimes networking can take months or even years to pay off.

Lean on CSI for Career Help!

Have questions about preparing for the job search? Don’t hesitate to reach out to careerservices@csinow.com for assistance! Simply include your name, career objectives, and any relevant documents (resume, cover letter, etc.), and we’ll be in touch.

1 Ladders Inc. “Ladders Updates Popular Recruiter Eye-Tracking Study With New Key Insights on How Job Seekers Can Improve Their Resumes.” PR Newswire: News Distribution, Targeting and Monitoring, 6 Nov. 2018, www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ladders-updates-popular-recruiter-eye-tracking-study-with-new-key-insights-on-how-job-seekers-can-improve-their-resumes-300744217.html.

2 CareerBuilder. “Number of Employers Using Social Media to Screen Candidates at All-Time High, Finds Latest CareerBuilder Study.” PR Newswire: News Distribution, Targeting and Monitoring, 26 June 2018, www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/number-of-employers-using-social-media-to-screen-candidates-at-all-time-high-finds-latest-careerbuilder-study-300474228.html.

5 Resume Tips for Recent Graduates with Limited Experience

Sending a text. Pouring a cup of coffee. Reviewing a resume. What do these things have in common? They all take 10 seconds or less.

*Cue your double take*

That’s right, recruiters spend less than 10 seconds – 7.4 to be exact – screening a candidate’s resume, according to the Ladders Inc. 2018 Eye-Tracking Study. Taking this into account, it is critical that you clearly and quickly sell your skills and talents to potential employers. This can be particularly challenging for students or recent graduates who have limited relevant job experience…but not impossible. Here’s how to create a resume that warrants a second glance:

Tell a story about yourself AND the prospective role. When crafting your resume, you must draw a clear picture of your talents, work history, education, career goals, and more. The kicker? All of this information should be tailored to the position requirements. Always, always customize your resume.

Break your resume into clearly defined sections. Your resume should include:

  • Your name, email address, and phone number.
  • A summary of your qualifications that highlights your achievements, skills, and experience. This brief blurb should appear directly under your name and contact information to help recruiters quickly glean your qualifications.
  • An education section that features the name and location of your school, the credentials you earned, your field of study, and your graduation year (or anticipated graduation year). You can also include your GPA if it demonstrates academic merit. According to Monster, “It’s best to only list a GPA of 3.0 or above.”
  • The industry certifications you have earned. If you are new to the workforce, you likely won’t be able to boast years of experience, but what you lack can be supplemented with other relevant qualifications that can validate your skills to potential employers, such as certifications.
  • A list of your professional skills that relate to the job listing like attention to detail, communication, and collaboration.
  • The awards you have received, if applicable. There is no time to be modest when it comes to your achievements!
  • Your work history, listed in reverse chronological order (meaning your most recent experience appears first). As you build this section, consider any and all relevant experience you might have, including externships, volunteer work, etc. Ensure that everything included focuses on the specific results/outcomes you achieved.

When crafting this content for your resume, you must think strategically. As mentioned above, every piece of information you share should tie back to the job you are applying for.

Incorporate keywords and phrases into your resume. Upon first glance, a recruiter or keyword tracking system will look for specific words and phrases that show your skills and expertise. According to Indeed, the keywords you use should describe your hard and soft skills, as well as demonstrate your accomplishments.

Design your resume for the job you want. There are countless resume templates available on the web, some flashier than others. When choosing a design, consider the job you are applying for. If you are pursuing a career in graphic design, use your resume to showcase your skills. If you are entering the world of medical coding and billing, you may want to consider a more reserved approach.

When in doubt, follow these best practices:

  • Use Verdana or Arial fonts.
  • Avoid varying the font size on your resume. Instead, use an 11 or 12 font size, and consider bolding headlines and dates for differentiation.
  • Do not use italics, fancy fonts, or page borders.
  • Never include watermarks or background colors on your resume. Use a plain white background with black font.
  • Always print hard copies of your resume on quality paper.

Proofread again, and again…and again! One of the easiest ways to ensure your resume gets cast aside is by having spelling or grammar mistakes. Try reading your resume aloud, asking a friend or advisor to review, and using Spell Check before submitting.

This is a lot of information to digest. But the good news is you don’t have to go it alone. As a student or recent graduate, you have multiple tools at your disposal to create a knock-out resume. Organizations like Computer Systems Institute (CSI) are committed to helping you from your first day on campus (or Zoom!) through the job search.

Keep in mind that a resume is just one component needed when applying for a job. To learn more career preparation tips and tricks, check out CSI’s blog.