As a recruiter in IT (even as new as I am!) I have seen a lot when it comes to resumé mistakes. When applying for any job, that single piece of paper is the first impression that a business or recruiter will have on you – so why not spend a little extra time to make it stand out? If you want the chance to prove your skills in an interview, you need to build a resumé that will catch the recruiter’s eye, without drowning them in every single technology you can think of. While the art of resumé writing may seem challenging, it doesn’t have to be!
Here are some tips for putting together a resumé that will stand out without stressing you out!
Start with a Strong Summary
Give your readers – in this case it could be, an IT Recruiter, Developer, Hiring Manager – something that will grab their attention and lure them in to continue reading, but it shouldn’t be too long either. In your summary, include a brief insight into your strongest skills and experience as a developer, and why you’re interested in the role you’re applying for – make sure to double check that your core skill set aligns with what the job posting is requiring.
List Your Best Features First
No, this doesn’t mean you should attach a glamorous headshot. (Whereas headshots are more commonplace in Europe than in the US, different regions have different standards of what should be on a resume so, be sure to do your homework! Recruiters will firstly see what’s at the top of your resumé, so it’s important to put your best accomplishments there. Create an accomplishment section and list using quantifiable descriptions. Did you build your team from the ground up? Did you take the lead on a major project? Did your app win a major award? This will make it easy for the recruiter to see and understand what you’re proficient in, without being overwhelmed. Also, be sure to write in your experience section the technologies used and what your individual role was in the project. This will keep the recruiter from guessing!
Customize Your Skills
It’s important to use the same technique as above – customization. Whether applying for a back-end developer or a UX designer role, you should be customizing your accomplishments and skills by catering to the requirements of the job you are applying for. You may be qualified and applying to two different roles that both have similar yet distinctly different technology stacks – this should be highlighted per role! You could also refer to the job description before deciding to apply. The skills listed here will be the foundation of how you should word the skills you choose to write but please, don’t copy and paste.
It’s Ok to Ask for Help
Although you may be a master at writing code, that doesn’t mean you’re a master of resumé writing! Don’t be afraid to use a template to form the layout and organization of your resumé or hire a professional resume writer – you can usually find freelancers on sites like UpWork for this! However, while using a template is helpful to organize the flow of your accomplishments and experience, it’s not meant for copying information. We’ve experienced this ourselves when our technical developers received two identical resumés – as if copied and pasted with a different name slapped on the top (that’s a big no-no!).
As a developer, you already understand the importance of being accurate in your work. One small mistake can mean the difference between a successful deployment or hours of checking and testing code. Double check your resumé for misspelled words, typos, and grammatical errors – it’s MongoDB not MangoDB, and yes, we’ve seen that too. Autocorrect can be your best friend or your worst nightmare, so it couldn’t hurt to have a real-life friend check, as well!
Know Your Resumé Inside Out
Have a friend sit down and quiz you on every word. You should be prepared to answer any question a recruiter may ask you. After all, anything written on your resumé is fair game! This means you shouldn’t inflate your skillset. If you studied Java in one class, that one time in college and haven’t used it since, you’re probably not the Lebron James of Java! Interviewers want to see your real worth, and they’ll hire you for being you!
Take these tips into consideration when applying to your next role! Remember that no single resume is right for every job, so take the time to read it through and make necessary changes before submitting. Good luck and happy job searching!