Recruiters read a lot of resumes – some resumes are great, while others leave a bit more to be desired. If you’re a tech professional and not getting a response on the resumes you’re sending out, I’m here to help! Work these quick and easy tips into your next resume update to ensure you don’t get passed over.
* Please note, this post is focused on resumes that showcase technical abilities and does not cover the proper structure of a CV.
Generally, you have under a minute to impress the person reading your resume, so keep it short and sweet. Hiring Managers never want to see, nor do they have the time to read, a 5-page resume. Aim for 1 to 2 pages, and know that there is a good chance that the second page won’t get read in full.
Establish and follow a format. Create different sections such as experience, education, personal/ school projects, interests, objectives, etc. Each section should follow the same look and feel.
Make your resume aesthetically pleasing by single-spacing a readable font and turning lengthy paragraphs into bullet points. Consider having your headers bolded or underlined with dates flush to the left. While these are simple and small examples, they are also details that will help the reader to focus.
Most programmers focus on writing clean and concise code; writing your resume should be the same. When resumes are not consistent or visually appealing you run the risk of the reader’s eyes getting distracted.
There is also no need to bold every single technology or skill you use. If you write your resume effectively you won’t need to make those skills pop out with bolded text, they will come through when one reads your resume. Consistent tenses and the same formatting should run throughout the document.
What should be included?
Finally, let’s cover the content you should put in your resume. This is the main event, the meat, and potatoes.
As a technologist, you have a lot of different skills you can offer an organization and you are in the position to outline the languages you use, your analytical skills, the methodologies you practice, and any additional domain knowledge. That being said, you do not need to list everything you’ve ever worked with or learned about.
- Resumes should highlight the skills you are proficient in. I often tell candidates if you cannot talk about what is on your resume in detail or depth you might want to reconsider putting it on your resume. When you write a skill on your resume you’ve opened the door for a Hiring Manager to ask you questions about particular languages, methodologies, processes, etc.
- I’ll also highlight the importance of an active voice. Engineers do more than just build; they design, architect, create, execute, and grow different applications, processes, etc. Take time to make sure you are using a variety of verbs that convey all you do.
- Use actual data and numbers. Maybe you decreased the deployment time by 50% or you implemented a new application that saved your organization 20k. Regardless of the details, these are measurable changes that show the impact you’ve made.
We’ve covered a lot of things you should do – here are just a couple you shouldn’t.
- You don’t need to cover every job from high school to the present day. Strategically write about what you’ve done in your career that makes you a fit for the position you are applying for.
- Don’t embellish your resume. Everything should be truthful and thoughtful; by cutting out the fluff, you will make your resume concise and readable.
Remember, most hiring managers spend 60 seconds reading your resume. Make them count! There are a ton of other things you can do to perfect a resume; however, if you can implement some of these pointers you will be in much better shape than some of your competition.
Christy Ghiselli, Technical Recruiter and Account Manager at Objective Paradigm, focuses much of her recruiting efforts in the capital market and cryptocurrency space. Having been on the OP team since 2014, Christy has been a key team member in keeping the OP Vision and Mission part of her work. Connect with Christy on LinkedIn.