Jennifer Schneider and Harry Gooding from Hays share their expert advice on how to write the perfect resume for that dream job in tech.
If you’re applying for your first job in the tech world, it can be difficult to know how to write a resume that showcases what you bring to the table. However, just because your experience and proven use of technical skills are limited or non-existent doesn’t mean it should deter you from applying.
The digital skills gap we are seeing means that more companies are accepting candidates who are new to the industry. Here are eight resume tips to help you prove you’re the right fit for a tech role.
Take the time to think about the layout of your CV
Your resume needs to grab the reader’s attention quickly because it may have received dozens or even hundreds of job applications. That’s why it’s so important to make your resume easy to digest with the key skills the employer is looking for clearly outlined.
Divide your resume into clearly defined sections and explore the idea of using boxes or columns to separate them. You don’t want the page to look cluttered, with the text squashed, or too small to conceivably read.
Tailor your CV to the role, especially in the tech field
Not all roles in technology are the same or require the same abilities. It may seem obvious, but always tailor your CV to the exact role you are applying for.
Recruiters and hiring managers may not move your application forward if they feel it’s too generic or written for another company. Understand what skills – especially technical – they are looking for and incorporate them into your CV.
Include a short profile at the start
There may be a number of applicants with the same technical skills as you, and if you’re applying for your first tech role, they may have more experience than you.
By including a profile, you can demonstrate why you are different and provide insight into who you are and why you will offer something different.
Add a specific cover letter
It can make a huge difference if you take the time to craft a role- and company-specific cover letter. Not only will this demonstrate that you are ready to put in the effort, but it will also allow you to deepen the achievements and skills that matter most.
Also, just because the role is in technology doesn’t mean technical skills are the only ones that matter, especially if you’re new to the industry. A well-written cover letter can also showcase your soft skills, such as communication, which can compensate for your lack of experience.
Mention extracurricular activities
Personality goes a long way. Do you have hobbies around technology? Any areas of particular interest? Don’t be afraid to highlight them, especially if they’re relevant to the role.
For example, if you were part of a coding club or made an app as a side hustle, say so! These details are memorable and can really help you stand out to the reader. Include them in your short profile or cover letter.
Improve your skills and integrate them
Some recruiters like to see a section on your resume highlighting your personal strengths and skills. This can be a great way to tell a business how you’ll add value “at a glance”. It may be useful to include soft skills to complement the hard skills you have developed.
If you don’t have a lot of tech work experience, a great way to build your resume is to attend short courses that offer badges or certifications. There are many free learning platforms with industry-recognized courses and certifications.
As with a cover letter, nothing shows willingness better than the time invested in learning, so it’s worth finding a course relevant to the role and taking it.
Write down the results of your previous work
While recruiters and hiring managers want to understand your work experience, even if it hasn’t been in technology, just avoid writing your previous job descriptions. Instead, showcase what you personally delivered, what the outcome was, and what you learned.
Make sure your resume is clear to the reader
Once you’ve finished writing your resume, ask someone to read it. Can they easily identify exactly what you were doing on a specific date relevant to your profile?
For example, what was your role in June 2020? Your resume should be able to tell someone without them going the extra mile. Everything should be clear to the reader at first sight – if not, change it and simplify it.
By Jennifer Schneider and Harry Gooding
Jennifer Schneider is Director of Hays Early Careers. Harry Gooding is director of Hays National Technology for the UK and Ireland. A version of this article originally appeared on the Hays Technology Blog.
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