Top 7 Resume Tips for Tech Jobs
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- Listing technical skills at the top of a resume can help catch a hiring manager's attention.
- It's important to tailor your resume for each tech position and list relevant skills.
- Including personal projects and extracurricular tech activities can demonstrate skills.
In May of 2022, CompTIA recorded about 90,466 job postings for software developers and software engineers. This kind of intense competition can be hard to stand out from, especially with employers receiving hundreds or thousands of applications at once. In addition, tech companies often take their time hiring for tech positions. LinkedIn's analysis of 400,000 hires from June 2020 to March 2021 found a median time to hire of 44 days for IT positions.
And if you aim to work for one of the top companies, the competition gets even more fierce. AXIOS reported that Google received a whopping 3.3 million job applications in 2019. So, you may be wondering how you can get your resume to stand out from the crowd.
7 Resume Tips for Tech Jobs
Your resume or CV should be neat, presentable, and easy to scan. You should also update your resume for each job role, tailoring it to the specific company's requirements. Each resume should list the skills and experience relevant to the job and demonstrate your qualifications.
That said, resumes for tech or coding jobs look slightly different than those for positions outside the tech industry. Each job usually requires specific tech skills and proven expertise. Here are seven resume writing tips to help you snag that first interview.
1. List Your Technical and Coding Skills at the Top
Tech recruiters scour through thousands of resumes a year looking for top talent. To keep them interested, you need to catch their attention and show your relevant tech skills at the top of your resume. If you have a lot of experience, consider listing it by category.
Employers are also interested in your soft skills. These skills tell them a bit about how you work with others and who you are as a person. Some of the top soft coding skills include strong communication, problem-solving, attention to detail, and teamwork.
2. Highlight Personal Projects
If you're just starting and don't have much professional experience, personal projects can take their place. For example, you can build a web app or a user interface (UI) for an app to show your technical prowess.
Highlighting your projects demonstrates how you can use your listed skills and the results. These are especially helpful if you're a recent graduate, just entering the job market, or changing careers. Make sure to list your most impressive accomplishments first.
If you can, include the measurable impact with the experience. Quantifiable metrics catch a recruiter's attention. For example, if you upgraded a website for a friend's online business, cite the increasing number of new monthly visitors. You can place personal projects under skills or in their own category.
3. Link to Your Portfolio
Nothing excites a potential employer or hiring team more than looking through a candidate's portfolio. These work samples and projects validate your knowledge and let employers know you can do the job.
Include a link to your GitHub profile or a similar platform for project collection. Make sure your portfolio is up to date and the projects are relevant. Employers want to know you are passionate about your career and keep up with ever-changing technology, so let your enthusiasm shine through.
If you've just entered the field, you can include mock projects designed just for your portfolio. You can also link to your own website. Showcase projects that depict the type of work you're aiming for. For example, if you're a web developer looking to enter the healthcare industry, focus on developing projects in that arena while still demonstrating your diversity.
4. Add Any Technical Extracurriculars
Employers want passionate, motivated team members. Sharing your extracurricular activities in the tech field demonstrates that passion. Emphasize your involvement in coding and the tech community outside of work so employers know that the industry is an integral part of your life.
One activity that illustrates your involvement is attending hackathons where people come together to solve tech problems. You could also take online coding courses or learn a new programming language, which shows motivation and interest.
Coding or technology competitions and live-coding events are also growing in number. Some popular ones are TopCoder and Google's coding competitions. In addition, if you volunteered to help the local animal shelter set up a website or taught some coding classes at a summer camp, make sure to include those.
5. Link to Professional Profiles
As a tech-savvy individual, you probably created an online presence. Remember that tech recruiters may check it out, so make sure it's professional. It's also a good idea to include links to professional profiles, such as those found on LinkedIn, Indeed, and Handshake.
LinkedIn offers mini skills tests that you can take to prove you know what you're doing. It's a great place to display your abilities, past work, and projects. Make sure your LinkedIn page is up to date and aligns with the jobs you're applying for. It's also a good idea to make a custom URL, which you can do from your profile.
Hiring managers may also take a look at your Facebook page. Look at it from their perspective and make sure there's nothing that could reduce your chances of landing a job.
6. Focus on Skills Employees Are Looking For
Make sure to address the specific skills listed in the job posting. Sending out mass duplicate resumes can lead to little response and missed opportunities. Today, many companies use automated online application systems.
Computerized resume scanners filter through the hundreds, or thousands, of resumes that hiring managers and recruiters receive. They look for keywords and forward only the most relevant, qualified applicants.
You can get past these robots by making sure you're qualified for the role and listing the core skills they require on your resume. The keywords they look for include hard skills, such as languages and HTML proficiency.
Keep in mind that you need to tie the keywords into personal achievements. Recruiters easily recognize keyword stuffing. You can make your resume stand out more by listing your unique accomplishments.
7. Include Your Coding Bootcamp, if Applicable
If you've graduated from a coding bootcamp or completed online courses, include this information in your education section. Because coding bootcamps build job-ready skills, you can also add them to your work experience section.
Emphasize the experience and skills you gained. Most employers readily accept this type of education that demonstrates your motivation to learn and to continue to advance in your chosen field. Completing a rigorous bootcamp also shows your dedication and determination.
Instead of listing all the coding projects, highlight the projects and work that are relevant to the position. And don't forget to include them in your GitHub profile. If you earned applicable awards or received a certificate, make sure to attach these to your resume.
Frequently Asked Questions About Resume Tips for Tech Jobs
What do tech employers look for in a resume?
Tech employers look for relevant IT industry skills and project results in a resume. If you lack on-the-job experience, you can demonstrate your knowledge with personal tech projects and certificates. Spending a few years building up your resume and gaining experience can help further your career.
Tech companies also want to know that you'll fit into their culture. The soft skills that can translate to a good fit may include enthusiasm, authenticity, and emotional intelligence. While these are not always easy to put down on paper, recruiters can catch a glimpse of them in your extracurricular activities and personal projects.
What are technical skills?
Technical skills are the required knowledge needed to perform specific tasks. These may include basic technical skills like monitoring social media platforms or advanced skills like knowing programming languages or performing data analysis. Some in-demand technical skills include programming languages, user experience, machine learning, and cloud computing.
How long should a tech resume be?
An old rule of thumb is that job seekers should try and keep their resumes to one page, maybe two pages at the most. However, results-driven resumes for tech jobs often require more detail. They include the tools and skills you've acquired and how you used them. Because of this, tech resumes may be up to three pages.
Remember that you want to be precise and include only relevant information demonstrating your qualifications. A three-page resume should be packed with accomplishments related to the position. The most important consideration is not length but that you've tailored your resume to the role.
How do I make my resume stand out?
A results-driven resume can let recruiters see your potential. You can also help your resume stand out with a few eye-catching examples, such as creating unique open-source code, starting a tech podcast, or developing an original project. Demonstrate your passion and interest in the field.
Optimize your resume for the applicant tracking systems and recruiters. A few more resume tips and tricks include using bulleted lists to make it easy to scan and quantify results when possible. Make sure you meet the qualifications listed on the job posting through work experience or relevant personal projects.