A Comprehensive Guide to Creating an Effective Tech Resume

30 August 2018 Reading Time: 7 minutes

We’ve analyzed successful resumes from users hired at Spotify, Booking.com, Deepmind, and more to bring to you a guide on crafting an effective tech resume. These are proven tips which have gotten people like you hired at world-class tech companies.

Below you can find our guide on how to write a tech resume with real-life examples from our successful users. You can also find a sample tech resume at the end of this article.

The key to a great tech resume: Basics + Tailoring

Any tech resume is going to be made up of your previous experience, skills, achievements, contacts details and so on. The key to creating a successful tech resume lies in tailoring those sections to the job vacancy.

1. Personal summary

Tech recruiters are interested in the commitment it took employees to get where they are; your personal summary is the perfect way to show this. In it, you can give a succinct overview of your career history and future desires, as well as some information on the areas you’re most skilled in. Recruiters have just a few seconds to look through your resume, your personal summary can act as the perfect snapshot of you in these time crunches.

If this is your first time entering tech, including a personal summary is the best way to describe your career prior to this move. If this is your first-ever resume, a personal summary is even more influential. However, note that this section is less needed for those with extensive history in tech as elements of your personality can come across in your Most Proud Of, Passions or Life Philosophy Sections.

Moving into tech after working in banking for several years, Sam brilliantly framed her tech resume with her personal statement.

Enhancv A Comprehensive Guide to Creating an Effective Tech Resume tech resume

2. Contact details

You can include these as you would with any other resume. Just remember to check your details and keep them up-to-date.

This is also a great spot to Link to a website you developed to show recruiters your technical or other expertise. It also allows you to go further in-depth about yourself in ways you can’t on your resume. If you’re linking to a LinkedIn page, make sure your bio and previous experience are up-to-date as well.

Directing recruiters to these websites allow you to show your skill rather than talk about it. It’s the walking after the talking, so-to-speak. If you’re a coder, think about including your personal Github too.

3. Technical skills

Start with writing a list of all platforms, databases, and coding tools you’re comfortable with. Then, analyze the job description to see if there are any specific skills that are essential for the position. Try to include as many relevant technologies you have experience with.

Remember that listing your skills can only go so far. While it’s great for recruiters to easily skim and for automated systems to read, you’ll do best when you qualify those skills with examples that demonstrate exactly where this skill comes from and how you use it.

You can also research the company’s upcoming plans to see if there’s any databases and programs they’d benefit from. Showing how your skills will help the company and its projects grow and develop in the future makes you an even more competitive candidate.

Don’t fall into the trap of not wanting to say no, however. As data scientist Pavel told us, “you’re afraid to say [you’re not familiar with a technology], but that’s totally fine to say. I think I had a perception that saying no is a very bad thing when at an interview.” After all, a new technologies can be learned, more recruiters are more interested in hiring someone with the right attitude, culture, etc.

Enhancv A Comprehensive Guide to Creating an Effective Tech Resume tech resume

4. Previous experience

One of the greatest mistakes you can make listing your previous experience is being too vague. Merely listing responsibilities tells the recruiter little about your skill and potential impact. You might have been in charge of optimising online content, but did you do it well?

Recruiters want to see specific achievements that demonstrate a real impact on the business. Framing your previous experience in this way will help you bring your value across.

Tobias did this well in his resume by detailing his work with Bee Healthy.

Enhancv A Comprehensive Guide to Creating an Effective Tech Resume tech resume

5. Personal projects

While it’s great to show off your previous experience, recruiters will also look favourably on projects you’ve developed on your own. These show your passion for the industry and your ability to self-motivate; two stand-out assets in the tech industry.

Including your tech projects on your resume will also allow you to elaborate on your skills in a tangible way. There’s a clear product built from your talents – this also helps if you have little previous experience working in a company.

Tobias did this in his resume that got him hired at Deepmind.

Enhancv A Comprehensive Guide to Creating an Effective Tech Resume tech resume

6. External courses

On-the-job training can be great, but your decision to go above-and-beyond your job requirements and become qualified in other areas is a great plus for recruiters. Much like your personal projects, it shows a level of dedication that’s highly valued. If you’ve taken any courses on Coursera or Udacity, for example, these would be wise to include on your resume.

