The tech industry is an enigma of its own.

Decoding jobs in a tech-centric job market requires an impeccable resume embellished with relevant information and a great presentation.

Making a shortlist-worthy tech resume that gets your foot in the door is a challenge in itself. However, a few resume hacks can help you transform your resume into a one-way ticket to getting shortlisted for the hottest jobs in tech town.

If you’re not aware of them already, here are 5 resume hacks for tech professionals that you should know:

Picking the right resume format is crucial

You might be a tech professional with many years of work experience or you might be a tech graduate hoping to land her first tech job. It is also possible that you’re a tech professional with career gaps and you just don’t know what to do about it.

If you fall under any of these professional categories, your concerns end today. Drafting a tech resume using the appropriate resume format can be of great help.

Read on to learn which resume format you should choose based on your professional standing:

1.     Reverse Chronological Resume Format:

This resume format is the most recognized resume format in the industry. In this format, the information in your resume is arranged using the reverse-timeline order.

Since this resume format focuses on the timeline of your professional engagement, it is considered ideal for tech professionals with extensive work experience and mid-level tech professionals.

Additionally, we recommend using this format as it is both ATS-compliant (applicant tracking systems) and recruiter-friendly, which means a higher chance of getting shortlisted!

2.   Functional Resume Format:

The functional resume format is a skill-based resume that focuses on a professional’s skills as opposed to the timeline of their professional trajectory. As such, the functional format is considered ideal for those tech professionals who have a history of switching jobs or have career gaps they cannot explain.

However, we do not recommend using this format. Recruiters can smell something fishy from a mile away if they see this format, and most ATS can’t parse resumes in this format. Meaning? Lower chances of getting shortlisted.

In our experience, it always helps if you are forthright and transparent before the recruiters. Opting for anything else is not a long-term strategy.

3.   Combination Resume Format:

The combination resume format is the best of both worlds. It is a combination of both the reverse-chronological and functional resume which means it gives equal focus to both your skills and your professional timeline.

This resume format is considered ideal for technical graduates who don’t have much work experience to talk about, frequent job switchers, and tech professionals with career gaps.

Just like the reverse-chronological resume format, this resume format is also ATS-friendly which means you have a higher chance of getting shortlisted.

Your Work Experience section is the heart and soul of your resume

Important facts about you – like your professional caliber, your tech acumen, the kind of roles & responsibilities you are adept at handling and capable of successfully replicating – can be communicated through a thoughtful presentation of your work experience section.

The way you present your work experience details in your resume gives the recruiter an insight into your potential and tells them the story of your work proficiency in a way nothing else can.

This is why you must put more focus on your achievements over your responsibilities. If a thousand people are applying for a single vacancy, it suffices to say that they would all possess the same skills, more or less. How will the recruiter differentiate then? How will you convince the recruiter that you’re better than everyone else?

Here’s how::

  • Do not use paragraphs. Instead, use crisp one-liner points. Doing this will greatly enhance the readability of your resume.
  • Start each point with a power verb. Doing this will give your work experience a touch of professionalism and tell the recruiter that instead of just doing what you were told, you went ahead and took initiative.
  • Write result-oriented or action-oriented accomplishment statements clearly communicating the results you achieved and use numbers wherever possible. After you do this, make these achievements stand out by marking them in bold.

To better clarify these points in action, take a look at the points below:

  • Conducting testing & validating applications for fulfilling specifications & ensuring a high degree of predictability in results
  • Developing logical & innovative solutions and conducting a further assessment to evaluate technical and business suitability
  • Verifying output from programs/systems by enabling end-to-end testing (unit & regression) & examining sample data tests
  • Establishing detailed program/application specifications by leading brainstorming sessions with internal & external clients
  • Supervising the activities of 10+ Direct Reports and Project Leads for prioritizing assigned tasks & delivering assignments
  • Independently conducting data analysis and initiating processes involving data mining & data dissemination
  • Guaranteeing technical compatibility & enhancing user satisfaction by closely liaising with technical specialists & end-users

Even though the points all begin with a power verb and are immaculately framed, it will still look like a wall of text before the recruiter. Now here are the same set of points showcased slightly differently:

Data Analysis & Client Servicing

  • Supervising the activities of 10+ Direct Reports and Project Leads for prioritizing assigned tasks & delivering assignments
  • Developing logical & innovative solutions and conducting a furtherassessment to evaluate technical and business suitability
  • Establishing detailed program/application specifications by leading brainstorming sessions with internal & external clients
  • Independently conducting data analysis and initiating processes involving data mining & data dissemination

Testing & End-User Satisfaction

  • Conducting testing & validating applications for fulfilling specifications & ensuring a high degree of predictability in results
  • Guaranteeing technical compatibility & enhancing user satisfaction by closely liaising with technical specialists & end-users
  • Verifying output from programs/systems by enabling end-to-end testing (unit & regression) & examining sample data tests

Merely bolding relevant keywords and grouping points under relevant subheadings makes a world of difference.

