Let’s admit: We all judge a book by its cover. And hiring managers are no different. Having a good technical resume is as important as dressing sharp for a technical job interview. A well-written technical resume could become the gateway to your dream job. And not just any technical job but the one with a brand new MacBook Pro, a featherlight ergonomic chair, massage therapists for the fancy relaxing, an onsite gym for stress-busting, and plenty of free food and snacks to munch on. Even though there are over 2,00,000 technical jobs, the competition for these tech jobs is higher than ever before. To land a technical job of your dreams in a Unicorn company with lucrative pay, rewarding perks, and flexible working hours, you will need a technical resume as rare as the Thor’s hammer and five times as powerful. Hiring managers know that anyone can cram some tech skills into their tech resume. However, they’re going to want proof that you don’t just have the technical skills but are in fact capable of creating something stellar using those skills. An average of 250 technical resumes are sent for a single tech job opening. Between you and the pile of 249 resumes, stands your chance to shine with a perfectly crafted technical resume. Let’s learn how to create just that.
You’ve just received an email that there’s a tech job opening in data science at one of the Fortune 500 companies. They’re looking for a Data Scientist to join their data science team. The pay and perks on offer are incredible, the organisation has a great reputation, and you would be honoured to be a part of this company. As a data scientist, you live and breathe with data and numbers. You’re passionate about building data products and making a positive impact on the business. You know that you’re the best fit for the data scientist job role. However, you need to first impress the hiring manager as they will be scanning the endless technical resumes landing in their inbox for the open data scientist job. We will show you how to create a job-winning technical resume that acts as a balm for the hiring manager’s soul and helps you land 10x more technical job interviews than your competitors. So, without much ado, let’s help you create a powerful technical resume that says – “Me! I’m the go-to person you want to hire for the open tech job!”
Technical Resume: What it is and How is it Different from Traditional Tech Resumes?
A technical resume is a record of an individual’s work experience, hard skills (tech skills), soft skills, educational qualifications, technical certifications, and other details that outline an individual’s ability to succeed in a technical job role. A technical resume is the first point of contact between an organisation and a candidate. It is power-packed with technical tools/skills that match or are comparable to the requirements of the open tech job and also proves how an individual has utilised these tech skills in their prior job roles. Every job requires a different technical skillset – for some, it will be developing and optimising the performance of machine learning algorithms, for others it could be prototyping and sketching wireframes, and some might just be working with spreadsheets to track leads and sales. Every tech job has its own requirements so customising a technical resume based on the job requirements makes it stand out from the crowd and create maximum impact on the hiring manager. A technical resume focuses on a specific area of tech expertise like software engineering, statistics, cybersecurity, UI/UX design, data engineering, data analysis, data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc, unlike a non-technical traditional resume that mainly focuses on the strong set of soft skills required to win a traditional non IT job.
How to Write a Job-Winning Technical Resume?
1. Grease the Rails to Slide into the Tech Job Interview with a Sparkling Resume Header
Imagine you’re applying for a machine learning engineer job role and the resume header in your tech resume says you’re a civil engineer. The hiring manager will likely drop your resume in a heartbeat. This does not mean that a civil engineer cannot become a machine learning engineer. But, that’s not the best practice to write a resume header when applying for a tech job. A perfect technical resume begins with a technical resume header section containing name, address, and contact information so that hiring managers can reach you later. However, the header section on a tech resume can be made sparkling by adding links to the professional social media profiles which are most likely to be reviewed by the hiring managers. 93% of the hiring managers review the social media profiles of a candidate before offering a job. Especially for technical jobs, make it a point to link your LinkedIn and GitHub profiles as this helps the hiring managers quickly make an impression about the quality of work.
Here’s a sample tech resume header (for a data analyst job) that is most likely to grab the attention of the hiring manager and facilitate positive expectations –
Tips to Create an Attractive Resume Header for your Technical Resume
- Add a portfolio of online projects related to the tech-job in the resume header to let the hiring managers focus on your potential.
- Your name must be the biggest item in the resume header followed by the title and certificate if any.
- Do not use fancy job titles like UI/UX design guru, data geek, code ninja, data science superhero, marketing samurai, and the like in your tech resume header.