Pavel did this while applying for his job at Booking.com.

Enhancv A Comprehensive Guide to Creating an Effective Tech Resume tech resume

7. Life philosophy

Tech recruiters are interested in good people who are motivated. Including your life philosophy on your resume will give recruiters insight into what keeps you going and how you approach your work. This will also help set you apart from the pool of other applicants. Always remember that there are people with the same amount of experience and technical expertise as you; what will give you the edge is your individuality.

Sam and Marcellus utilised their life philosophy in getting their jobs at Spotify and Verizon Digital Media Services.

Enhancv A Comprehensive Guide to Creating an Effective Tech Resume tech resume

8. My time

Employees who fit into a company culture are far more attractive to recruiters. Detailing how you spend your time and what a typical day looks like for you shows the recruiter your ability to time-manage and what you dedicate your energy to. This will allow them to see if you’re a workaholic, a balanced worker, someone that enjoys hiking a lot, and more.

Sam and Marcellus effectively used this strategy when getting their jobs at Spotify and Verizon respectively.

Enhancv A Comprehensive Guide to Creating an Effective Tech Resume tech resume

Enhancv A Comprehensive Guide to Creating an Effective Tech Resume tech resume

9. Favorite books

One of the things that worked for Sam in her journey to Spotify was including her favourite books on her resume. Including your favourite books lets the recruiter see where your ideas and motivations come from, and they’re a great conversation starter in the interview. After seeing her favorite books section at a job fair, one recruiter said to Sam:

“I normally don’t take resumes, but this is really great. I’m gonna show this to my colleagues in recruiting.

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Avoidable tech resume mistakes

We’ve shown you how to stand out with your tech resume, but what are common (but costly) mistakes people tend to make? After speaking with recruiters, here’s out quick-list of things you can avoid:

  • Typos
  • Vague or unmeasured achievements
  • Revealing confidential information (on previous clients or yourself)
  • Lying
  • Clichés

Always keep the recruiter in mind!

Resumes are impression-based whether we like it or not. Your resume will be looked at for a few seconds, maybe a minute if you’re lucky. With this, it’s beneficial to keep your resume as readable as possible. This means sleek and specific titles, dedicated sections, and an easy flow between those sections. To see how all of these tips can be applied to a resume, check out our sample tech resume below.

Enhancv A Comprehensive Guide to Creating an Effective Tech Resume tech resume

Your tech resume in a modern environment

The tech world has grown faster than most industries in the last 10-15 years. Tech continues to evolve day-in-day-out and so does the application process to work within the sector. Unfortunately, there is no one-way to go about applying for a job in tech. There are – however – some real differences between applying for a job in tech today compared to yesterday.

1. Individuality not formality

For the most part, tech companies are not only looking for people that can think outside of the box, they’re looking for people that can think outside of outside of the box. This idea needs to be reflected in your resume. Uniformity will be the death of your application in the eyes of someone that has an interactive resume to their left and a whole website to their right. It’s best to show who you are over showing you can abide by guidelines in your college textbook on resume writing.

2. Recruiters are working non-stop

The demands on recruiters to find the best candidate in the shortest amount of time has become greater as the tech industry grows. You need to keep the recruiter in mind when crafting your resume. You can check out our blog post on the things that make a resume stand out here.

3. Global market

More than half of companies agree that freelancing and remote working are necessary components of their workforces. Remote working has become more popular in recent years in the tech industry and with this comes an expanded market of workers. Not only must you compete with people in your own country or locality, but also the top talent across the world. This puts greater pressure on your resume to be your foot-in-the-door with a company. For this reason, the more specific your resume can be to the company’s needs and the more you can reveal of your own personality the better.

Writing your tech resume

The modern tech resume is best designed with your personality and the company’s needs combined. Those that have made the transition into tech have done so with the determination to prove their impact to their employer. Ensuring your resume has personal aspects with measured results is the best way forward. All of this can be accomplished using Enhancv’s resume builder.

Dean O'Reilly

Psychology student with keen interest in academic research. Currently exploring the world of marketing distribution and content creation with Enhancv to help people get closer to the job of their dreams. Read more about my journey to Enhancv on Fast Company or Gay Times.

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