It’s no secret that jobs in tech are high paying with top-notch benefits at companies that are solving some of the most challenging problems of our time. It’s no wonder that tech jobs are highly sought after. How can you get your foot in the door and land an interview at one of these companies?
First things first, you need to convince the hiring manager that you deserve an interview with your resume. This guide is built to do just that. We’ll go through each section of your resume to help you showcase your skills and land a coveted job in tech.
Tech Resume Examples & Tips
When you’re creating your resume, nothing is more intimidating than staring at a blank page. To that end we’ll walk you step-by-step to help you put your best foot forward in your resume and land your dream tech job.
In short, here’s what you need to do to ensure you resume will help you land interviews with tech companies:
- Format your resume correctly. This means keeping it simple and easy to read, limiting it to one page, and correcting all spelling and grammar errors.
- Convince the hiring manager you’re the right fit for the role by quantifying the impact of your past work or projects.
- When it comes to technical skills on your resume, it’s better to be a master of a few skills as opposed to a jack of all trades.
- If you’re an entry level tech candidate then it’s important you highlight projects you’ve worked on in your resume.
To get the creative juices flowing, let’s start with an example of an effective tech resume.
Why this resume works:
- It’s visually pleasing and easy to read.
- No matter where the recruiter or hiring manager looks, they will see that this software engineer had a demonstrable impact in all of their work experience and projects.
- The skills section is not a laundry list. It’s a concentrated skill-set that would appeal to an experienced hiring manager in tech.
- This candidate included all relevant personal links to their LinkedIn and Github profiles.
Formatting Your Tech Resume
Recruiters spend 6 seconds on average reviewing a given resume. This means you have to very quickly make your case that you deserve an interview for the tech role you’re applying to. Before anything else, a recruiter will see the layout of your resume. In light of this, it’s your job to make your resume as consumable as possible. Here’s how to do that:
- Keep your formatting simple and easy to read. Don’t include fancy graphs or images that take time to parse.
- Avoid big blocks of text. Break up your writing into small, self-contained bullet points.
- Keep your resume to one page. Nothing discourages a hiring manager more than a 5 page resume.
- Your resume needs to be a highlight reel, so no matter where the tech recruiter or hiring manager looks, they’re convinced that you deserve an interview.
- This one bears repeating: fix all spelling and grammar errors. Triple check your resume and have a friend review it. A typo should never be the reason you don’t get the job!
All of these tips are in service of a singular goal: make the recruiter’s job as easy as humanly possible. No matter what bullet point they read, they should come away convinced that they are missing out if they don’t interview you for the role.
Quantify Your Impact
You’re a (soon-to-be) tech professional, so you know that the best way to make your case in any discussion is through numbers. Numbers speak louder than words and this is especially true in a tech resume. To make it clear why, let’s look at an example.
The following bullet points describe the work experience for the same data analyst. Which do you think is more convincing to a hiring manager?
Work experience with measurable impact:
August 2016 - May 2018, New York NY
- As the first data hire worked directly with the executive team to formulate and report on KPIs across their web properties that get 200 million visitors annually using SQL and Google Sheets
- Built a logistic regression model to help the SEO team decide which keywords to target resulting in a 13% lift in YoY site visitors in 2018
- Worked with product managers to perform cohort analysis that identified an opportunity to reduce pricing by 25% for a segment of users to boost yearly revenue by $720,000
Work experience without measurable impact:
August 2016 - May 2018, New York NY
- As the first data hire worked directly with the executive team to formulate and report on KPIs across their web properties that get millions of visitors annually using SQL and Google Sheets
- Built a logistic regression model to help the SEO team decide which keywords to target
- Worked with product managers to perform cohort analysis that identified an opportunity to reduce pricing for a segment of users to boost yearly revenue
Remember, the hiring manager or recruiter tasked with reviewing your resume will only be doing so for about six seconds. This means they’ll be skimming what you wrote. The most effective way to draw their attention is through quantifiable metrics. It’s easy to say that you had a big impact in a past role, but it’s much more convincing if you can quantify the size of that impact.
