Top 5 Tech Resume Tips
About our guest blogger:Joni Holderman is the founder and Chief Resume Strategist at Thrive! Resumes. She creates compelling career marketing tools for professionals and executives including LinkedIn profile tips, resume tips, and cover letters. Follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter. Learn more about guest blogging on MediaLeaders.
Resumes for people in tech industries present some unique challenges in strategy, wording and formatting. Expand your opportunities by implementing these resume tips.
- Don't age yourself
- Keep it short and focus on end-user benefits
- Include Metrics that Focus on End Results
- Don't use too many buzzwords
- Deliver your resume as a Word doc
The tech sector is as youth-oriented as the music or fashion industries. Don’t become the victim of age discrimination in hiring.
Your resume should present you as the most experienced, knowledgeable 27-year-old on the planet!
Even if you are 60+ years old, your resume should present you as the most experienced, knowledgeable 27-year-old on the planet!
Limit work history to 10-15 years. Omit graduation dates more than 6 years in the past. Most of all, don’t list legacy technology like Windows XP unless you genuinely believe your next employer will be using it. Doing so just underscores how long you’ve been around, and may inaccurately suggest that your skills are outmoded.
Write concise two-line bullet points about the three most important projects for each company.
Common tech sector resume mistakes include painstakingly listing every project you’ve ever worked on. After all, we’re detail-oriented people, right?
But here’s a trade secret: Your resume does NOT document how you spent your time. Instead, your resume needs to be two pages that powerfully convey the value you’ve delivered for employers in the past. This helps employers see that you are the perfect solution to a business problem they are facing.
Instead of providing 3 to 10 pages that detail every project you’ve ever worked on, write concise two-line bullet points about the three most important projects for each company.
Metrics are important on a resume. But the most powerful metrics focus on the end results.
We all know that metrics are important on a resume. But the most powerful metrics focus on the end results your work generated (or contributed to) for the organization. Sometimes we overlook the fact that writing code or completing that project is not an end in itself – ideally, it has real-world impact on people and the business. It takes a bit of digging to come up with this type of data, but it always pays off.
Whenever possible, focus on end-user benefits like accelerating projects, elevating performance, improving inventory management, increasing customer service, reducing costs, generating revenue – whatever that software or tech product was designed to do.
Your bullet points need to be written in language anyone can understand.
It’s important that your resume be keyword-optimized for your most relevant technology expertise and skill sets. However, it’s also important that an HR professional, recruiter or business executive – even one without a technology background – be able to understand the value you represent to the company. While you need to include key terms like SaaS, BYOD or Big Data, your bullet points need to be written in language anyone can understand.
The standard in the resume world is the Word .doc file type.
This is actually the most common and one of the most fatal resume mistakes in the tech sector. We are accustomed to thinking of PDF files as the “real” version of documents. Unfortunately, 90% of the ATS (applicant tracking systems) cannot read a PDF file at all. The standard in the resume world is the Word .doc file type. Sending out a resume in PDF format is only slightly more effective than writing it in invisible ink.