Your tech resume can be crafted like an art masterpiece that caters to a specific audience. Use these simple yet effective tips that will help you stand out from the recruiter’s stacks of resumes.
1.Include personal and online projects
Include any personal or volunteer projects that you think adds value to the tech role you are applying for. Working on these projects apart from your regular work makes a strong case that you are genuinely interested in what you do.
If you have a GitHub, GitLab, or bitbucket that host your open source projects, include them. Include your social media links if they complement your resume to an extent. The projects you choose and the interests you have help to create your personal brand in the recruiter’s mind. This differentiates you from the rest of the stack.
Here is an example of two resumes of the same software engineer.
The first one is a simple resume that is a straight forward list of your achievements. It could easily be lost in the pile.
The second one has the following advantages:
- a clear structure,
- an appealing yet appropriate design
- focus on your contact information and links
- adds character to the resume with volunteer projects
2.Add impactful details to your work experience
When describing your work experience, refer to any tangible impact it made. This solidifies your achievements more powerfully than to only say that you have worked for so and so company for the last five years.
For example, you were a Junior developer at XY company for 4 years. Instead of writing :
- Worked on banking software at XY solutions for 4 years
XY solutions: 4yrs
- Redesigned banking software that improved customer satisfaction by 60%
Alternatively, you can also focus on the skill you have learned. Recruiters are interested in how exactly you might be beneficial to their company. For example, intead of saying:
- Worked with network admin on efficient network traffic analysis*
You could make your expression more impactful if you say,
Cyber Security Analyst
- Performed network traffic analysis by learning the Intrusion Detection System (IDS) to improve efficiency by 5%
The words you use to describe your experience also matters a lot. Using the right keywords help you communicate precisely while also helping to improve your chances to get chosen further in the process.
Andrew Stetsenko, a tech entrepreneur and founder at CVcompiler, suggests that “Having the marketable tech keywords in your resume (surely, you should list the ones you're good at) will definitely boost the chance to be invited for interviews”. In his article called 40 words to include in your Developer’s resume, he lists a good example of how to use keywords to make an impactful resume.
3.Keep your resume relevant to the job you are applying to
Shortlist your skills to highlight those that are most relevant to the job at hand. When you apply for any tech role, the job description is a great way to find out what kind of a person they are looking to hire. Based on this JD, you can update your resume to show skills that are most relevant to the job.
It’s not necessary to cramp up your resume with everything you have done so far.
For example, let’s say you are applying for the position of Project Manager at an ABC company.
You could mention coding skills:
You could mention related skills :
Proficiency in Agile, Scrum, and Kanban
Maybe you could go easy on general ones such as MS Office, Documentation, etc.
Its usually assumed that as a project manager you will be able to handle simpler tasks that involve these skills.
If each role you are applying to is different than the other, it makes sense to have variations of your resume to cater to each job type. A one resume fits all approach may do more harm than good. If you are too generic with your resume it may show that you don’t really care what kind of job you get. Catering to specific roles with needed variations in your resume will help you make a more convincing point that you are the right candidate.
4.Error-free readable resume
The way you write your resume will also translate to the way you will do your job, for most recruiters. A simple error-free resume usually has:
- attention to detail in spelling and grammar
- legible fonts and appropriate white spaces
- a simple reverse chronological order to show your best achievements
- an appropriate design template that doesn’t overpower your content
#Bonus tip: Keep your resume short and to the point
Recruiters only take 6- 7 secs to scan each resume on avg, so it doesn’t make sense to make it long unless you have a very impressive history of achievements. Geshan Manandhar, Lead Software Engineer at The Iconic, says that one of the aspects. Keeping a resume short and concise is one great way to make your resume readable and thus improve your chances of an interview. He has also writtern an article about what top recruiters look for in your tech resume. The article also provides actionable insights on tips that you could use to update your resume.
5. Mention your work gaps strategically:
Provide a reason for work gaps. Not all resumes have a straight forward list of work history owing to gaps in employment. There may be several reasons for your work gap. If you have one make sure to plausibly list your reasons and keep it genuine.
Life happens, and a person might need to take a break for personal health issues, for education, taking care of your offspring or elderly or spouse, etc. You can explain this gap in a strategic manner that adds to your advantage by highlighting skills that might be relevant for your current job. For example, you could mention soft skills such as active listening, or being patient or discipline during your work gap depending upon your tech role.
These refining tips will surely help you powerfully flaunt your resume with skills and achievements. An updated resume communicates your potential with impact. It can catch the recruiter’s attention but it will also help you go further down the hiring process and land an interview for your dream tech job.