December 12, 2016 • Amanda Pullman
4 Things Your Technical Resume Isn’t Saying About You
Most job seekers have been turned down for a position that seemed like a perfect fit. Their background was a great match, and their command of the job requirements promised success for the organization and their own careers. But after weeks without a response, it became clear that an interview was not going to happen.
Often, what we find when great candidates are overlooked is that their technical resume is silent on some of their best talking points. As you apply for your next job, consider what your technical resume isn’t saying about you.
You Have the Essential Skills for the Job
Hiring managers are busy people, and they don’t spend as much time reviewing your resume as you spent putting it together. With extremely short attention spans for reviewing resumes, it is necessary to be very clear and direct to ensure your most important job skills immediately get noticed.
Listing a skills/qualifications section very early in the resume is one excellent way to catch an employer’s eye. If they can identify which of your top skills match the opening in the first 10 seconds without sifting through job histories, then that may turn an application into an interview.
The best job seekers also strategically include keywords throughout their resume. Managers will be looking for skills listed on their job description, but keywords are also important for SEO purposes. With so little time, many organizations rely on applicant tracking systems to accelerate resume screening by searching for essential keywords. When they find such keywords, that resume makes it through to the hiring manager’s inbox.
Tangible Outcomes of Your Accomplishments
Too often, a resume will list duties that were undertaken under each previous role. While duties can paint an overall picture of an experience, it is far better to focus on accomplishments. Describing tangible outcomes of completed projects provides a stronger impact and better showcases why you are great for a role.
Think about what you achieved in your prior roles, and when possible, use numbers and specifics. Did a program you wrote help increase sales by a certain percentage? Were you able to decrease downtime for a client server by several days? How many projects were you completing on a monthly basis? Thinking of these questions will help strengthen the career history section of any resume.
Technical Skills from Outside the Workplace
When creating a resume, it can be easy to become so focused on experience in previous jobs that other technical skills get neglected. Many in IT are involved with projects or hobbies outside of the workplace that round out their skill set, and these should be highlighted.
Participating in hackathons, GitHub coding projects, Stack Overflow conversations, or even programming a mini game for your nephew are all examples of activities that refine valuable abilities. Think about what exact skills these have provided you, and add them to the skills section of a resume. Having trouble thinking of projects you’ve undertaken outside of work? Take a look at the best tech skills to list on your resume or these in-demand skills in the Richmond area to see if they spark any memories.
Your Work Persona
With such a focus on hard technical skills, IT workers may lose sight of the fact that hiring managers are looking for people, not robots. They desire someone who will fit in culturally with the organization and with departmental teams. This is where crafting your story on a resume can be the deciding factor in being offered a job interview.
It is important to think outside of the box to showcase who you are to a hiring manager. Pick out two or three very specific tech projects you have completed in your life, and feature them in a separate section of your resume. Briefly describe the problem, steps you took, and outcome of that project. Whether it was during a previous job or a hobby, describing a project with a brief narrative will make your work persona more palpable to anyone reviewing your technical resume.
A Technical Resume That Reflects You
Ultimately, a technical resume should clearly reflect your desirability as a candidate and the ways your experiences make you the best fit for a specific role. When tailored specifically to a job opening by focusing on presenting your related skills accurately, you place yourself in the best position to be offered that elusive interview. A well-written technical resume will open a hiring manager’s eyes to what you knew from the moment you saw their posting: that you’re an excellent fit for the job.
Ready to tailor your resume to a great opportunity? Check out the current job openings we have at SMART Resources.