Beefing up an IT resume is a challenge. You could go back to school or pick up a certification or two, but both these options take a lot of time and money. On the other end of the spectrum, you could work on your own projects and pick up skills at home, but this process can be frustrating, unproductive, and hard to describe on a resume. The smart alternative to both options is to get involved in open source projects. Here are a few ways you can leverage this experience to make you resume look a lot better:

Highlight Your Motivation

Lots of people get off work, go home, and spend the rest of the night relaxing. You get off work, go home, and spend the rest of your night working on a valuable volunteer project. That shows potential employers that you have drive and initiative, and that you are committed to professional development. These are all valuable soft skills that hiring managers are eager to recruit for.

Confirm Your Skills

As an IT professional, it can be difficult to demonstrate the full depth and breadth of your skills, especially if you have picked skills up outside of an academic or professional environment. And as we mentioned above, when you gained those skills working on your own projects they can be hard to prove in a convincing way. Working on formal open source projects is a great way to grow your skill set in a way that looks legitimate on your resume.

Make an Early Connection

Open source projects are almost universally approved of in the IT community, and even most non-tech user looks on them favorably. When you submit a resume highlighting your open source credentials, it demonstrates that you share the values and priorities that are at the core of innovative IT. That can help frame you as a good fit for a company’s culture and a natural addition to an established tech team.

Show Off Your Value

A majority of companies now make use of open source technologies to some extent. And while they understand the value, they have struggled to find the IT staff they need to make the most of the potential. You may not be applying for a job that explicitly asks for open source experience or relates to open source projects, but if you have this experience you’re an even greater asset to your employer. And when you’re trying to stand out in a pool of candidates, it’s all about demonstrating the unique value you can bring to the table.

If you haven’t listed your open source experience on your resume, make the change today. And if you don’t have any open source experience to describe, get involved today. Then contact RennerBrown for help turning all your credentials into professional achievements.

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