“When I look for a technical hire I want to interview candidates who will have a measurable impact on my business” says Neal Taparia, the founder of Imagine Easy Solutions and Solitaired. “The quickest way to make that determination is by assessing whether they’ve had a measurable impact in their past roles or projects.”
Highlight Your Technical Skills
When it comes to landing a job in tech, technical skills aren’t everything. But they are a crucial aspect of your resume. Keep in mind that there are generally two review stages that your resume undergoes before getting an interview:
- Companies use an automated filter called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that filters resumes based on whether they contain certain keywords.
- Either the recruiter or hiring manager in charge of the role will review your resume.
To appease the automated ATS filters, you need to include relevant skills from the job description. Conversely, to satisfy the hiring manager, you should avoid having a laundry list of skills. Instead, demonstrate your expertise in a handful of skills, languages, and frameworks.
How can you walk this fine line with your tech resume? As a rule of thumb, only include skills on your resume that you would be comfortable talking about in an interview. The only sure-fire way to get blacklisted from working at a tech company is by lying on your resume. It’s just not worth it. You deserve to find a job that you love and are qualified for.
What kind of skills should you actually include in your resume? That depends on the kind of role you’re applying for:
- Data scientists: Include programming skills, SQL knowledge, and modeling techniques.
- Data analysts: Talk about your SQL ability, your data visualization skills using a BI tool like Tableau, and data wrangling in Python or R.
- Web developers: Focus on your programming ability in 1-2 languages and any front-end or back-end frameworks you are familiar with in that language.
- Product management: You’ll need to demonstrate your command of a web analytics tool like Google Analytics as well as your basic programming skills and data analysis ability.
- Technical project management: Mention your familiarity with a project management tool like Jira as well as your comfort level in a project management methodology like Agile.
- Digital marketing: Highlight your ability with a web analytics framework like Google Analytics as well as your comfort with a CRM. Mention your skills with paid ad platforms like Facebook or AdWords.
Tips for Entry Level Technical Resumes
Quantifying your work experience is straightforward if you have a relevant background. But if you’re an entry level data scientist or UI designer looking to break into the tech industry for the first time, you might need to get creative.
Center your resume around your projects. You’ll want to demonstrate a few characteristics to a potential employer:
- You’re passionate about the role you’re applying for
- You understand what is required of the role
- You have the required skills necessary to succeed in that role
Let’s walk through a sample project for a prospective entry level data analyst. Data analysts are tasked with turning messy data into actionable insights for their company. In 2020, data is everywhere. So to build a project for a data analyst resume, all you have to do is ask questions that you’ve always wanted to answer. Here are a few sample questions that an entry level data analyst might answer in a self-directed project:
- As a runner, is there a strong correlation between where you train and your race performance?
- As a fantasy football enthusiast, does the draft order matter in determining the quality of a team?
- As a foodie, does the quality of a restaurant vary based on the price of the menu?
Once you have a question in mind, you can creatively go about gathering the data necessary to answer that question. Finally, you can put together a write-up with your conclusions. Link to this write-up in your resume and there you have it: a project demonstrating your ability as a data analyst.
This kind of scrappy can-do attitude can be applied to any tech role you can imagine. If you’re a designer, you can build a UI for an app you’ve always envisioned. As a web developer, build a web app to solve a nagging problem you’ve always had. Data scientists can build predictive models to answer their burning questions.
If you need to level up your skills before applying for a job in tech, browse our range of full-time and part-time courses. All of our tech tracks are project-based, helping you build a portfolio and get hired. You’ll learn side by side with mentors, technical experts, and experienced instructors who all support your end goal: a lasting career.
Employers in tech value job candidates who are innately curious, ask questions, and find the resources to answer those questions. Demonstrate this ability in your projects as an entry level candidate and you should have no trouble getting interviews.
Optimizing Your Tech Resume
Breaking into tech can seem like an insurmountable mountain to climb, but we know you can land a job you love, even with no previous experience. The first step is building a resume that catches the attention of the hiring manager. This guide was designed to help you do just that.
Before you know it, it’ll be time to start preparing for job interviews. Applying to jobs can be overwhelming at times, so congrats on taking a big first step and completing your tech resume.
This article was written by Stephen Greet, Co-Founder of Beam Jobs.