How to create a great tech resume

application tips career pivot career tips job hunting Nov 10, 2022

Resumes are one of your first chances to impress your future manager – and it could also be your last. Someone could spend a few minutes poring over your resume while another person can scan it in 15 seconds. 


Tech resumes are just as important, but may need a bit more attention. This guide will tell you all you need to know.  


Show your work

Tech resumes are about showing and telling. Instead of just stating what you have done, you have the opportunity to demonstrate your skills by including a portfolio. Whether you have a website with links to your work, a presentation of your projects, or an example of something you have programmed, remember to link it to your resume.


Tech resumes are also an opportune time to show off any personal projects you are working on. This tells the employer many things:

  • You take initiative
  • You are creative
  • You have potential

It also demonstrates your creativity, your commitment to your job, and your potential. It’s a good way to show more of your personal interests without “wasting” space on something that isn’t directly related to your role. 


Emphasize your technical skills

Keeping this in mind, list all the skills you developed to produce the work you are showing. These technical skills should go at the top of your resume. 


Technical skills are the ones that allow you to complete a specific technical task. If you work in match, IT, computer science, and any similar fields, the skills needed to do most of your jobs are technical. 

Source: Indeed technical skills


You can also divide your skills by languages, frameworks, tools, databases, applications, softwares, and clouds. 


By listing your technical skills, you are giving your employer a birds-eye view of all your capabilities. You are telling them what projects you will be useful on, which team you will advance, and where you have room to grow. 


The same rules apply for your certifications. 


Show them you are a real person

While your tech skills can open the door for opportunity, your people skills may be the thing to get you through the door. You need to know how to collaborate well with others. Tech companies are the future of work as their products and services touch every industry you can think of. These “soft” skills are important. 


Here are some examples of skills that are desirable on every tech team:

  • Problem-solver
  • Team-oriented, but strong independent worker
  • Good communication skills
  • Creative thinker
  • Quick learner
  • Adaptive worker


As you finish getting your information out, you may start overthinking the presentation. 


Colourful or black-and-white? One page or two? Headshot or not? These can all vary depending on where you’re submitting your resume, but what stays the same is that you must communicate the most important information that will lock you into an interview.


Why? Because there is a chance that your resume won’t even be read by a human at first. 


While you’re applying to work in a company of your dreams, it is likely that AI took the job of someone meant to hire you – or at least, the first step in the job of hiring you.


You may be surprised to learn that 98% of Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking systems – ATS. 


If you think you’re in the clear because your dream role doesn’t call in that group, consider that ATS comes in handy for 66% of large companies and 35% of small organizations. While not every job you apply for will screen you automatically, there are some companies that will. 


What is ATS?

So what is ATS and how do you make sure it sends your resume to your future boss?


ATS stands for applicant tracking system. These softwares help companies recruit and hire job-seekers when they don’t have time to sort through hundreds of resumes. 


When you hit that “apply” button, your resume isn’t landing in someone’s inbox. It’s landing in an ATS. It is a database that sorts applicants based on how well their resumes fit the job descriptions, sending successful candidates forward.


In short, the best way to make sure your tech resume makes the ATS cut is to write what is on the job description. 


No, seriously. The AI is scanning for keywords and sending the highest matches to the real manager. It’s as easy as matching the “About you” section of the posting to your roles and responsibilities in various companies over the years. 


Here are a few examples: 


Use keywords from the job description

The more keywords you use, the more matches the AI will make from your resume to the top of the applicant list. 


When you plant your keywords, explain how your precious duties will prepare you for new responsibilities at the job you’re applying for. Use data to illustrate your growth. Use the number of people you led on a team. Anything to quantify or measure your accomplishments will help.


Use clear headings

Employers want to know about professional certificates and training, your academic institution,  your previous work experience, where you have volunteered,  and if a direct supervisor can vouch for you. 


But there is a time and space for all of this. ATS rewards simplicity. Use headings such as Qualifications, Education, Experience, Hobbies, and Reference and then fill your resume in with all the details.


Stay away from acronyms

Not every acronym is recognizable. They can cause miscommunication because they can apply to organizations, certifications, or even job titles. If the ATS is looking for “chartered financial analyst”, it may not recognize when you list CFA from 2018-2020. 


They may miss the extent of your experience – and you may miss out on the job. 


And while you’re removing acronyms, double check on the other letters. Spell checks are very important with resumes – especially ones that will go through ATS. Computers and hiring share the fact that they are not so forgiving about spelling errors. The only difference is that a person can dock points and move past your error, but ATS may not even know what you mean and it will cost you matching potential. 

Testing ATS before you apply

The most commonly used ATS are iCIMS, Taelo, and Jobvite. There are websites that will test your resume out for you against all these systems. 


Jobscan is trusted by over one million job seekers. All you have to do is paste your resume into the text box, click scan, and await your results. It will tell you how close to matching your resume is to the job you are applying for based on skills, keywords, title, and education.

Source: Jobscan Amazon senior product manager match rate


More tips

If you provide the company name and website link into Jobscan’s job description, it could give you specific tips to optimize your website even more. 


Hard skills

Be specific about the hard skills you choose. They are directly related to your responsibilities and duties specific to your role. Make sure the skills you use are spelled the same way in the job description so the ATS can find the match and give you a higher score. 


Jobscan also uses machine learning to analyze and compare millions of resumes to predict the most relevant skills your employer is looking for, based on the job description. 


Recruiter tips

This section is all about resume best practices. Based on recruiters’ expertise, you can adjust your resume according to what the Jobscan helper suggests – all compiled from millions of resumes and job descriptions across several industries and companies. 


Cover letter

If you like your experience on Jobscan enough, you can also scan your cover letter to find any missing phrases, skills, and features to improve your job application.

Source: Jobscan Amazon senior product manager tips 

VMock is an AI platform that provides instant feedback to improve the overall quality of your resume. 


Your profiles are evaluated on over 100 criteria, including languages, skills, and presentation. It scans and divides your resume and then compares it to a combination of high-demand positions. VMock highlights what matches and stands out as well as the items that do not match and will fall between the cracks. 

Source: VMock job parsing and clustering


Vmock gets its information from over two million resumes, 1000 careers, 40,000 skills, and 3,500 career coaches. 


Make these extra changes when you're changing your resumes for that tech position and you will be on your way to transitioning into tech.


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