Home Blog Advice June 2020 Three tips to make your tech resume stand out

Three tips to make your tech resume stand out

by Mary Wright

Strategic Sourcing Specialist

We all know people with stellar achievements and experience who still struggle to sell themselves on paper. Resume writing is an art, and a tricky one to master.
It’s certainly not helped by the fact that all industries have their own nuances and expectations – expectations that usually aren’t covered by the thousands of generic resume-writing tips and tricks articles.

Rather than outlining a basic set of resume writing principles, I’m sharing an inside look into what I, and many other tech recruiters, keep an eye out for when looking at resumes and CVs.
What the recruiter looks at first
What stands out to me most when I first look at a resume is the candidate’s skills and project experience. I like to identify and consider the projects a candidate has worked on, which usually gives me an insight into their experience, and more implicitly, the skills they used in working on them.

For candidates looking for a permanent role, I also look at how much time they have spent working for each business. Does it look like they have jumped around a lot between roles? Or does this candidate look like the type of person who is committed to delivering, and looks for opportunities to grow and develop their skill set when the time is right? This can be a key indicator of the candidate’s career progression and motivations.

Mary_Wright_resumetips_750x.jpgWhat makes a star candidate?
Good companies stand out to me on a resume. As I mentioned before, projects are the real-game changer for tech candidates and working for a business who is known for having completed impressive work can really give them an edge.

In terms of skills, a key question I ask myself is whether the person has a unique skill set. Do they have a skill that is:
  • Difficult to find?
  • High in demand?
  • New to the market?
If they do, then they are normally someone I would consider approaching if we have a need in the business at the time. That's why it's so important to be explicit with the skills you have and detail key achievements from each role to provide some context on the work you have delivered in that position.
How to show you’re a star candidate on your resume
One of the best CVs I’ve read included a snapshot of the project they had worked on, the company name and the key deliverables for their role.

I knew straight away from reading this part of their resume whether they were right for the role – which they were.  It also created a nice base for our conversation as I was able to refer back to the CV throughout the entire call.

The key takeaway from this?

Be clear

Be clear on your role and be clear on the skills you worked with to deliver on that project. Too many candidates divide their skills between sections, making quick identification of their strengths a challenge.
Though the recruiter can ultimately find them, it does say something favorable about one’s written communication skills if a candidate can present things as a whole package and deliver them effectively.

Some of the questions you might want to answer include: What did you achieve? Achievements are a great representation of our capability to deliver. If you were a lead, how many did you lead, what project did you lead?

Show your passion

I also strongly recommend including a link to any personal blogs, GitHub pages, or code examples to showcase the work you have delivered on personal projects you are working on. This can be a key indicator of how passionate you are about what you do.

Don’t forget to use LinkedIn
Platforms like LinkedIn are really important when it comes to proactive searching, especially from a candidate perspective.

Even if you haven't thought about looking for a new role yet, there could be someone out there with the perfect job opportunity trying to find someone just like you. If your profile isn't up to date with details of your skills and experience, the chances of you being found are much smaller!

Ultimately, if you are applying for a job at Telstra or elsewhere, it’s important to include all the important parts  that will grab the eye of a recruiter or hiring manager!
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