If you are a tech professional, you are lucky. You are part of an ever-growing field that is always updating and presenting new technologies, creating a great demand for workers like you.
However, such demand comes with its challenges. After all, you are not the only one looking for job opportunities in the field. There are plenty of new and experienced workers applying to different companies to fulfill specific job roles every day.
While the competition is unavoidable, there is something you can do to stand out among other applicants. Just think about it. What is the one thing that hiring managers go through to determine if you are a worthy candidate?
That is right, your resume. A well-written resume turns the average applicant into a real contender for the job. For that reason, here are five ways you can enhance your tech resume to land your next job in the field of technology.
1. Account for attention span
Imagine you are a hiring manager and that you have limited time to review hundreds of job applications. What would you do? You would spend a few seconds skimming through each resume in hopes of finding what you are looking for, right?
Guess what? That is exactly what job recruiters do. In an interview with Glassdoor, Author of the book The Seven Second CV, James Reed stated: “Recruiters and hiring managers often receive hundreds of CVs for one position – and generally speaking – only one CV can be successful.”
Due to that kind of volume, recruiters spend seconds reviewing each resume, immediately discarding those that do not meet the company’s hiring criteria.
Fortunately, that is something you can use to your advantage. You see, most tech candidates fail to connect at a surface level because of simple things like punctuation, headers, formatting, etc.
Lengthy, messy resumes make a bad first impression on recruiters, so much so that they do not even bother reading them.
Keeping your tech resume concise and focused, as opposed to lengthy and generalized helps recruiters spot your applicable skills quickly. For that reason, you should list what you have to offer in just one page or two if it’s information relevant to the job position.
Although that requires clever formatting, it’s better to put in the effort to get it done than to be another one of the hundreds of candidates that try to squeeze in every technology they have worked with.
Limiting length also allows you to drop in keywords that fit the job, giving you higher odds of getting through applicant tracking systems (ATS), but more on that later.
2. Forget tasks, show accomplishments and practical experience
There is one common mistake that turns job recruiters off from your tech resume, and that is validating your skills by explaining, in detail, every task you performed in your past working experiences.
No company cares about what used to be your daily routine. Instead, you should show them what you accomplished with those tasks. Recruiters now and will always want to know the value you add to their company.
For that reason, you should use strong language that shows you have what it takes to push them to the next level. For example, transform the following sentence:
“As a developer for this project, I was in charge of designing, writing, and testing code for two weeks along with three other team members.”
“Launched a brand-new website in two weeks with three other developers.”
Which one commands more respect and tells employers what they want to see? The second, right? It’s also more concise, which reinforces the idea that you should always highlight exactly what you need.
Additionally, job recruiters are always looking for the right balance between education and experience in your resume.
It’s fine to let them know where you come from in terms of education, but it should never get in the way of practical experience that is either transferable or fit for their job offering.
If you are faced with the choice of including more information about your college education or more information about the skills you gained in previous jobs, always choose the latter.
There is, however, one exception to that rule. Certifications are signs of education that blend perfectly with the showcase of your practical skills. To learn more about certifications, continue reading the blog post.
Yes, there is one more way to raise the appeal of your tech resume. In an industry that is powered by technology and its rapid evolution, there is no better way to show that your skills are both excellent and up-to-date than certifications.
Like we mentioned before, certifications are the perfect blend between showcasing your education and your practical skills. Why? Because that is exactly what certifications are for.
Getting certified means you have the necessary skillset and expertise to perform a specific job role, which if you have been following, is exactly what tech companies want.
“Tech companies are looking for in-house experts who leverage every aspect of their business assets. That is why they tend to look for candidates that have received high-quality training. That way they can help optimize and expedite processes,” stated Microsoft-certified Trainer and CEO of Instructor Brandon, Brandon Ahmad.
And he’s not wrong. According to Microsoft, certifications offer you many benefits ranging from better chances of getting hired to being able to negotiate a higher salary once you get the interview.
But what is the best way to showcase your certifications? To make the best out of your certifications, put their logo in a prominent area of your resume.
Make sure to also list them somewhere in your resume so automated systems catch them as well. And remember that much like every other element in your resume, a certification is only worth showing if it’s relevant to the job you are applying to.
4. Show them what they want the way they want it
While formatting helps present your resume in a way recruiters can digest, you still need to ensure that you are telling them information that appeals to the company. Therefore, we are going to give you three tips to ensure you are getting your message across.
- Tailor your tech resume to fit the job position. Although this may seem obvious, you would not believe the number of tech professionals that go out of their way to showcase a skill or job experience that is not relevant to the job they are applying to.
Look at the job post, then back at your resume. Is what you have in line with what they want?
- Do not overuse tech language. It might seem counterproductive, but you have to understand that those in charge of hiring you are not always well-versed in tech jargon. Use as much as you need to show your technical expertise, but no more.
- Simplify with lists. As a tech professional, we are sure you have an expert handling of many programs, hardware, and computer languages.
For that reason, you should categorize your skills (while keeping the previous tips in mind) so your potential employers or their ATS software can scan them.
But what other ways are there to have employers spot your skills?
5. Use keywords
Using keywords is a fundamental part of optimizing your resume. Not only does it show recruiters what they want to see, but it also helps automated systems pick you up even faster.
According to Skillings, an applicant tracking system (ATS) sorts the content of your resume into four categories:
- Contact Information
- Work Experience
Then, the ATS matches the information in your resume against the employer’s list of desired keywords to assess your value to the company. The more relevant your resume is, the more chances you have of getting the interview.
But how do you ensure the keywords are relevant to the employer? In fact, where do you even get the keywords?
The answer is rather simple. You get them from their job listing. Like we told you before, tailoring your resume to fit the job description increases your chance of success.
Job listings are usually pretty clear about what they want. For example, if a company is scanning applicants for SQL expertise, they will likely mention it a few times in the job description.
With that in mind, you should try mirroring the job description as much as you can without copying what it says and compromising the information that makes you a great candidate for the job.
Think of it as search engine optimization, but instead of positioning a website, it positions your resume. The more times you use the keywords naturally, the more relevant you become.
While it might be a bit of a hassle to create a custom resume for every job you apply to, using keywords is the best way to beat the machine and get human eyes to see what you have to offer.
Overall, when writing your tech resume, you should adhere to what the employers want to see. If you can do that in a succinct manner that shows you in a good light and is relevant to the company’s interests, you will likely get the interview.
Diego is a Senior Content Writer for Instructor Brandon. He writes about the latest tech trends and Microsoft Technologies. As a former Freelance Writer, he has the first-hand experience in creating appealing resumes for potential employers.