How to Gear Your Resume for a Career in the Tech Industry
At NextRoll, we pride ourselves for creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment and are always working to eliminate ways in which bias can creep into decision making. In this article, we’d like to translate how you can craft a resume to remove potential for bias and help your transferable skills shine.
Here are the top 3 things to adopt when crafting your resume:
1. Traditional Formatting
Have you ever heard the saying, less is more? Well, let’s use that theme with the format of your resume. On average, a Recruiter will spend about 6 seconds reading your resume. Your goal when crafting your resume is to focus on how you can persuade the Recruiter or Hiring Manager to schedule an interview. If your resume looks too busy, you run the risk of a Recruiter or Hiring Manager moving past your resume because they will struggle to understand where your core strengths lie. If there’s not enough information, a Recruiter or Hiring Manager might think you don’t have enough experience.
General rules of thumb with traditionally formatted resumes:
Use a traditionally formatted resume. Avoid the graphic resumes that are two-toned and two-column. We recommend creating a more traditional resume that highlights your job titles and experience. For more creative roles, reserve the graphics for your portfolio. Here are samples of a traditionally formatted resume.
Limit the length of your resume to one page for every 10 years of experience. One page will allow the reader to focus on the experience that matters.
Skip the cover letter unless requested. More often than not, cover letters aren’t the first thing a Recruiter/Hiring Manager reviews so don’t waste your energy! Your experience is what matters most.
Create a short blurb of each company you’ve worked for and what they do. When transitioning into tech, it’s helpful to highlight what a company does especially if that tech company is in an adjacent industry. For example if you are looking to break into marketing technology and you’ve worked at a marketing agency or have SaaS experience, highlight that! Sometimes the reader doesn’t have time to research every company so making it easy on the reader gets you one step ahead!
2. Highlight Your Experience
When writing about your experience, it’s important to highlight your strengths by thoughtfully describing the impact you’ve made at a company.
Don’t forget to:
Align your experience to the job description. The job description showcases the skills/competencies important to be successful in the position. Ensuring that your bullet points of experience align to the job description will make it easy for the hiring team to decide whether to move your resume forward or not. At the same time, don’t worry about checking every box in the job description. Oftentimes hiring teams know that a candidate can’t check every box but may only truly be looking for 2-3 core skills.
Focus on the impact you’ve made and bring in metrics as much as possible. Analytical skills have been on the rise of top skills employers look for in candidates. Quantifying your impact is a sure fire way for a Recruiter or Hiring Manager to recognize strategic and analytical skills. Example: “Increased revenue by 16% through...”
Be honest about your experience. It’s common to want to inflate your experience so you can land an interview. However, during the interview, your true core skills will shine. It’s better to be true to the value you bring to save yourself and the hiring team time. This will allow you more space to focus on the job opportunities where you are most aligned.
Remove skills that are not relevant or implied and add skills that are in the description. Most professionals who have been in the industry will assume that you can operate basic technology like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Save the space on your resume to communicate skills that aren’t so implied such as experience working with certain software that is specific to your role (i.e. Tableau for Analytics roles, Salesforce for Sales roles).
3. Proofread Your Resume
There’s nothing worse than putting all of that time and effort into crafting your experience for it to all fall apart with one small error. Employers look for professionals who have an attention to detail and take pride in their work. Your resume is the first impression and a reflection of you.
Quick tips to keep in mind when proofreading:
Attention to detail is key, make sure capitalization, punctuation, and tenses are correct and consistent. Ensure that each header, job title, and company name is capitalized. Punctuation often falls apart with bullet points when some bullet points have periods, others don't. Be sure that you are following the same format with your punctionation on each bullet. Tenses are often neglected when talking about your experience. When starting with each bullet, we recommend starting with past tense to reflect the impact you’ve already made. Example: “Executed on XYZ'' or “Led ABC”.
In order to highlight your impact, start with action words for each bullet point. Do not start with things like “responsible for”. Again, we want to focus on the impact you made instead of listing your responsibilities.
Read it out loud and also have someone else proofread it.
Spending the time on your resume to ensure traditional formatting, streamlined examples of your experience as compared to the job description, and attention to detail are simple yet focused ways to make sure your experience shines. We hope these steps will help you land your dream role!