Technical Resume Writing Tips
1. List your technical knowledge first in an itemized fashion.
- Use as many buzzwords as you can conjure up which reflect your work and school experience.
- List all operating systems and UNIX flavours you know.
- List all programming languages and platforms with which you’re experienced.
- List all software you’ve thoroughly used.
This will satisfy the visual curiosities of hiring managers and OCR scanners conducting key word searches.
2. List your qualifications in order of relevance, from most to least.
Only list your degree and educational qualifications first if they are truly relevant to the fob for which you are applying. If you’ve already done what you want to do in a new job by all means, list it first, even if it wasn’t your most recent job.
Abandon any strict adherence to chronological ordering of you experience.
3. Quantify your experience wherever possible.
Cite numerical figures, such as monetary budgets/funds saved, time numbers o€ machines administrated/fixed, etc. which demonstrate progress or accomplishments due directly to your work.
4. Begin sentences with action verbs.
Portray your self as someone who is active, uses their brain, and gets things done. Stick with the past tense, even for descriptions of currently held positions to avoid confusion.
5. Don’t sell yourself short.
This is by far the biggest mistake of all resumes, technical and otherwise. Your experiences are worthy of a review by hiring managers,
Treat your resume as an advertisement for you.
Be sure to thoroughly “sell” yourself by highlighting all of your strengths. If you’ve got a valuable asset, which doesn’t seem to fit into any existing components of your resume, list it anyway as its own resume segment.
6. Be concise.
As a rule of thumb, resumes reflecting five years or less experience should fit on one page. More extensive experience can justify usage of a second page. Consolidate action verbs where one task or responsibly encompasses other tasks and duties. Minimize usage of articles (the, an, a) and never use “I” or other pronouns to identify yourself.
7. Omit needless items.
Leave all these things of your resume: social security number, marital status, health, citizenship, age, scholarships, irrelevant awards, irrelevant associations and memberships. Irrelevant publication, irrelevant recreational activities, a second mailing address (“permanent address” is confusing and never used), reference of references (“available upon request”), travel history, previous pay rates, previous supervisor names, reasons for leaving previous jobs, and components of your name which you rally never use (i.e. middle names).
8. Have a qualified professional review you resume.
Be sure to select someone who is familiar with the industry and its standards, attentive to detail, can effectively critique your writing, and will give an honest and objective opinion. Seriously consider their advice. Get a third and fourth opinion if you can.
9. Proofread, proofread, proofread.
Be sure to catch all spelling errors, grammatical weaknesses, unusual punctuation, unnecessary and inconsistent capitalization. Proofread it numerous times over at least two days to allow a fresh eye to catch any hidden mistakes.
10. Laser print on plain, white paper.
Handwriting, typing, dot matrix printing, and even ink jet printing have a low quality look, select laser printers. Don’t waste your money on special bond paper, matching envelopes, or any colour devices away from plain white. Your resume will be photocopied, faxed, and scanned numerous times, defeating any special paper efforts, assuming your original resume doesn’t first end up in “the circular file.”