For many IT professionals, the first step in their technical career is as an IT Support Specialist working as part of a helpdesk team. They are the face of IT to the business community and the relationship building skills and technical skills that they learn in this position will be valuable throughout their career. This is actually a very pivotal role in building strong business/IT relationships for the entire IT organization.
Succeeding in this role requires more than technical support skills; it requires an attitude and personality suited to fast ramp-ups, chaotic situations, and often angry and frustrated business users who may be less than communicative about the issues. It needs a person who is calm and focused under stress and is, perhaps, a little bit of a mind reader.
If you’re a recent IT graduate or have limited technical experience and you’re seeking an IT Support Specialist job, you’ll need to find ways to highlight your transferrable skills. Let’s look at examples as to how this can be done.
On-demand Service and Support
– This means that you’re up when a top priority ticket shows up. It doesn’t matter what you are working on, your priorities have just changed. If you like taking a deep dive into technology and are able to quickly come up to speed on new tools, then this job is a great fit for you.
For your IT Support Specialist Resume, here are some examples of what you can highlight:
- Accomplished researcher who turns challenges into opportunities to learn new technology.
- Shares a love of learning to build core team skills.
- Exceeds the demand to learn quickly and be versatile.
Roles Vary with Circumstances
– The real advantage to starting out in a support role is the exposure to many different roles and responsibilities. On the spot, a support person may have to take on many different types of responsibilities, including working as a network administrator, a systems administrator, or a disaster recovery specialist, among others. If you can embrace this diversity as a career opportunity, then an IT support role will be a great springboard to other technical positions in IT.
For your IT Support Specialist Resume, highlight your ability to be flexible and your desire to take on any number of job roles to get the work done:
- Enthusiastically takes on varied roles and responsibilities with the goal to speed problem resolution.
- Flexibility in work assignments.
- Able to work in a team environment, openly sharing expertise and assuming multiple roles to fill knowledge gaps
– The role of the support staff is to make technology work quickly and there’s little time to spend conducting root cause analysis to resolve the underlying issues. The priorities are always to get the business productive again with the idea that the actual problems can be resolved at a later date. Unfortunately, that date almost never comes, so support staff has to be able to move on to the next problem without the full satisfaction of having fixed the issue.
There is very little breathing room when it comes to operational problem-solving. You have to be ready and prepared to respond to any events. As they say, you are only as good as your last miracle.
For your IT Support Specialist Resume, talk about your ability to work quickly.
- Gets up to speed quickly on new technologies and technical processes
- A tenacious problem solver who achieves high productivity in a short time
- A short cycle from beginner to peak performer
Trailing-to-Leading Edge Technologies
– One of the greatest challenges in an IT group is supporting a very wide range of technologies and technical processes. As an IT support specialist, you’re expected to work in a very diverse landscape, ranging from near end of life systems to emerging technologies and everything in-between.
For your IT Support Specialist Resume, your connection to emerging technologies is through your education. Make sure that you include any class projects where these technologies were used.
- Completed courses in emerging technologies such as….
- An avid researcher for understanding the capabilities of new and emerging technologies.
- Quickly learn new technologies as demonstrated by…..
– As an IT support specialist, you’ll be working on multiple simultaneous projects at a time. If you’re able to work with shifting priorities and frequent interruptions then you’ll love IT support. If, throughout these disruptions, you are able to remain calm, helpful, and compassionate about the issues impacting the business, then everyone will love you too.
For your IT Support Specialist Resume, include examples of how you were able to gain consensus by building sustainable relationships.
- Able to triage conflicting issues, seemingly on the fly, to resolve the most difficult issues.
- Use a personal conversational style and active listening to understand and prioritize the business needs.
- Maintain customer expectations through regular reporting and status updates to ensure that obstacles are removed and the projects remain on track
IT professional resumes should be a blend of personal and technical skills. You can document your technical skills using your education and certifications. For your actual experience, you can combine your soft skills such as communicating and listening with the work that you’ve already performed. Remember that the primary purpose of a successful IT Support Specialist is to provide good customer service, be responsive to inquiries, learn technologies quickly, and be a great problem solver. All of these skills can be demonstrated through the non-IT work that you’ve performed.
About the Author–
Jennifer Hay is that rare technical resume writer who actually has IT experience and understands the complexities of working in a technical environment. She goes beyond a standard information gathering process and applies her knowledge of data and information management, business analytics, data science, infrastructures and architectures, software development, project and program management, among other areas to create truly compelling messages.
Jennifer is the author of Supercharge Your IT Job Search available through Amazon. She is currently working on her second book about data and information management careers, a collaborative effort with Dave Wells, a mentor, educator, and thought leader in fields of business intelligence and business analytics.