Highlighting your tech skills using a distinct section is important

Tech-centric skills and sophisticated knowledge of tools & computer languages are yardsticks based on which the caliber of a tech professional is evaluated.

In other words, it is extremely crucial for a tech professional to present their skills effectively in their resume. To present your skills in the most impactful manner, all you have to do is shape your resume by deliberately shifting focus towards your skills.

Since recruiters are estimated to spend a mere 6 seconds on evaluating a resume, you should ensure that your skills are out there.

It should be the first thing that a recruiter notices. It should be presented in such a way that the recruiter does not have any trouble locating them.

You can achieve this by making a distinct section to distinguish your skills. Moreover, as a tech professional, it is important that you bifurcate your overall skills into 2 separate sections – Key Skills (containing managerial, non-tech functions) and Technical Skills.

Here’s an example of what a skills section of a resume for a tech professional should look like:

As you can see from the above snapshot, the core skills of a tech professional include skills such as:

  • Product Development
  • Backend Development
  • API Integration
  • Architecture Design
  • Automation

This is distinct from a technical professional’s skills such as:

  • Programming Languages
  • Web Design
  • Database management
  • Web Applications & Servers
  • Miscellaneous Tools

Perfecting the summary is important

It is the punchline that makes a joke funny, and a powerful ending that makes a story worth telling.

Similarly, it is an impactful summary that completes a resume and helps you get shortlisted when done to perfection. If your summary is compelling, the work of your resume is half done.

This is why it is extremely important to draft your resume summary with tact and thought.

A resume is not simply an overview of your professional career, but it is also a skill-statement that you can make to a recruiter. It is the one place in your resume where you get the opportunity to leverage your capability to the best of your advantage.

You need to utilize this space to its maximum potential. You need to convey through your summary that you are the ideal fit for the organization.

A great way to do this is by simply talking about the results you have brought to the organization you worked with using your technical expertise and domain knowledge.

A bland recounting of your roles & responsibilities just wouldn’t cut it.

Here’s an example of a job-winning resume summary for a tech professional:

4 years experienced Business Analyst armed with a Certification in Data Science and possessing a passion to solve real-world business challenges using data analytics. Proficient in deploying complex machine learning & statistical modeling algorithms/techniques for identifying patterns and extracting valuable insights. Proficient in translating technical requirements into business specifications for streamlining existing processes & delivering user-centric solutions.

As you can observe from this snapshot, you can clearly see that the Business Analyst shifts the recruiter’s focus to their visible achievements. The summary cleverly connects the functional skills with the results achieved using these skills.

By framing your summary in this manner, you too can showcase your professional effectiveness to get the tech job of your dreams.

The keyword is relevance. Recruiters love professionals who they believe can drive results.

By showing that you have a proven track record of benefiting an organization with your expertise, you give them a very good reason to shortlist you for the technical role that you’re after!

Your resume must have your education details

Showing that you have the relevant degrees in addition to thriving work experience can improve the effectiveness of your job application.

While practical experience is important, theoretical knowledge is also something that cannot be entirely dismissed. It holds the power to boost your chances of getting shortlisted, especially when you are pitted against tech professionals with similar work experience as yours.

In situations like these, showcasing your educational qualifications will add value.

It is a piece of must-have information in your resume and you should not make the mistake of leaving it out.

You can list your educational details of the following:

  • Name of the course you studied
  • Name of your school/university you attended
  • Location of your school/university
  • Dates of your enrollment and graduation in the month & year format

Conclusion

Here’s a brief overview of the highlights of this article:

  • Based on the career stage or situation you are in, pick the most suitable resume format to make your resume stand out.
  • Highlight your core skills and achievements along with your professional contributions using crisp one-liners to endorse the relevance of your work experience.
  • Make a distinct key skill section and distinguish your core skills from your technical skills to make them stand out.
  • Attract the recruiters’ attention by composing an effective resume summary.
  • Make sure that your resume provides the details of your professional qualifications, including details around your education, certifications, training, etc.

Got any more queries around your tech resume? Feel free to leave a comment below!

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.