How Open Source Projects Could Boost an IT Candidate’s Resume

In today’s workplace, there are hundreds of candidates applying to any one open position. In order to land a job, you have to have a resume that stands out from the crowd. It’s your chance to get your foot in the door and any experience that you can add to your resume will increase your chances of getting an interview.

For beginning IT professionals looking to boost their resume, picking up more experience can be difficult.  While obtaining additional certification or an advanced degree may help, both of those options are expensive and can take a while to complete.  However, becoming involved in open source projects can be a great alternative for gaining experience.

Open Source development can take on many forms; from helping develop a huge operating system, to a project developed by 30 developers across multiple continents, to a solo project done in your spare time. To a recruiter, being involved in Open Source often demonstrates passion and the developers involved dramatically improve their skills.  Here are just a few other reasons Open Source projects can benefit your resume.

Helps Verify Your Credentials

Your degree and past job experience are the two things recruiters care about most when deciding if you have the skill set needed for the job. Working on Open Source projects gives more depth to those credentials.

Demonstrates Your Initiative

Whether you’re currently employed or on the job hunt, working on Open Source projects shows recruiters that you are actively involved in the coding industry.  They’ll be able to tell that you’re a self-starter and committed to becoming a well-rounded professional. Open Source experience also demonstrates that you are passionate about coding even outside of your everyday job.

Allows You To Expand Your Skill Set

The most obvious benefit of working on Open Source projects is the improvement in skill set from interacting with other developers and honing the craft. You’ll gain skills that you hadn’t already developed in an academic or professional setting. In fact Open Source projects allow for exposure to the latest development techniques and new ways of approaching problems.  You’ll be able to add any new skills gained to your resume and be able to prove your skill set by specific examples of past experience.

Builds Your Network

According to a recent study, as many as 78 percent of companies use Open Source code. In fact, the person reviewing your resume could have experience on one of the same Open Source projects that you do.  And it’s no secret that the quickest way to get a job in today’s job market is by already having a connection at the organization.  Involvement in projects on sites such as GitHub can connect you to developers that are already working in prominent jobs in the industry.  If you work well with them on Open Source projects, these connections can be extremely useful when applying for jobs.

Looking for more support in your IT job search?

 Let the experienced recruiters at BOS Staffing help. We guide job seekers through every step of the hiring process, from application to offer, and help them access the hidden job market. Contact us today to get started.

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