- You can add a custom headline instead of just the job title to even further engage the hiring managers.
- As most of us use Instagram and Facebook for personal interests and connecting with friends and family, avoid adding these details in the personal profile of your resume header.
- Earn brownie points for linking to your GitHub/LinkedIn profile in the tech resume header.
- Don’t over-design the tech resume header with odd colours and fonts to make it stand out as this is likely to distract the hiring manager from important contact information.
2. Stand Out from a Sea of Candidates with a Great Technical Resume Summary
Your technical resume is your biopic and it’s your responsibility to sell it with a great trailer: a professional tech resume summary statement. But what exactly is a resume summary? The resume summary is the key content of a resume that summarises the rest of your technical resume. It acts as an elevator pitch about who you are and what you do. Resume summary in a technical resume must be short, positive, and precise as this is the first thing a hiring manager reads. A great technical resume summary compels the hiring manager to read the rest of the resume.
Let’s look at how a technical resume summary should look like when applying for a data scientist job –
Springboard certified data scientist with 3 years of experience. Looking to increase data efficiency at XYZ Corporation to drive growth for the company. Achievements include building recommender systems to recommend products to customers with 30% more accuracy. A great problem solver, highly skilled in Python programming, machine learning, data visualisation using Tableau.
This elevator pitch explains clearly the experience, skills, and measurable accomplishments giving proof of an individual’s capability to do the job.
Tips to Write a Great Professional Summary for Your Technical Resume
- Cherry-pick the interesting stats and facts from your tech resume and reword them.
- Do not forget to mention the years of experience and tech certifications in the summary.
- Convert every accomplishment of yours into numbers, if possible.
- Customise the resume summary to the specific tech job opening you’re applying for.
3. Create an Impactful Experience Section
If you think of a technical resume as a “fancy meal” then the experience section is the “main course” of that fancy meal. You’ve already knocked out the appetiser sections of your tech resume – resume header and the summary, it’s time to prepare the main course.
The experience section is the meat of any tech resume where you get to show all your hard work. It is the highlight of a tech resume that most hiring managers care about. Hiring managers scan the experience section of the resume to find out if an individual has made any positive impact in prior positions like improving the success metrics, optimising costs for the business, boosting revenue for the business, or improved efficiency in any aspect. The experience section of a tech resume should focus on the impact created by an individual instead of just listing the job duties. Weave all the tech skills required for the job in the experience section with a list of accomplishments in using those skills. The achievements and accomplishments in the experience section inspire confidence in a hiring manager that the individual is capable of doing a great job.
In case you are a beginner and your experience is limited to attending online technical bootcamps and not industry projects, then talk through that in the experience section. Mention about your learnings from the bootcamp, your interests, links to the projects completed in the bootcamp, and show how the skills you learned make you a perfect fit for the job.
Tech Resume Examples on How to Craft the Experience Section
- Say if the tech job requires a UI/UX person with experience in building wonderful user interfaces. Then in the experience section mention how in the past you’ve developed beautiful interfaces that created a long-lasting impact on the customers. Something like –
“Spearheaded the development of a UI that increased customer satisfaction by 25%.”
- Say if the tech job posted is for a data analytics team leader. Then in the experience section mention the size of the team you have already managed. Something like –
“Managed and mentored a team of 7 data analysts.”
- Say if the tech job posted is for a machine learning engineer. Then in the experience section of the tech resume highlight the models you’ve built and how they have impacted the business. Something like –
“Developed demand forecasting models to improve forecast accuracy by 35%.”
- Say if the tech job posted is for an ETL developer. Then the experience section should mention something like –
“Solved an ETL issue whilst following SQL best practices resulting in increased client customer base by 22%.”
Tips to Create an Impactful Experience Section for the Technical Resume
- Always follow the reverse chronological order when listing your experience to save the hiring manager from mental stress. Begin with the most recent position first.
- If you lack relevant work experience, do not hesitate to mention freelance or open-source projects to show your potential. Do not include irrelevant experience.
- We suggest you mirror the same keywords used in the tech job description in the work experience section to add that personalised touch.
