Writing a tech resume may seem like an effortless affair, but once you get down to writing one, even the best professionals find themselves crippled in their inability to write one.
The challenge here is to make an exceptionally good tech resume and this article is all about helping you make one.
Listed below are the top 5 essentials of a tech resume:
Customize your resume according to your target job
Most professionals end up making the common mistake of sending a generic resume for each job that they are targeting. Doing this is the equivalent of setting your technical resume for resume failure.
Each resume should be customized to suit the needs of that particular job profile.
For example, if you’re looking for a specific job in the tech industry, you need to align your resume with the specific needs of that particular job.
As a software engineer, you’re most probably targeting a similar job.
But what you must understand here is that your tech resume should address the needs of a particular job. The job requirements for a software engineer job in Company X might be slightly different from the job requirements for a software engineer job in Company Y.
- Company X might be looking for software engineers with at least 5 years of work experience whereas company Y might be open to hiring engineering graduates with no work experience for the same job.
- Company X might explicitly be looking for software engineers with specific certifications while company Y might be open to hiring engineers with an engineering degree in computer science.
- While one company might be looking for particular skill sets for the job of a software engineer, a different company might have a different set of criteria for the same job.
What we’re trying to say here is that your tech resume should be particularly tailored for every single one of your target jobs.
Once you create a framework or a standard tech resume, make modifications to it according to the job description. This helps your resume get past an applicant tracking system which is a screening tool used by many recruiters today.
Include a Technical Skills Section under the Key Skills Section
It is extremely crucial to distinguish your technical skills from your core skills if you’re making a tech resume.
Let’s just say you are a Software Engineer.
As a software engineer, some core skills that you should put under the “Key Skills” section of your tech resume has been outlined below:
- Web development
- Backend development
- Server management
- Web programming
- Server management
The above-listed skill sets are specific to a Software Engineer and can thus be classified as the professional’s core skills.
However, what distinguishes a Software Engineer from other non-tech professionals is his/her technical skills. It goes without saying that tech professionals are professional nobodies without their technical skills.
For example, there’s no such thing as a Software Engineer without basic knowledge of HTML, java script, or other programming languages.
It is these technical skills that make a tech professional unique.
What we mean when we talk of technical skills is a professional’s technical knowledge of tools and such as:
- Programming Languages: C, C++, C#, Cobol, Java, Visual Basic, SQL, Python, React
- Database: Oracle 8i/10g/11g, MS SQL Server, MySQL
- Web/Application Servers: Tomcat, IIS Server
- Tools: Net Beans, Eclipse, Visual Studio 2010 Junit 4.0, Maven 2.0, GIT, ALM QC
Long story short, what we are trying to say here is that if you’re writing a tech resume, you should differentiate your technical skills from your core skills. Doing this will help you better articulate your skills in your tech resume.
Choose the right Resume Format according to your work experience
As of now, there are 3 resume formats namely:
- Reverse Chronological Resume Format (time-based)
- Functional Resume Format (skills-based)
- Combination/Hybrid Resume Format (time-based and skill-based)
Of the resume formats we have outlined above, we recommend the use of the reverse chronological resume format and combination resume format as they are both ATS-compliant, which means that by using these resume formats, your tech resume has a higher chance of getting shortlisted.
If you’re writing a tech resume, and don’t know how you should organize your resume, here’s a list of the resume formats that are best for you according to the status of your work experience:
- Senior-level Professionals / frequent job-switchers / professionals with career gaps:
If you’re a professional in the tech industry and fall within one of these categories, the Combination Resume Format is ideal for you. This resume format equally focuses on the timeline of your work experience and the acquired skill-set.
- Entry-level professionals / Mid-level Professionals:
If you’ve just entered the workforce, or have been working for a couple of years now, using the Reverse Chronological Resume Format is ideal for you. It makes the resume relevant to the recruiter by prioritizing the most recent experience first. It is also ATS-compatible and recruiter-friendly.
Perfect the professional experience section
The professional experience section is the heart and soul of your tech resume.
It is here that you get the chance to talk about your roles & responsibilities in the organizations that you have worked with. If a recruiter likes what they see in this section, your tech resume has a higher tendency to get shortlisted.
Here are a few tips that you can follow to make the most of this section:
- Use one-liner points:
If it’s not easy to comprehend, your tech resume might just end up in the bin. Save yourself from this nightmare and make use of crisp one-liner points to describe your roles & responsibilities.
- Organize them under unique subheadings:
If the details of your work exceed more than 3-5 points, group similar points under unique subheadings. Doing this will tell a recruiter what your distinct expertise areas are.
- Use numbers wherever possible:
Have you been using achievement figures to talk about the results of your contributions? For example, you are skilled in the use of Python, but what did you do with this skill? And what were the results of these skills? Think along these lines and use achievement figures to demonstrate your work experience.
Here’s an example of what your professional experience section should look like in a tech resume. The profile we have chosen here is of a Data Scientist:
Include a Summary or Objective based on your work experience
Depending on the years you have been in the workforce, you should either write a summary or an objective.
Here’s what you can do to simplify this process:
- Write a resume summary if you are a professional with work experience.
- Write a resume objective if you don’t have any work experience.
Either way, your job is to use them as a sales pitch.
Whether you write a summary or an objective, the goal is to convince a potential recruiter that you are the best that there is for that particular job by focusing on your career highlights.
Your job here is to talk about how you can benefit the organization by shifting focus to the instances in which you have used your skills to help your organization grow.
Here’s an example of a summary for a Software Engineer:
“5+ years experienced Software Engineer skilled in developing multiple commercially successful products from scratch. Adept at implementing backend development tasks including 3rd party API integrations, REST API Development, website maintenance etc. Proficient in employing the Agile methodology of software development to lead teams and deliver high quality products within the stipulated deadlines. Efficient in leading, training, and providing constructive feedback to junior engineers to ensure the delivery of best quality standards.”
- Customize your resume according to the tech job you are targeting.
- Include a technical section under the key skills section.
- Choose the right resume format according to your work experience.
- Write a resume summary or objective (based on your work experience).
- Write a summary or objective that answers why you are the best fit for the job.
On a quest to help professionals across the world land their dream jobs, Aditya lives and breathes
Hiration — an AI-powered online resume builder and platform to help job-seekers find their way in the
treacherous job market — where he’s a Co-Founder and the unofficial CPO (Chief Problem-solving
Officer). He likes to code away his days and nights when he’s not busy disrupting the career space.