- Numbers, numbers, and numbers. Instead of making general statements in the experience section convey your points with hard facts to showcase your value. Use data (percentages, real money figures, and numbers) to back up your accomplishments in the experience section and add credibility to your work.
4. Keep Your Tech Skills Relevant to the Job You’re Targeting
Skills are everything to the hiring manager and also to the ATS that scans a candidate based on the skills listed in the resume. A good technical resume should have a healthy mix of both tech skills and soft skills. A hiring manager is more interested in knowing if you can use the skills that you list. Here’s how to show the tech skills you have –
- Create a comprehensive list of all the tech skills and soft skills you have in an excel.
- Add those skills from the excel to your technical resume that fit the job description.
- Back all the important skills for the job in the resume with links to achievements and accomplishments in the experience section of the resume. The key is to match all the skills from your previous job to those you find in the technical job description.
To get a better idea on how to categorise and list the skills on a tech resume, let’s take a glance at the skills section on the technical resume of an individual targeting a data science job –
- Big Data Stack – Hadoop, Spark, Pig Hive
- Programming Languages – Python and R
- Packages – Sci-Kit Learn, NumPy, SciPy, NLTK, Matplotlib
- Statistics – Regression, Classification, Ensemble Models, SVM
- Data Analysis
- Predictive Modelling
- Data Visualisation
- Machine Learning
- Probability and Statistics
- Stakeholder Management
- Project Management
- Team Incubation
- Leadership and Training
According to a LinkedIn Exclusive report, here’s a list of most in-demand hard and soft skills for 2020 that will make your tech resume most sought-after by the hiring managers –
Top 10 Hard/Tech Skills
- Cloud Computing
- Analytical Reasoning
- Artificial Intelligence
- UI/UX Design
- Business Analysis
- Affiliate Marketing
- Scientific Computing
- Video Production
Top 5 Soft Skills
- Emotional Intelligence
Tips on How to List Skills on a Technical Resume
- Use the job description as a cheat sheet to understand what skills the hiring managers are looking for to fill the position. Use the keywords mentioned in the job description and include them under the skills section where appropriate.
- Always categorize your skills for better readability like Platforms, Services, Programming Languages, etc.
- The skills you mention should be quantified with measurable accomplishments in the experience section.
- List your best tech skills first followed by the rest.
- List only those tech skills that you think you can start working with tomorrow if hired for the job.
- Do not list irrelevant skills on your technical resume. For instance, a resume for a technical job need not have a mention of your veterinary or chef skills.
5. Include a Stellar Education and Certifications Section
Most people consider the education and certifications section as an afterthought, but you shouldn’t. Most tech jobs require some type of a degree so having a mention about your degree is a must in your tech resume along with the degree type, major, university, and location. Especially when applying for an entry-level tech position, it is important to format the education section in the resume to create maximum impact. Include any honours, awards, or academic achievements any in this section.
Technical certifications, awards, internships, and online coding bootcamps can give you an edge over others and also grab the attention of the hiring managers. Mention all these details in a separate section by highlighting the ones relevant to the targeted job first.
Bonus Pro Tips for Writing a Perfect Resume
- The format of the tech resume is critical, so always follow a standard reverse chronological format, including the most recent 10 years of employment history.
- Use professional fonts like Georgia, Verdana, Calibri, or Cambria with 11 or 12pt size.
- Add additional sections on a technical resume such as hobbies/interests, volunteering, language skills, technical certifications, and awards to make your resume extraordinary.
- Do not include photographs and gimmicky graphics to add beauty to the technical resume. It’s the content of the resume that matters and not the visual effects.
- Have a separate mention of your project portfolio in the tech resume in case you have built an impressive body of GitHub work and technical projects in your domain.
- You should always get another pair of eyes before sending out the resume. Always have someone proof-read and review your technical resume before hitting the send button.
Follow these guidelines to create a technical resume that will land you an interview for a unicorn job of your dreams where you will be treated like a Bitcoin. Your dream job awaits you, make your move today and refresh your resume with the most in-demand tech skills of 2020 – UI/UX Design, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Data Analytics, and Data Science. Springboard offers comprehensive,1:1 mentoring-led, job-guarantee online programs in the most in-demand skills of 2020 to help you land your dream tech job.